Sony is alive and kicking, even though it restructured a lot in 2019 and reduced the smartphone portfolio to just a few models. For the virtual Mobile World Congress 2020, the Japanese have two very exciting smartphones in their luggage: the Xperia 1 II and the Xperia 10 II.
Before we come to the specs and features of the two Xperia smartphones, we first have to clarify how Sony came to these name extensions. Last year, at the launch of the Xperia 1 and 10 at the Mobile World Congress 2019, Sony explained that the new naming scheme has now been adapted in line with the very successful Sony Alpha cameras. So it's no surprise that Sony has given the 2020 models of Xperia smartphones some Roman numerals, just like the cameras. But the names are pronounced: "Sony Xperia 1 Mark Two" and "Sony Xperia 10 Mark Two".
Two steps forward and one step back
For a long time Sony has had to listen to a lot of scolding about some components in its own smartphones: At first sight, the battery was always too small for most users and it was often criticized that there was no wireless charging possibility, no matter if it is actually used or not. In any case, Sony has taken both criticisms on the Xperia 1 Mark II and addressed them. This means that the Xperia 1 II now has a 4,000 mAh battery that can also be charged wirelessly. Sony also increases the battery size of the Xperia 10 II in comparison to its predecessor, but wireless charging won't be available in this price segment in 2020 either.
In return, however, both new Xperia smartphones get back a feature that Sony, as well as competitors such as Samsung, Apple, and Huawei, have been dropping for years: I'm talking about the 3.5mm headphone jack! Both the Xperia 1 II and the 10 II again have a 3.5 mm audio connector.
Technically, Sony is of course upgrading the insides of the two Xperia smartphones, and both smartphones will receive more up-to-date CPUs, GPUs, and a larger RAM/ROM combination. Unfortunately, you have to do without dual SIM in the Xperia 1 II, because Qualcomm's X55 modem isn't designed for parallel operation of 4G and 5G, according to Sony.
Cameras now finally optimized for photos
With the first-generation Xperia 1, Sony still paid a lot of attention to video functionality. For this purpose, the in-house expertise of CineAlta was called in. The Xperia 1 Mark II is now additionally optimized by the photo professionals of the Alpha department. The triple rear camera of the Sony Xperia 1 II is composed as follows:
- 12 MP, f/2.2, 16 mm ultrawide-angle
- 12 MP, f/2.0, 24 mm wide-angle with OIS
- 12 MP f/2.4, 70 mm telephoto lens with OIS
- 3D iToF depth sensor
The Xperia 10 II also comes with a triple camera, but at this low price there is only the following setup:
- 8 MP, f/2.2, 16 mm ultra-wide-angle
- 12 MP, f/2.0, wide-angle
- 8 MP, f/2.4, telephoto lens
In the case of the front camera, there are 8 MP shooters in each of the two Mark-II variants. The exciting thing about the Xperia 1 Mark II is that it now has a pro-camera app. The Japanese engineers of the Sony Alpha photo camera division brought themselves into play for both the camera and the app. This should already be visible in the menu structure of the Camera Pro app.
Whether the camera setup of the Sony Xperia 1 II, with its low resolution in comparison to the competitors from the Android camp, will be sufficient will only be determined by a full review. Unfortunately, both the Xperia 1 II and the Xperia 10 II will not be on the market until the second quarter of 2020, so we will have to wait a little longer for the test devices to arrive.
Technical specifications of Sony's new Xperia smartphones
|Sony Xperia 1 II||Sony Xperia 10 II|
6.5 inch OLED, 60 Hz
|6 inch OLED, 60 Hz|
|Size||166 x 72 x 7.9 mm||157 x 69 x 8.2 mm|
|OS||Android 10||Android 10|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865||Qualcomm Snapdragon 665|
8 GB RAM
|4 GB RAM
|Battery||4,000 mAh with 18 Watt fast charging technology
and QI wireless charging
|Special features||Eye autofocus, Zeiss optics,
3.5 mm jack, IP68 and 5G modem
|3.5 mm jack connection