Sony unveils flagship Xperia 1 II with improved cameras, 5G, and 4K display

Today, Sony unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the Xperia 1 II. The device will retail for $1,099 when it goes on sale this spring. Undoubtedly, the phone was supposed to be announced during MWC 2020, but because it was cancelled, Sony decided to just issue a press release and attach some photos to it to spread the word about the device.

Right off the bat, Sony is drawing great emphasis to the camera setup. On the back, the Xperia 1 II has a triple 12MP lens array with a main f/1.7 24mm sensor, an ultrawide f/2.2 16mm sensor, and a f/2.4 70mm telephoto sensor. There’s also a 3D iToF sensor.

With this array of cameras, Sony introduces a few new features. You can now take 20fps burst mode shots with the Xperia 1 II which Sony says is a first for smartphones. Auto-focus and auto-exposure are also improved and can be calculated at up to 60 times per second. You also get improved eye tracking, a new Photo Pro app for greater control over your photographs, 3D Reality Audio decoding for video, 120fps shooting for 2K video, and a dedicated camera button on the side of the device for easy shooting.

All of this takes great inspiration from Sony’s Alpha lineup of camera systems, and it makes sense for the company to attach such a trusted name in photography to this device. The company’s mobile division has been struggling left and right for years, and it’s been quite a long time since they’ve had a meaningful presence in the U.S. The Xperia 1 II may be able to turn things around since people care about cameras more than ever, but only time will tell.

As for the rest of the phone, on the front sits a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio. Sony utilizes its own motion blur reduction technology to mimic a 90Hz refresh rate and says you’ll have the same experience with the feature as you would with any other phone with the refresh rate. It would be way easier to just do the faster refresh rate, though, so I guess we’ll have to wait for reviews to come out before making any judgements.

Under the hood, you’ll find a Snapdragon 865, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. The Xperia 1 II is powered by a pretty large 4,000mAh battery, and Android 10 ships with the device. You also get dual-firing front-facing speakers, a headphone jack, wireless charging, both IP65 and IP68 certifications, and a side-mounted fingerprint reader.

Finally, the Xperia 1 II marks Sony’s first flagship phone to support 5G connectivity. Unfortunately, the tech will only work in Europe, but a separate device called the Xperia Pro will make its way to the States with proper 5G support.

It isn’t clear where you’ll be able to buy the Xperia 1 II in the United States, but when that information is available, I’ll let you know.