Yes, Sony still makes smartphones, and the latest is the flagship Xperia 1 V, designed for photographers and vloggers alike. It features a new stacked back-illuminated (BSI) sensor, along with features aimed at content creators found in the Alpha series cameras.
The Xperia 1 V features a new image sensor called “Exmor T for Mobile,” which is faster and works better with computed photography (AI) while still offering “roughly twice as much” as the Xperia 1 IV in low-light conditions, according to Sony. As one would expect from a flagship, it packs other high-end features like a Snapdragon 8 Gen2 Mobile Platform, a 6.5-inch 4K 120Hz OLED HDR display, a 5,000mAh battery , which allows up to 20 hours of continuous 4K playback, up to 12 GB RAM and more.
With this, Sony promises first-class gaming performance thanks to a Game Enhancer function that offers visual and acoustic support. Players can also live stream their games directly to YouTube.
However, the main feature is clearly the camera system. The main 24mm f/1.9 52-megapixel camera features a 1/1.35-inch (approx. 12mm diagonal) Exmor T-type sensor, which is 1.7 times larger than the Xperia’s sensor 1IV, according to Sony. It’s also equipped with an ultra-wide 12-megapixel camera and an 85-125mm 12-megapixel optical telephoto zoom, like the Xperia 1 IV. The 12-megapixel front camera has a Type 1/2, 9 inch sensor.
Purists can shoot videos and photos with the professional modes that allow full manual control. The most important of these is Photography Pro mode, which is designed for creative control. It also enables live streaming and allows creators to see viewer comments in real-time.
However, if you set it to Basic mode, you get a good dose of computer-aided imaging found on other Android phones as well. These include a night mode and color settings for subjects like flowers and a blue sky. It also offers real-time eye autofocus and tracking, as well as high-speed continuous shooting at up to 30fps with auto exposure and AF enabled.
For vloggers and content creators, it now offers the same Product Showcase setting as Sony’s vlogging cameras like the ZV-E1. The new sensor also promises improved skin tones thanks to the added saturation of the sensor. It also features a new voice-priority microphone placed near the rear camera that can pick up voices even in busy outdoor locations.
One cool feature that for many videographers might justify the price on its own is the ability to use the phone as a monitor for select Sony Alpha cameras. So could the Xperia 1 IV, but the new model offers multiple display options with waveforms, grid lines, and zebra lines typically only found on professional field monitors. You can also control settings and record content on phones – features that were previously unavailable. Meanwhile, the phone’s microphones can record sound while also monitoring audio through the Xperia 1 V’s headphone jack.
As with previous Xperia models, price is the catch. The Xperia 1 V starts at $1,400 (in khaki green or black) with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage (upgradable via a microSD slot). That’s a lot of money for most smartphone users (even flagship buyers), but it could make sense for content creators, avid photographers, and others.
Along with the Xperia 1 V, Sony has also unveiled a far more mainstream smartphone, the Xperia 10 V. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 695 chipset and offers a 6.1-inch 1080p OLED display that’s 50 percent brighter than before, but only updated at 60 Hz. The camera system features a 48-megapixel Type 1/2.0-inch main sensor with a wide-angle lens, as well as a 2x telephoto lens and an ultra-wide-angle lens. Other features include a 5,000 mAh battery and up to 6 GB of RAM. The price in Europe is 449 euros, sales are scheduled to start in June. US pricing/availability not yet available.
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