The Morning After: Sony's $6,500 A1 camera has a matching $2,500 smartphone

Engadget, Mat Smith and Richard Lawler
·4-min read

Sony unveiled two pro-level devices yesterday, starting with a $2,500 smartphone (no, it doesn’t fold or roll up). Teased in early 2020, the Xperia Pro is for video professionals working in the field, especially those who might use its mmWave 5G connection to stream events.

Sony Xperia Pro
Sony Xperia Pro

Unlike the standard Xperia 1 ii, the Pro model packs a four-way beamforming antenna for improved network performance and has a handy network strength visualizer that shows users where the most stable signal is — a “5G radar” as Chris Velazco puts it. Apart from that, though, it’s an upgraded Xperia 1 II.

Then there’s the Sony A1, its top-end still and video camera for prosumers. With a next-gen full-frame 50-megapixel sensor and the company’s image-processing technology, it seems to have everything it needs to put the frighteners on Nikon and Canon. Again.

It can easily take on Canon’s R5, but it comes at a significantly higher price: $6,500. The stand-out feature could well be its speed. It can shoot 50.1-megapixel images at up to 30 fps, with both autofocus and auto-exposure enabled. At those speeds, you can capture up to 155 compressed RAW files before the buffer fills — perfect for capturing crucial action moments or speedy animals. Naturally, there are no shortage of video features — read all about those here — suggesting the A1 may well be Sony’s best still and video camera when it launches.

And yes, you can use it with your new $2,500 smartphone.

— Mat Smith

Apple marks Black History Month with a limited-edition Watch Series 6

There’s also a new strap and a focus on Black voices across its services.

Apple Watch Series 6 BHM
Apple Watch Series 6 BHM

Apple is launching a limited-edition smartwatch for Black History Month, blending capitalism and activism with all the sensitivity you’d expect from a trillion-dollar corporation. The Apple Watch Black Unity Collection features the words "Black Unity" etched on to the back crystal, and it’ll be accompanied by a new Watch Sport Band and Watch face.

Apple didn’t say if it will donate a percentage of sales or a set amount, but the company is supporting six global equality and civil rights organizations, including the Black Lives Matter Support Fund via the Tides Foundation, European Network Against Racism and the International Institute on Race.

The Apple Watch Series 6 Black Unity ($399 for the GPS model and $499 for the cellular version) and the Black Unity Sport Band ($49) will be available from February 1st.
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'Godzilla vs. Kong' makes its HBO Max debut on March 31st

WarnerMedia's dual-release strategy for 2021 is settling in.

GODZILLA vs. KONG
GODZILLA vs. KONG

It appears Legendary Pictures got over its issues with WarnerMedia’s plan to release 2021 flicks on streaming and in theaters at the same time. Its kaiju battle movie now has a new trailer and a release date of March 31st. Viewers can choose between 2D or 3D theatrical showings or 4K HDR streaming via HBO Max.
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Apple’s iOS 14.4 update rolls out with security fixes and Bluetooth audio monitoring

There’s a watchOS update, too.

iPhone 12
iPhone 12

Apple has started rolling out iOS 14.4 to iPhone and iPad users. While not as meaty of an update as iOS 14.3, it has a handful of small enhancements. More importantly, it fixes three security issues that are already being exploited in the wild, so go update your device ASAP.

With the update, you’ll be able to designate the type of third-party audio devices you’ve connected to your iPhone through Bluetooth. That will help your iPhone properly measure your headphone audio levels, so it can send alerts if your Taylor Swift playlist is blasting too loud.

It also fixes artifact-laced HDR photos captured by the iPhone 12 Pro and keyboard lag that some iPhone users have noted since the launch of iOS 14. The accompanying watchOS update includes the company’s new Time to Walk feature on Fitness+ (although that was already live) and a new Unity watch face.
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An automated Telegram bot is selling Facebook account phone numbers

It uses a database of 500 million user credentials and a Telegram bot.

A cybercrime forum is selling access to a database reportedly containing 500 million users’ private information. It uses data pulled from Facebook more than two years ago, which contains people’s phone numbers. It added that would-be stalkers can use an automated bot for (messaging app) Telegram, which enables hackers to look up those numbers to tie them to an identity. Motherboard tested the bot for itself and found it could identify the number of a user who opted to keep their phone number private. Facebook is said to have confirmed the data breach is real and that it concerns a security issue resolved in August 2019.
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