October 26, 2021
Sony has announced the new Xperia PRO-I, a high-end smartphone with a large 1inch sensor main camera featuring Zeiss optics, and an f/2.0 and f/4.0 aperture range.
The Sony Xperia PRO-I will be available from early December with a price of £1599. The optional 3.5inch screen is priced at £169, and there’s an optional leather case available for £69.99.
Sony Xperia PRO-I
The smartphone is designed to give excellent image quality, as well as high-speed 20fps continuous shooting, and 4K 120fps video. We’ve uploaded full-size sample photos from Sony, which you can see below.
Sony Xperia PRO-I Cameras:
- 16mm f/2.2 ultra-wide, 1/2.5inch 1.4um
- 24mm f2/4 wide Zeiss Tessar T*, glass asperhical lens, OIS
- 50mm f/2.9 telephoto 1/2.9inch 1.2um, OIS
Sony Xperia PRO-I Cameras
The main 24mm equivalent wide-angle camera produces 12MP images cropped from the 1inch sensor. It is joined by a 16mm equivalent ultra-wide angle camera, as well as a 50mm equivalent telephoto camera. All cameras are 12MP, and there’s a 3D iTOF sensor to aid focus.
The front selfie camera is an 8MP f/2.0 camera, which is lagging behind much of the competition offering only FullHD video recording. However, Sony has a solution to this, they have produced an optional 3.5inch vlogging screen that you can attach to the back of the smartphone, letting you use the main camera for vlogging.
Sony Xperia PRO-I 3.5inch Vlogging Screen
The smartphone also features a large shutter release button on the side, as well as a new Videography Pro app to allow high-quality video recording that can be shared straight away. It gives you an easier to use interface, when compared to the Cinematography Pro app, which is designed for producing content that you edit later.
We recently reviewed the Sony Xperia 5 III, and think that the introduction of the Videography Pro app is a good idea, as we found the Cinematography Pro app overly complicated for general video recording.
Sony Xperia PRO-I Aperture Range
The smartphone features a 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo speakers, as well as a third microphone for clearer audio recording.
View Sony Xperia PRO-I sample photos below!
Sony Redefines Mobile Imaging with the Introduction of the Xperia PRO-I Smartphone
The New Xperia PRO-I is the World’s First Smartphone to Include a 1.0-type image Sensor with Phase Detection Autofocus[i], Bringing Industry-leading Imaging Technology to Sony’s Advanced Smartphone
- World’s First Smartphone to include a 1.0-type Exmor RS® image sensor with phase detection AF (autofocus)i for outstanding low light performance, high dynamic range, and beautiful bokeh. The 1.0-type Exmor RS® sensor is the same one used in the award-winning RX100 VII camera and optimised for smartphone
- BIONZ X™ for mobile imaging processor and a front-end LSI for clear and noise-free images even when shooting in the dark
- 315 phase-detection AF points that cover 90% of the frame, allowing users to continue to capture subjects at high speed with high accuracy – even in scenes where focusing is difficult
- Advanced AF capabilities to support “Real-time Eye AF” and “Real-time tracking”[ii] that keeps track of moving objects with high accuracy, using AI
- ZEISS® Tessar Optics with T* anti-reflective coating and dual aperture F2.0/F4.0 for outstanding low light performance, high dynamic range, and beautiful bokeh
- World´s first 4K video recording at 120fps High frame rate in a smartphone[iii] and includes a built-in strap-hole and a dedicated shutter button for easy, quick control
- New Videography Pro feature combining creative flexibility with ease of use
- First Xperia to support Eye AF and Object Tracking during video shooting
- High-quality video performance and crystal-clear audio recording
- 4K HDR OLED 120Hz refresh rate display
- High quality audio features, including Dolby Atmos, 3.5mm audio jack, Full-stage Stereo Speakers, 360 Reality Audio
- Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™
- Introduction of a new Vlog monitor accessory for selfie-style shooting
- No Plastic in the individual packaging[iv][v]to support a more sustainable footprint
26th October 2021, Weybridge, United Kingdom: Sony today announced a new Xperia smartphone developed specifically for today’s content creators, the Xperia PRO-I. Combining a 1.0-type sensor, a 24mm ZEISS® Tessar Optics, advanced image processing and AF (autofocus), 4K 120p video recording and much more, the Xperia PRO-I delivers professional imaging quality from an ultra-slim 8.9mm form factor.
