Sony Xperia Pro review: A versatile 5G phone thats not for you – CNET11 min read

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The Sony Xperia Pro is absolutely one of the most compelling phones Ive checked in a long time. The Xperia Pro takes this narrow-appeal technique to the next level. There actually isnt another gadget like it that offers the very same functionality.A 6.5-inch 4K display screen, 5G connectivity and HDMI input transform the Xperia Pro into a handful of professional tools for professional photographers, video shooters and content creators.

The Sony Xperia Pro can be used as an external field display for a devoted camera. It can reveal a live video sneak peek from the cams HDMI output.
Patrick Holland/CNET

LikeProfessional level video monitor featuresRobust utilitarian buildLive broadcast streaming over 5GAs a phone its essentially the Xperia 1 II

Do not LikePrice is high limiting its narrow appeal2020 specifications and Android 10Wished it taped video via HDMI input

The Xperia Pro is basically an Xperia 1 II repackaged into a new slightly larger body with the addition of a micro-HDMI port. It looks utilitarian and unabashedly plain, which is appropriate for a severe tool. It has a devoted shutter button, a side-mounted power button thats likewise a fingerprint reader, and a new hardware faster way button.It has the exact same easy-to-open dual-SIM card tray that can likewise be utilized with a microSD card for extra storage. It has the same cams, and it seems capable of taking the very same exceptional photos and videos as the Xperia 1 II. The Xperia Pro likewise has in 2015s Snapdragon 865 chip and runs Android 10, though it got an increase in RAM to 12GB. Given that the majority of the Pro is the same as the Xperia 1 II, I encourage you to read my Xperia 1 II evaluation for an in-depth analysis of all those features. Note that I utilized a preproduction design of the Sony Xperia Pro, which is why I have not offered it a full, ranked evaluation.

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You might be questioning that if the Pro is so similar to the Xperia 1 II, why does it cost $1,400 more? The Xperia Pro is a phone, a video camera screen, a fast image file-transfer device and a 5G broadcast/livestreaming machine. If you add up the Xperia Pros performance (phone, 4K monitor, 5G cellular modem) the cost becomes a little simpler to swallow.
The Xperia Pro as a 4K field monitorOftentimes, when capturing video with a dedicated video camera, you desire a larger screen to sneak peek the image to examine things like focus and direct exposure. The built-in screens on video cameras are severely restricted by their little size. There are a variety of 4K external displays you can buy varying in cost from a couple of hundred dollars as much as nearly $7,000. Among the primary appeals of the Xperia Pro is that you can utilize it as a 4K field display. You simply link your video camera and the Xperia Pro using an HDMI cable (one that has a micro-HDMI adapter for the Pro). Next, you turn on the cam and open the appropriately named External Monitor app on the Xperia Pro. Depending on your cams settings and output, youll see a preview of what youre shooting, on your phone.It is absolutely fantastic using the Xperia Pro as an electronic camera display. The first benefit comes in terms of size and weight. The standalone video camera screen that I use to movie CNET videos is large and heavy. The Xperia Pro weighs 75 grams less and thats not even accounting for the weight of the giant batteries my monitor needs for power. And speaking of batteries, the Xperia Pro and its 4,000-mAh battery lasted hours when utilized as a display compared to the 45 minutes or so I got with my 4K cam screen. If I need to charge the phone while its installed on the electronic camera, I can plug in a USB-C cable television and a portable battery.On the left is a 7-inch 4K video display with battery connected that I typically utilize to movie CNET videos. On the right is the much smaller Xperia Pro, standing vertically, which has a 6.5-inch 4K display screen and a 4,000-mAh battery.
Patrick Holland/CNET
Another advantage is that I can engage with the Xperia Pro like a phone rather of managing it with early-2000s computer display screen buttons and a goofy generic menu interface. I can pinch to zoom the sneak peek image larger or smaller sized. The Pros External Monitor app likewise has tools for screen lock, brightness control, zooming, grid lines, frame lines and a 180-degree image flip.Smartly, Sony hasnt made any of the performance proprietary. I attempted the Pro out as a screen for both a Sony A7SIII and a Panasonic S1H mirrorless video camera. For the a lot of part, the app worked fantastic, though a few times it lost the sneak peek image. I didnt experience any major bugs with the External Monitor app, however I couldnt inform if the couple of times the connection dropped was due to the fact that the HDMI cable television was loose or the truth that this was a preproduction phone. Hopefully this is resolved in the last version.The Sony Xperia Pro mounted and connected to a Sony A7SIII camera.
Patrick Holland/CNET
My only significant grievance about using the Xperia Pro as a preview monitor is that outdoors in sunlight its brightness struggled. If I was buying the Xperia Pro to utilize as a display, I would definitely desire to include some sort of shade to it when filming outdoors.I also want there was a way for the Xperia Pro to tape-record a video signal coming in from HDMI, like other high-end screens can.

