Mobile World Congress is meant to happening now in Barcelona, but the coronavirus epidemic has resulted in the event being cancelled. Some smartphone makers are still going ahead with their new device unveilings regardless of the cancellation, and one such firm is Sony, which showcased its new Xperia 1 II flagship phone earlier today.

With previous flagships from the Japanese firm being a little lacklustre, this latest offering is rather impressive, especially as Sony has clearly designed it with cinematographers and content creators in mind.

To that end it has a rather tall body, with a 6.5″ 4K HDR OLED display up front. The same panel also caters to a 21:9 aspect ratio, which Sony calls CinemaWide. This is paired with a Cinematography Pro video recording mode, which can shoot 4K content at up to 60fps, as well as packing a few other image stabilisation features.

Delivering this video recording functionality is a triple lens setup on the rear – each 12MP and with different fields of view. It’s the kind of setup that Nokia debuted with the 9 PureView last year, although this option is not a penta-lens device. The front facing camera is a little less impressive, being an 8MP option for selfies.

Looking at the rest of the specifications, a generous 8GB of RAM is available, alongside 256GB onboard storage and support for up to 1TB additional space.

Added to this is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G chipset, which will no doubt be a fast processor, but perhaps more importantly will cater to 5G connectivity when available. There’s also a large 4 000mAh battery, as well as a dual-SIM (nano SIM) tray.

With Sony Xperia devices being less visible locally these days, it remains to be seen if the firm would bring it to South Africa, especially given its 5G capabilities and the premium price that technology currently demands.

If it did land locally, it would be one of the only devices to cater to 5G, which could help enhance the flattening reputation of Xperia phones among Android devices.

Speaking of availability, the Xperia 1 II is expected in select regions come Spring (Northern hemisphere). In the interim, check out this hands-on video below.