The new Sony smartphone flagship is here
Sony’s next flagship phone – the follow-up to the Xperia 1 – is now official, and it comes with an unusual new name together with 5G tech and new developments under the hood.
The Sony Xperia 1 II (declared Mark 2) is a new flagship phone from the company that we anticipate to see on sale later in 2020, and it takes a lot of what made last year’s phone distinguished and looks to progress it further.
We had expected the handset to be named the Xperia 2, but Sony decided that a far more casual, and easy-to-understand, the name would be to include roman numerals into the combination. We’re still doubtful if we agree.
However, we bring to you what we have known so far about the phone.
Sony Xperia 1 II price and release date
Sony hasn’t yet disclosed the Xperia 1 II release date or the price, but we’ve been informed it will be on sale at some point during “spring 2020”.
That means we’ll possibly see it before the end of May, but a precise date has yet to be announced.
Sony’s Xperia 1 was publicized at a similar time in 2019, but it wasn’t on sale till June, so we’d expect a similar release plan for this handset.
We can take the Xperia 1’s price as a guess of how much the Xperia 1 II will possibly cost too. That phone priced $949 / £849 (about AU$1,365), so expect a similarly high flagship price for this sequel handset.
Sony Xperia 1 II display, design and headphone jack
If you’ve checked the Xperia 1, you’ll know a lot of the design particulars that are here. It’s not a different looking phone to last year’s handset in anyways.
The fantastic news in the smartphone world is that you can, once again, plug in ‘regular’ headphones.
Sony’s latest flagship phone sports a 3.5mm headphone jack on the upper edge, while the Xperia 10 II – a sequel to previous year’s Xperia 10 – also features the legacy tech as well.
Sony’s thought is that many of its fans want the option of both wired headsets and wireless options, so it may as well provide the jack as an option.
Sony didn’t disclose if anything was taken out of the phone to add in the headphone jack. It looks as if the space inside the device was easy to find as the company has also enlarged the size of the battery and included extra features like wireless charging and 5G for the 2020 Xperia 1.
Like earlier Sony flagships, this phone features a 21:9 aspect ratio display, which means the handset maybe a touch longer than your present handset.
It’s developed to look better when playing widescreen content on your phone, but it also makes the phone’s screen look stretched out compared to other handsets.
It also features a 6.5-inch display that has a 4K (1644 x 3840) resolution. It’s a HDR OLED panel, and it appears on paper to be a very similar display as to what is included in the Sony Xperia 1.
(Image credit: Sony)
Though the company has added a new feature that will enable a 90Hz effect on the screen, it doesn’t appear to use an actual 90Hz panel. That’s a strange choice given the move toward high frame rate screens from rivals like the OnePlus 7T and Samsung Galaxy S20.
As for the shape, the Sony Xperia 1 II has dimensions of 166 x 72 x 7.9mm, and a weight of 181 grams.
The design is glass on the back and front – both of which are shielded by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 6 – and it will be available in either purple or black. It also include a full bezel at the top, instead of a notch or punch-hole.
There are a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, front-facing stereo speakers, and a USB-C connector on the bottom of the device, while the top corner features the above-mentioned 3.5mm headphone jack.
The phone is also dust and water-resistant like other latest Sony flagships have been. It possesses an IP65/68 rating, so it is expected to endure the odd splash of water or a trip to a sandy seaside.
Sony Xperia 1 II camera
The camera is another area Sony’s puts its attention on, and speed is the name of the game.
The camera comprises of a 12MP f/1.7 main sensor, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide one, a 12MP f/2.4 telephoto one (with 3x optical zoom), and, together with a 3D time of flight sensor that the company asserts will offer ‘groundbreaking autofocus technology’.
It’s using a technology that Sony made for its Alpha range of cameras, and the goal here is to give you the best picture through better autofocus.
The tech can achieve autofocus and auto-exposure calculations at 60 frames per second while the camera itself can capture 20 shots in burst mode every second.
Still, we’ve to see this in practice, but Sony claims it increases autofocus for low-light conditions in addition to everyday shooting. The phone can also record video in 4K HDR at up to 60fps.
On the front of the handset, there’s an 8MP f/2.0 selfie camera, and Sony still has to explain whether there are any substantial improvements for front-facing shots.
Sony Xperia 1 II specs and battery life
In the Xperia 1 II, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, which is one of the finest processors on the market. It’s likely to provide some strong performance and be able to handle all the tasks that most other top-end phones can do.
The phone has 8GB of RAM to keep it running. For storage, you’ve got 256GB of space to play with here and can be increased with a microSD card.
5G is one of the vital talking points of the Xperia 1 II, and it will involve the technology as standard – there’s no 4G-only variation of this phone.
Sony has also made some considerable improvements to the battery on this device by raising it to 4,000mAh on the Xperia 1 II, up from 3,330mAh on the Xperia 1.
That improvement may allow for improved battery life, and there’s also fast charging here that will permit for up to a 50% charge in 30 minutes. However, to get those results, you’ll have to buy a separate charger.
This is the first phone from Sony in a while to have wireless charging too. We don’t know much about how fast this will charge in terms of minutes, but we know it will be harmonious with chargers that work at up to 15 watts.