The Best Camera in Any Phone… With a Catch!

[Music] hey what's up mkbhd here coming at you from uh the brand new soft long sleeve available at along with the rest of our lineup that's available shipping and time for the holidays so definitely make sure you get in on that link below the like button but i am holding in my hands right now a sony smartphone but not just any phone i'm holding the phone with the most impressive hardware camera setup of any smartphone out right now but there is a catch so this is the sony xperia pro i so we've been having some conversations around the studio about how some companies treat their smartphone lines basically based on how much money it makes that company so like apple and samsung spend a ton of energy on their phones because a ton of their money comes from how good their phones are but microsoft for example makes so much of their money in enterprise that a consumer phone doesn't really move the needle for them whether it succeeds or not and same argument could be made for google who's mostly an ads company so the pixel doesn't really have to be a world-class phone for google to be okay so then there's sony and sony makes a lot of stuff they make the playstation 5.

They make the sony alpha cameras they run movie studios they've got a lot going on making them money and they also happen to make smartphones too sure but the smartphones are not one of the high priority things so it shouldn't surprise anyone that a full year after we found ourselves wondering why people don't buy sony's super interesting super niche smartphones they're back at it again with another one with another ridiculous set of quirks and features this phone has a 4k 120 hertz oled display i'll say that again a 4k 120 hertz oled display and in that unconventionally tall 21 by 9 aspect ratio that makes the six and a half inch screen look narrow but also still be easy to hold it's got all the buttons on the side including a dedicated camera shutter button with the half press for auto focus and a second press for snapping a shot plus a second custom button alongside it that launches their custom-made built-in video pro app on this phone it's still got the underrated toolless sim card tray which is back to back with the rare micro sd card slot for adding up to a terabyte of extra storage to the phone there is a high quality headphone jack up top too naturally and this phone has an eyelet at the corner for a wrist strap because of course it does and also in classic sony fashion this phone is called the sony xperia pro i but so they had the xperia 1 and then they had the xperia 1 mark 3 with eyes representing the 3 and so now this is the pro i it's like they're trying to make it as confusing as possible but the cherry on top of everything is this phone is 1 799 and launches in a month classic sony but like i said at the beginning this this is what makes the phone the pro i has an incredible hardware system that's what i want to talk about in this video um you would think with this incredible hardware it takes the best photos and videos we'll get to that in a second but yeah this is really impressive so sony xperia i has a ridiculous massive one inch sensor for that main camera now it's also flanked by a 12 megapixel ultrawide camera up top and then there's also a depth sensor and a 2x telephoto camera below it but let's talk about that main camera smartphone camera sensors have been getting larger and larger lately reaping all the benefits all the light gathering all the shallow depth of field as a result this phone has the largest we've ever seen a full one-inch diagonal so for some perspective the iphone just moved from a one over two point five five inch sensor last year to a one over one point nine inch bigger sensor this year the pixel six and six pro with their headline making new sensor it's one over 1.3 inches which is matching the samsung galaxy s21 ultra and xiaomi's mi 11 ultra with one of the largest camera bumps of all time has a one over 1.1 inch sensor this sony xperia i the i stands for imaging turns out is all about this massive new barrier being broken of a full one-inch diagonal sensor that is the largest sensor ever fit into the back of a phone now some of you who are in the photography world might recognize that's the same size sensor that's in their world-class point-and-shoot cameras the rx100 mark 7 has a one-inch sensor and i know that's true because this is the sensor from the rx100 mark 7.

