The Only REAL "Pro" Smartphone?!
Hey what’s up mkbhd here, and this is a brand new smartphone from sony. It’S called the sony xperia pro. So a lot of you guys may remember. I pretty recently did a video on why people don’t buy sony phones, where you know i gave their recent phones a lot of credit and admired how technically impressive they were, but i eventually landed basically on the conclusion that people don’t buy these because they’re focused on Enthusiast features at the expense of the everyday, normal experience, which is not a recipe for selling a lot of them. So then they drop this new phone and this phone. This phone takes that imbalance farther than any phone i’ve ever seen for all the good and all the bad. So just looking at this guy, you know the phone itself is pretty understated. It doesn’t seem that special right off the top it’s, basically an xperia 1 mark ii, again, which was a great phone but it’s a year old. Now so it’s the same snapdragon 865 same internal specs same 4k display same triple camera system on the back. But as you can kind of start to see, it’s modified in a few key ways and it costs two thousand five hundred dollars: 25. Okay, okay, hold on a second it’s called the pro, and you know. We know that the pro phones are the the highest end ones, the best of the best, so what’s so special about this one right hot take.
This phone is the only real pro phone it’s, the only phone that deserves the word pro in the name. Okay, so we have iphone 12 pro cool huawei, mate 40, pro nice oneplus 8 pro, but those phones are just using the word pro to sell you. You know upscale everyday phones. This phone is an actual professional tool, so it starts with the design right at the bottom of this phone you’ll find a literal, hdmi port, so that’s a micro hdmi plug behind this flap alongside the usb type c. So you don’t see that very often so. Keep this in mind and then, instead of straight glass and metal, this phone is coated in this black polycarbonate jacket, all the way around on the sides on the back, even on the front and it’s pretty nice, actually there’s, no camera bump. So the phone sits perfectly flat and honestly, you probably don’t even really need a case for this phone it’s kind of ruggedized. That way, you do lose wireless charging for some reason, but as you’ll see pretty soon that’s, not a huge concern. Then, last but not least, this phone has an array of 5g antennas. You have four beamforming antennas all the way around this phone that no doubt take advantage of the plastic jacket instead of metal or glass that’s way better for reception, and all of that is packing to a body just a little bit bigger than the previous xperia. One mark ii, so this phone is designed to act as a primary viewfinder for a sony, mirrorless camera or really any camera with hdmi for that matter.
So they’ve built custom, software and hardware into the phone to make it happen. So when you put it all together, it looks something like this not super elegant, but not too bad, just very technically impressive. So the phone connects to the camera via that hdmi port there’s, a custom app with an extra custom button on the side of the phone to trigger it and immediately you get the 4k hdmi feed on the phone. Now a couple things about this number: one that’s pretty sweet, a lot of creators out there have a mirrorless camera already and a smartphone. So, combining these two to have a nicer display makes a lot of sense, but then number two, the special 5g workflow pieces built in will, let you do crazy things, it’ll, let you live stream with this 4k full frame, quality to sites like twitch and youtube, and With services like streamyard streamlabs, which is sick, it’s, the awesome, freeing feeling of not being tied to your computer anymore and still getting live, full frame, quality, that’s, so cool and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even add usb c from the phone to the camera too. And this phone’s, 4 000 milliamp hour battery will act as a power bank for the camera extending its battery life and that also enables ftp transfer. So if you’re live blogging like taking a bunch of high resolution, photos, those photos go straight to the phone and then can be sent straight to the truck or straight online from the 5g of the phone itself.
So that’s all sweet and pretty unheard of. But at the same time this is like, i said a little bit inelegant. You do need a cage to attach anything like this to the a7 s3, so i’ve used the a7s, and so now you have a hot shoe mount that connects to the phone. I happen to use a hot shoe microphone, so i’ve had to put the mount on the side, the weight distribution’s a little bit off, but it’s, not horrible, there’s, a lot of screws and mounts involved to moving things around. To put it on the side. It took a few minutes to set up and get just right, but we got it done. But then, once it’s set up, the hdmi output renders the touchscreen on the camera itself useless since it’s off, and it only outputs one at a time. So, since there’s no touch controls transferred via hdmi, you do get menu control through the buttons still, and you can see all that stuff, but there’s no touch to select and you lose touch to focus for photos and videos. The one thing you do get is the ability to zoom in on the actual literal hdmi feed and use it as a focus, assist but that’s nowhere near as powerful as focus peaking or false color, which are built into some more pro monitors. And then it just kind of feels off that the hdmi feed doesn’t even take up the whole display on the phone like it’s it’s, a 21×9 display still and unless they’re shooting 21×9 video it’s just going to feel like there’s.
A lot of wasted space that you can’t use for other things, so this phone simultaneously became the most comprehensive professional, durable pro tool, i’ve ever seen as a phone and the most niche phone of all time. So that 2500 price seems wildly high, because when you look at it as a phone with a few cool tricks up its sleeve, that is crazy. High most phones are a thousand dollars at the high end, twelve to fifteen hundred. And if you do something really crazy like fold in half, maybe you can justify being two grand so that looks really expensive. But if you’re a professional or a creator or you’re in this world already and you’ve ever shopped for an external monitor for your mirrorless camera, then you know how hard it is to find a 4k oled viewfinder that’s this thin. That has an all day battery life that can charge your camera that has 5g built in and has custom software for transcoding and uploading huge video files and photos straight to the internet. So 2500 bucks seems like a deal and that’s really just because such a technical rarity really nothing else. Does that it’s already just hard to find a good oled viewfinder most of those are in 4k. Most of those have a battery life of about half an hour tops, and then none of those have 5g built in. So when you make something that no one else makes who’s to say, it’s overpriced, there is no equivalent to compare it to.
I just looked on small hd site, one of their nicest monitors is this seven inch hdr on camera, monitor but it’s, not 4k and it’s, not oled and it’s three thousand dollars. So this phone earns the pro name more than any other phone out there. No doubt about that, but the sad thing is like as a professional myself. Even i am not in the extremely narrow target demographic for a setup like this like. I would rather take that small hd monitor that’s a little brighter and has that little bit of a larger viewing area and those professional tools like waveforms and false color over the 5g that this has so my theory, my take is there’s about 30 people in the Target demographic for this phone and they all work in nfl stadiums as those photographers down on the field videographers, who need this whole setup and they’re. Sending live video and live photos right up to the truck and to the broadcast, and they need that type of speed. Immediately from their viewfinder, those people should get a sony xperia pro, but for pretty much everyone else. The screen isn’t quite bright or big enough. The app is a little bit too buggy. The compatibility is a little too rough and this just probably isn’t what you need. No matter what the price is and even framing it as a smartphone with extra cool features, probably won’t, help that this ultimately falls perfectly into the thesis of my original sony.
Video about why people don’t buy their phones, which is that they make things that are really technically impressive and that no one else is actually doing in a lot of ways. It’S just the target. Demographic is so small that they’re not gon na sell a ton of these, so i would say definitely check out that video it’ll be the first link below like button. If you want to watch it sheds a little more light on the more specifics of the last gen of this phone, and there are parts shared in this one uh, but that explains the whole theory in more detail too it’s. Just i don’t know as a professional. I like seeing stuff made for professionals, but i just think the packaging of it as a smartphone is a little bit odd, either way that’s pretty much it for me thanks for watching.