‘Bezel-less’ smartphones are a trend kickstarted by Xiaomi’s Mi Mix in late-2016. We’ve since seen industry heavyweights such as Samsung and LG apply the same full-screen thinking into their latest flagships, but Sony has yet to take the plunge with an 18:9 display. That could all be about to change as the company gears up to launch new smartphones at MWC 2018.
It's worth mentioning the fact that there are loads of Sony phone rumours on the web right now, and what's confusing everyone is they're all discussing different upcoming Sony phones with wildly different model numbers and names.
In the past couple of days we've seen people focusing on 'Sony Xperia XZ Pro', which seems to stem from a not necessarily reliable My Drivers report, and we've published some of the pictures from this below. But it makes no sense to us, given that Sony has already moved on from the XZ to the XZ1. Of course, Sony's naming schemes rarely make sense to us, let alone to consumers.
If Sony follows previous behaviour, in 2018 we expect to see the following Sony Xperia model numbers and names:
- H81XX: Sony Xperia XZ1 Premium (February)
- H82XX: Sony Xperia XZ1S (February)
- H83XX: Sony Xperia XZ2 (September)
- H84XX: Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact (September)
We would also expect to see the XZ1 range continued at MWC 2018 (February), and the XZ2 line-up introduced at IFA 2018 (September).
When is the Sony Xperia XZ1 Premium release date?
Our best guess is that Sony will unveil the Xperia XZ1 Premium at MWC 2018, which takes place at the end of February.
Sony's press conference takes place on Monday 26 February 2018, so there's not long to wait.
What are the rumoured features and specifications for the new Sony Xperia XZ1 Premium?
As we'll explain below, the rumours surrounding the Sony Xperia XZ1 Premium are a complete and utter mess and no-one really seems to know what they're talking about, or even what phone they're talking about.
Our educated hunch is that the XZ1 Premium (or XZ Pro, as it may indeed be called) will have a 5.7in 4K 18:9 screen with Gorilla Glass 5, the Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM, up to 128GB storage, a 3240mAh battery and IP68 waterproofing. Cameras will be standout, potentially a dual-camera with 18Mp and 12Mp lenses.
The design will likely be standard Sony fare, which has a very distinct boxy shape, but with narrower bezels.
You could take our word for that, or read on to be confused.
The H81XX, which we expect to be the Sony Xperia XZ1 Premium, has been revealed through its user-agent profile. This reveals that it will have a 4K (2160 x 3840) screen and Android Oreo.
Interestingly that is not an 18:9 panel, but a 16:9 display.
Specs that have also leaked for a handset with the model number H8541 reveal an upcoming Sony flagship that features a 149x74x7.5mm body and an 18:9 panel.
Given the expected model numbers at the top of this page and how close is its spec to the existing XZ Premium this may not be the XZ1 Premium, but if genuine it's certainly a phablet model within that flagship family. Perhaps one to more closely take on the iPhone X. And, potentially, it really is called the Sony Xperia XZ Pro.
Whatever this phone is it's said to have a 5.7in 4K HDR Triluminus display with Gorilla Glass 5. Early leaked images suggest it will be an 18:9 panel, with super-slim bezels.
Core specifications include the Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of UFS storage and a 3,420mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0.
It’s odd that Sony would plump for the Snapdragon 835 over the recently announced 845. The Sony Xperia XZ Pro reported by My Drivers is, however, a Snapdragon 845 phone. Apparently.
It runs the latest Qualcomm chip along with 6GB of RAM and a 3420mAh battery, and has IP68 waterproofing and a 5.7in screen (sounds familiar).
Connectivity-wise the new Sony phone will come with Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, GLONASS, NFC and USB-C. Running Android 8.0 Oreo it will also be waterproof (IP68).
Sony Xperia XZ1S rumours
Yet another Sony phone with the model number H8216 has had its specs posted to Reddit, and they include the latest Snapdragon 845. As such, many spectators suggest this is the Sony Xperia XZ2, but we're not convinced. We think it could be the Xperia XZ1S.
The model number is off and the screen is a 16:9 full-HD panel. That's no spec for a Sony Xperia XZ2, but it could fit an XZ1S.
Listed specifications for this upcoming Sony phone include Android 8.1 Oreo, a 5.48in full-HD (1920x1080) Triluminos display, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of UFS storage, a 15Mp f/2.0 selfie camera, a 12Mp dual-camera at the rear, a 3,130mAh battery and IP68 waterproofing. This handset measures 148x73.4x7.4mm and weighs 156g.
New Sony phone images
Renders of two unknown Sony phones have been created by Vortex - it says based on Sony’s own design drafts, so of course they're not the real deal.
At this stage we don’t know which is intended to be the Premium. The more boxy model fits better with Sony’s usual design, though the bizarrely spaced rear cameras (one may be a depth sensor) and strange combination of matt and gloss at the back is much less ‘Sony’.
The second model, meanwhile, features a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. We’ve previously seen Sony embed these into the power button, but even better would be to embed it into the screen.
Interestingly the site suggests the Premium model will have the Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM and 128GB, contradicting the spec sheet leaked via Reddit but in agreement with My Drivers.
My Drivers has also published some images of what it says is the Xperia XZ Pro, shown below.
Read next: Best new phones coming in 2018.