The Sony Xperia Professional can be utilized as an exterior subject monitor for a devoted digital camera. It may present a stay video preview from the digital camera’s HDMI output.


Patrick Holland/CNET

The Sony Xperia Professional is completely one of the crucial compelling telephones I’ve examined in a very long time. However it is not for everybody. The $2,500 telephone continues Sony’s transfer away from smartphones designed for a mass client viewers and confidently towards gadgets for picture and video lovers. (UK and Australian launches have but to be confirmed, however the US value converts roughly to £1,830 or AU$3,250.) Final yr, we obtained the fantastic Xperia 1 II and the Xperia 5 II, which was the very best telephone Sony made in years. The Xperia Professional takes this narrow-appeal strategy to the following stage. It is not meant to compete with the likes of the iPhone 12 Professional Max or the Galaxy S21 Extremely. In actual fact, there actually is not one other gadget prefer it that gives the identical performance.

A 6.5-inch 4K show, 5G connectivity and HDMI enter rework the Xperia Professional right into a handful {of professional} instruments for photographers, video shooters and content material creators. And even should you’re a kind of individuals it nonetheless won’t be precisely for you.

Like

  • Skilled stage video monitor options
  • Sturdy utilitarian construct
  • Reside broadcast streaming over 5G
  • As a telephone its basically the Xperia 1 II

Do not Like

  • Value is excessive limiting its slender enchantment
  • 2020 specs and Android 10
  • Wished it recorded video by way of HDMI enter

The Xperia Professional is actually an Xperia 1 II repackaged into a brand new barely greater physique with the addition of a micro-HDMI port. It appears to be like unabashedly plain and utilitarian, which is suitable for a critical piece of kit. It has a devoted shutter button, a side-mounted energy button that is additionally a fingerprint reader, and a brand new {hardware} shortcut button.

It has the identical easy-to-open dual-SIM card tray that can be used with a microSD card for further storage. It has the identical cameras, and it appears able to taking the identical wonderful pictures and movies because the Xperia 1 II. The Xperia Professional additionally has final yr’s Snapdragon 865 chip and runs Android 10, although it obtained a lift in RAM to 12GB. For the reason that majority of the Professional is similar because the Xperia 1 II, I encourage you to learn my Xperia 1 II assessment for a in-depth evaluation of all these options. Be aware that I used a preproduction mannequin of the Sony Xperia Professional, which is why I have not given it a full, rated assessment.

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You could be questioning that if the Professional is so much like the Xperia 1 II, why does it price $1,400 extra? That is the place issues get very fascinating and very area of interest. The Xperia Professional is a telephone, a digital camera monitor, a speedy picture file-transfer gadget and a 5G broadcast/livestreaming machine. I used to be undoubtedly wowed by the way it can streamline the artistic workflow of photographers, videographers and stay broadcasters. However after every week of testing, I additionally understand that it isn’t for all photographers, videographers and stay broadcasters.

Except for indicating that its capabilities are far past the atypical, the $2,500 value will certainly trigger sticker shock for a lot of. In case you add up the Xperia Professional’s performance (telephone, 4K monitor, 5G mobile modem) the value turns into somewhat simpler to swallow. However the query stays, is that this telephone for you?

The Xperia Professional as a 4K subject monitor

Oftentimes, when capturing video with a devoted digital camera, you need a bigger display screen to preview the picture to examine issues like focus and publicity. The built-in screens on cameras are severely restricted by their small measurement. There are a selection of 4K exterior screens you should purchase ranging in value from a few hundred {dollars} as much as practically $7,000.

One of many foremost appeals of the Xperia Professional is that you need to use it as a 4K subject monitor. You merely join your digital camera and the Xperia Professional utilizing an HDMI cable (one which has a micro-HDMI connector for the Professional). Subsequent, you activate the digital camera and open up the aptly named Exterior Monitor app on the Xperia Professional. Relying in your digital camera’s settings and output, you may see a preview of what you are filming, in your telephone.

It’s completely fantastic utilizing the Xperia Professional as a digital camera monitor. The primary profit comes when it comes to measurement and weight. The standalone digital camera monitor that I exploit to movie CNET movies is cumbersome and heavy. In actual fact the Xperia Professional weighs 75 grams much less and that is not even accounting for the burden of the large batteries my monitor wants for energy. And talking of batteries, the Xperia Professional and its 4,000-mAh battery lasted hours when used as a monitor in comparison with the 45 minutes or so I obtained with my 4K digital camera monitor. If I must cost the telephone whereas it is mounted on the digital camera, I can plug in a USB-C cable and a transportable battery.