Those two devices have this same one-inch cmos sensor inside for taking photos and videos that is that is pretty incredible for a smartphone it kind of feels like a camera first that happens to have a phone attached to it so it's already really interesting for that but wait there's more so most smartphone lens elements inside are typically plastic a lot of people didn't know that i actually learned that pretty recently up until the main outside lens which is glass all plastic on the inside but not the sony the sony is using aspherical glass lens elements inside it's very expensive to do that but for the sake of optical quality that's what they wanted and that's what they built in and on top of all of that if you've been watching the videos we've seen some big sensor smartphones before and what's my first complaint always when i take a close-up photo with the shallow background there's often a lot of fringing around that main subject and so that samsung feature from a couple years ago variable aperture would have been kind of neat well it's back so sony has built back in the changing aperture feature from the galaxy s9 days so there's a toggle in the camera ui that can physically close down the aperture from f 2.0 to f 4.0 so in broad daylight or in well-lit conditions with a close-up subject you can stop down like a real photographer and actually get more in focus and the difference is actually noticeable both in the sharpness of the subject and the blurriness level of the background you'll have to see it on top of all that this phone also has its own dedicated sony built bion's image processor that allows for super fast 20 frames per second shooting with 315 autofocus points covering 90 of the frame and it'll shoot 4k video up to 120 frames per second it's incredible so sounds like the hardware of this camera is pretty incredible right i mean it is it's not a trick question it really is but take a look at these two photos side by side which one would you pick as better well most people especially side by side would pick the one on the left that's the iphone 13 pro up against the sony well what about this picture same idea there's clearly a difference between them and there's a reason that most people are picking the photo on the left obviously the brighter photo catches your eye usually the most easily but camera enthusiasts will probably also notice the better dynamic range on the left too that's because sony doesn't really do all that much computational photography nearly as well as some of the most popular smartphones with the multi-frame hdr processing so the sony result is a more natural less hdr-e possibly more true-to-life photo technically but often one that looks a bit more dull or more flat and then also if you're thinking wait why doesn't the background blur look massively different from the iphone i thought there was a huge one-inch sensor in there and you'd be right to think that because we've arrived at the catch which is that yes this phone does have a one-inch sensor inside physically pretty crazy but this phone doesn't actually use the entire one-inch sensor from corner to corner so when i held up the phone next to the rx-100 earlier yes these two things have the same sensor but clearly the pocket camera is a lot thicker there's there's way more z-axis space to work with for all that high-quality glass in front of the sensor great on a smartphone the optics have to be i mean you can see it's super super small it's pushed up much closer to the sensor and unfortunately they're so close to this one that the image circle covered by the lens doesn't actually cover the whole sensor so you know since lenses are circles when they let in light that light travels down the barrel and projects an image circle onto the back of the camera and that's picked up by the rectangular sensor back there so our photos are all rectangles but that's because they're cutting the rectangular image out of the entire circle that's being projected back there so in this phone's case the image circle is actually smaller than the one-inch sensor so the photos it's spitting out are a subset of a subset of that silicon it's actually a 12 megapixel crop of that whole 20 megapixel one-inch sensor in there to begin with effectively making it a one over 1.3 inch sensor that's actually being used and then dual aperture like i said it's really cool it's great and all that to have with a big sensor but f2 as the maximum aperture is actually not as wide as most of the other highest end smartphone cameras out today which are around f 1.5 f 1.6 letting in even more light than this so when you combine these two realizations that the effective sensor size is smaller and that the max aperture is also smaller it turns out the xperia i is actually gathering less light and has less overall bokeh than phones like the iphone 13 pro or galaxy s 21 ultra or pixel 6.

What a wild quark slash feature to have that it's got this crazy huge sensor but it's unable to use all of it and you know maybe in a future version they were able to use more z space or maybe a larger overall camera cutout on the back i don't know exactly what fixes this but yeah that's that's one of the most interesting things i've seen in a phone a long time and there's obviously more to a camera or more to a phone than just the camera but you know when it's the xperia i for imaging and when it's 1800 and when it's got a one-of-a-kind sensor that's kind of what you're looking at so yeah this this particular phone is one i would probably only recommend to people who obviously have a lot of money to burn but are really looking for the manual control offered by the apps that sony ships with these phones kind of the same way they did with the xperia one mark iii still amazing all the manual control with videos too the focus slider everything built in it's great but you've got to really know what you're getting yourself into and this is not a daily for most people but that being said i am really glad this exists just because not like it's some specialty crazy one-inch sensor one-of-a-kind thing but really smartphone's cameras are all sort of leveling up again and that's something i like to see because it feels like one of the biggest things that still differentiates all these really good phones at the high end so yeah let's keep getting smartphone cameras better every year love to see it either way that's been it thanks for watching catch you guys the next one peace [Music]

As found on YouTube

Sony – Yes, FINALLY!

Everyone in the mobile world now acknowledges
the importance of industrial design as a competitive advantage. For a product to command a premium price,
it has to look premium first. Samsung today arguably is the leader when
it comes to making beautiful-looking phones but back in the day, almost 8 years ago to
be exact, Sony was in fact ahead of Samsung in the design department. When Samsung was using plastic even in their
flagship phones, Sony was releasing beautiful glass metal phones instead. The Xperia Z Ultra launched in 2013 is in
my opinion the best-looking Sony phone ever made. The handset was huge measuring at 6.4" While
calling a 6.4-inch device huge may seem ridiculous now, but back in the day, people had a different
mindset about display sizes that were acceptable on a device that's designed to sit in your
pocket. The device was also crazy thin at just 6.5mm
and you could use any ordinary pen or pencil as a stylus.

