To say that Sony’s mobile brand is one dogged by turbulence is a bit of an understatement: The Xperia division recorded a loss of $544 million for the 2015 financial year. That’s partly thanks to tribulations brought on by its parent company’s continued restructuring — it cut 1,000 jobs in Europe and China early last year.
But also to blame are an inexplicable series of management missteps: The Xperia Z3+, one of the first smartphones to sport Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 chipset, was initially plagued by reports of overheating, and when Sony’s latest handset, the Z5, became available in North America an off-contract capacity, it bizarrely shipped without a fingerprint sensor.
Sony’s desperate for a hit, needless to say. Last month, leaked images showed a previously unrevealed Sony handset that’s slightly different from the company’s established design language. Now we’ve got a few renders, and a name — the Xperia XZ. Here’s everything we know so far.
The Sony Xperia XZ made its official debut in India in 2016 and began shipping there last October.
Sony’s next flagship device isn’t the Xperia XR — it has been wrongly named by notable leaker @OnLeaks. The device is in fact the Xperia XZ, thanks to the Czech version of Sony’s website which accidentally leaked the name as well as the existence of the Xperia X Compact.
Still, these renders from @OnLeaks may indeed show what Sony’s upcoming handset looks like. Keep in mind that we cannot verify any of these images or the name of the handset — take everything with a grain of salt.
— OnLeaks (@OnLeaks) August 7, 2016
The smartphone is actually quite similar in looks to the Xperia X — there are the same button placements, and the rear camera sits in a familiar place. The top and bottom bezels are a little thick.
But previous images do show that the handset, which GSM Arena reports might be the “F8331,” features geometry that’s a little more angular than this year’s Xperia X. The aesthetic might almost be described as brutalist: the phone’s top and bottom edges terminate harshly at the edges, and there’s no sign of the rounded, sloping corners of the type on the Xperia X. Rather, the prototype’s longer edges taper at its front and rear, evoking Nokia’s Lumia series of Windows Phones. It’s not entirely seamless — the phone’s rear cover sports a discolored tab near its bottom, presumably to accommodate antennas, and a camera and flash dominate the top-left side. The image’s source claims the screen is larger than that on the Xperia X.
It may not be long before Sony blows the lid on its skunkworks phone, though — it’s scheduled to make an appearance at September’s IFA conference in Berlin. And even if it did, it might be bound for destinations overseas: according to leaked documents obtained by Xperia Blog in July, Sony plans to “defocus” its mobile business in the United States, India, China, and Brazil in the coming months in favor of alternative East Asian, European, and Middle Eastern countries.
The design renders from @OnLeaks and the leaked images clearly indicate the phone will have a USB Type-C port, a first for Sony. The former leaker also says the Xperia XZ will have dimensions of 146.4 x 71.9 x 8.1 mm. That’s slightly larger than the Xperia X — it’s dimensions are 142.7 x 69.4 x 7.9 mm.
A profiteering user of Njuškalo, Croatia’s dominant classified ads website, has listed a unit of the unreleased smartphone for sale. The seller describes it as ” a new model of Xperia X Performance,” and provided a few specifications.
According to the listing, the phone features a 5.1-inch display, 23MP rear-facing camera and 12MP front-facing camera, 3GB of RAM, and “non-slippery” metal housing. A USB Type-C port appears to be on tap and so too does a 3.5mm headphone jack.
This article was originally published on 07-25-2016. Updated on 04-04-2017 by Kyle Wiggers.
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