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On the left is a 7-inch 4K video monitor with battery connected that I usually use to movie CNET movies. On the correct is the a lot smaller Xperia Professional, standing vertically, which has a 6.5-inch 4K show and a 4,000-mAh battery.


Patrick Holland/CNET

One other profit is that I can work together with the Xperia Professional like a telephone as a substitute of controlling it with early-2000s pc show buttons and a goofy generic menu interface. I can pinch to zoom the preview picture bigger or smaller. The Professional’s Exterior Monitor app additionally has instruments for display screen lock, brightness management, zooming, grid strains, body strains and a 180-degree picture flip.

Well, Sony hasn’t made any of the performance proprietary. I attempted the Professional out as a monitor for each a Sony A7SIII and a Panasonic S1H mirrorless digital camera. For essentially the most half, the app labored nice, although a number of instances it misplaced the preview picture. I did not expertise any main bugs with the Exterior Monitor app, however I could not inform if the few instances the connection dropped was as a result of the HDMI cable was unfastened or the truth that this was a preproduction telephone. Hopefully that is addressed within the ultimate model.

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The Sony Xperia Professional mounted and linked to a Sony A7SIII digital camera.


Patrick Holland/CNET

When the preview is displayed on the telephone there’s plenty of black area on both facet. I want I may offset the video feed to the left or proper facet of the show and have the opposite half to simply assess controls and menus. My solely main grievance about utilizing the Xperia Professional as a preview monitor is that outside in daylight its brightness struggled. If I used to be shopping for the Xperia Professional to make use of as a monitor, I might undoubtedly wish to add some form of shade to it when filming outside.

I additionally want there was a method for the Xperia Professional to file a video sign coming in from HDMI, like different high-end screens can. That sort of performance would enchantment to me and the sort of video work I do.

The Xperia Professional is the proper Zoom teleprompter monitor

However the enjoyable does not cease there; the Xperia Professional’s HDMI enter is not restricted to cameras. And due to this it proved to be a really perfect answer for Zoom calls. Usually for a Zoom name you may use your pc’s built-in digital camera. However as many people discovered through the pandemic, getting an exterior digital camera for Zoom works method higher. The one draw back to having an exterior digital camera for Zoom is that you simply’re nonetheless taking a look at your pc display screen to see the individual or individuals you are speaking to.

For my exterior digital camera, I exploit a Panasonic S1H that plugs into my pc with an adapter. I can use one other adapter that connects my pc to the micro-HDMI port on the Xperia Professional. This basically makes the telephone right into a 6.5-inch exterior pc monitor so no matter is on my pc display screen reveals up on the telephone’s display screen.

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For Zoom calls I can movie myself with a devoted exterior digital camera and use the Xperia Professional as a teleprompter digital camera show exhibiting the individual I am speaking to. No extra bizarre trying backwards and forwards between the digital camera and my pc show.


Patrick Holland/CNET

I’ve a mini teleprompter stand that slides onto the top of my digital camera’s lens and may assist the burden of a telephone. I took the Xperia Professional that was linked to my pc and put it into the stand. Now once I take a look at my digital camera, I can see no matter is on my pc display screen. I can put the opposite individual’s Zoom video feed onto the Xperia Professional/teleprompter and never have that bizarre back-and-forth eye contact factor happening. That is nice for a Zoom video or any video chat that is being recorded. You get the great picture high quality from utilizing a devoted digital camera with out trying away from the lens to see the opposite individual.

The Xperia Professional can broadcast a 4K video livestream over 5G

The Xperia Professional is Sony’s first 5G telephone for the US. Utilizing a combo of 5G and the micro-HDMI port lets you livestream video content material from a devoted exterior digital camera on to social media platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Meaning I can use a Sony A7SIII digital camera and a pleasant lens to seize 4K video stay and have the Xperia Professional add the video sign over 5G (ideally mmWave, the quickest sort of 5G) to whichever broadcast platform I am utilizing.

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The Sony Xperia Professional is a telephone, a digital camera monitor, a stay broadcasting gadget and a photograph file-transfer device.


Patrick Holland/CNET

The preproduction Xperia Professional I examined solely had assist for 5G mmWave. The one 5G close to the place I used to be filming was the sub-6 selection, nevertheless, which did not work on the Professional. The ultimate model of the Xperia Professional will assist each sub-6 and mmWave 5G. Additionally you need to use the built-in cameras on the telephone to livestream, however when you may have the power to make use of a devoted digital camera with significantly better picture high quality, why would you?