Also, it offered water resistance when offering
the feature wasn't even the norm. So the handset was unique in its own right
but for some reason, Sony didn't bother to release a direct successor to the Xperia Z
Ultra even though the handset was well received from the consumers. But it seems that may finally change as a
well-known tipster on Weibo has indicated that Sony could be planning to release a follow-up
to 2013's Xperia Z Ultra.

While there is not a lot of information to
work with, it seems the Z Ultra may not have a tall 21:9 aspect ratio. Instead, it could be wider much like the original
Z Ultra. If Sony is indeed working on this then I hope
it's a proper flagship and not a mid-range handset. Xperia Z Ultra was the first Sony phone that
I've owned and I absolutely loved it but the phone cracked in my pants pocket that wasn't
meant to hold a cell phone just 2 months after I got the phone. So looking forward to what Sony has to offer
with its successor. With that said, Sony keeps on losing money
for years at this point. To be precise, ever since 2017 Sony's mobile
division has been losing money year after year to the point a lot of experts were questioning,
should Sony just up and quit completely? Turns out that not quitting was a good decision
on Sony’s part.

This is because according to Sony’s latest
earnings, the company’s Xperia division has actually made a profit for the first time
in years. Sony announced that they made $254 million
for the fiscal year 2020 that ended in March 2021. That’s the first time since 2017 that Sony
hasn’t lost money through selling phones. Interestingly Sony actually sold fewer phones
this time as you can see from the chart. But despite that, they made profits simply
because they increased the average selling price of their phones by selling more flagships
and they also cut the costs for producing and selling those phones. So unlike LG Sony isn’t ready to give up
just yet and that's great news for the mobile industry which keeps consolidating into just
a handful of major brands. Of course, do consider subscribing for all
the latest tech news and as always I'll see you tomorrow…Peace out!.

As found on YouTube

Sony Xperia 1 review: a tall order

The thing that I like about Android is there can be so many
different kinds of phones, just a lot of weird choices. But lately, it seems like
there are really only two choices, at least in terms of screen size. There's regular and there's extra large, which is why I was so excited
to try this phone right here, the Sony Xperia 1. I mean, just look at this good tall boy. It's got a 21:9 aspect ratio, which makes it relatively
narrow and super, well, tall. I think it's a fascinating phone, and it's way nicer than
I expected it to be. But I don't think it can
really justify its $950 price. Let me tell you why. Now, a lot of people would
like to have a big-screened phone, but they're put off by
how big these phones feel.

And that's the reason I like the Xperia 1. It has a big screen, there
is no doubt about it. It's 6.5 inches. But it's quite a bit narrower
than this OnePlus 7 Pro here. So you get the benefits of
seeing more stuff on your screen, like on the web or on Twitter, without the drawback of
feeling like you have a big honking glass slab you can barely wrap your fingers around. This phone is also really good if you like to do split-screen apps, which… I don’t know, I guess
people still do that. I never do. Anyway, it's nicer to hold, but that doesn't make
it a one-handed phone by any stretch of the imagination.

You're still going to need
to use your second hand to reach the top of the screen. Sony has a couple of
software tricks that help with how tall this phone is, but neither of them are great. You can double tap the home button to make a smaller version of the screen. Or there's this other thing with… Er, wow. What are you
doing there, Chuckles? Huh. Sorry, let's back up. Or you're supposed to be able to tap either side of the screen or swipe on it to do other stuff. It's called Side Sense,
and it kind of sucks. I can never get it to
work when I want it to, and it pops up all of the time when I don't want it to.

Now the reason that Sony
says it made this phone at this weird, tall aspect ratio is for watching movies, and Sony says that it
has a 4K HDR OLED screen. It also has, quote, “professional
level color reproduction.” So it can be in the DCI-P3 color gamut. It can also be in the BT.2020 color space if you care about that. And it has the D65 white point. There's this whole “Creator Mode” thing. Basically, Sony is
trying to make this phone appeal to people who really
care about video quality, both watching it and recording it. But Sony, the thing is, if you're going to do that, this screen should get way brighter. It is way more dim compared
to other OLED screens. Anyway, yeah, I will say
watching a 21:9 movie on this phone with its Dolby
stuff, without letterboxing or weird camera cutouts, is great. But the truth is that most
of the video that I watch is not 21:9.

