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
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 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 in 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, Style Cover Leather for Xperia PRO-I 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 organization 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%[i].
[i] The effect may vary due to long-term use.
Some features will be supported by a software update.
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 vviby 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 €1,799 RRP. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorised dealers throughout the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the Nordics. We plan to launch in additional European regions in the new year.
The new Vlog Monitor and Style Cover Leather for Xperia PRO-I will also be available in Early December for approximately €199 RRP and €89.99 RRP respectively. They will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorised dealers throughout the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the Nordics. We plan to launch in additional European regions in the new year.
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.
For more information, please contact your local PR manager or:
Rebecca Newton, Corporate Communications, Sony Europe
[i] Xperia PRO-I features a 1.0-type Sony image sensor with phase detection auto focus. Verified by Strategy Analytics’ SpecTRAX Service against the published camera specifications for over 19,600 smartphones. Correct as of the 26th October 2021.
[ii] The subject may not be detected depending on the shooting environment
[iii] The Xperia PRO-I supports high frame-rate internal 4K movie recording at up to 120fps, for smooth, expressive slow-motion playback at up to 5x. Verified by Strategy Analytics’ SpecTRAX Service against the published video specifications for over 19,600 smartphones. Correct as of the 26th October 2021
[iv] Situation varies depending on regions.
[v] Coating and adhesive materials excluded.
[vi] This feature is only available for the 24mm lens.
[vii] Accuracy of the feature may vary according to environmental circumstances. Some performance restrictions may apply.
[viii] Maximum fps will depend on shooting environment and settings. Up to 20fps continuous shooting with AF/AE is available for the 24mm lens. The 16mm and 50mm lenses can shoot up to 10fps AF/AE.
[ix] Strap sold separately
[x] Network availability may vary depending on country, carrier, and user environment.
[xi] When compared to the Xperia 1 III
[xii] Sold Separately
[xiii] Xperia PRO-I has also 3.5mm audio jack, which supports 4-pole plug of headset with monaural microphone. The 3-pole microphone plug does not work on the 4-pole 3.5mm audio jack on the Xperia PRO-I, and vice versa.
[xiv] Third party terms, conditions, account, and fees may apply. Service availability may vary by market. This offer may be subject to individual terms and conditions; it may be changed, interrupted, or discontinued at any time; and it may require fees, registration, and credit card information. Only one offer per person. Requires product to be connected to the wireless network.
[xv] The feature may vary by content, game availability and compatibility.
[xvi] Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries, used with permission. Snapdragon Elite Gaming is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
[xvii] This device is water resistant and protected against dust. All ports and attached covers should be firmly closed. Do not put the device completely underwater or expose it to seawater, salt water, chlorinated water, or liquids such as drinks. Abuse and improper use of device will invalidate warranty. The device has been tested under Ingress Protection rating IP65/68. Sony devices that are tested for their water-resistant abilities are placed gently inside a container filled with tap water and lowered to a depth of 1.5 meters. After 30 minutes in the container, the device is gently taken out and its functions and features are tested. Note this model has a capless USB port to connect and charge. The USB port needs to be completely dry before charging.
[xviii] Simulated result by Sony, based on actual usage profile using the same type of battery and USB charging. The life span of the battery depends on the usage situation.
[xix] Dependent on market availability, compatible equipment, and network.
[xx] The effect may vary due to long-term use.
Some features will be supported by a software update.
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About Sony Europe B.V.
Sony Europe B.V. is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation and is headquartered in UK. We drive Sony’s leading Electronics Products & Solutions business for consumer and professional markets, as well as Imaging & Sensing Solutions business across Europe. From R&D and engineering, design, to sales, marketing, distribution and customer service, we work to deliver Sony’s purpose to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology. For more information, please visit: https://www.sony.eu/presscentre