B&H Photo Video may have jumped the gun a little
just a couple of weeks ago, but as officially confirmed a few days after that
, the Sony Xperia 1 II
(pronounced One Mark Two) is now finally up for grabs in the US from multiple authorized retailers.
Unfortunately, the highly anticipated Snapdragon 865 powerhouse
that was formally unveiled all the way back in February
is still not ready to actually be delivered to its earliest adopters. Instead, all you can currently do is pre-order the unlocked ultra-high-end handset from Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, Adorama, or Focus Camera and wait until July 24 for nationwide shipments to kick off.
Free true wireless earbuds for all some
It's also important to highlight that although the Sony Xperia 1
II is technically a 5G-enabled device, the manufacturer's official US website
contains no indication whatsoever that the next-gen networks of any of the nation's major carriers are in fact supported.
For the time being, we'll interpret that as a clear sign that the phone is not
compatible with T-Mobile
, or Verizon's 5G networks
, but on the bright side, you should be able to get a fast and reliable 4G LTE signal on all three wireless service providers.
Another nice thing that might help offset some of the handset's glaring flaws is the free pair of WF-1000XM3 headphones that's curiously bundled with Xperia 1 II pre-orders only at B&H, Adorama, and Focus Camera for now. We were under the impression that this was going to be a nationwide introductory offer, saving you a cool $230 on Sony's best AirPods Pro alternatives
with noise-canceling technology, so it could be wise to hold off on your planned Amazon or Best Buy purchase.
As for the mobile device itself, you probably already know this follows the general design language of 2019's Xperia 1
, which was significantly more affordable and still didn't exactly prove
to be the global box office hit Sony needs so badly
for so many years.
Arguably the most exciting Sony handset in a long time
All apparent downsides and shortcomings considered, we can't help but feel excited for an extra-tall smartphone promising a photography and entertainment experience like no other.
Yes, the Xperia 1 II (5G) is considerably taller and only slightly lighter than a Galaxy S20+
5G that just so happens to pack a substantially larger 4,500mAh battery, but for the first time ever, Sony has enlisted the help of its Alpha engineers to deliver "exceptionally fast autofocus in a smartphone."
The three 12MP imaging sensors slapped on this thing's back are enriched with high-caliber Zeiss optics, while professional photographers will be happy to hear the rear-facing camera system features RAW support, real-time Eye Autofocus technology for both humans and animals, as well as an Alpha-inspired interface with a bunch of new manual controls. There's also a 3D Time-of-Flight sensor thrown in for good measure, while the 8MP front-facing shooter does not look special in any obvious way, at least on paper.
We can't say the same about the front-firing stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos sound enhancements, and especially the 21:9 CinemaWide 4K HDR OLED display, which should come nicely together to power some impressively immersive content consumption experiences.
Meanwhile, even though the Sony Xperia 1 II is sold alongside complimentary true wireless earbuds by certain retailers, the handset still comes with a traditional headphone jack as well. And a premium water-resistant build. And Wi-Fi 6 support. And a number of gaming-centric optimizations, starting with a dedicated Performance mode in which you can maximize the touch response speed and frame rate. It really looks like Sony has thought of every possible category of buyers... except for folks on tight budgets.