Xperia 5 II: What you need to know about Sony's new 2020 flagship

Sony Xperia 1 II launched earlier this year and it is still finding a footing for itself, which has not been easy courtesy the huge asking price. Turns out the company is already prepping up another flagship for the year and it shall be here next month. Of course, you can guess that – it's that time of the year when Sony launches a new phone. It brought the Xperia 5 to the IFA last year, now that IFA 2020 is not its usual self, Sony is skipping the consumer electronics show in Berlin in favor of its own online event on September 17 to announce the Xperia 5 II.

Sony Xperia 5 II (pronounced Xperia five mark two), the obvious successor to Xperia 5 has been in the rumors for a while and now everything that is about that phone is known – price and when sales begin, remain an exception. The forthcoming smartphone could be identical to its predecessor in many aspects, but the possibilities suggest a slightly smaller form factor in comparison to the first flagship of 2020. Despite the size, the phone will feature the same 21:9 aspect ratio and a physical, side-mounted fingerprint scanner. Images reveal a 3.5mm jack on the top, missing in the previous version, to make it instantly a fit for consumers who prefer corded earphones.

The expectations

Xperia flagship smartphones are usually great all-rounders. They are a fantastic package with immaculate screens and cameras that can impress anyone on paper. That said, Sony produces the best camera sensors and even provides them to other companies; somehow still, phone cameras have not been the strongest area for Sony. Going by the Xperia 1 II which has some influence of Sony's mirrorless Alpha cameras, the advancement is on the way.

We expect most of the functionality from the Xperia 1 II to pass on in the Xperia 5 II and it includes the camera ability. The latter should employ the company's Alpha technology if it wants to take on the Galaxy and Pixel handsets when it comes to the imaging ability. We believe for a fact that Xperia 5 II will impress with the camera capabilities for it's not only expected to roll out as a cheaper flagship, rather as a compact option to the tall Xperia 1 II that can be difficult to manage for some people.

The features we’ll see

As said, almost everything about the Sony Xperia 5 II is now leaked and the spec sheet points at an impressive device. You don't have to take our word – let's just delve into what the speculated features hint at and then wait to see if the phone will actually perform just as well. One area where it has to prove a point is the compact size. For this, the Xperia 5 II will come equipped with a 6.1-inch full HD+, HDR OLED display touting 120Hz refresh rate with a 240Hz touch scanning rate. The phone has a 21:9 aspect ratio and is packed into a sizable 158 x 68 x 8mm form factor.

Xperia 5 II is going to be the flagship to look up to in 2020, so there is no surprise that the phone will feature a Snapdragon 865 SoC (you could've expected the more premium 865+ but it's not happening) paired to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The phone's onboard memory is expandable with a microSD card slot. As evidenced by the presence of Snapdragon 865 processor – the Xperia 5 II will be a 5G smartphone.

The camera performance, as mentioned above, has been questionable on Sony Xperia flagships, which is outperformed by the likes of Samsung and Google at different parameters. Sony has been cooking up some spice with the company's camera-centric Alpha and mobile teams working together – the results are visible in the Xperia 1 II and we are expecting the Alpha mania to continue to the Xperia 5 II, which will feature a triple camera setup on the back.

The module comprises an ultra-wide, wide, and telephoto lens. The 12MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture and a focal length of 16 has one of the widest ultra-wide-angle lenses at 124-degrees field of view. For comparison that's wider than the 120-degree field of view on Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The other two are – 12MP wide (f/1.7) camera with 24mm lens and 82-degree field-of-view and 12MP telephoto camera with 3X zoom lens and f/2.4 aperture.

On the video front, Xperia 5 II will be capable of recording in 4K HDR at up to 120fps. Sony is also adding Optical SteadyShot – its hybrid OIS/EIS stabilization for videos. The smartphone is expected to feature a 4,000mAh capacity battery and come with a USB Type-C port for USB PD fast charging. Sony dropped the 3.5 headphone jack in the Xperia 5 but it will be present in the Xperia 5 II.