Nearly a year after its initial unveiling, Sony has officially launched the Xperia Pro, its first 5G-capable smartphone in the U.S., with an assortment of extremely powerful (and niche) creative tools that could easily make it the best Android video camera on the market. Sony says that the Xperia Pro will sit alongside the Xperia 1 II, rather than replacing it in the company’s mobile lineup, and is priced significantly higher at $2,499.99.
How is Sony justifying that eye-watering price tag? The Xperia Pro isn’t necessarily aimed at consumers; it’s targeted directly towards videographers and broadcast crews, with the ability to function as an external monitor for cameras like the company’s also just-announced Alpha 1. In addition to its USB-C charging port, the Xperia Pro features an HDMI input that allows for a direct 4K60 connection, bypassing the need for finicky remote camera apps.
Sony is also leveraging 5G (both Sub-6GHz and mmWave) with the Xperia Pro to enable users to live stream the feed from their cameras in real time, supporting services like YouTube and Twitch.
Functionally, the Xperia Pro is nearly identical to the Xperia 1 II that launched last year. It features the same Snapdragon 865 chipset with Qualcomm’s X55 modem, and is powered by a 4,000mAh battery. The Xperia Pro is IP68-certified for water and dust resistance, and features a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display with HDR support that provides better clarity and contrast than most external monitors available on the market.
The cameras are identical to those of the Xperia 1 II, as well, headed by a 12MP primary sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus and optical image stabilization. Additionally, the Xperia Pro features ultra-wide and telephoto cameras, both at the same 12MP, along with a 0.3MP time-of-flight sensor.
At $2,499.99, the Xperia Pro drives a hard bargain, but Sony is betting on the phone’s ability to replace much of the costly equipment that would otherwise be needed for a broadcasting rig, from monitoring to streaming to file sharing. Of course, it also doubles as a powerful smartphone.
The Xperia Pro will be sold through Verizon in the U.S., along with partnering retailers including B&H, Amazon, Adorama, and Sony Direct.