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 XZ2 with not just an 18:9 or 18.5:9 aspect ratio, but a truly bezel-less display.
When is the new Sony Xperia 2017 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, according to the Xperia blog.
Sony has traditionally 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 all 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 XZ2.
How much will the new Sony Xperia 2017 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 new Sony Xperia 2017?
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, but potentially a Quad- rather than 4K display.
This 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.
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.
(The 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 jont venture by Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi) has entered mass production of its 6in Full Active Quad-HD displays.
We’ll bring you more rumours as we hear them.
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