What just happened? Apple and Samsung might be the dominant names in the smartphone industry, but Sony is reminding consumers that it still makes high-end handsets. The latest is the company’s first 5G phone: The Xperia 1 II, which in addition to boasting some top specs, also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The successor to the Xperia 1, the Xperia 1 II—pronounced “Xperia One, Mark Two”—brings back the 3.5mm jack that was dropped from its predecessor. But it’s the more modern tech that Sony is promoting, including a 21:9 6.5-inch “CinemaWide” 4K HDR OLED (3840×1644), Dolby Atmos, a Snapdragon 865, 8GB of RAM, and a 5G modem that can connect to sub-6GHz networks in Europe.
“Whether you are a broadcast professional who requires dynamic speed or an everyday user who desires enhanced entertainment Xperia with 5G takes your mobile experience to the next level,” said Mitsuya Kishida, Sony’s president of mobile communications.
Being Sony, the Xperia 1 II has plenty to keep photography fans happy. There’s a triple-camera setup on the back consisting of three 12MP Zeiss-branded lenses, each one featuring Zeiss' T* anti-reflective coating. Buyers get a 24mm, f/1.7 lens with an 82-degree field of view, a 70mm f/2.4 lens with a 34-degree field of view, and a 16mm f/2.2 lens with a 124-degree field of view. There’s also a 3D time-of-flight unit for enhanced zoom, while the selfie cam is made up of an 8-megapixel f/2.0 lens with an 84-degree field of view.
The camera supports 20fps shooting in burst mode, which Sony says is a first for a smartphone. “Our new continuous auto focus keeps tracking moving subjects. What’s special about this is with 20fps it calculates the object 3x per frame — that’s 60x per second — capturing the very moment,” said Kishida. Additionally, real-time eye-tracking now works with animals, and the camera’s autofocus covers 70 percent of the frame.
When it comes to video, the Xperia 1 II can record 4K at up to 60 fps and 2K at 120 fps. Audio-wise, it features built-in 360 Reality Audio—an object-based spatial audio format Sony launched last year. The company says that you’ll be able to stream the format on Tidal.
Elsewhere, the phone comes with 256GB of onboard storage, microSD-card support for up to 1TB of extra storage, wireless charging, and a 4,000mAh battery. In Europe, 5G will be made possible by a Qualcomm X55 modem—it won’t support 5G in the US. There’s also a fingerprint sensor and front-facing dual speakers. No word on the screen refresh rate, but Sony said its motion blur reduction is "equivalent to that of a 90Hz display."
The Sony Xperia 1 II will begin shipping in Europe this spring. No word yet on price or a US release date.