Sony has announced its first 5G smartphone: The Xperia 1 II – which is pronounced “Xperia One, Mark Two” for the curious and / or confused. Which is not confusing at all, um.
"Nobody understands the entertainment experience better than Sony," said Mitsuya Kishida, president of mobile communications, and claimed that the company was "uniquely positioned" in the era of 5G mobile technology to offer its target users an "enriched" experience content portfolio thanks to Sony's extensive experience ,
"Whether you're a broadcast professional who needs dynamic speed or an everyday user who wants enhanced entertainment, Xperia with 5G takes your mobile experience to the next level," he said.
As always with Sony – a large B2B provider of image sensors for other smartphone manufacturers (and not for a large seller of their own phones) – the camera has a big focus on the new Android 10 flagship with a 6.5-inch 21 : 9 format laid out The 4K HDR OLED display "CinemaWide" (3840 × 1644) is powered by a Qualcomm 865 Snapdragon chip (with 8 GB RAM on board).
On the back of the Xperia 1II there are three lenses with a choice of focal lengths (16mm, 24mm and 70mm) for taking different types of photos – from super wide angles to portraits.
All three rear lenses have a 12MP sensor, while there is an 8MP lens in the front. Sony is also using the Zeiss optics for the first time in a smartphone and is extending its long-term collaboration to a new device type.
Kishida talked to the camera about ultra-fast auto focus in low light and found that it supports auto focus at 20 frames per second and auto-tracking burst (which he called a world first in a smartphone) – for crisp action shots.
“Our new continuous autofocus constantly follows moving subjects. The special thing about it is that with 20 frames per second the object is calculated 3x per image – that's 60x per second – and captures the exact moment, ”he said.
"With the power and speed of 5G, you can share these moments faster and easier on the network," he added.
Another photo-friendly feature is real-time eye autofocus. Sony demonstrated this by showing how it worked on a video of a cat playing with a toy. That's why Sony has trained its model on records from pets, not just people.
The handset's “Photo Pro” interface was developed to be familiar to users of the Sony mirrorless alpha cameras. This enables photographers to set recordings by accessing adjustable parameters that they are used to with Sony high-end digital cameras.
Sony pays the same attention to video makers as the device has a video editing interface that offers features such as touch auto focus and custom white balance. According to Kishida, “visual storytellers” can control the camera more easily.
There is also a noise reduction function to improve audio recording.
Best of all, the Xperia 1II has a 3.5mm headphone jack, so audiophiles can enjoy the simple pleasure of plugging in their favorite high-end wired headphones and turning everything off.
Kishida pointed out the use of an AI technology called DSEE Ultimate, which upscales the audio signal to "almost high-resolution audio" – also when streaming. "This is the best acoustic experience on the go," he said.
In the gaming space, he announced a collaboration that would allow device users to play a mobile-optimized version of Call of Duty with Playstation 4's Dualshock 4 wireless controller.
The handset has a 4,000 mAh battery and quick wireless charging.
According to Kishida, the Xperia 1II will be delivered from spring, although it is not yet clear which markets Sony will bring the device to (last year the company's mobile division is said to have defocused most of the global market to focus on profitability) ,
The Xperia 1II may have a fairly niche-oriented target audience, as Sony is a relatively small player in the sale of consumer smartphones compared to giants like Samsung and Huawei, but is meant to serve as a showcase for what the company's camera technologies can offer other mobile phone manufacturers.
The Sony mobile boss made the announcements at a virtual press conference that was shown on YouTube after the company was one of the first major companies to withdraw from the Mobile World Congress.
MWC organizer GSMA has subsequently canceled the annual cellular industry event that was due to take place in Barcelona this week after numerous exhibitors announced their participation, citing public health concerns related to the novel corona virus.
MWC generally attracts more than 100,000 visitors over four days. The sight of Sony's press conference, which was streamed into an empty room – completely without cameras, clapping or advertising, but with built-in breaks for the media to take pictures of the new hardware – was more than a little surreal.
Kishida had other 5G phones to tease: the Xperia Pro – a flagship for video professionals. It features 5Gmm wavelength technology for improved ability to stream high-definition video, and a convenient micro HDMI connector for easy connection to another high-end camera kit.
Sony has touted tests conducted with the U.S. airline Verizon (also known as theinformationsuperhighway's parent company) to use the upcoming 5G handset for live streaming of live sporting events.
"Sony's expertise and long history in providing professional digital imaging solutions are unique," added Kishida. "Only Sony has such a deep and well-established relationship and we bring decades of experience to an end-to-end solution – from professional content creation to 5G mobile communication technology."
There was also a mid-range smartphone announcement, which was also available from spring: The Xperia 10 II has a 6-inch display, a triple lens camera and water resistance.