Sony just announced the new Xperia 1 II
flagship phone yesterday (pronounced Xperia One Mark Two) and it barely made the smartphone needle move in the U.S. Sony did release a promotional video for its new flagship phone. The video "focuses" on the handset's cameras, which borrow technology from the company's professional Alpha camera system. The rear camera module hosts three 12MP sensors that are in back of a 12MP wide-angle camera, a 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera and a 12MP telephoto camera. All three sport Zeiss lenses. There also is a Time of Flight (ToF) depth sensor for more natural bokeh blurs on portraits and to handle enhanced AR capabilities.
Thanks to the 20fps AF/AE, amazing action shots can be captured for photographs and videos. The Real time Eye AF tracks the eyes of humans and animals in order to take action shots that are in focus. And the camera system will continue to provide fast focus even in situations where the lighting is low. With the Cinematography Pro app, you can record 4K video with a 21:9 aspect ratio at 24, 25, 30, and 60 FPS. And with Creator Mode, the oversaturated colors typically seen on an AMOLED display are replaced with more natural colors.
Sony has done some work with the cameras but it won't be enough to take business away from Samsung
The video also mentions the phone's 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display. The so-called CinemaScope screen carries a 21:9 aspect ratio which enhances the look of most-streamed video content when viewed in landscape. For example, two-thirds of Netflix's content is filmed in 21:9. And if you have the Xperia 1 II
activated on a 5G network, you can download faster and stream in higher quality. Sony says that audio played on the phone sounds exactly as it was meant to be heard thanks to the front-facing stereo speakers. And yes, the handset features a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The rear camera setup on the Xperia 1 II includes three cameras and a Time of Flight depth sensor
There is no word yet on pricing, nor is there a date that you can circle on your calendar to remind you to pre-order the phone. By returning to the old OmniBalance design (although with corners not as severely squared-off), Sony goes old-school. For example, there is no waterfall screen or even a slightly curved display. In the past, Sony had been criticized for not equipping its flagship phones with large capacity batteries. The Xperia 1
II does sport a 4000mAh battery, but it needs to drive the 4K screen and the 5G technology.
Sony has had a tough go of it lately in the smartphone industry. Despite having a name that brings back memories of some extremely popular consumer products in the states, Sony cannot seem to gain any traction when it comes to handsets. During the third quarter of 2019, the manufacturer shipped a record low 600,000 units worldwide. The company doesn't expect its handset business to be in the black until the first quarter of 2021. There are always rumors floating around about Sony dropping out of the business altogether, and some big-time investors in the company are trying to convince it that staying in the business is a waste of money
Sony's expertise in cameras and television sets has helped it outfit the new flagship with some impressive hardware. And there is the matter of that 3.5mm earphone jack that you won't find on the Galaxy S20
line this year. But we don't see anything on the Xperia 1 II like the 108MP sensor employed by the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
. The latter uses 9:1 pixel
binning to create sharp 12MP images with less noise. And Sony's new flagship also doesn't offer anything close to the 100x hybrid Space Zoom feature that uses a periscope and the 108MP sensor to create Space Zoom.
No, not everyone is going to need or even want Space Zoom or a 108MP camera sensor. But everyone does want a battery that will last all day. And while Samsung has loaded a 5000mAh battery on the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
, the 4000mAh battery on the Xperia 1 II might be too light to keep users away from an outlet during the afternoon or early evening. The sad thing is that Sony doesn't seem to ever learn, or even care.