Sony unveils Xperia 1 II, its first 5G smartphone

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Sony just unveiled its Xperia 1 II smartphone.
Image: Sony

The next generation of flagship smartphones is looking more exciting than ever. Thanks to incredible processing power, storage, and the addition of 5G, these phones are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

On Monday, Sony announced its newest smartphone offerings, including the Xperia 1 II (pronounced “mark 2”). The model is its first 5G phone and is a big milestone for the company. Along with 5G capabilities, the Xperia 1 II boasts a triple-lens camera and a brilliant 4K display. With these features, it is able to compete with new models from manufacturers like Samsung and Apple.

Making a Splash

Sony is one of many companies feeling the effects of the cancellation of MWC 2020. The mobile tech convention was canceled earlier this month due to fears surrounding the current Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. Sony originally planned to unveil the Xperia 1 II at the event.

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So, when MWC 2020 was canceled, it put a damper on the phone’s launch. The Japanese tech company had to come up with a back-up plan, ultimately announcing the new smartphone at a Tokyo press conference on Monday. The event is now streaming on YouTube for those who missed it.

While Sony has been quick to tout the Xperia 1 II’s 5G capabilities, it’s important to note that those will only be functional in Europe. Sadly, for U.S. consumers, it will be a 4G-only phone. However, Sony did tease another mysterious 5G device, called the Xperia Pro, for the American market.

Nonetheless, the smartphone’s other specs make it well-worth consideration when its time for an upgrade. For one, Sony is pushing its camera system. Despite the fact that each of the three sensors is just 12 megapixels, the Xperia 1 II makes up for it.

Features from Sony’s Alpha camera lineup, including the ability to shoot up to 20 fps in burst mode, make picture-taking more attractive. It’s coupling this with a new Photo Pro app to give users more manual control over their pictures.

Crowd Favorite Features

Stepping aside from the cameras and 5G, Sony’s Xperia 1 II also has several other features that will make it stand out from the crowd. Notably, it will include a 3.5 mm headphone jack. As many other manufacturers move away from this, the Xperia will appeal to users that aren’t ready to give up their wired headphones.

Meanwhile, the phone has a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display that is perfect for watching movies and streaming TV shows. It’s powered by a 4,000 mAh battery. This version of the Xperia 1 will also feature wireless charging capabilities, something that was noticeably missing from its predecessor.

It will retain the same side-mounted fingerprint sensor of the original Xperia 1 and the same general form factor. Internally, the Mark II will be run by a Snapdragon 865 processor and includes 8GB of RAM alongside 265GB of storage. It’s also water-resistant thanks to IP65 and IP68 certifications.

Sony reportedly plans to ship the phone in Europe later this spring. It hasn’t yet announced a release date for the U.S. market.

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