Along with the Alpha 1, Sony has also announced the Xperia Pro, which they claim is the world’s first smartphone with dedicated HDMI input.
It is something people have been wanting to see for a long time, and finally, we have a phone with an HDMI input. If only Apple would do this with their phones. Being able to use a smartphone as a monitor makes a lot of sense. Yes, you have been able to monitor images before on a smartphone, but only wirelessly or through a myriad of conversion boxes.
Having a hard-wired solution makes a lot of sense as most modern-day smartphones feature very bright and color-accurate screens. This makes them very suitable for use with smaller sized cameras.
While I like the concept behind it, it needs to be affordable to gain any real traction. There is little point in using a smartphone as a monitor if that smartphone is going to cost as much if not more than the camera you are using it with.
We first saw this being demonstrated at IBC 2019 where Sony was showing an Xperia 1 hooked up directly to a Sony VENICE.
Having an HDMI input allows users to enhance their workflow by connecting the phone to a Sony Alpha camera or any other HDMI device. This lets you not only use the Xperia Pro as a monitor, but it also allows you to enable a 5G data link so that you can broadcast video in real-time. To do this, you do need to have a compatible third-party live streaming application.
The Xperia PRO’s high-quality 6.5-inch 4K OLED monitor lets you monitor images via the preinstalled External Monitor host application software.
This software features a screen lock function, screen brightness adjustment, zoom capabilities, adjustable grid lines, and more.
Video & Stills
Xperia PRO uses the same imaging technology as the Xperia 1 II. According to Sony, the phone was developed with help from the Alpha camera engineers. The Xperia PRO integrates technology such as Real-time AF on both humans and animals. It also features an interface with a variety of manual controls and it has the capability to shoot up to 20fps with 60 times per second autofocus/autoexposure calculations and RAW support.
Drawing on the expertise of Sony’s Digital Cinema Camera engineers, the For video, the Xperia PRO offers look color management pre-sets, 21:9 movie recording, 4K HDR in 24, 30, 60, and 120fps slow-motion, and an intelligent wind filter. The 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display features a 21:9 CinemaWide aspect ratio and supports the BT.2020 color space.
5G mmWave & 5G Sub-6
The Xperia Pro supports 5G mmWave and 5G Sub-6 for high-speed data transfer and the phone has been engineered to optimize signal reception.
The Xperia PRO features a 360-degree antenna design, which covers all four sides of the device. This 360-degree antenna produces the most effective way to capture high-band frequency 5G mmWave signals. In addition, the low dielectric constant material used in the chassis of the Xperia PRO enables radio waves to pass through more easily. Together, these technologies help ensure optimized 5G signal strength connection, no matter how the user is holding the device or where it’s positioned.
The Network Visualizer feature developed for Xperia PRO provides easy-to-understand visualization of the signal direction, communication method and communication speed of the device to help camera operators on location locate the best spot for live transmissions. This feature shows the current signal reception, indicates the direction of the 5G signal that is being received and provides communication throughput and histogram. A shortcut button is located on the side of the Xperia PRO, which can be assigned to launch a frequently used feature including Network Visualizer.
The Xperia PRO combines IP65/68 rating water and dust resistance. It has Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on the front for protection.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G Mobile Platform and the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF system allow users to game, capture, cross-task, and connect with multi-gigabit 5G speeds. There is improved performance from a 25% faster CPU and GPU than on the previous Xperia model.
The phone features a 4.000mAh battery, and it is compatible with the optional UCH32C Fast Charger. It also has two technologies to keep the battery healthy longer. Battery Care prevents the phone from overcharging, while Xperia Adaptive Charging monitors the phone as it charges to make sure the battery isn’t overworked.
Price & Availability
The new Xperia PRO 5G will be available to purchase and ship to customers on January 26, 2021, and will be sold for approximately $2,499.99 USD. Customers can purchase Xperia PRO at a select group of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
This price does seem outrageously expensive for a smartphone, considering it is essentially an Xperia 1 II with some improvements and an HDMI input.
Hopefully, another phone manufacturer can come up with something similar that doesn’t cost more than a lot of full-frame mirrorless hybrids.