Sony Xperia Pro-I: a one-inch photo sensor for this smartphone dedicated to creators

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Sony’s line of business smartphones welcomes a new model, the Xperia Pro-I. Equipped with a one-inch photo sensor, it benefits from all the brand’s expertise in photography to try to push the limits of mobile imaging.

Sony had taken a long time between the announcement and the release of its Xperia Pro. Appeared at the beginning of the year in the United States, this smartphone dedicated to professionals occupies a special place with its HDMI port which allows it to keep an eye on videographers. The new Xperia Pro-I won’t have waited long to join it and target content creators. Affected with an “I” for “imaging”, the Sony Xperia Pro-I is not a smartphone like the others. It confirms the approach of a manufacturer which is more discreet on the market, but which has not lost its ambitions.

The brand knows that the battle on mobile is largely fought in the field of photography. A sector that Sony knows particularly well as evidenced by the recent announcement of the promising Sony Alpha 7 IV or the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III. With the Xperia Pro-I, the Japanese giant wants to take a new step and “Inaugurates[r] a new era of mobile imaging ”. Apparently, the latest model of the firm does not really surprise. Its technical sheet, smartphone side, allows you to discover a premium device. The Xperia Pro-I has a 6.5-inch OLED display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and 4K definition (3840 x 1644 pixels).

The Sony Xperia Pro-I is coming soon to France. © Sony

5G compatible, it is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC flanked by 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. It is possible to add a microSD card to this smartphone which imposes it with dimensions of 166x72x8.9 mm for 211 grams. The autonomy is entrusted to a battery of 4500 mAh compatible with the charge to 30 W, and the charger is included in the box. The device is also IP65 / 68 certified for better resistance to water and dust, while a Gorilla Glass Victus glass reinforces its resistance to drops and scratches.

A camera sensor in a smartphone

Sony has paid particular attention to the photo part of its Xperia Pro-1 which claims a ” Professional level “. Behind that promise is a 1.0-type Exmors RS sensor – a one-inch photo sensor – with phase-detection autofocus that Sony picked up from its expert compact camera. The RX100 VII is indeed the basis for this mobile, its sensor having been optimized for smartphones. It displays 12 megapixels (2.4 µm pixels) and finds itself decked out with a double aperture wide-angle lens (f / 2.0 and f / 4.0) equivalent to 24 mm. Sony completes its photo component with two other 12 megapixel modules: an ultra wide-angle (f / 2.2, 16 mm equivalent) and an equivalent 50 mm lens (/ f2.4) with 2x zoom. A ToF sensor is also present.

This smartphone has a large format sensor derived from that of the RX100 VII. © Sony

Google, which has just launched its promising Pixel 6, has proven that a solid data sheet is not always the key to shine in photos. Sony therefore not only relies on the presence of optics manufactured by Zeiss with anti-reflective coating T. The Xperia Pro-I wants to be the mobile equivalent of the Alpha cameras and has a Bionz X image processor, as well as an autofocus. with 315-point phase detection covering 90% of the image and advanced functions such as eye tracking AF for humans and animals or real-time tracking. Aimed at content creators, it allows taking photos in RAW format and boasts video skills.

Sony presents its Xperia Pro-I as the first smartphone capable of filming in 4K at 120 frames per second, doing better than the iPhone 13 Pro Max or the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. It is also capable of capturing and playing back fast scenes and slow motion videos up to 5X, with eye and object tracking AF. However, it does not offer 8K recording. A monaural microphone is attached to the main camera.

The Xperia Pro-I is the first smartphone capable of filming in 4K at 120 fps. © Sony

Pricing and availability

The Sony Xperia Pro-1 isn’t the first Android device – Android 11, to be precise – to try to push the boundaries when it comes to mobile photography. In the past, the border between mobile and camera has even been crossed by some devices such as the Galaxy S4 Zoom or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1. The latter already had a one-inch sensor, but that was not enough to convince many people, despite the quality of the photo rendering. Sony wants to do better with its exceptional smartphone which will be displayed in France at a price of 1,799 euros. The manufacturer indicates that it will be available ” early December “.

Note that Sony will at the same time offer its new Vlog Monitor, an accessory to associate with your smartphone. As its name suggests, it is designed for vlogging and video sharing with a price set at 199 euros.

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