Sony Xperia 1 II.

Sony Xperia Pro.

Compare Sony Xperia Pro specs vs. Sony Xperia 1 II, Sony Xperia 5 II.

The Xperia Pro is the ideal Zoom teleprompter monitorBut the enjoyable does not stop there; the Xperia Pros HDMI input isnt limited to cameras. Since of this it proved to be an ideal solution for Zoom calls, and. Usually for a Zoom call you may use your computer systems integrated video camera. But as much of us discovered out during the pandemic, getting an external cam for Zoom works way much better. The only disadvantage to having an external video camera for Zoom is that youre still taking a look at your computer screen to see the person or people youre talking to.For my external electronic camera, I utilize a Panasonic S1H that plugs into my computer with an adapter. I can utilize another adapter that connects my computer system to the micro-HDMI port on the Xperia Pro. This basically makes the phone into a 6.5-inch external computer monitor so whatever is on my computer system screen reveals up on the phones screen.For Zoom calls I can movie myself with a devoted external video camera and utilize the Xperia Pro as a teleprompter video camera display revealing the individual Im speaking to. No more unusual recalling and forth between the electronic camera and my computer system display screen.
Patrick Holland/CNET
I took the Xperia Pro that was connected to my computer system and put it into the stand. You get the great image quality from utilizing a dedicated video camera without looking away from the lens to see the other person.The Xperia Pro can broadcast a 4K video livestream over 5GThe Xperia Pro is Sonys very first 5G phone for the United States. That indicates I can utilize a Sony A7SIII cam and a good lens to capture 4K video live and have the Xperia Pro upload the video signal over 5G (ideally mmWave, the fastest kind of 5G) to whichever broadcast platform Im using.The Sony Xperia Pro is a phone, a camera display, a live broadcasting gadget and a photo file-transfer tool.
Patrick Holland/CNET
The preproduction Xperia Pro I checked only had support for 5G mmWave. The only 5G near where I was shooting was the sub-6 variety, however, which didnt work on the Pro. The last variation of the Xperia Pro will support both sub-6 and mmWave 5G. Likewise you can utilize the built-in electronic cameras on the phone to livestream, but when you have the capability to use a dedicated video camera with better image quality, why would you?Remember when I said the Xperia Pro was aimed at a specific niche audience? The livestream/broadcasting feature definitely is. An interesting proof of principle Sony shared was on complete screen along the sidelines of NFL video games in the kind of a cam rig nicknamed The Megalodon. Its made up of a Sony Alpha mirrorless camera, a gimbal, a monitor and a cellular modem (in the knapsack) to share the signal to the broadcast truck. That means the electronic camera operator isnt tethered to a huge physical cable. It is not hard to picture an Xperia Pro being used in lieu of the cellular modem and/or the screen.

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The majority of arenas have 5G mmWave support. And as 5G and specifically mmWave expand more in the United States and when we get back to a point where were taking a trip for video shoots once again, I can definitely see the appeal of streaming a 4K video broadcast live over 5G. However for now, this function is focused on huge live occasions like professional sports.A network visualizer app assists you position the Xperia Pro in the very best instructions to get the strongest 5G signal.
Patrick Holland/CNET
Xperia Pro 5G network visualizerTo discover the strongest 5G connection, theres a built-in network visualizer app that can help you pinpoint the best way to position the phone for a broadcast. One of the reasons behind the practical looking body of the Xperia Pro is that it houses four various 5G antennas. Xperia Pro provides FTP server support for photosLastly, the Xperia Pro has assistance for file transfer protocol, or FTP, through USB-C tethering.

