Sony Xperia Pro: this is not a smartphone
After a year of suspense, Sony has officially launched its Xperia Pro. Based on the Xperia 1 II, this very high-end smartphone is priced at a very expensive $2500. However, it is primarily aimed at photojournalists and professional videographers, who need to quickly and easily send images from their cameras to their editors. Therefore, it could be one of the only smartphones to deserve its “Pro” designation. Here’s how it works.
Sony Xperia Pro: an ultra-niche smartphone
However, the Xperia Pro has little in common with a “consumer” smartphone, like those offered by Apple, Samsung (or the Xperia 1 II, precisely). An iPhone 12 Pro aims to provide an overall experience that is extremely consistent in every way, regardless of who is using it. On the other hand, the Xperia Pro is aimed at such a small target that we can talk about an “ultra-niche”.
It’s aimed primarily at photojournalists and videographers in the field, who capture their images with a professional camera or hybrid, and need to send their images instantly to their newsrooms.
A 5G compatible external monitor
We’ll give you that: externally, the Xperia Pro looks like (almost) any other smartphone. It has a large 6.5-inch 21:9 aspect ratio display and a Snapdragon 865 processor – just like the Xperia 1 II. It has 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage in UFS 3.0.
However, it stands out for its Micro HDMI port, placed at the bottom of the device. Thus, you can connect a device or a professional camera to the Xperia Pro using an HDMI cable. Thanks to a specific application, the terminal turns into an external monitor, and displays the image and the interface of the case. The touch screen also allows you to zoom in on the screen, but it is not possible to change the shooting settings directly with the touch screen of the terminal.
In addition, the Xperia Pro has a much more advanced 5G connectivity, compatible with 5G mmWave, for an ultra-fast connection speed. Not to mention a polycarbonate design, which is much more permeable to waves. So you can use services to stream live 4K footage captured with a body that has a much better sensor and optics than a smartphone.
Moreover, by connecting a Sony box to the USB-C port of the Xperia Pro, it becomes possible to use it to transfer photos via FTP to a remote server. Especially since the Xperia Pro’s battery (4000 mAh) can be used as an external battery to recharge the camera body.
Xperia Pro: the ultimate weapon for field journalists?
So, the Xperia Pro can be seen as an essential tool for photojournalists and videographers in the field – at the Tokyo Olympics, for example. As such, it’s not surprising that the Xperia Pro is being launched at the same time as the Sony Alpha 1 professional hybrid.
The Xperia Pro can thus be seen as a bridge between the photographer/videographer and his or her newsroom, eliminating the need for an external monitor and computer for viewing and sending images.
The Xperia Pro is also a step ahead of a “traditional” external monitor. This is a 4K monitor, with an OLED panel, weighing only 1 cm thick. Best of all, its battery can last a whole day, and can even recharge a USB-connected device. And, unlike all the competition, it has a 5G chip. Not to mention the computing power and compatible software to encode videos and stream them live on the Internet.
Finally, as a reminder that it belongs to the world of smartphones (despite everything), it inherits the photo block of the Xperia 1 II. So we find :
- A 12MP sensor of 1/1.7 inch, 24mm wide angle lens, f/1.7 aperture, Dual Pixel AF, optical stabilization
- A 12 MP sensor of 1/3.4 inch, 70 mm telephoto lens, f/2.4 aperture, Dual Pixel AF, optical stabilization
- A 12 MP sensor of 1/2.55 inch, 16 mm ultra wide angle lens, f/2.2 aperture, Dual Pixel AF
The whole being able to shoot in 4K at 60 fps and in Full HD at 120 fps.
A justified price?
The question arises as to the price of the Xperia Pro. Is $2500 for a smartphone reasonable? If we compare the Xperia Pro to any other high-end smartphone on the market, this price seems “slightly” excessive.
So, if you think of the Xperia Pro as a true complement to Sony’s professional hybrids and cameras, and aimed at professional photographers and videographers in the field, that $2500 price tag doesn’t seem totally out of line.
Aimed at large newsrooms – the same ones that might be seduced by the performance of a Sony A1 – the Xperia Pro seems like a true powerhouse. As such, it’s one of the few smartphones that fully deserves its “Pro” designation.
Aimed at large editorial offices – the same ones that could be seduced by the performance of a Sony A1 – the Xperia Pro seems to be a real shock ally. As such, it’s one of the few smartphones that fully deserves its “Pro” designation.
Tags: Sony Xperia Pro, Xperia Pro