Sony Xperia Pro review: A versatile 5G phone that’s not for you


The Sony Xperia Pro can be used as an external field monitor for a dedicated camera. It can show a live video preview from the camera’s HDMI output.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The Sony Xperia Pro is absolutely one of the most compelling phones I’ve tested in a long time. But it isn’t for everyone. The $2,500 phone continues Sony’s move away from smartphones designed for a mass consumer audience and confidently toward devices for photo and video enthusiasts. (UK and Australian launches have yet to be confirmed, but the US price converts roughly to £1,830 or AU$3,250.) Last year, we got the wonderful Xperia 1 II and the Xperia 5 II, which was the best phone Sony made in years. The Xperia Pro takes this narrow-appeal approach to the next level. It isn’t meant to compete with the likes of the iPhone 12 Pro Max or the Galaxy S21 Ultra. In fact, there really isn’t another device like it that offers the same functionality.

A 6.5-inch 4K display, 5G connectivity and HDMI input transform the Xperia Pro into a handful of professional tools for photographers, video shooters and content creators. And even if you’re one of those people it still might not be exactly for you.


  • Professional level video monitor features
  • Robust utilitarian build
  • Live broadcast streaming over 5G
  • As a phone its essentially the Xperia 1 II

Don’t Like

  • Price is high limiting its narrow appeal
  • 2020 specs and Android 10
  • Wished it recorded video via HDMI input

The Xperia Pro is essentially an Xperia 1 II repackaged into a new slightly bigger body with the addition of a micro-HDMI port. It looks unabashedly plain and utilitarian, which is appropriate for a serious piece of equipment. It has a dedicated shutter button, a side-mounted power button that’s also a…