back to article I'll never let go, Jack. I'll never let go: Yes, Sony's Xperia 1 II has a 3.5mm headphone port

Undeterred by the coronavirus derailing Sony's MWC launch plans, the Japanese firm launched three new devices in a virtual press conference early this morning. Predictably, the most exciting handset is also the newest flagship phone – the 5G Sony Xperia 1 II. Before we get into it, how do you pronounce this thing? Is it the …

  1. theOtherJT

    Who is watching movies on their phone?

    I mean, really? Really? On your phone? The screen is 6.5" diagonal. You're hardly getting a cinematic viewing experience regardless of if it letterboxes content are you?

    Now, if the argument is "phones are too wide to hold, this aspect ratio fits in the hand better at the same total screen area" I could actually get on board with that one. Most phones these days are so wide that you can't reach controls on the far side of the screen with your thumb. The reason the old xperia compacts were such good phones was they were actually possible to operate one handed without having Lana sized hands.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

      "The screen is 6.5" diagonal"

      Hmm, why would you be placing the phone on your far wall to watch it, you'd hold it in your hand.

      A good explanation is provided here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4XFUc6175k

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

        So you can sit comfortably and move around without either bending your neck down for a long period or having to hold a phone at eye level.

        So other people can watch with you without exchanging dandruff.

        To maintain a comfortable focus distance. To get a phone to decent apparent diameter it has to be closer than most people would read a book.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

          I would imagine people would watch a movie on a phone when there is no TV around.

          Therefore at normal distance it would be equivalent to watching a 55" TV. You are unlikely to share watching a movie on it with someone else .... the headphone sharing would be a struggle to start.

          So a use case maybe watching while on a train - generally your arms ore up on a table or tray in front of you, or in bed where you are sitting back anyway with your arms up in front of you.

          I've seen phone used for movie watching by numerous people, doesn't mean it is the go to choice for that. I mean I often watch TV/Movies on my car display but it doesn't mean it would be preferred to the local imax, but it is pretty good.

          1. ibmalone Silver badge

            Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

            I believe the original comment was:

            "You're hardly getting a cinematic viewing experience regardless of if it letterboxes content are you?"

      2. bazza Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

        Sorry, but I’ve got to add,

        “These ones are small, those ones are far away...”.

        It’s kinda obligatory.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

      While not the main use case... it is at least helpful on a flight/transport when you really need a break.

      I've watched a little bit of shows etc on the Phone. Nothing serious, but it is some light hearted fun.

      Why be annoyed at others for it? The same as people complaining headphone jacks or folding phones exist.

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

      Me.

      Lying in or on bed, holding it close to my face (I'm short sighted), with headphones (and a goddamn headphone socket!) the experience with a modern AMOLED of crazy resolution is better than any cinema I've ever been in. And no stale popcorn and overpriced cola either.

      It's how I watch most stuff on Netflix these days.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

        Much as I love AMOLED screens, the optics (in the physical sense) are still against using a phone for this. Much better getting a cheapo tablet so that you can keep the viewing angle while increasing the distance and, hence, increasing the focal point as you don't want to have to spend a lot of time looking at stuff close the focal point of your eyes, especially self-iluminating screens.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

          The problem with cheapo tablets (I have one) is blacks are not black and whites are not white; and a resolution in the order of 1024x600 in a ten inch panel is distractingly noticeable.

          Oh, and my S9 starts up Netflix and starts playing something I've selected in a matter of seconds. Cheapo tablet (1GHz Quad core jobbie running Android 8 Go edition) takes a hell of a lot longer to do anything. Hell, task switching takes maybe 10 or so seconds, you can imagine how unfast it loads apps.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

            Go for something sllghtly better than cheapest cheapo. Obviously won't be cheapest if you want AMOLED but I thought there were some older Sammys around.

            I have a kickstand for my S10 which I use for some stuff but to have the screen at comfortable vision-filling distance this wouldn't be an option, but fine for occasional viewing.

          2. Blank Reg Silver badge

            Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

            I'm still using my 7 year old Sony tablet with it's 1920x1200 screen. After all these years it still works well and holds a charge as good as ever.

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

          "looking at stuff close the focal point of your eyes, especially self-iluminating screens."

          I should add - I spent a chunk of my childhood with my head under the duvet at school reading pages of teletext broadcast on BBC 2 in the early hours on a Sony Pocket Watchman (FD-10).

          For those that don't know, it was a marvelous little television that ran off batteries and offered a 2 inch monochrome cathode ray display (scanned from below!) which had a high enough resolution that one could easily read teletext.

          So, yeah, my eyes are already buggered...

    4. Excellentsword

      Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

      Obviously it's not the medium of choice, but trains are a thing.

    5. FBee

      Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

      Some newer phones have "Miniview" which presents a, umm, mini view for one-handed usage. My Miniview is even adjustable for screen coverage, whether ham-handed (75% screen) or all the way down to Trumpian (25% coverage)...

