Starting with last year’s Mi Mix and continuing into 2017 with the Galaxy S8 and LG G6, the new trend in flagship phones is the virtually full-screen display. Sony has yet to join in, but it’s not usually one to be left behind – it was, after all, the first to introduce a 4K display. Next month we could see Sony unveil its Xperia XZ1 with not just an 18:9 or 18.5:9 aspect ratio, but a truly bezel-less display.
When is the Sony Xperia XZ1 release date?
Sony has confirmed it will be holding an IFA 2017 press conference on 31 August at 1pm CEST. It’s at this time we expect it to announce a new flagship – potentially two. There will also be a mid-range Xperia X1.
Sony has already confirmed that it is dropping ‘Premium Standard’ phones such as the Xperia X and Xperia X Compact in order to concentrate on two new flagships coming later in 2017, and that these phones will sit alongside the Xperia XZ Premium and XZs.
Traditionally the company has launched two flagships per year – one at MWC in February/March and the other at IFA in September – except for a brief blip when it decided not to launch the Sony Xperia Z6 we were all waiting for and confused us all by shaking up its naming system.
It’s thanks to this that we have no idea what to call this upcoming flagship: Sony switched from the renowned Xperia Z series to the Xperia X series following the Xperia Z5 (after skipping the Z4 – at least in the UK).
It has since launched the Xperia X Performance, Xperia XZ, Xperia XZs and Xperia XZ Premium flagships, plus a bunch of other phones lower down the range with random product names that mostly include the letter X.
Who knows what string of letters it will pick for its next flagship – with a bit of luck we will be going back to numbers, and it will be simply the XZ1.
How much will the Sony Xperia XZ1 cost in the UK?
We’d estimate that pricing will be more or less in line with the Sony Xperia XZ Premium that was announced earlier this year at MWC, though if Sony does make some serious changes in the display department then we could see a slight inflation.
That phone costs £649 SIM-free, making it £40 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S8 and a match for the LG G6.
What are the rumoured features and specifications for the Xperia XZ1?
There’s not a lot to go on here, and research is made especially difficult thanks to the naming issues. Looking at the specs of the XZ and XZ Premium, as well as other recent flagship phones, we’d expect to see a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
Only last week a high-end Sony phone popped up on Geekbench with the model number G8341. There’s not a great deal to go on, but it runs a Snapdragon 835 with 4GB of RAM on the Android 7.1 Nougat OS. This could well be the upcoming Xperia XZ1.
We expect to see a Quad-HD rather than 4K display, which is partly because we don’t expect it to be a ‘Premium’ variant, but also because the screen size is tipped to be enlarged to 6in. Without reducing the screen resolution (from the XZ Premium that is, since the XZ was only full-HD) it could negatively impact battery life.
An August photo leak supposedly shows the XZ1 and XZ1 Compact, with the XZ1 gaining a rear fingerprint sensor – a departure from Sony’s usual side-mounted one:
The leak also shows the XZ1, coded G8341, running Android O 8.0.0:
Back in May the Xperia blog posted that two new flagships would be announced later in the year. It wrote that during an investor meeting it was asked about its plans to move to a different aspect ratio (18:9) or adopt OLED displays, to which it replied that “while their plans were commercially sensitive, Sony is naturally basing future products on this assumption”.
Then in July it was tipped that a truly bezel-less display Sony Xperia was forthcoming. Android Authority, quoting an unverified Weibo source, suggested that Sony may beat Sharp to the punch with the first manufacturer to market with a truly bezel-less display.
Judging by these leaks, that won’t be the case.
In fact, trusted leaker OnLeaks hosted the below CAD render video more recently that shows a phone that looks like most other Sony phones of the past two years:
The Xiaomi Mi Mix was described as bezel-less, but in fact still features a bottom bezel, while both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 feature bezels – albeit very slim bezels – top and bottom.
It goes on to say that the rumour has legs, given that display maker JDI (a joint venture by Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi) has entered mass production of its 6in Full Active Quad-HD displays.
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