While most mobile device providers are inching toward lowering 5G smartphone prices, Sony is taking the opposite approach by rolling out a new 5G phone priced at $2,499.
Sony claims the Xperia Pro is not a typical smartphone as it is geared toward professional content creators. In fact, Sony does not even call it a smartphone, but a “communication device” with dedicated HDMI connectivity for real-time content sharing and distribution.
One of the main pushes for 5G vendors in 2021 is lower overall prices of 5G smartphones to encourage adoption of the technology. When 5G smartphones were initially introduced in 2019 and through the first half of 2020, prices were in the $1,000 or above mark, considered out of the range for most smartphone consumers.
However, with a shift to cheaper components and more affordable 5G chipsets, prices started to fall to the $700 mark later in 2020. ABI Research forecasts that by 2022, more than 60% of the roughly 550 million 5G smartphones shipped will be priced below $600.
The Xperia Pro bucks this trend in a big way, taking the opposite approach to cater to a select group of smartphone consumers. The device supports both 5G sub-6 GHz and 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) technology with the dedicated HDMI input, allowing users to connect the Xperia Pro to a Sony Alpha camera or any other HDMI input equipped camera to enable a 5G data link to broadcast video in real-time.
With third-party live streaming application, streamed video content from a camera that is connected to the HDMI input to an RTMP server or directly to social media. The HDMI input can also transform the Xperia Pro into a 6.5 in 4K organic light emitting diode (OLED) monitor through preinstalled external monitor host software.
Under the cover
The smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G mobile platform with the Snapdragon X55 5G modem-RF system. It also includes a 4,000 mAh battery, has a IP65/68 rating for water and dust resistance with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 for screen protection.
A 36° antenna design covers all four sides of the device to capture high-band 5G mmWave signals while a low dielectric constant material is used in the chassis of the Xperia Pro for radio waves to pass through more easily, Sony said.
The phone also includes the same imaging technology as Sony’s Xperia 11 flagship smartphone, which was developed with Sony’s Alpha camera engineers with real-time autofocus, a variety of manual controls, the capability to shoot up to 20 fps with 60 times per second autofocus/autoexposure calculations and RAW support.