Last year in February Sony had launched the Xperia 1 II, as well as teasing a sibling device called the Xperia PRO. This latter variant of the phone was meant to be a professional variant of the Xperia 1 II, in a more rugged form-factor, as well as integrating a HDMI input port.

Today, almost a whole year later, Sony is ready to finally to launch the Xperia PRO 5G, with availability starting today at a staggering price tag of $2499.

The peculiarity about the Xperia PRO 5G are two key features: a HDMI input port alongside the usual USB-C port, as well as additional mmWave 5G connectivity in the form of four antennas, more than the usual two or three we find in other consumer models.

Sony is trying to position the Xperia PRO as a professional accessory for broadcast video, where the phone directly attaches to your camera feed via HDMI and is able to directly upload to the internet. It’s a very niche use-case, however Sony is trying to replace several discrete devices in one: The Xperia PRO can serve simultaneously as a high-quality monitor, and actually outperform most other dedicated camera monitors out there thanks to its 6.5” 3840 x 1644 HDR OLED screen, as well as serving as a cellular video streamer, a kind of device that usually alone goes for $1000 to $1500.

Furthermore, Sony is doing a lot of fanfare about the phone’s 4 mmWave antennas and how it’ll be able to achieve much better, stable, and uniform reception compared to other devices in the market which employ only 2 or 3 antennas. The caveat here is of course that this will only ever get used when under actual mmWave coverage, which is still a very limited number of locations in the US. Of course, the phone will fall back to sub-6GHz 5G and LTE whenever there’s no mmWave coverage.

So, while the $2499 price tag might sound absolutely outrageous at first, it’s not much more expensive than other discrete solutions such as a dedicated monitor as well as competing, feature poorer cellular streaming devices. Where I do think Sony dropped the ball here is in terms of software features: the Xperia PRO lacks more commonly found features in dedicated monitors such as wave forms or vector scopes, and also lacks any kind of camera control or status features, even with Sony’s own line-up of cameras. For the device being now launched almost a whole year after its initial announcement, that’s extremely disappointing. During the Q&A briefing, it seems that Sony is aware of these features missing, but offered no concrete answers on whether they’ll continue to evolve the product from a software standpoint.

The Xperia PRO is otherwise feature identical to an Xperia 1 II – including the Snapdragon 865 SoC, the triple-camera setup, screen, and battery size, though DRAM and storage are upped to 12GB and 512GB. Furthermore, Sony says that the Xperia PRO is only launching in the US for $2499, with no current plans for availability in other markets.

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  • Silver5urfer - Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - link

    Keeping the price aside which is BS.

    This phone has a HDMI Input port (only a laptops even sport this, last I remember was M18xR2 from Alienware and AW18 and their single GPU models) + USB3.x port + SD card slot + 3.5mm jack + IP rating too ?

    How this is possible when Apple is saying courage and no space drama peddled by Google and other bs lies ?

    I wish Sony price their phones properly and release them in US with full band support. Xperia 5 II is a fantastic phone but the price is insane. Same for Xperia 1 II. Both have solid HW and SW (Pro Camera like LG, maybe good Audio not as great as LG's ESS). Even have Bootloader unlock.
    Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - link

    The Xperia Pro as well as the more normal 1 II and 5 II have pretty complete US LTE band coverage.

    5G isn't present in US variants though. Then again, 5G in the 1 II and 5 II are sub-6 anyways, which very rare (and therefore useless) in the US for now.
    Reply
  • andychow - Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - link

    It's precisely because only a laptop sports this (the AW18 is 5.5 kg, so not convinient), that the price isn't BS.
    If you want a mobile device with an HDMI in, this is it. So you'll pay whatever they want. They could have charged 2-3 times this and probably sell the same amount.
    Reply
  • michael2k - Friday, January 29, 2021 - link

    Dimensions are telling.
    iPhone 12 Pro: 5.78" x 2.82" x 0.29" x 6.66oz
    iPhone 12 Pro Max: 6.33" x 3.07" x 0.29" x 8.03g
    Xperia Pro: 6.7" x 3.0" x 0.4" x 7.94oz

    It's a gigantic phone at 6.7" tall and 0.4" thick.
    Reply
  • Tams80 - Thursday, February 4, 2021 - link

    The size alone does not tell you if Apple have been fibbing just to get higher profits.

    This is not a phone that would do well being smaller. It's supposed to be useable as the display for a lower-end professional video camera.
    Reply
  • hanselltc - Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - link

    Good luck to Sony on this one lol Reply
  • vikcious - Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - link

    For 5 pieces they'll sell, this isn't such a big tech drama ... Reply
  • Manch - Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - link

    That picture of the camera with the phone on top is exactly what's wrong with this product. Its half assed. That cradle should be a custom dock for the phone, right angle connectors, no wires sticking out to get snagged. Its these little things Sony misses along with the bigger issues mentioned in the article. Reply
  • Reflex - Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - link

    People who build rigs like this wouldn't be interested in that. That is basically a Smallrig cage on an A7S3 with a phone holder accessory. Making it custom to this specific phone ignores how people use equipment like this, namely they get the parts needed so things like this can be swapped out in the future. This is already by default nicer and with a higher res screen than the products it would be replacing, such as the Ninja V. Hopefully they got the software correct and it works with more than Sony cameras.

    That said, I'm a stills shooter, not video so it's not for me (plus I won't touch Android). But for the market this is for, it hits all the beats. It's a small market though...
    Reply
  • s0lfish - Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - link

    Ok, so this is more of an overpriced EVF and than an overpriced phone. That makes much more sense thnaks. Reply

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