Sony Xperia 5 II.

The amazing on-field shots on FOXs broadcast of #Seahawks- #WashingtonFootball Team are thanks to this device the crew nicknames “The Megalodon.” Here it is. And heres Mike Smole, who is running it today. He calls it a “poor guys Steadicam.” We need to all be so bad. pic.twitter.com/RWuYjeaBCe— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 20, 2020

Display size, resolution.

6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED; 3,840 x1,644 pixels.

6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED; 3,840 x1,644 pixels.

6.1-inch FHD+ HDR OLED; 2,520 x1,080 pixels.

Pixel density.

643 ppi.

643 ppi.

449 ppi.

Dimensions (Inches).

6.7 x3x0.4 in.

6.5 x2.8 x0.3 in.

6.22 x2.68 x0.31 in.

Dimensions (Millimeters).

170.2 x76.2 x10.16 mm.

165.1 x71.1 x7.62 mm.

158x68x8 mm.

Weight (Ounces, Grams).

7.9 oz; 225g.

6.4 oz; 181g.

5.75 oz; 163g.

Android 10.

Electronic camera.

Android 10.

Mobile software.

Android 10.

12-megapixel (standard), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (3x telephoto).

12-megapixel (standard), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (3x telephoto).

12-megapixel (standard), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (3x telephoto).

Front-facing cam.

8-megapixel.

8-megapixel.

8-megapixel.

Video capture.

4K.

4K.

4K.

Snapdragon 865.

Storage.

Snapdragon 865 5G.

Processor.

Snapdragon 865.

512GB.

256GB.

128GB.

RAM.

12GB.

8GB.

8GB.

Battery.

Expandable storage.

Up to 1TB.

Approximately 1TB.

Up to 1TB.

4,000 mAh.

4,000 mAh.

4,000 mAh.

Yes.

Adapter.

Special features.

Side.

Yes.

USB-C.

Yes.

Finger print sensing unit.

USB-C.

USB-C.

Side.

Headphone jack.

Right side.

5G sub-6 and mmWave, ranked IP 65/68, adaptive battery charging and care, Dolby Atmos, Zeiss lens finishings, time of flight sensor, hardware shutter button, hardware shortcut button.

5G-enabled (not in United States), wireless charging, rated IP 65/68, adaptive battery charging and care, Dolby Atmos, Zeiss lens finishes, time of flight sensor, hardware shutter button.

5G-enabled (not in US), 120Hz revitalize rate display, rated IP 65/68, adaptive battery charging and care, Dolby Atmos, Zeiss lens finishes, time of flight sensor, hardware shutter button, hardware Google Assistant button.

$ 1,200.

Cost off-contract (USD).

Price (GBP).

If I was purchasing the Xperia Pro to use as a display, I would definitely desire to include some sort of shade to it when recording outdoors.I likewise want there was a method for the Xperia Pro to record a video signal coming in from HDMI, like other high-end screens can. The Xperia Pro is the ideal Zoom teleprompter monitorBut the enjoyable doesnt stop there; the Xperia Pros HDMI input isnt limited to electronic cameras. You get the good image quality from utilizing a devoted cam without looking away from the lens to see the other person.The Xperia Pro can relay a 4K video livestream over 5GThe Xperia Pro is Sonys first 5G phone for the United States. That means I can utilize a Sony A7SIII electronic camera and a nice lens to record 4K video live and have the Xperia Pro upload the video signal over 5G (preferably mmWave, the fastest kind of 5G) to whichever broadcast platform Im using.The Sony Xperia Pro is a phone, a cam screen, a live broadcasting gadget and a photo file-transfer tool.
Xperia Pro provides FTP server support for photosLastly, the Xperia Pro has support for file transfer procedure, or FTP, through USB-C tethering.

₤ 799.

$ 950.

Rate (AUD).

Converts to AU$ 1,960.

Converts to AU$ 1,430.

$ 2,500.

₤ 1,099.

Converts to ₤ 1,830.

Converts to AU$ 3,250.

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