What you need to know
- Sony's new Xperia Pro-I features one of the largest camera sensors on a smartphone.
- The 1-inch sensor features a variable aperture for different lighting situations.
- Sony is launching a secondary display accessory for bloggers to record themselves with.
After the impressive Xperia 1 III, Sony wasn't expected to make any more major smartphone announcements this year, but the company has taken us by surprise with the launch of the new Xperia Pro-I (pronounced "Pro eye"). The "I" stands for "imaging."
The new smartphone is the successor to the Xperia Pro that launched in early 2020 before finally making its way to the U.S. this year. Like that phone, the new Xperia Pro-I is focused on creativity, but unlike that phone, it won't rely on a separate expensive camera to get the job done.
The Xperia Pro-I features a large 1-inch main camera sensor, matching the Sharp Aquos A6 for the largest camera sensor on a modern smartphone. It uses the same sensor from the Sony RX100 camera and has a 12MP resolution with a variable aperture from f/2.0 to f/4.0 to provide optimal light capture in different scenarios, something that Samsung's best Android phones used to be known for.
Sony highlights the benefit of such a large sensor, which makes it ideal for capturing more light for photos and capturing better video with more natural depth. Like Sony's recent flagship offerings, there's an emphasis on video capture, and Sony wants to target vloggers with this device.
To do that, the company is launching an interesting new accessory that will transform the Xperia Pro-I to give you something akin to a dedicated vlogging camera. The most notable addition is the new Vlog Monitor, a secondary display that attaches to the back of the phone. With this, you can capture video of yourself from the 1-inch sensor while keeping yourself in the frame.
The Vlog Monitor features a 3.5-inch HD display that is connected via the USB-C port. The monitor includes a 3.5mm jack for an external mic and is compatible with Sony's existing VCT-SGR1 shooting grip for easy control.
Sony also announced its latest professional app, Videography Pro, joining Photography Pro and Cinematography Pro apps for a more manual shooting experience. It sounds a lot like the latter app, although it's aimed at bloggers and journalists with a dedicated auto button for quick shooting while still allowing users to take control at any moment.
Other specs include a 12MP ultrawide angle camera and a 12MP telephoto lens. Unfortunately, you won't find variable telephoto like on the Xperia 1 III. However, you will find the same 6.5-inch 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate.
Powering the device is the Snapdragon 888 with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. The phone features sub-6 5G but no mmWave support, and keeping the lights on is a 4,500mAh battery.
As far as pricing and availability go, the Xperia Pro-I, like its predecessor, won't be cheap. The phone will set you back an eye-watering $1800, which is just as much as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, and the Vlog Monitor will cost an additional $200. Preorders start on October 28, and the device will ship on December 10.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.