“We remain committed to building tools that empower creators to capture, create, and share like they’ve never been able to before,” said Nobuki Asahina, Head of Mobile, Sony Europe.
“The capabilities of the Xperia PRO-I are unlike that of any smartphone that has ever been brought to market. This phone combines the power of the 1.0-type image sensor found in our RX100 VII compact camera, the speed of our fast Alpha interchangeable lens cameras that is further enhanced by Xperia’s high-speed processing, and a similar video shooting experience as our Professional Video Line. All in a device that slides easily into your pocket.”
He continued: “We carefully chose this name to include the ‘I’, which stands for ‘imaging’ and accurately represents Sony’s efforts to completely redefine the standards of imaging performance across our entire product line-up.”
Professional Level Photography
Xperia PRO-I is developed with the same advanced imaging technology from Sony’s award-winning mirrorless Alpha brand cameras and is the world’s first smartphone to include a 1.0-type sensor with phase detection AFi. The newest smartphone includes a 1.0-type Exmor RS® sensor with a 2.4µm pixel pitch[vi] for stunning low light performance, RAW 12-bit shooting for incredible dynamic range, and dual aperture (F2.0/F4.0)vii to easily change the depth of field in line with the photographer’s intention. In addition to a 1.0-type sensor, the Xperia PRO-I features a BIONZ X for mobile image processor and a front-end LSI. This advanced processor allows the device to deliver unprecedented speed and improved image quality in a wide range of scenes, a highly-regarded feature of Sony’s Alpha cameras.
The Xperia PRO-I includes three lenses, all enhanced with ZEISS® T* anti-reflective coating and a 3D iToF sensor for total creative freedom. The newly developed 24mm lens adopts ZEISS® Tessar Optics and delivers high-resolution images with less peripheral image distortion and more intense contrast and sharpness. The Xperia PRO-I’s 24mm lens is complemented by two further lens options, 16mm and 50mm, enabling the user to get creative with composition. The device’s 3D iToF sensor instantly calculates the distance between the camera and the subject, ensuring fast, accurate autofocus in any scene.
Additionally, the Xperia PRO-I features 315 phase-detection AF points that cover 90% of the frame, as well as industry-leading AF technology including Real-time Eye-AF in humans and animalsvii, Real-time tracking[vii], 20fps AF/AE burst shooting[viii], and anti-distortion shutter for a cleaner capture of fast-moving objects.
With Photography Pro on the Xperia PRO-I, users can customise manual settings or easily access automatic settings and shoot in RAW format. When shooting in RAW, the Xperia PRO-I supports 12-bitvii which creates smooth and rich tonal gradation of the colour without banding. Photography Pro also offers Basic mode for fast access to a range of easy-to-use photography features including a touch shutter button. Like previous Xperia devices, the Xperia PRO-I supports Imaging Edge™ Mobile.
The Xperia PRO-I features a dedicated shutter button that boasts the same shutter switch module as Sony’s RX100 series cameras and requires similar button strokes to operate AF and shutter release. The user can also long-press the shutter button to quickly launch Photography Pro and start shooting immediately, even when the display is off. In this new model, there is also a strap hole[ix] to help secure the device, even in challenging environments.
Advanced Capabilities for Video Shooting
The new Xperia PRO-I delivers high-quality video performance and easy to use post-production features for a stress-free workflow. For greater creative flexibility, the Xperia PRO-I is the world’s first smartphoneiii to enable the user to shoot high quality video in 4K 120fps, which allows users to capture and playback fast-moving scenes and slow-motion video at up to 5x. Capturing smooth, shake-free video is easier than ever thanks to the latest Optical SteadyShot™ with FlawlessEye™v. Xperia PRO-I is the first in the Xperia line-up to introduce outstanding Eye AF technology and object tracking in videomaking, allowing the user to keep sharp focus on the subject and spend more time composing their shot.
