The Sony Xperia Pro-I is more professional camera than a mere phone

October 27, 2021

So Sony’s Xperia Pro-I is now on preorder, mere days after the Google Pixel 6 Pro unveil. The “I” in the Xperia Pro-I stands for imaging, a homage to Sony’s Alpha mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and professional video cameras.

The star of the show is obviously the camera tech, since the Xperia Pro-I uses a 1.0-type Exmor RS image sensor with phase detection AF (autofocus) similar to that which powers the RX100 VII, the preferred point-and-shooter of vloggers and tourists. This large 1-inch camera sensor enables outstanding low light performance, high dynamic range, and beautiful bokeh, according to Sony. Sony’s Xperia Pro-I has a total of three 12-megapixel cameras on the back (a main, ultrawide, and telephoto) and one 8-megapixel camera around its front. A key aside here is the fact that they contain fewer but larger (2.4µm) pixels, where each pixel captures more details, more dynamic range and greater depth of field.

The Xperia Pro-I’s rear cameras use three glass lenses from Zeiss. Its main 24mm lens has dual aperture (f2.0/f4.4) that allows you to change the depth of field more quickly to create authentic bokeh, rather than the digital software-created bokeh effect that other phones produce.

The phone’s display has a 21:9 aspect ratio, making this a narrow, tall device. The Xperia Pro-I includes the same BIONZ X imaging processor found in Sony’s A9 professional mirrorless camera for sports, which allows it to take up to 20fps in burst shots similar to Sony’s recent smartphones like the Xperia 1 III. This is the rare smartphone camera that is fast at autofocus, and capable of real-time eye tracking (humans and animals) in both stills and videos. Speaking of videos, Sony claims that the Xperia Pro-I is is the first smartphone in the world that can record 4K videos at 120fps and be able to preserve all 120 frames. On the phone side of the Xperia Pro-I, it has a 6.5-inch 21:9 3840×1644 OLED display, with 120Hz refresh rate, at a relatively skinny 21:9 aspect ratio. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor, there’s 12GB RAM, 512GB of internal storage, a microSDXC card slot, a 4,500mAh battery which can be fast-charged at 30W, and even a 3.5mm audio jack.

The Xperia Pro-I will ship in December 2021 for a mere $1,800, with pre-orders starting from October 28, 2021

by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2018, CES 2017, 2016 and 2015. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering. Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.