In brief: Would you pay $2,500 for a smartphone with last year’s processor? That’s what Sony is hoping with its Xperia Pro. The device does have a few features that go some way toward justifying the price, including 5G connectivity and being the world’s first handset with a dedicated HDMI input.
Last year, Sony revealed it was preparing a Pro variant of the Xperia 1 II, itself a $1,200 phone. Rumors claimed the successor would cost $1,500, but it’s actually a grand more expensive than expected.
The Xperia Pro shares many of the Xperia 1 II’s specs, including the Snapdragon 865, 4,000mAh battery, 12MP triple rear camera setup, 8MP selfie cam, and 6.5-inch 21:9 OLED (3840 x 1644) screen. The RAM jumps from 8GB to 12GB, while the expandable storage has increased from 256GB to 512GB. Moreover, Sony’s latest device is also one of the few flagship smartphones that still come with a 3.5mm jack.
The main difference is the inclusion of HDMI support through a type-D connection at the bottom of the Xperia Pro. This allows it to be connected to any camera with an HDMI output and act as an external monitor, giving users a better view of what’s being captured and offering features such as gridlines and pinch-to-view. The phone doesn’t ship with the required HDMI micro connector cable, strangely.
Thanks to its 5G connectivity, the Xperia Pro can also live-stream video content up to 4K 60fps HDR from the connected camera or camcorder. As noted by The Verge, HDMI footage can be streamed to YouTube directly, and it supports StreamLabs and StreamYard for streaming to other platforms like Twitch and Facebook Live.
The Xperia Pro supports both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G standards and comes with a four-way mmWave antenna array to maximize reception. It also features a built-in network visualizer app for finding the best signal, and its mmWave has been “fine-tuned” for Verizon’s network.
Those in the US can grab the Xperia Pro now. Whether anyone, even professional content creators, will be happy to pay $2,500 for the handset remains to be seen.