In addition to stereo microphones, the Xperia PRO-I features a built-in monaural microphone next to the main camera, enabling the user to focus on recording speech clearly while other sounds remain in the background. In addition, The Xperia PRO-I includes Sony’s industry-leading audio separation technology to effectively filter wind noise, both for stereo and monaural microphones.
Xperia PRO-I also includes two new video features for video and filmmaking. For quick, high quality videos and vlogging, the new Videography Pro feature, inspired by Sony’s long history of imaging technology that supports video production and direct feedback from videographers, includes creative settings in a single location. Users can intuitively and accurately adjust settings such as focus, exposure and white balance even while shooting a movie, to fit to the shooting environment. In addition, Xperia PRO-I adopts a high-precision Level meter that has been calibrated one-by-one at the factory. By assigning the “Videography Pro” application to the “shortcut key” on the side of the 217 body, you can start shooting video immediately like a dedicated camera. You can also assign other applications or features to the shortcut key. For filmmaking, the Cinematography Pro feature pulls from Sony’s professional video camera technology to easily create a cinematic look with eight different colour settings inspired by the Sony’s VENICE digital cinema camera, a 21:9 recording ratio and more.
The Xperia PRO-I lets the user edit and share video content directly from the device. With its wide 6.5” 4K HDR OLED display and accurate, professional-level colour reproduction with creator mode, editing from a mobile device is now easier than ever. In addition, excellent white uniformity and stability are achieved by correcting the colour shift of the display. As an added benefit, the colour setting of the display can be adjusted according to the user’s monitor or printed photos. Sharing video files are also a breeze using a 5G network[x] or by connecting the Xperia PRO-I to a computer by USB 3.2 Gen 2 to transfer data twice as fast from the Xperia PRO-I to a PC[xi].
Vlog Monitor to Level-up Mobile Vlogging
Users can improve their mobile vlogging kit with the new Vlog Monitor, a new accessory to pair with the Xperia PRO-I, with an aspect ratio of 16:9 on a 3.5-inch LCD (1280×720) screen and a metal holder. This new accessory also features a magnetic detachable design, making it easy to attach and detach to the holder.
By attaching the Vlog Monitor[xii], the Xperia PRO-I’s 1.0-type sensor lets the user film themselves with outstanding imaging quality for vlogging, sharing videos with friends, family and more. The user can see exactly what they’re recording to create truly memorable content.
When shooting with the Xperia PRO-I and the Vlog Monitor, the user can easily connect a Bluetooth shooting grip, such as the GP-VPT2BTxiii to easily start/stop recording without touching any buttons on the Xperia PRO-I itself.
The Vlog Monitor also features a 3.5mm 3-pole microphone jack[xiii] enabling the user to connect their own external microphone by simply mounting a microphone on the accessory shoe mount on the top of the holder.
The user can also display the screen when using “Photography Pro” or “Videography Pro” by connecting the Vlog Monitor to a smartphone with the supplied connection cable. In addition, since it is equipped with a USB Type-C port for supplying power from an external power source, users can shoot while supplying power to both the smartphone and accessories.
No Compromise for Movies, Music and Games
Users can enjoy watching their favourite content on the new Xperia PRO-I thanks to its 4K HDR 10-bit equivalent OLED display with 120Hz Refresh rate and X1™ for mobile for more contrast, colour, and clarity. The Xperia PRO-I also includes Dolby Atmos for an immersive audio experience. A 3.5mm audio jack to deliver a high-quality listening experience. When not using headphones, the device’s Full-stage stereo speakers deliver a powerful and balanced true stereo sound. The Xperia PRO-I is compatible with 360 Reality Audio and 360 spatial sound with three free months of TIDAL[xiv] and it supports High-Resolution Audio and High-Resolution Audio Wireless via LDAC. The new device also features DSEE Ultimate, taking each track close to High-Resolution Audio quality.
