A rendering of Sony’s Xperia 1 II
Sony has unveiled its first 5G smartphone in a bid to prop up its struggling smartphone business.
With the Xperia 1 II flagship handset, Sony has leaned in to its heritage in camera and display technology. The device has a triple lens setup with the ability for users to adjust some of the settings found in professional cameras.
The device has a 6.5-inch 4K high dynamic range (HDR) display. 4K refers to the resolution while HDR is a technology that helps make the contrast between black and white more distinct to make the image on the screen look more realistic.
These features stem from Sony’s expertise in camera sensors, which it also sells to other smartphone manufacturers, and its display technology.
The Japanese giant hopes its latest device will help boost its mobile division, especially as next-generation mobile networks known as 5G, continue to roll out across the world. Super-fast 5G is on track to account for 15% of global mobile connections by 2025, according to industry body GSMA.
Sony saw mobile phone sales decline nearly 16% year-on-year in the December quarter. But the division did swing to a profit in the period from a loss during the same time in 2018.
Still, last year Sony only had 0.3% of the smartphone market, according to Counterpoint Research, with the likes of Apple, Samsung and Huawei, as well as other Chinese players, dominating the market.
“Sony has fallen away in the smartphone sales race compared to its Asian counterparts. Sony continues to face monumental challenges in competing with rivals who are rolling out new devices, rich with new features at punchy prices,” Paolo Pescatore, tech, media and telecoms analyst at PP Foresight, told CNBC.
“Even with its latest premium device, it feels like Sony is one step behind. Not including 8K video capture/recording is a huge oversight. This would have been a great addition in line with Sony’s heritage in content creation and production for unique story telling. While, the company has all the pieces it is losing ground in all areas in the consumer electronics landscape.”