Sony Announces XPERIA PRO-I Smartphone

Today, Sony announced that the XPERIA PRO-I is close to public release, with pre-orders planned to begin shortly. The XPERIA PRO-I continues to leverage Sony’s incredible legacy of professional camera know-how in the mobile space and is targeted at smartphone users who are serious about getting outstanding image quality from their smartphone camera.

According to Sony, the XPERIA PRO-I is the world's first smartphone to be equipped with a 1" image sensor with phase detection autofocus. The new sensor is an attempt by Sony to bring the incredible image quality in its Alpha line of products to the smartphone space. This particular sensor is based on the one from Sony’s latest camera in the RX series, the RX100 VII.

Photographers and cinephiles alike will be excited to know the XPERIA PRO-I will feature a triple rear camera system (16mm ultra-wide, 24mm wide, and 50mm standard lens) equipped with true ZEISS optics with a T* anti-reflective coating. It also features an 8MP front camera. The wide lens is special in that it features an aspherical glass element, which lends to its miniature size. This smartphone also benefits from the addition of a 3D iToF sensor, which can immediately measure distance between the phone and subject in real-time. Coupled with continuous autofocus and AI processing, shots of fast-moving subjects result in clear images and video. A wide range of features―including low light performance, wide range 12-bit raw dynamic range, and optical bokeh with dual f/2.0 and 4.0 apertures―will also be supported. When it comes to video creation, the XPERIA PRO-I is capable of recording in Ultra HD 4K resolution at 120 fps. It is also capable of continuous eye autofocus and object tracking, along with slow-motion support at 120 fps.

As far as other specs go, the XPERIA PRO-I features a large, 6.5" 21:9 CinemaWide OLED 120 Hz display, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform, and 5G connectivity. The XPERIA PRO-I also offers solid support for those who require advanced connectivity, fast mobile gaming, and smooth-streaming content. Despite the large sensor, the phone still manages to retain a respectable 166 x 72 x 8.9mm footprint while packing in a 4500mAh battery.

Mobile gaming continues to advance, and Sony fully supports casual and pro-level players with its smooth 120 Hz display and 240 Hz motion blur-reduction technology. To further immerse players, Dolby Atmos audio is supported, and you can enjoy game soundtracks and effects through the phone’s full-range front-firing stereo speakers or use your favorite headset with the integrated 3.5mm headphone jack. A slew of additional features is offered to further enhance your matches, with screen tweaks for spotting players quicker, fast touch support, and more.

In addition to support for 4G LTE and 5G Sub-6 networks, the XPERIA PRO-I can connect to Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) networks with Sony’s Smart Connectivity. Smart Connectivity scans networks before joining to ensure solid connections for a seamless online experience. With so many features, the phone needs to stand up to daily use, which is why Sony equipped it with IP65/68-rated water and dust resistance, front Corning Victus glass, and rear Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection.

The XPERIA PRO-I rounds out its high-end capabilities with a large 512GB storage capacity and 12GB of RAM. If you are a content creator or just a photo and mobile enthusiast, the XPERIA PRO-I offers a fantastic upgrade via the shear breadth of features that Sony packed inside the phone alongside some stellar camera upgrades.

Are you as excited as we are about the Sony XPERIA PRO-I's 1.0 image sensor? Let us know in the Comments section, below!

15 Comments

Does this NOT have wireless charging?  I understand that Fast Charging is not possible with wireless but does it support slower, Qi wireless charging (for overnight)?

Hi Razab - 

The  SONY XPERIA PRO-I does not feature wireless Qi charging.  Fast charging USB power delivery via USB-C up to 30W is offered.

Nice new edition.

But what happened to the micro HDMI port and the live streaming capabilities when tethered to a DSLR or pro mirrorless, like the 1st Sony Xperia Pro had ?

Not many DLSR or mirrorless are UVC compatible. 

Is it possible to use the Pro-I as external monitor for Canon Eos R5 and livestream videos from that camera ? 

Hope those features film reappear in Pro-I mk2, as well as use of the full surface of the 1" sensor (and not 60% of it like in this edition).

Hi Alexandre - 

SONY has decided to make many changes to the SONY XPERIA PRO-I . It cannot be used as a second monitor.

I try to consolidate devices and simplify my travel bag and much as possible, but $1800 is a steep ask for the convenience. For that, you can get an RX100 series and a good smartphone, and the RX100 is already pocket-sized.

As an aside, around this time last year, I got an a7 III for myself and an RX100 VII for my wife. They've been on several vacations with us, and so far, we've been impressed with both.

So if this is not apple or android, will this be its own thing?  Will we start seeing this at phone stores soon? 

Hi Clifford - 

The  SONY XPERIA PRO-I  employs the Android 11 OS.

This is a very attractive phone. It checks all the boxes except one. Sony only provides two years of updates.  I’m sure it will probably get security updates for three years, but for this money I want a device that I can use without worry for five years.

Does this have a microSD card slot for expandable memory? If not, is there an easy way to offload all that recorded media?

Sorry, just answered my own question. On the Sony website it lists the detailed specs for this device and yes, it does have support for external MicroSDXC cards, up to 1TB. Very nice.

Hi Franco - 

  • 256GB Storage Capacity + 12GB of RAM
  • Media/Memory Card Slot
    Single Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC [1 TB Maximum]

Nimajus is correct mp's don't generally determine the quality of the picture unless you want to display or print large photos or need to crop significantly. It is likely that the Zeiss lens, 1" senor and multiple mm's options and 2 f stops will be the game changers. I have made no detailed study but every example I've seen my Samsung Galaxy S20+ takes significantly better pictures then my friends Apples. It would be fun to have a phone camera that can match or be in the league of a dedicated camera.

I carry with me an RX100V everywhere. Tiny and fits in my pocket. I also carry an iPhone 12.  If this phone had at least 18mp, maybe 20mp, I would switch from iPhone to Android.  Or maybe not, but this would trigger Apple to improve their camera specs, offering a 1" sensor and 20mp.  But does Sony want to do that?  They would cannibalize their own line of pocket cameras.  It is too early to know where this is going, but at 12mp I am not jumping in.

I know all the reviewers and marketing throws out megapixels everywhere... in real life no one cares about them. It really doesn't matter in relation to image quality. Your example of iPhone is perfect, because there are Android phones with way more megapixels than an iphone, and they lose badly in the overall image quality. 

The Sony RX0/RX0M2 uses the "same sensor" and is 16MP out of 20MP.  So you lose another 4MP with this phone version.  

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