Tech

Sony's $2,500 phone has a secret feature no one can compete with

The Xperia Pro costs more than a top-of-the-line iPhone 12 Pro Max and Galaxy S21 Ultra. But it has one feature that might be worth the money.

Smartphones have crept up in price ever since Apple normalized $1,000+ phones with the iPhone X in 2017.

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If you think the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which tops out at $1,400, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra and its top-tier $1,380 price are exorbitant, you might be interested to know Sony's just announced the $2,500 Xperia Pro.

Raymond Wong / Input

$2,500

What do you get for the money?

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📸: Sony

The Xperia Pro is not for most people. Sony's targeting professional content creators.

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“The world's first smartphone with dedicated HDMI input connectivity.”

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Why would you want an HDMI on your phone?

• As an external display for a Sony Alpha camera because the screens are usually half the size of the Xperia Pro's 6.5-inch screen.

Sony says the HDMI input also works with "any other HDMI input equipped camera to enable a 5G data link to broadcast video in real-time." The HDMI input is not to be confused with HDMI output which has existed on other phones. Input lets other devices use the phone's screen; output pushes the content to another display.

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📸: Sony
Whoa, that's intense.📸: Sony

What else? $2,500 is a lot to throw at a phone.

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4K

The 6.5-inch 21:9 OLED display has 4K resolution and HDR.

Sony is still the lone wolf when it comes to 4K resolution phone screens. Even the best Android phones only top out at 2K (1,440p) resolution.

512GB

There's tons of storage in the Xperia Pro.

Yep, that's a microSD card slot (expandable to 1TB). A feature Samsung doesn't include on its S21 phones.

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Camera specs:

Wide: 12-megapixel f/1.7 — 1/1.7" Exmor RS sensor with OIS

Ultra-wide: 12-megapixel f/2.2 — 1/2.55" Exmor R sensor (124-degree FOV)

Macro mode

Telephoto: 12-megapixel f/2.4 — 1/3.4" sensor

Selfie: 8-megapixel f/2.0 — 1/4" sensor

There's a headphone jack! Something premium phones like the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Galaxy S21 Ultra, and OnePlus 8 Pro don't have.

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And these features:

• IP65 / 68 water- and dust-resistance

• Dedicated camera shutter and programmable shortcut buttons

• Dual SIM card slots

• 360-degree 5G antennas for better mmWave and Sub-6 reception

• High-res audio with LDAC

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What worries us...

At $2,500, you would rightfully expect the latest Snapdragon chip and graphics, right? Weirdly, the Xperia Pro uses a last-gen Snapdragon 865 chip instead of the faster Snapdragon 888 that will power virtually every high-end 2021 Android phone. But at least it has 12GB of RAM.

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There's also the battery...

The Xperia Pro has a 4,000 mAh battery. It's not a small battery by any means. But compared to the larger 5,000 mAh you can get in the S21 Ultra, we're concerned about its ability to last, especially when used as an external monitor with a camera.

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It also runs Android 10... a whole version behind the current Android 11.

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Is all of this worth $2,500 even for pros? We hope to find out.

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