Sony on Tuesday, 26 October pulled the wrappings back on its new Xperia phone, the Xperia Pro-I – where the “I” stands for imaging. And as the name suggests, this is a camera-first phone, sporting a 1.0-type Exmor RS image sensor with phase detection autofocus (PDAF), the same one found on Sony’s RX100 VII point-and-shoot camera.
The 1-inch sensor here, according to Sony, has been optimized for a smartphone. In essence, what this means is the Xperia Pro-I only uses part of the entire sensor and captures 12MP images, despite having a megapixel total of 20MP.
“The large 1.0-type sensor offers high levels of image resolution and less noise,” touts Sony. “The result is superb imaging quality with realistic textures and remarkable detail.”
The phone has a total of three 12MPl cameras on its rear, consisting of a 24mm-equivalent primary sensor, a 16mm ultra-wide sensor, and a 50mm telephoto sensor. Though the megapixel count is lower compared to other modern smartphones, Sony explains that the sensors have larger pixels with a pixel pitch of 2.4µm, capturing more details and improving dynamic range. There’s also a 3D time-of-flight sensor to help with autofocus and depth sensing.
Speaking of autofocus, the phone’s camera system boasts fast autofocus performance with 315 AF points that cover 90% of the frame. It also supports real-time Eye AF and real-time tracking to help you lock up on moving subjects.
Additionally, the cameras support variable aperture, allowing the primary sensor to switch between f/2.0 and f/4.0 with the press of a button. Sony claims this gives you more options to experiment with the depth of field. The cameras support 12bit RAW format as well.
Also, Sony says this is the world’s first smartphone that can record 4K video at 120 frames per second. And video recording seems to be another focus for this phone. In fact, Sony has even created an add-on accessory in the form of the Vlog Monitor, a 3.5-inch LCD display that you can attach to the back of the phone.
This optional purchase lets you monitor your footage while you’re recording yourself for, say, a vlog. It also includes a 3.5mm audio jack and built-in accessory shoe for connecting wired microphones.
Meanwhile, the phone itself features a 6.5-inch OLED display that supports up to 120Hz refresh rate, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor, 12GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, 5G network connectivity and a 4,500mAh battery with 30W fast charging.
The Xperia Pro-I is slated to launch in Japan sometime in December, with other markets to follow in 2022. It has a retail price of US$1,800, which is about S$2426.44, while the Vlog Monitor is US$200, or about S$269.60. Sony has yet to announce the exact local price and the release details for the device.
Written by Kyle Chua