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who is watching movies on their phone?

      I was puzzling over the same question last night, watching a man next to me (almost on top of me, cause ryanair), watching a movie on his mobile, a 5.5 - 6 inch screen. Not that I approve, I think it's fucking stupid, but then, shrug, horses for courses, etc. I guess youngsters these days get distressed unless something keeps moving in front of their eyes.

  2. ibmalone Silver badge

    Ah, Sony, release another compact high-end phone and I'll think about it. No, a 6" screen is not compact.

    And by, "think about", I mean, "Contemplate replacing a still working phone that you've stopped issuing security patches for after two years." Which might not lead to the decision you'd like. (Still longer than my last Samsung I suppose.)

    1. ibmalone Silver badge

      The weirdest things are apparently controversial. What is it? Objection to other people's preferences to have a smaller phone (you don't have to join in you know)? Belief that we should continue to generate mountains of electronic waste because manufacturers don't even want to apply security patches to otherwise perfectly good hardware? The suggestion Samsung might be as bad as the rest? Enquiring minds and all that...

  3. gigabitethernet

    Looks good. I totally want this phone! Just wish they would re-enter the Australian market so I didn't have to import.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shaken not stirred

    I forgot about Sony.... There must be a new bond movie on the way

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice! Sony was one of the first to jump on the "nobody needs 3.5mm anymore" bandwagon, probably because they sell many expensive wireless headsets. I'm glad they reverted course. I hope Samsung will as well (I still use their phones because of DeX)

    1. Monty Cantsin

      Sony Ericsson were waaaaay before the "nobody needs 3.5mm anymore" bandwagon. Back in 2004, at a time when you definitely needed wired headphones, I had a K700 with no 3.5mm jack. You either had to use their ghastly earbuds with the big, bulbous propriatry multi-pin jack, or buy a big, bulbous propriatry multi-pin jack adapter to use decent earphones with it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And the old candybar Nokia's before then which didn't have a headphone socket and you needed the big connectors. They didn't have music players either though...

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          I think the preference then was againt headphone sockets for the well-known problems of physical connectors: they tend to bend and break easily*. Both Nokia and Ericsson had variants of multi-channel connections held in place by essentially springs. "pop port" was the Nokia name, I thiink. If only the industry could have standardised on one they'd never have to be forced to use USB.

          * SWMBO's BlackBerry has an increasingly unreliable micro-USB port.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I think that concern was also the reason for the iPhone 1's deeply seated 3.5mm connection. It was mechanically very stable.

            Sadly Apple dropped it in the next version even though every pair of headphones that came out by then had switched to a thin plug case to match.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well done

    > Actually, it's none of the above, with the phone pronounced as the "Sony Xperia One Mark Two"

    Well done the marketing department! Hard work indeed to contribute that much value add.

    1. Dwarf Silver badge

      Re: Well done

      Perhaps we can teach the marketing team to count, they could have called it the Sony Xperia Two or if that is too complicated, the. The Sony Xperia 2b

      And I did this without any meetings or customer feedback.

  7. phuzz Silver badge
    Meh

    there's also a decent chunk of stuff only available in the old 4:3 dimensions, and these TV shows and films will inevitably come bracketed in black boxes

    Never mind the 4:3 stuff, all of the 16:9 stuff will have black bars as well. Plus a lot of stuff that originated in 21:9 is encoded with black bars top and bottom so it'll play on a 16:9 screen without mucking up the aspect ratio, which means if you watch it on 21:9 you end up with black bars on all four sides of the picture. (A lot of games don't really work properly on 21:9 screens either).

    Can you tell I own a 21:9 monitor?

    Still, when you find something that works properly in 21:9, it's lovely, and the rest of the time you just ignore the bars.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nah, Real Users will keep the stretch option on, to maximize screen use.

      And look at you with glassy, uncomprehending eyes when you ask them if they notice the picture is distorted.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cinemascope-wide film

    on a 6.5 inch screen, yay!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    removable battery?

    If this has a removable (or at least easily replacable) battery, we have a winner (for my use case anyhow).

    1. GW7

      Re: removable battery?

      Unless Sony fix their shameful update policy, this phone will be landfill in 2 years, so not much point having a replaceable battery. My last Xperia flagship received just one Android upgrade, and monthly security updates ceased 2 years after launch. A phone with 3.5mm headphone socket AND security updates for 5 years AND replaceable battery will be the one that gets my custom. This ideal phone will probabaly be assembled by unicorns and be accessible only while dreaming.

      1. bengoey49

        Re: removable battery?

        Longer software updates is more important than removable battery in my opinion. My original late 2016 Google Pixel had its last update November 2016, exactly 3 years which I think is too short for an expensive phone. The newly launched Google Pixel 4 /4XL are way too expensive for what they offer, so after considering length of updates, second hand value if I want to sell in the future and battery life I come to the conclusion that although iPhone is expensive in the long run it is cheaper than top of the range Androids. So last week ( after many years with Blackberry and Androids ) I bought an iPhone as my daily driver. I just cannot understand Google.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: removable battery?

