Sony Xperia Pro I review, Premium smartphone with the giant image sensor of a compact camera
Almost everything that stands, the pro i, apart from the xperia 1 3, makes it unsuitable as a conventional smartphone recommendation. Only enthusiasts need apply. Sony debuted the first xperia pro in early 2020, a device that we dubbed one of the only phones truly worthy of the pro suffix, with its skill set tailored towards industry grade broadcasting over consumer use. Now the company has brought another pro to market the xperia pro. I, which takes a wholly different approach, aimed at a wholly different demographic. Similarly, to the previous pro the pro, i builds on the companys current flagship, the xperia 1 3, with near identical underlying hardware and a similar software experience, but its augmented by a bold new camera system that pushes past practically everything else currently out there with the hopes Of being perceived as a serious tool for creators and enthusiasts its no secret that the xperia one three serves as the foundation for the pro ice build, but the tweaks and changes sony has made all serve to render the pro i both a more functional and resilient Device, even the fact that it can only be had in one color black naturally speaks to the more utilitarian approach. Sony has taken with the pro ice hardware while you get the same gorilla glass, victus, protected display and frosted gorilla glass, 6 back theyre, surrounded by a prominent new waived, edge blast treated metal frame. Not only is it aesthetically bold, but it also offers excellent grip thanks to rows of deep ridges.
The frame plays host to a familiar set of hardware controls lifted from the one three, including a dual detent knurled shutter button and a fingerprint sensor latent power key. But theres now an additional circular shortcut key and even an eyelet for a lanyard which you might want to use, considering just how much the pro i costs in stark contrast to the textured shutter button, protruding from the bottom right of the phones frame that new shortcut Key sits flush against it, making it harder to feel out than youd expect something of a problem when you consider that its default function is to help you get to shooting video quickly, it can be reprogrammed, though, despite being a glass sandwich like most premium handsets the Pro eyes, robust metal frame helps the phone feel incredibly well put together and more durable than competitors, even without a case, while it also retains ip6568 dust, dustin water resistance, alongside sonys signature tool, less sim tray of all the elements that the pro i needed to crib From the mark 3, its display was at the top of the wish list and thankfully, sony delivered as well as a distinct 21 to 9 cinema, wide aspect ratio which sony turns to more than any other phone maker. The pro i is, the only other phone to share in the 1is impressive concoction of display technologies with a 6.5 inches 120 hertz 4k hdr capable oled panel on offer that boasts professional grade color calibration white balancing and 10 bit color support when a phone boasts.
Stereo speakers, its a toss up as to whether the manufacturer has implemented superior front firing output with a balanced, sound or an earpiece down firing combination where the former handles treble, while the other places a bias on base tones. Thankfully, in the case of the pro i its the latter with decent clarity and clear stereo separation, although the hardware and layout at play are likely identical to that used by the xperia 1 3 in side by side comparisons. The pro i doesnt offer quite the same level of clarity and tone as expected, presumably as a result of the physical differences found in the phones, bigger body, with the exception of the new video pro app coming up in the camera section, and that new programmable shortcut Key theres little to differentiate the pro ice user experience from the one found on the one three, but thats, no bad thing. Sony has taken a metered approach to modifying android with a clean experience that should be familiar, or at least intuitive to users of other mainstream devices from the likes of google, motorola nokia and so on. The aforementioned split screen functionality is particularly well implemented, while sony specific features like a system wide shortcut menu accessed by double tapping against the edge of the ui and game enhancer, which lets you manage. Notifications, tweak visuals and record gameplay are nice extras that feel considered and genuinely useful, despite launching towards the tail end of the snapdragon 888 plus s time in the limelight as qualcomms top tier mobile chipset before it was replaced by the 8 gen 1 in late december 2021, the xperia pro i sticks with the same standard 888 that also powers the xperia 1 3.
. This comes paired to 12 gigabytes of ram and 512 gigabytes of internal storage, which can rather impressively be expanded via microsd by an additional one terabyte as such, while theres more room for media ideal when shooting in high fidelity codex performance is on par with the mark Iii, which itself was exceptional at launch, but may not stand the test of time compared to flagships running on the new or 888 plus or eight general one for a flagship phone with some demanding hardware, namely its display and camera. The 4 500 milliamp hours battery in the pro i feels a little on the small side, both on paper and in practice, as the benchmarks show it only outlasted, the 1 3 by a little and a number of its top tier competitors have moved to more capacious Cells to keep stuff with the higher demands, modern flagships are subjected to, resulting in noticeably better longevity by comparison as to why wireless charging isnt part of the equation on the pro eye, all you need do is glance around back the whole reason this phone exists is Embodied in the bold new camera hardware, with a sizeable primary lens, positioned down the center line of the phones rear the pro, i is part of a very select group, not just because of its impressive display, but due to the fact that its revised camera system leads With a huge one, inch sony, exmor, rs, cmos sensor. In fact, its the same sensor, thats found on the companys beloved rx 107 compact camera a technical achievement to feature on a phone to be sure on the pro i it comes paired with a dual aperture setup, reminiscent of the system seen on samsungs galaxy s9 series That can flip between f 2.
0 and f 4.0, while the sensor itself sports impressively large 2.8 micrometers pixels that are ideal for gathering in more light than the average smartphone sensor, most of which resort to combining the data from multiple pixels at the expense of resolution. To achieve the same effect, while most phones rely on plastic, this optically stabilized sensor also employs glass lens elements, promising greater image, clarity and reduced reflectivity, supported by a zeiss tea branded optical coating theres a flip side to this bold new system. However, the slim profile of the phone compared to a compact camera at least means there isnt enough space for the pro i to properly leverage the full might of that 20 mp sensor, resulting in a 12 mp effective resolution cropping to an equivalent one over 1.3 inches Sensor size in terms of color contrast and dynamic range, even in auto mode sonys top experience usually make you work for great results out of the gate and thats, especially true of the pro ice imaging experience, its built around not too, as on the xperia one three, But three imaging apps photo pro cinema pro and the new video pro app sony unveiled the xperia pro i in late october 2021, going on pre order in various markets, including the us, a couple of days later, the 28th of october. The phone was then made available to buy starting the 10th of december 2021., the companys original xperia pro with its integrated hdmi connectivity and professional target audience sported a decidedly steep price tag when viewed through the lens of the consumer smartphone market at 2, 299 pounds for 2499, united states dollars and 99.