Sony used to be one of the quickest manufacturers around when it came to releasing major Android updates, but the company has definitely slowed down in recent years. Sony didn't start rolling out Android 10 until December of last year, and now its Android 11 schedule is starting off on the same foot.
When Android 11 was officially released back in August, it brought a lot of neat new features to phones. But as usual, the update hasn't rolled out to many existing handsets yet due to how different OEMs handle the upgrade process. Now Sony fans have something to look forward to, as the company has announced when a few Xperia devices will begin to see Android 11's goodies headed their way.
As smartphones have converged on the "flat glass slab" form factor, companies like Samsung and OnePlus have risen to the top. Sony, on the other hand, has not. The $1,200 Sony Xperia 1 II is the company's latest attempt to sell you a phone, but it feels more like a vanity project for Sony than a viable product. It's got dazzling specifications, but that's not enough to make a phone competitive these days.
There are a few unusual things about the Xperia 1 II, including the super-tall display and the stupid name, but arguably the most unusual thing is the price. Back when B&H first put the One-Two up for pre-order, we were amazed at that $1,198 price, and thought that Sony might be reconsidering the price when the number was taken down. However, Sony confirmed that price a few days later, though it did mention it'd be throwing in a free pair of WF-1000XM3s for pre-orders.
When pricing for the Xperia 1 II was announced last month, a lot was made of its high $1,200 price tag in the US, with some hoping it was a mistake. Sony confirmed that this was no error, but in line with Sony's pricing in recent years, its latest flagship makes more sense as a purchase in other regions. In Europe, where it retails for €1,200/£1,100, pre-order offers have included a free pair of the excellent WH-1000XM3 ANC over-ear headphones, but they've all run out now so the deal has been downgraded to include a cheaper set.
The Xperia 1 II, with its 4K HDR OLED display and 5G-capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, is going to cost every penny we thought we would and a couple dollars more. Customers who intend on reserving a device in the month of June will find themselves handsomely rewarded when the phone finally ships on July 24 — yep, that's going to be a while from now.
It's been a while since Sony introduced us to its 5G-capable Xperia 1 II — maybe the past 3 months have just been a huge mic check one, two for the company. However, that phone has come back into the spotlight at B&H Photo where the retailer is accepting pre-orders and displaying quite the dear price for it.
Sony's smartphone design language has long stagnated, but last year, the company stepped up its game with the Xperia 1 and 10, coming with 21:9 displays and slightly more rounded corners than Xperia devices of old. Today, the company has released the follow-ups for these two phones, the Xperia 1 II and 10 II (speak: Xperia 1 mark 2), stepping up both handsets' cameras and resurrecting the headphone jack on the high-end device. It's also Sony's first to come with 5G.