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Sony introduces the Xperia 1 II flagship phone

Testing, one, two, Xperia 1 II... (Source: Sony)
Testing, one, two, Xperia 1 II... (Source: Sony)
Sony has formally revealed its 2020 flagship smartphone, and that it really is called the Xperia 1 II. This device has a 21:9 4K OLED display with the Motion Blur Reduction technology developed to step in for an up-to-date refresh rate. Its rear cameras support various, often own-branded, advanced features, but not 8K.

Sony has announced a new phone powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC, the Xperia 1 II. As suggested in a very recent leak, the phone has a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display with a Motion Blur Reduction spec that, according to the OEM at least, can do as well as a 90 hertz (Hz) refresh rate.

This display has the 21:9 aspect ratio also seen in its predecessor, and may go well with such features as a direct connection to PlayStation 4 DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controllers or this series' signature front-facing stereo speakers.

Despite this potential front-panel quality, the Xperia 1 II may fall behind the Samsung Galaxy S20 line in that its triple cameras do not support 8K recording. However, Sony has packed it with numerous fancy-sounding videography or photography attributes, most of which are in-house and include:

  • an additional 3D "iTOF" sensor
  • continuous shooting at up to 20 frames per second (fps) with up to 60 autofocus/auto-exposure (AF/AE) calculations per second
  • Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals
  • Photography Pro and Cinematography Pro manual interface options
  • 2K 10-bit HDR "cinematic" recording at 120fps and 21:9 4K HDR recording at 24 to 60fps
  • "Industry-leading" Sony Alpha technology
  • ZEISS optics with a T* "Xperia-specific" coating

Besides this, Sony claims to have improved the audio experience in the Xperia 1 II, including the incorporation of Dolby Atmos, as well as a feature called 360 Reality Audio. Unfortunately, the latter requires a subscription to TIDAL as it is intended to "optimize" sound quality on this platform. However, the 1 II does see the return of the headphone jack to Xperia.

This phone continues the same brand's IP65/68 water resistance trend. It will run Android 10 out of the box. Sony did not mention the wattage of the power brick in this package, but does assert that the 1 II's 4000mAh battery can charge to 50% in 30 minutes (OnePlus has joined the chat) and also supports Qi wireless fast-charging.

Sony neglected to set out the new phone's pricing during its launch; however, it will be available via the US carriers AT&T, Cricket, T-Mobile, Verizon, and MetroPCS (and unlocked) at some point in 2020. At that point, it may support 5G as applicable due to its optional X55 modem.


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Deirdre O Donnell, 2020-02-24 (Update: 2020-02-25)