It’s stuff on YouTube, and so I still end up
having big black bars on the left or the right. Or, if I expand it full screen, I end up cutting off people's heads. Now, I do think this phone is pretty good from a build quality perspective. It's got Gorilla Glass and IP68. It's got some bezels,
but they're not too big, and it's just nice to hold. But, you know, of course
there's no headphone jack. But there's no getting around how it being this tall
makes it really awkward. It's so tall, it couldn't
fit in my pocket. I was sitting down, and it just slid right out of my pocket and clattered on the concrete, which is why there are dings on the edges of the
phone on our review unit, which is sad. The buttons are also awkward.

They're all on the right side of the phone and, I don’t know, the fingerprint sensor is separate from the power
button for some reason. And sometimes it gets a little dirty and you have to wipe it off
before it will actually work. I do like that there is
a dedicated camera button. But overall, when I'm
trying to use this phone, I just end up hitting the wrong button, like, all of the time.

On the back, there are
three 12-megapixel cameras. There's a regular, a 2X
telephoto, and a wide. Sony put some nice optical
image stabilization on the main lens, and you know what? Finally, Sony has made
a phone with a camera that's pretty good. It's not quite as good as a Pixel 3 or a OnePlus 7 Pro to my eyes, but it's finally respectable.

I do wish that the
telephoto was more than 2X, but the wide angle one, it's really fun. I kind of love it. But I don't love Sony's camera software. The wide angle thing makes you pick between prioritizing image
quality or distortion. The auto made doesn't do HDR by default, and there's just a bunch of other settings that just really look
and feel kind of silly. Anyway, let's get into the results of what I actually get
out of these lenses. I think that Sony
prefers leaving detail in, even though that also
leaves in a bunch of noise. It also doesn't do as
aggressive HDR as I would like unless you have to, you
know, manually turn it on.

But the thing that did surprise me is that even though there's
no dedicated night mode, sometimes it actually
really nails it anyway, even if it's incredibly dark. Now, you can shoot 4K, and
that's one of the reasons this phone exists. And so Sony also
included a Cinema Pro app that lets you really dial
in all these manual settings for shooting 4K video. Unfortunately, the 8-megapixel camera on the front is junk.

It's really not good. I don't know, man. If this phone didn't cost $950, I'd probably be a little
bit less nit-picky, but you know what? It does. So I am. In terms of software and performance, I actually don't have a ton of complaints. It's a fairly clean version of Android 9 with just a few bells and whistles. It has a Snapdragon 855 processor so it's fast, and there's 6GB of RAM, which is decent, but not stellar. I am a little bit grumpy that there's only one storage option:
128GB of storage. If you're going to want more, and especially if you're
going to want to shoot 4K, you're going to need to expand it. And you can because there's
a microSD card slot. Battery life is
average-ish for big phones. I'm getting over four hours of screen time, and it's lasting through a day, but there's only a 3,300mAh battery in here, and I kind of feel like that's not enough.

I would be happier with that if there was wireless
charging on this phone. But no, there's not. It does do fast charging, but one neat thing Sony does is it won't fast-charge when it knows that you’re charging overnight, which helps with the overall
life span of the battery, which means it should last longer, a year or two for now — at least in theory. Now, after all that, if you're still interested in this phone, you should also know
that Sony as a company has kind of been deemphasizing phones since it hasn't been
really successful with them in the past few years.

And that kind of makes sense, and I also think it makes sense for Sony to try something new and move into this niche
of making tall boys, like this guy right here. Now, of course, you can spend less money and get a better phone
like the OnePlus 7 Pro, but what you can't get is any other phone in this tall aspect ratio, so I like the idea of this form factor. I think that it should exist in
the world of Android phones. So I'm glad that Sony's
trying to make 21:9 happen. But I don't know that I'd
recommend this particular phone to anybody. If you really, really,
really love the tall screen or you really love what
Sony does with video, then maybe.

But there's no getting around the fact that this is an expensive phone. For $950, I expect more,
and you should, too. Hey, thank you for watching. Do you want a tall phone? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you're wondering if
there are other tall phones, we did review the Xperia 10 last month. It's kind of the same idea but cheaper and also, it's really bad for a whole other set of reasons.

But if you want to see a
review of a good big phone, click here..

As found on YouTube