Xperia PRO-I gives mobile gamers an edge on their competition with 120Hz Refresh rate display[xv] with 240Hz motion blur reduction so that fast-moving objects are rendered clearly for seriously smooth gameplay. The device also offers Game Enhancer to improve gameplay with superior touch response and assist function for winning. Using Heat Suppression power control, the Xperia PRO-I powers the phone systems directly rather than charging the battery to reduce thermal stress and keep the battery healthy. The Xperia PRO-I is also optimised with the Qualcomm® Snapdragon Elite Gaming™ processor[xvi] for superior gaming performance.
Performance and Design
While the Xperia PRO-I includes the same large 1.0-inch image sensor used in Sony’s premium RX100 VII compact camera that has been optimised for a smartphone, it maintains a slim form factor with a length of approximately 6.5 in (166 mm), a width of approximately 2.8 in (72 mm), and a thickness of approximately 8.9 mm. The new Xperia PRO-I is durable and reliable to meet the demanding needs of today’s content creators with its frosted glass back panel and matt finish for an authentic camera feel and a blast-treated metal frame for strength and style. It is water and dust resistant[xvii] with an IP65/68 rating and features Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™, the toughest Gorilla® Glass yet – with improvement in both drop and scratch resistance.
With a 4,500mAh battery, the Xperia PRO-I offers plenty of power to keep going through the day. The user can fast charge the device up to 50% in just 30 minutes with the included 30W charger XZQ-UC1. Xperia’s charging technologies also keep the battery healthy for longer[xviii] even after three years of use by preventing the device from overcharging.
The Xperia PRO-I is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888 5G Mobile Platformxvii to deliver a premium experience. The Xperia PRO-I also has a large internal memory, with 12GB RAM to handle intensive computing tasks and 512GB ROM offering ample storage for photos, videos, and other files to support micro SDXC media up to 1TB.
The new device offers optimised connectivity with the latest 5Gxi or Wi-Fi 6[xix], all the while utilising smart connectivity to continually analyse and assess the Wi-Fi signal quality to prioritise Wi-Fi or mobile data based on the best connection.
To easily multi-task, users can take advantage of the multi-window features for a wide range of handy views that are tailor-made for multi-tasking.
An additional accessory is the new leather back cover that captures the popularity of the material in today’s camera industry. The genuine leather design is unique, fits the smartphone body snugly, and the texture of the surface has a grip and finish suited for the shooting experience. The cover has been certified at the “Gold” level by the Leather Working Group, an international organisation which aims to protect the global environment, while safely and securely supplying leather to consumers. In addition, an antibacterial coating is applied to the cover’s surface to suppress the growth of specific bacteria such as staphylococci by up to 99.9%[xx].
Road to Zero
The Sony Group has set an environmental plan “Road to Zero” aiming for zero environmental load by 2050. As part of this, Sony has set a medium-term target from 2021 to 2025 as “Green Management 2025” (GM2025). In GM2025, one goal is to “totally eliminate plastic packaging materials” in our portable products, and Xperia has so far reduced the use of plastic in packaging, eliminating plastic components or replacing them with paper materials. Examples include replacing plastic film lamination with abrasion-resistant varnish.
As a culmination of this, Xperia PRO-I is the first Xperia ™ to use no plastic in the individual packaging vvi by using paper as the packaging material that directly wraps the product itself. Sony will continue to work toward zero environmental impact.
Pricing and Availability
The new Xperia PRO-I will be available in Early December for approximately £1,599 RRP. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorised dealers throughout the UK.
The new Vlog Monitor and back cover will also be available in Early December for approximately £169 RRP and £69.99 RRP respectively. They will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorised dealers throughout the UK.
A variety of exclusive stories, videos and exciting new content shot with the newest cameras and other Sony products can be found here. Sony’s European photography hub is available in 22 languages and details product news, competitions and an up-to-date list of Sony events in each country.
A product announcement video on the new Xperia PRO-I can be viewed HERE (YouTube).