Sony Announces The Xperia 5 II But Something's Strange

Sony is starting to update its smartphone range with the new Xperia 5 II, concentrating on photography and video. It’s the tinier brother of the very tall and strangely priced Xperia 1 II, and in many aspects, this newer handset strengthens it. It’s also cheaper, with one aspect, to go on sale for $949 on September 29th. The other big change is that a high-refresh-rate 120Hz monitor was placed in by Sony.

Strangely, though, Sony claims it’s not shipping until December 4th, and even more bizarrely, it’s going to have 5G, but it’s not going to work with the US 5G networks, much like the Xperia 1 II.


The basic premise of the Xperia 5 II is that it’s a tall 21:9 screen handset, but at 6.1-inches it’s relatively thin. That sounds big, but it works, and it is just about 2.68 inches wide because it’s so tall. This is far more compact than the Xperia 1 II handset.


It features pretty typical 2020 flagship specs: a Snapdragon 865 CPU, a 4,000 mAh battery, and the 120Hz refresh rate monitor listed above. Sony also has two front-facing stereo speakers and a standard headphone port, all of which are currently legally categorised as endangered species. Unfortunately, no wireless charging is available.

As for the camera sensors, the now-standard three-camera configuration is on the rear of the Xperia 5 II. Sony’s emphasis on imaging means it chooses to mark them with their corresponding focal lengths of 35 mm: 16 mm, 24 mm, and 70 mm.


Sony claims to be the first smartphone able to capture slow motion in 4K HDR at 120FPS. I’ll be eager to see how it performs and also to see how the Xperia 5 II enhances the quality of the recording. The pro video app from Sony helps you to have a lot of control over camera settings and to bundle clips into projects for faster editing.

The Xperia line’s speciality and claim for the throne with the camera is with autofocus and capturing speed. Like the Xperia 1 II, the Xperia 5 II boasts the best-in-class autofocus from Sony, which can lock up to 60 times a second on the eye of a person or pet and keep the fixation tack sharp with incredible power. At 20fps, it can also do burst mode shooting.

Perhaps the most fascinating innovation of photography is that you can configure the Xperia 5 II as a direct tethered upload system for one of Sony’s newer mirrorless devices. It’s not the equivalent of full USB laptop tethering, but it’s far quicker and more powerful than the normal cameras sold with Wi-Fi solutions these days.


Sony is still bragging about the gaming capabilities of the Xperia 5 II — and I believe an Android gaming phone might have capabilities that are more than mere gimmicks for the first time ever. The aspect of Sony is that the refresh rate of 120Hz requires a 240Hz touch scanning rate but that’s not the big deal for me.


Like several devices, Sony has a game enhancer feature, but its feature has some truly useful characteristics. It’s not something that I had ever planned to write on an Android phone about game enhancer apps.

The refresh rate, motion blur and touch response speed of the screen can be adjusted and locked directly. More surprisingly, there is a power bypass option that allows you to set up the phone without charging the battery to draw power directly from a USB-C cable. Which decreases heat dramatically, which ensures that all the silicon will work smoother. Sony has also added a heat sink with graphene to drain heat away from the mainboard.


The Xperia 5 II looks like an interesting handset with special advantages and infuriating limitations in all. But it might be a decent option if you’re deep into Sony’s camera ecosystem.

A safer option may be to wait for the Xperia Pro, which has been confirmed but still not described beyond one main photography feature and that is using your phone as an external HDMI display for a video camera. We would probably have learned more by the time the Xperia 5 II launches in December.



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