Sony has unveiled its 2020 smartphone flagship in the form of the Xperia 1 II (Mark 2). As the name suggests, Sony has taken what made the Xperia 1 great and made some very worthwhile improvements.
Key new features over the Xperia 1 includes 5G (sub 6GHz) support, the return of the 3.5mm headphone jack, 360 Reality Audio, Qi wireless charging, stereo front-facing speakers, new ZEISS camera lenses, a 90Hz-equivalent display and a bigger 4000mAh battery.
This is quite an extensive list of improvements, and it shows that Sony is listening to its customers. The return of the headphone jack is huge news, and one that should never have left Sony flagship phones in the first place. Sony has an audio heritage that is unrivalled to all current smartphone manufacturers on the market.
You cannot listen to lossless audio wirelessly given current Bluetooth limitations, so for those users who value their music, a wired headphone connection is the only choice. What we don’t know is what DAC Sony is using – LG have built up a great reputation amongst audiophiles for having the best smartphone for audio on the market particularly with its ‘V’ series. Let’s hope Sony will now do the same from the Xperia 1 II onwards. Dolby Atmos sound and stereo front-facing speakers round off the audio package.
Much like the Xperia 1, the Xperia 1 II (Mk 2) has a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED 21:9 CinemaWide display. However, a new addition is Motion blur reduction technology equivalent to that of a 90Hz display and reduces frame lag for a clearer image quality.
Camera duties are taken care of by a triple 12MP camera lens on the rear with a main 12MP 24mm 1/1.7-inch Exmor RS F1.7 lens + telephoto 12MP 70mm 1/3.4-inch F2.4 lens + wide-angle 12MP 16mm 1/2.55-inch Exmor RS F2.2 lens. Sony is also using a 3D iToF sensor to help with faster autofocusing and better portrait shots. The selfie camera has a 8MP 1.4-inch F2.0 lens.
Sony is using ZEISS lenses for the first time in its smartphones with T* Coating to help improve contrast and reduce reflections. New features include 20fps continuous burst shooting complete with autofocus and auto exposure, and eye autofocus that now works on both humans and animals.
Sony continues to bring a whole host of tools for videographers with Cinematography Pro “powered by CineAlta” 21:9 movie recording. The app gives control to framing guides, shutter speed (angle), touch autofocus, auto exposure and manual white balance.
The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G chipset, 8GB RAM and 256GB UFS internal storage with microSD memory card support. Other features include IP65/68 dust and water resistance, Corning Gorilla Glass 6, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, side-mounted fingerprint sensor and Wi-Fi (ax support). The Xperia 1 II has dimensions of 166 × 72 × 7.9mm and weighs 181 grams.
Sony has confirmed that the Xperia 1 II will be available in two colours (Black and Purple) and ship with Android 10 from ‘late Spring’ i.e. most likely a June 2020 release.