Sony announced its Xperia 1 II over a year ago in February 2020 and teased the upcoming Xperia Pro in the same event. Unfortunately, it took nearly an entire year for the Xperia Pro to debut in the US. When it finally landed, the Sony Xperia Pro proved to be a shocker for quite a few reasons. If you’re thinking about buying Sony’s premium flagship, we’ve got everything you need to weigh out your decision.
We’ll walk you through the most important specs, as well as why you may or may not want to buy the device. After that, we’ll give you a few alternative devices that may prove more worth your time and money.
Sony Xperia Pro: Just the specs
|Sony Xperia Pro|
|Release date||January 27, 2021|
Gorilla Glass 6
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865|
0.3MP depth sensor
21W fast charging
|Features||Side-mounted fingerprint reader|
Why buy the Sony Xperia Pro?
One quick look at the spec sheet, and the Xperia Pro looks like a very capable 2020 flagship. The 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage are great, and they should do well to keep you on the move. We can’t fault the 4K display, either, as it should be just as good as Sony’s other offerings.
However, the biggest reason to go for the Sony Xperia Pro isn’t listed on our table. The best reason we can think of to buy the Xperia Pro is if you want to connect it to your DSLR camera. Sony’s new phone can connect to your HDMI port via a type-D connection, serving as a much larger viewfinder for stills and videos. After all, it’s not every day that you can check your shots on a 4K display.
Sony also boasts that the Xperia Pro can live stream content from your camera, giving your web broadcasts a serious boost. It’s faster to transfer images from your Sony camera to your new phone with a wired USB connection, too.
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We’re also pretty pleased with the inclusion of an IP68 rating, stereo speakers, and a headphone jack. Seriously, this beast is one of the few premium devices to pack a headphone jack in 2021.
Why skip the Sony Xperia Pro?
There’s a very good reason (or 2,500 little reasons) to skip the Sony Xperia Pro — the price tag. This phone will set you back $2,500, which is almost impossible to justify. For that same money, you could pick up two Galaxy S21 Ultras or even two of Sony’s own Xperia 1 IIs.
To make matters worse, the Xperia Pro doesn’t even come with the latest Qualcomm hardware. Instead, you’re looking at the previous Snapdragon 865 SoC. It’s still a capable chip, but you should be able to expect the best around for this much cash. Sony’s Xperia Pro also packs a 4,000mAh battery, which isn’t tiny, but it’s not the biggest, either. You’re stuck with wired charging as well, but at least it tops out at 21W.
The painfully expensive Xperia Pro ships with Android 10 onboard, too. We can hope for an Android 11 update, but a five-month head start should have been enough time to ship with the latest software. The good news is that Sony brought its external monitor app to the Xperia 1 II with its Android 11 update, making that phone look just that much better in comparison.
You can also buy your own external camera monitor for far less money, though you might not get the same 4K resolution. Sony doesn’t even include the HDMI micro connector cable in the box with your Xperia Pro, so you’ll already have to spend extra on a dongle.
Does the Xperia Pro have any good alternatives?
The premium Android segment is more crowded than ever, which means there are always alternatives. You probably won’t find any phones that compete on price, but just about any flagship device on the market can compete on specs.
Honestly, Sony’s own Xperia 1 II is probably your best option, especially after the Android 11 update. The devices were already very similar to begin with, and now you can use the external monitor feature on your Xperia 1 II. Not to mention that it costs less than half as much. You’ll find a Snapdragon 865 chip on board as well as up to 12GB of RAM. Even the camera setup is identical, down to the last megapixel.
Then there’s also the newer Xperia 1 III. The phone has recently been announced, but it’s not available for purchase ye — learn more here.
If you’d rather venture outside of the Sony wheelhouse, you can try the Galaxy S21 Ultra, OnePlus 9 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, or Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra on for size. They all pack different hardware, and you won’t get the external monitor functionality, but you’ll spend a fraction of the money. You’ll also find that many of Sony’s premium competitors take things a step further in the camera department. They often offer larger sensors both on the front and back.
See also: The best Android phones
If you go for one of the competitors, you can also spend some of your savings on a better camera monitor. B&H Photo has plenty of options to choose from, and they won’t be too tough on your wallet, either.
So, should you buy the phone?
Now, for the $2,500 question: Should you buy the Sony Xperia Pro? The answer is probably not. The price tag is prohibitive, even for established content creators, and Sony has ported some of the key features to its more affordable devices. If you have a Sony DSLR and money to burn, then you could absolutely try it out.
However, you’re bound to save a few hundred dollars with a different device and a dedicated monitor. That combo also gives you the freedom to choose the best phone and monitor combo, rather than sticking with one device that’s trying to do both.
If you’re still considering the Sony Xperia Pro, you can grab it from the widget below. While you’re here, let us know your thoughts on whether or not the Xperia Pro is a good buy in the poll above.