All About the New Sony Xperia PRO-I

Sony released the Xperia PRO, its latest flagship phone, earlier this year to much fanfare. However, it has recently unveiled its successor, the Xperia PRO-I (XQBE62/B. The newly added “I” to its name stands for ‘imaging,’ reflecting the camera upgrade in the new release.

The tech giant described the phone as a “camera with full smartphone capabilities,” equipping the device with impressive specs like a 1.0-type Exmor RS sensor and F2.0/F4.0 dual aperture on the primary rear camera. The PRO-I is meant for professional content creators, offering them a much more portable yet high-quality camera setup that allows them to shoot, edit, and send videos with just one device. Here’s what you need to know about the Xperia PRO-I:

A Pleasant Surprise

Given the Xperia PRO’s release in January this year, Sony fans did not expect its successor to come so soon. However, the announcement of the next model came as a pleasant surprise. Although the PRO was announced as early as February 2020, featuring the same hardware as the Xperia 1 II (Mark 2), its release was delayed by nearly a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While the succession seems sooner than expected, with Xperia PRO owners feeling bittersweet about their phone quickly becoming outdated, Sony likely had the PRO-I in development for a while now. Regardless, fans are delighted with a new addition to the Xperia lineup sooner than expected.

A Decked-Out Camera

Sony Xperia PRO-I

Sony knows its target audience very well with the impressive camera capabilities on the PRO-I. They carefully describe the sensor as a 12MP ‘1.0-type’ sensor instead of a 1-inch sensor based on the 20MP RX100 VII’s 1-inch sensor. That means Sony used a part of this sensor, so it is not as large as the RX100 VII despite featuring the same pixel pitch at 2.4 µm.

The Xperia PRO-I features a 12MP triple-lens camera system and a 3D iToF sensor, enabling rapid autofocus. It boasts ZEISS Tessar optics with an aspherical glass lens, eliminating peripheral image distortion and providing more sharpness and contrast. Sony takes things to the next level by equipping all three lenses with phase-detection auto-focus. 

Another feature that sets the PRO-I apart is its primary 24mm lens with a dual aperture of F2.0/4.0, which is rare to find in modern smartphone cameras. It also has a 16mm (f2.2, 1/2.5-inch sensor, 124-degree field-of-view) ultrawide and 50mm (F2.4, 1/2.9-inch sensor, 48-degree field-of-view) telephoto lens options, making it a formidable camera. Meanwhile, its front camera has an 8MP ¼-inch sensor with a 78-degree field of view. 

The last of its spectacular camera features is its more prominent textured camera button, which is bigger than previously seen on Xperia phones, including the PRO. It also has the same shutter switch module as the RX100 series. Pressing the shutter for a few seconds will launch Photography Pro, enabling you to take pictures right away.

Additional Specs

An underrated feature returning in the Xperia PRO-I is the built-in lanyard hole that you can use to attach a wrist strap. It will be easier to tote the phone around, mainly since it is meant to be a superpowered camera with comprehensive smartphone functions. 

If you have extra money to spare, you can take advantage of the Vlog Monitor for Xperia PRO-I, aimed at vloggers who want to shoot themselves in the highest quality while using a smartphone. The Vlog Monitor boasts a 1/4-20 UNC type mounting point on the holder’s bottom, where you can screw in a shooting grip.

The Xperia PRO-I is expected to sport a 4K HDR OLED 120Hz refresh rate display. It will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset with 12GB RAM, 512GB internal storage, with additional microSD memory card support. It will also have IP65/68 dust and water resistance and use Corning Gorilla Victus Glass. It packs a 4,500 mAh battery, an upgrade from the PRO’s 4,000 mAh battery. Its expected dimensions are 166 x 72 x 8.9mm and will weigh 211 grams.

Conclusion 

The Sony Xperia PRO-I certainly packs a punch in its many outstanding features. Expected to release in early December 2021 at £1,599 in the UK, it will undoubtedly make waves primarily due to its superb camera functionalities. 

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