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Sony Xperia Pro-I announced with Xperia 1 III specs and 1-inch sensor

Sony has unveiled the Sony Xperia Pro-I, its second pro smartphone, with a fresh focus on vloggers.

The original Sony Xperia Pro only launched in January, with a package that offered a modified (and outdated) Sony Xperia 1 II with mobile modem and external monitor functionality. That phone was aimed at video professionals, with a corresponding eye-watering price tag.

Now the new Sony Xperia Pro-I is taking things in a slightly different direction. It doesn’t have the HDMI port of the Pro, reflecting the fact that it’s not geared towards top-end video camera users.

Rather, Sony is aiming at the more informal (but stil ‘pro’) vlogger crowd. It’s even offering an optional 3.5-inch external display ($199 / £169) to show you what’s being recorded with those main cameras.

The ‘I’ stands for ‘imaging’, and while you’re getting another triple-12MP set-up, the main camera features huge a new 1-inch Exmor RS image sensor with Phase Detection Autofocus. This is the very same sensor that you’ll find in the acclaimed Sony RX100 VII high-end point-and-shoot, with accompanying shutter switch module.

The new phone also boasts 315 phase-detection AF points that cover 90% of the frame. Xperia phones have had the best lock-on in town for a couple of years now, and the Sony Xperia Pro-I continues the good work.

Elsewhere, the Pro-I packs ZEISS Tessar Optics and a dual f/2.0/f/4.0 aperture – a nifty trick we haven’t seen since the Samsung Galaxy S9.

Emphasising the Sony Xperia Pro-I’s focus on video mastery, it’s said to be the first phone to be able to record natively at 4K and 120fps. It also supports Eye AF and Object Tracking in video for the first time. Previous Xperia phones could only apply these tricks to stills.

Sony has bumped the processor up to the Snapdragon 888, and it also packs a 4K 120Hz display. Indeed, the Xperia Pro-I appears to have more in common with the Sony Xperia 1 III than the Xperia 1 II. It also has the same 4,500mAh battery and 30W charger, and you also get front-facing stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

All of this and the Sony Xperia Pro-I comes in way cheaper than its predecessor. It will cost $1,799 / £1,599 when it rolls out in the US in December (the Pro cost $2,500). Pre-orders commence October 28.

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