Sony launches Xperia 1 Mark II, Xperia 10 Mark II, announces Xperia Pro
Japan's Sony, which lags its South Korean and Chinese rivals in smartphone sales, on Monday unveiled a new handset featuring advanced camera technology to boost its appeal for video and film professionals.
Speaking via web streaming from Tokyo, President of Sony Mobile Communications Mitsuya Kishida said the newest incarnation of the flagship Xperia 1, the triple-lens Mark II, will include features from the company's Alpha camera range, such as eye-tracking autofocus, as well as 5G connectivity.
The Japanese company had planned to present its new phones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but the event was cancelled because of concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.
Equipped with three separate lenses, the new phone will include a dedicated app to allow finer manual control over video and photo settings. Along with the mid-range Xperia 10 Mark II, the phones should start to be shipped over the coming weeks, Kishida said.
He also announced plans for a handset aimed at video and photography professionals. The Xperia Pro, which is still in development, will be able to livestream images over 5G connections from professional cameras via a micro HDMI input and will function as an external monitor for cameras.
Sony, which usually pitches its phones to visually-minded users who appreciate the company's high-end screens and cameras, is a small player in the smartphone market, beneath the top 10 biggest sellers.
It did not reveal the prices of the new phones.
Analysts were sceptical the latest addition would boost sales as rivals such as China's Huawei or Korea's Samsung have already made a strong bet on high-performance cameras in their smartphones.
"Sadly, it is hard to see how these devices will change @Sony Mobile's fortunes. Dependence on the home Japanese market is growing and Xperia Pro is clearly aimed at 5G services likely associated with Japanese Olympic Games," Ben Wood, head of research at consultancy CCS, said in a tweet.