Sony has had a pretty torrid time of late. The Xperia 1 II may be the phone to turn the tide, with the company having worked hard to improve the camera experience.
Given Sony is responsible for making the majority of image sensors used in other handsets, which then go on to offer a better camera experience than recent Xperia smartphones, this is massively overdue.
In the US where some people have had one for a couple of weeks, the first impressions are very positive indeed – especially in the camera department which interests me most (although of course, the whole package must be good too).
The Xperia 1 II was announced back in February at what should have been a major event at Mobile World Congress, is the successor to the flagship Xperia 1, bringing not only the massively improved camera setup but also Sony’s first entry into 5G with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 SoC.
It continues with a 4K resolution super-wide (or tall) 21:9 AMOLED cinematic display, measuring 6.5-inches and sporting a resolution of 1644×3840 pixels (643 PPI) with over a billion colours. There’s stereo audio too.
The phone gets 8GB of RAM, 256GB of expandable storage, and a larger 4,000mAh battery with 21W wired charging and 11W wireless charging.
Sony also has a new HS Power Control feature to further improve battery longevity – a continuation of the work Sony has done in the past to protect the battery, like using AI to learn when to fast charge and when to trickle charge. OnePlus has recently adopted this idea in its latest version of Oxygen OS.
The camera consists of three sensors; 12-megapixel primary (f/1.7) with dual pixel PDAF and optical image stabilisation, a 12-megapixel 3x telephoto (f/2.4) with PDAF, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide (f/2.2 124 degrees) with dual pixel PDAF, and a 0.3-megapixel Time-of-Flight (ToF) 3D sensor for depth measurements.
Like earlier Xperia models, and in keeping with the professional camera line, Sony has retained the eye tracking function that uses human or animal eyes to maintain a strong focus even with fast movement.
Sony has also kept the two-stage shutter button, another feature that gives the Xperia an edge over the competition.
New on the Xperia 1 II is an extra fast burst mode to capture multiple high-resolution photos at 20 frames-per-second, to ensure you get that perfect shot.
One reason Sony has hopefully improved the camera quality considerably is not just the improved optics, but also a new professional camera app that accompanies the video one already released.
This allows full and total control of every aspect of the cameras, and could prove extremely popular to photographers who are more used to proper cameras than mobile ones.
Below are some videos of the early reviews of the new phone. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to check it out soon.
And here’s the view from a professtional photographer:
And another video from Juan Carlos Bagnell:
Pricing and Availability
The flagship Sony 1 II is available to pre-order from June 4th from O2, available in black. Tariffs start at £39.92 per month with a £10 up-front fee, based on a three-year contract.
Those who pre-order will receive a pair of WH-1000XM3 noise cancelling wireless headphones and new TIDAL subscribers will get three months of TIDAL Hi-Fi free, including 360 Reality Audio experience.
The Mirrored Black version will be an exclusive to Vodafone.
It is also available SIM-free for £1099.
- The cheaper Xperia 10 II also goes on sale from June 8th from selected retailers with a suggested retail price of £319 SIM-free.