Bear in mind once I stated the Xperia Professional was aimed toward a distinct segment viewers? The livestream/broadcasting characteristic undoubtedly is. An fascinating proof of idea Sony shared was on full show alongside the sidelines of NFL video games within the type of a digital camera rig nicknamed The Megalodon. It is made up of a Sony Alpha mirrorless digital camera, a gimbal, a monitor and a mobile modem (within the backpack) to share the sign to the published truck. Meaning the digital camera operator is not tethered to an enormous bodily cable. It’s not exhausting to think about an Xperia Professional being utilized in lieu of the mobile modem and/or the monitor.

Most stadiums have 5G mmWave assist. And as 5G and particularly mmWave develop extra within the US and after we get again to some extent the place we’re touring for video shoots once more, I can undoubtedly see the enchantment of streaming a 4K video broadcast stay over 5G. However for now, this characteristic is aimed toward massive stay occasions like skilled sports activities.

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A community visualizer app helps you place the Xperia Professional in the very best course to get the strongest 5G sign.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Xperia Professional 5G community visualizer

To search out the strongest 5G connection, there is a built-in community visualizer app that may aid you pinpoint the easiest way to place the telephone for a broadcast. One of many causes behind the sensible trying physique of the Xperia Professional is that it homes 4 completely different 5G antennas. The app reveals add and obtain speeds in addition to which facet of the telephone (prime, backside, left or proper) has the strongest 5G sign. The concept is you’d transfer the telephone towards the strongest facet. Since I solely had sub-6 5G out there, the app confirmed 4G LTE availability, which accurately surrounds me, as a result of it is mainly in all places in comparison with 5G.

Xperia Professional presents FTP server assist for pictures

Lastly, the Xperia Professional has assist for file switch protocol, or FTP, by way of USB-C tethering. This was a characteristic Sony first launched final yr on the Xperia 5 II and Sony A7SIII for quick picture file transfers. However with the addition of 5G, you possibly can have even quicker speeds — in principle. 

Evaluate Sony Xperia Professional specs vs. Sony Xperia 1 II, Sony Xperia 5 II

Sony Xperia Professional Sony Xperia 1 II Sony Xperia 5 II
Show measurement, decision 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED; 3,840×1,644 pixels 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED; 3,840×1,644 pixels 6.1-inch FHD+ HDR OLED; 2,520×1,080 pixels
Pixel density 643 ppi 643 ppi 449 ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.7x3x0.4 in 6.5×2.8×0.3 in 6.22×2.68×0.31 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 170.2×76.2×10.16 mm 165.1×71.1×7.62 mm 158x68x8 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 7.9 oz; 225g 6.4 oz; 181g 5.75 oz; 163g
Cellular software program Android 10 Android 10 Android 10
Digital camera 12-megapixel (normal), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (3x telephoto) 12-megapixel (normal), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (3x telephoto) 12-megapixel (normal), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (3x telephoto)
Entrance-facing digital camera 8-megapixel 8-megapixel 8-megapixel
Video seize 4K 4K 4K
Processor Snapdragon 865 5G Snapdragon 865 Snapdragon 865
Storage 512GB 256GB 128GB
RAM 12GB 8GB 8GB
Expandable storage As much as 1TB As much as 1TB As much as 1TB
Battery 4,000 mAh 4,000 mAh 4,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Proper facet Proper facet Proper facet
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack Sure Sure Sure
Particular options 5G sub-6 and mmWave, rated IP 65/68, adaptive battery charging and care, Dolby Atmos, Zeiss lens coatings, time of flight sensor, {hardware} shutter button, {hardware} shortcut button 5G-enabled (not in US), wi-fi charging, rated IP 65/68, adaptive battery charging and care, Dolby Atmos, Zeiss lens coatings, time of flight sensor, {hardware} shutter button 5G-enabled (not in US), 120Hz refresh price show, rated IP 65/68, adaptive battery charging and care, Dolby Atmos, Zeiss lens coatings, time of flight sensor, {hardware} shutter button, {hardware} Google Assistant button
Value off-contract (USD) $2,500 $1,200 $950
Value (GBP) Converts to £1,830 £1,099 £799
Value (AUD) Converts to AU$3,250 Converts to AU$1,960 Converts to AU$1,430

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