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Xperia 1 II: Sony explains why the headphone jack is back

Two years ago, Sony Mobile had made the “courageous” decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from its flagship smartphones. Surprisingly, the traditional audio port is back on the latest Xperia 1 II which is quite rare for new flagship smartphones in 2020.

When Engadget Japan interviewed executives from Sony Mobile Communications, Yuki Ikeda from the System Design Department within the Product Design Division had explained why they decided to remove the 3.5mm jack in the first place. They also explained why Sony made a U-turn for their latest and greatest flagship phone.

Sony Xperia 1

Similar to its previous justification, Ikeda explained that the 3.5mm headphone jack was removed on the Xperia XZ2 as the priority was placed on improving the design of the phone. Sony also felt that wireless earphones were becoming more common which is why they decided to go wireless.

However, for the Xperia 1 II, they have brought back the jack because they believe in “giving people a smartphone that they will love”. In addition, they felt that the feature was indispensable for viewing entertainment-related content and for playing games.

The removal of the jack due to design was quite hard to accept since the Xperia XZ2 was actually thicker at 11.1mm while the previous device, the Xperia XZ1 was much thinner at 7.4mm, yet it still retains the headphone jack. If the popularity of wireless earphones was a key reason to ditch to jack and go completely wireless, Sony has released even more TWS earphones in the past year.

This includes the WF-XB700 and the WF-SP800N. Also not forgetting the Sony WF-1000XM3 which is still one of our favourite TWS earphones with active noise cancelling. You could easily get them for less than RM600 during major online sales.

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Admittedly, it does seem like Sony is finally listening to its fans when they released the Xperia 1 II. Apart from the 3.5mm port, they have upgraded the battery from a 3,330mAh to a 4,000mAh unit, brought back wireless charging support and they also offer 256GB of storage as standard. On top of that, Sony has made some significant upgrades to its camera which does look promising on paper.


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Alexander Wong