One year after the debut of its super-tall Xperia 1, Sony is back with a successor, the obscenely titled Xperia 1 II. In Europe, the handset will be Sony’s first to support 5G, where it will be able to connect to sub-6GHz networks. Sony is keen to emphasize the photography capabilities of its flagship smartphone, and there are also some neat hardware inclusions like a 3.5mm headphone jack and support for wireless charging. (Both of those were missing from last year’s handset.) It also announced a new mid-range handset called the Xperia 10 II. In the US, where the flagship 1 II handset will be 4G only, Sony teased a separate 5G device called the Xperia Pro.
In an era of 108-megapixel smartphone cameras, the 12-megapixel triple-camera array found on the back of the Xperia 1 II risks coming across as under-specced, on paper anyway. But Sony has what it thinks is a couple of tricks up its sleeve, thanks to features brought over from its Alpha lineup of cameras. The first is that the phone supports up to 20fps shooting in burst mode (a first for a smartphone, according to Sony), and the second is the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per second. The eye-tracking autofocus returns from last year and now works with animals. Sony says that this year the camera’s autofocus covers 70 percent of the frame.
Sony also has a new Photo Pro app, which joins the Cinema Pro app that it debuted last year. The aim here is to give you more manual control over your photography with what Sony says is a similar interface to an interchangeable lens camera. Of course, you can also take photographs using a more typical smartphone camera interface if you so choose.
In terms of camera hardware, the phone has three rear cameras and a 3D iToF sensor to assist with focusing. All three cameras feature 12-megapixel sensors, similar to the iPhone 11 Pro. On the Sony Xperia 1 II, the main 24mm f/1.7 camera has a larger 1/1.7-inch sensor, similar to the 1/1.76-inch sensor Samsung is using for the main camera on the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus, though it’s not as large as the 1/1.33-inch 108-megapixel sensor found in the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Alongside its main sensor, Sony’s new phone also has a 16mm f/2.2 ultrawide camera, and a 70mm f/2.4 telephoto camera. On the front, there’s an 8-megapixel selfie camera, and on the side, there’s a dedicated camera button