        > A phone with 3.5mm headphone socket AND security updates for 5 years AND replaceable battery will be the one that gets my custom.

        The Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro 2020 falls one year short of your requirements IF samsung sticks to their 4 years security update claims. IF.

        Still amused as how El reg hasn't reviewed it yet despite getting launched first in the EU.

        Not to mention how some of their articles have a "sustainability" theme in them, something that we barely see on other hipster msm sites.

        That sammy phone also has IP68 despite the removable battery. Perfect to use as a jab to those built-in batteries water resistant excuses.

        1. GW7

          Re: removable battery?

          XCover Pro is an interesting phone that ticks a lot of boxes, although 4 years of security updates is for "Enterprise Edition", and maybe not available to civvies? I read that SatNad and Samsung conspired to integrate MS Teams in this model. Is the latter baked-in crud that can't be removed, or a fantastic feature if you like Teams and want PTT? El Reg please review.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: removable battery?

            The only video review of the supposedly civilian model Xcover Pro and Samsung claims it will be globally available.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0wNcis2ZXY

            500 euros on European amazon sites.

            The Xcover Field Pro (with S9 innards) is the first responder version and AT&T exclusive(?) model. Also with removable battery and ip rating.

            What a sick joke these sealed battery phones are.

      3. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: removable battery?

        Late follow up I know, but this is an increasingly important point. There's now a tv ad doing the rounds for a 2nd hand seller (can't remember which one, they might want to talk to their agency about that), which is making the point you probably don't need a new phone, a second hand one is much cheaper, etc.

        Which is all good, except as manufacturers do not provide security updates for long periods of time these otherwise still working pieces of hardware are unsafe to use. So we have the beautiful combination of people not particularly on top of technology using technology with security flaws. The thing is a disaster from a couple of angles. First, mobiles are now many people's way to access the internet, as you're expected to live more of your life online (mobile banking, interacting with government) this puts a vast swathe of people at risk of fraud. Second, it's an environmental disaster, much of this kit would still be usable, but we're necessitating throwing it away and buying new stuff we wouldn't need otherwise.

        The planet or your bank details?

  10. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Almost perfect

    It has low-band 5G so it should actually work compared to mmWave. Only problem is it doesn't support Band 71 where I could use long-range 5G right now.

    $1300? Where's the build-to-order page?

  11. Tony Jarvie

    Long-term Sony phone user

    Well, just to put my experiences in the mix here, I have been a Sony user since the days of the T68 (around 2002). Currently have an Xperia 1 with its wide-aspect ratio screen so to answer some of the comments above...

    Single-handed use. Sony have recognised this, and have a specific "one-hand" sensor on each side of the screen to address this. My hands are big, so I don't use it really but it's there to help those with smaller hands.

    The aspect ratio. 21:9 content, such as films, initially don't fill the screen sometimes but again to get around this you just zoom in (and again it's specifically addressed in the phone's software!) and it fills the screen perfectly. Netflix and Amazon Prime stuff look great in this aspect ratio, on an OLED HDR acreen.

    Size of screen. Obviously everyone has their own preference, but I find that held in the natural position, the phone is the same size as (in fact slightly bigger than) my 49" TV across my living room. When I was flying for work a few years ago, I happily watched each of the Lord of the Rings films (extended editions) on my phone and enjoyed them.

    Headphones. You do realise that the phone comes with a USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adaptor in the box, don't you? Admittedly, you can't charge the phone at the same time, but you have the option to use wireless headphones if you want...

    Longevity. For MANY years now, whenever I and my wife (who also has a Sony phone) upgrade, the old ones get used by my in-laws for the next two years until the next upgrade and they get regular updates, and the battery life seems to be fine for them.

    As I say, each person has their own experience, but that's mine as an 18-year long Sony (and before that Sony Ericsson) user. Yours might not be as rosy.

  12. David Paul Morgan
    Thumb Up

    looking forward to using this one

    I've been out of contract for some years, using the OnePlus 3T then 6T after years of Sony Xperia S, T, Z1c, Z3c (and Sony Ericsson before that!)

    This is the Sony Xperia I've been waiting years for. Looks like they've done a half decent job on the camera and the Walkman part is top quality.

    not bothered about the re-appearance of the headphone socket, but understand this matters to some people - I'll stick with my noise cancelling bluetooth Sony 'cans'.

    On the plane/train I watch video content on my Sony Xperia Z4 tablet and rarely consume video content on a handset.

    As long as NFC/Bluetooth combo also works smoothly, then "take my money" :-)

    I was concerned about having to 'reach' in portrait mode, bu I understand the interface will address this.

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