Sony is a master at making mirrorless cameras that are both small and powerful. It’s also really good at creating smartphones. So, it seems like combining the two into one device would be a good idea, right? That appears to be the case with Sony’s new Xperia Pro-I.
The Sony Xperia Pro-I is not a straight successor to the Xperia Pro, which was released earlier this year. Instead of an HDMI out connector, which few people seem to like, the Xperia Pro-I has a 1-inch primary camera sensor that takes up the majority of the phone’s back plate. It’s hidden under a 24mm lens with f/2.0 and f/4.0 apertures.
It’s far from the first 1-inch camera phone we’ve seen in the wild, but it’s likely to be more affordable than the Sharp Aquos R6 or Leica’s Leitz Phone 1.
Sony also claims a slew of benefits from utilizing such a huge sensor. There’s less low-light noise, greater bokeh, autofocus that covers “90 percent of the frame,” and the rolling-shutter effect isn’t as noticeable when photographing moving things.
In terms of video, the Sony Xperia Pro-I can record 4K at 120 frames per second with HDR and optical image stabilization. There’s also a vlogger mode with object tracking up to 120 frames per second in 4K and eye-focus smarts in video modes. A shooting grip and a vlog monitor are also being promoted by Sony.
Sony has added two more sensors to the Xperia Pro-I in addition to the primary sensor. For portraits, a 12MP 1/2.9-inch sensor is used with a 50mm f/2.4 lens, while for ultra-wide photos, a 12MP 1/2.5-inch sensor is used with a 16mm f/2.2 lens. A notable omission is the lack of a long-reaching telephoto camera, which may be a disappointment to some. Up front, an 8MP selfie camera is housed within the top bezel.
The Sony Xperia Pro-I is essentially based on the Xperia 1 III in terms of fundamental specifications. It’s built around Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 SoC, with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of UFS storage. Also included are twin SIM slots, a shared microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Up front, there’s a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display with a resolution of 3,840 x 1,644 pixels. It has a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate, as well as 100 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut. A 4,500mAh battery powers everything, and it charges at 30W through USB-C.
A side-mounted fingerprint sensor, NFC, a dedicated camera shutter button, a camera strap mounting loop, and Gorilla Glass Victus smeared across the display are among the other features. Along with support for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format, “full-stage” stereo speakers are included.
Pricing and availability
While Sony’s previous Pro smartphone had crucial capabilities that only a small percentage of the population would use, the price was the true issue. It was far too pricey to make an effect on the market at $2,500. This time around, Sony appears to have learned from its errors.
The Sony Xperia Pro-I is substantially more affordable, yet it is still quite expensive. It will cost $1,800 in the US. That’s still a lot of money for a phone, and it puts it squarely in the foldable category. Pre-orders will begin on October 28 and deliveries will begin in December.