Sony targets professional users with the Xperia Pro and calls up a corresponding price. A number of special video features appeal to creative users, but does that justify the cost of over 2,000 Euros?
The Xperia Pro is more than just an Android smartphone. Sony is also promoting the new flagship as an external OLED monitor thanks to a Micro-HDMI input that supports 4K at up to 60 frames per second, including HDR. According to Sony, it is the world's first smartphone with an HDMI input.
At the same time, the incoming video signals, for example from a regular video camera, can also be streamed live via a 5G connection. Sony, however, wants to be paid dearly for these features. The Xperia Pro, which is only available in the US as of now, costs around 2,500 US dollars.
Pocket-sized video equipment
If you use the Xperia Pro as a monitor, you are able to check your content on the 6.5-inch 21:9 display. For example, you can zoom into the image with a simple finger gesture to check the focus. However, the smartphone cannot be used to capture the content – it can only display or stream it.
These streaming features include the ability to send external content live to YouTube in up to 720p, for example. Facebook Live or Twitch are also supported. The Network Visualizer app, which can hover over all other apps, provides quick information about the bandwidth used in the process. A future firmware update is said to allow streams in 10-bit.
With a compatible Sony Alpha camera, you can also use the USB-C port to transfer videos or photos directly to FTP servers or other destinations via 5G. A helpful feature for filmmakers or photographers who need to transmit their content under short deadlines.
Strong resemblance to the Xperia 1 Mark II
A look at the more conventional features of the Xperia Pro reveals, among other things, a camera module that Sony has already used in the Xperia 1 Mark II. This includes three 12-megapixel cameras with 16, 24 and 70mm focal lengths, with f/2.2, f/1.7 and f/2.4 apertures, respectively. There is also a time-of-flight sensor to help with focus. The built-in cameras allow you to record videos in 4K HDR at 24, 25, 30 or 60 frames per second.
However, the housing of the Xperia Pro has been changed. Here, according to Sony, it uses materials that do not affect cell reception quality. In addition, it is rated IP65/68 to help against water and dust. Gorilla Glass 6 is used on the front for additional durability.
In terms of other technical specifications, including for example the Snapdragon 865, the Xperia Pro is similar to the already known Xperia 1 Mark II. In this respect, the new flagship may seem a bit "outdated" to some. But at the same time, it shows that the latest Qualcomm chip is not necessarily required for these kinds of professional features, although one might wish for it at a price of 2,500 US-Dollar.
The Sony Xperia Pro is currently only available in the US. If and when it will be available in other countries is currently unknown.