Sony has never been a major player in smartphones, but it makes enough money from other ventures to keep at it. In fact, it has a habit of releasing multiple flagship phones every year. Its latest is the Xperia 1 II, and it’s accompanied by a new mid-range device called the Xperia 10 II. The names are terrible, but you could probably guess these are updated versions of the phones Sony launched in its last update cycle.
The Xperia 1 II (read as “Xperia 1 mark 2”) has all the flagship phone features you’d expect in 2020. There’s a triple-camera array with standard, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses (all 12MP). There’s also a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 865 inside along with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
All 865-based phones have to include a 5G modem, which makes this Sony’s first 5G phone. However, it only has antennas for sub-6 signals. That makes sense considering Sony devices sell best outside the US. Most of the world relies on sub-6 5G signals, which aren’t quite as fast as millimeter-wave but can cover more area. It’s just the US that is focusing on millimeter-wave 5G rollouts.
Instead of going with a display notch or hole-punch, Sony is sticking with the classic slim bezel design. The Xperia 1 II sticks with the company’s unusual 21:9 aspect ratio, which makes the phone extremely tall. Like its predecessor, it has a 4K OLED display and powerful front-facing speakers. Between 4K and the 5G support, the 4,000mAh battery might be a little taxed. Sony has added something everyone can appreciate, though. This phone brings back the headphone jack.
The Xperia 1’s mid-range counterpart has gotten an overhaul, too. The Xperia 10 II looks like a shrunken-down version of the Xperia 1 II. The screen is centered instead of shifted toward the bottom, which was a bizarre quirk of last year’s Xperia 10. The 6-inch OLED is only 1080p, but this is still Sony’s first mid-range OLED device. The Xperia 10 II has also gained water-resistance.
The Xperia 10 II isn’t a 5G phone — it has a capable but not overly impressive Snapdragon 665 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It does still have a triple camera setup like the Xperia 1 II, but the resolution of the ultra-wide and telephoto are only 8MP.
Sony says the phones will begin launching in select markets toward the end of spring. We don’t know where or how much they’ll cost, though.
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