With the Xperia Pro, Sony is not only presenting its first 5G smartphone in the USA. Sony also has a special feature for filmmakers in its new top Android model: it offers an HDMI input and can thus be used as a preview monitor and as a 5G live streaming box.
Except for the HDMI input, the Xperia Pro is similar to the Xperia 1 II, which was already delivered with 5G in Europe earlier. The new Sony Xperia Pro is also based on a Snapdragon 865 processor with a 4,000 mAh battery. It has a 6.5-inch OLED display with an unusual 21:9 aspect ratio, which "only" offers the typical 4K resolution horizontally (3840 x 1644 pixels).
For filming, three 12-megapixel wide-angle, telephoto and ultra-wide-angle cameras have again been installed on the back.
The HDMI input is supposed to be able to record (HDR) video streams with up to 4K 60fps from any HDMI camera. According to The Verge, it should also be possible to zoom in and out of the displayed preview image using finger gestures or to display frame guides in order to better assess the image section.
The interaction with the 5G connectivity offered is interesting, because this allows the smartphone to also function as a live streaming link for any professional camera. With the Xperia Pro, you can stream a 4K signal from its HDMI input directly to YouTube. It is also said to support StreamLabs as well as StreamYard for streaming to other platforms like Twitch and Facebook Live.
However, the fun won&t come cheap and Sony explicitly emphasises that this is a device for professional users: In the USA, the smartphone will be available for around 2500 dollars. Allegedly, there are no plans to release the Xperia Pro in Europe for the time being. What we can well imagine, however, is that other smartphone manufacturers will follow Sony&s idea: That other smartphone manufacturers take up Sony&s idea of an HDMI input, because the industry is always desperately looking for innovations for the top smartphone models.
Coupled with the strong increase in streaming demand, an HDMI input could be interesting not only for professional filmmakers. So if other manufacturers also copy this feature, we might get our hands on many smartphones in the future via this back door, which can also function as a free preview monitor.