Sony has teased a new professional smartphone aimed at photographers/videographers called the Xperia PRO. Don’t confuse this with the keyboard-equipped Xperia pro of yester-year, this new Xperia PRO is meant to be Sony’s best of the best in 2020.
The Xperia PRO is in many respects a more souped-up Xperia 1 II. Many of the core specifications are the same, but there are some key differences. The Xperia PRO will feature a HDMI micro connector (Type D) to allow direct camera connectivity. Sony used to include micro HDMI in some of its older Xperia models, such as the Xperia arc and Xperia S, so it’s great to see HDMI functionality return.
The Xperia PRO also supports 5G mmWave (the Xperia 1 II only supports 5G Sub6) which offers the fastest download/upload speeds and lowest latency levels. 5G mmWave usage will not be as widespread from carriers compared to sub-6Ghz bands, but for the areas that have mmWave it will be a game-changer for creators looking to live broadcast at location.
To ensure optimal signal strength, the Xperia PRO will also use a 360-degree antenna design covering all four sides of the smartphone with 16 antenna pieces, plus beamforming technology to direct 5G mmWave signals most effectively. The Xperia PRO uses a low dielectric constant material on the rear of the phone that enables radio waves to pass through more easily.
A redesign of the internals will allow for continuous 5G mmWave usage. Sony says it has a highly efficient internal heat distribution path, thanks to a graphite sheet, vapour chamber and air gap. It is not clear if the same design is used in the Xperia 1 II. Overall, the rest of the Xperia PRO design can be described as ‘robust’ or ‘industrial’, the phone looks like it can take a beating and seems quite thick. The “Xperia PRO” logo on the side of the phone is a nice touch too.
Another new feature that the Xperia PRO has is a dedicated shortcut key, sitting next to the dedicated camera button, allowing users to assign the button with a specific app. The last difference between the Xperia PRO and Xperia 1 II is the use of 512GB UFS internal storage, versus 256GB in the Xperia 1 II. The Xperia PRO does lose one feature found in the Xperia 1 II and that is wireless charging – both phones use the same 4000mAh capacity battery.
The rest of the spec-sheet is the same as the Xperia 1 II Including a 6.5-inch 21:9 CinemaWide 4K HDR OLED display, a 12MP triple-lens camera array on the rear, 8MP selfie camera, and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G chipset and 8GB RAM.
Other similar specs include the return of the 3.5mm headphone jack, front stereo speakers, 4000mAh battery, IP65/68 dust and water resistance and Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on the front.
There is no firm word on availability and pricing right now, we would not expect a launch before Q3 2020. However, the Xperia PRO will not be aimed at the consumer market, so it will be interesting to see how Sony plans to market the phone. Sony sees this as an entirely different category to its consumer smartphones, which is why it has separated the categorisation on its website into two sections: 1) Cell Phones and 2) Professional Smartphones. The only phone that currently sits in the latter category is the Xperia PRO.
The Xperia PRO is very likely to launch in the United States according to our sources, particularly as the Xperia 1 II model will have 5G connectivity removed for the US market. We don’t know why Sony is taking this route as the Xperia 1 II has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 paired with the 5G-enabled X55 modem, so the hardware will be the same as the global models. We’ll bring you more news as we have it.