Sony was chastised by tech reviewers and fans alike for not changing the bezel-heavy design of its smartphones for years. While at Tech Advisor some of us grew fond of the industrial, blocky look of phones like the Xperia Z5 and XZ1, Sony changed it up and followed the crowd with the curved XZ2.

Whether or not you were happy with this change, Sony seems to be sticking to its six-monthly flagship updates since the XZ3 came just half a year after the XZ2 (sorry, there are a lot of letters and numbers to get your head round with Xperia phones).

What we’re pretty sure of is the next Sony flagship will be the XZ4 and it’s probably going to launch at MWC 2019. Here are the latest leaks and rumours.

When is the Sony Xperia XZ4 release date?

We predict that in keeping with Sony’s six-month update cycle of its XZ flagship line that the XZ4 will be unveiled in March 2019 at Mobile World Congress. This marks six months on from the launch of the XZ3 at IFA, and the XZ2 launched at MWC six months before that.

Sony’s clockwork updates, like OnePlus', are fairly easy to predict.

How much will the Sony Xperia XZ4 cost?

We think that Sony will stick with its relatively competitive pricing on its next phone. The Xperia XZ3 retailed for £699 in the UK, though it cost an unreasonable $900 in the US.

We think Sony will keep the price of the XZ4 at around £699, though it might push to £749.

What will the design of the Sony Xperia XZ4 be like?

Even before the first leak, we can be pretty sure that the XZ4 will look quite like the XZ2 or XZ3. Sony likes to stick with a certain design language unless it updates it completely, and there’s nothing to suggest that will happen with the new phone.

Here are the first CAD renders of the Xperia XZ4 published by Mysmartprice and reputable leaker OnLeaks. Take these renders with a slight pinch of salt, as leakers don’t tend to reveal their sources, so this is unverified.

It looks like the XZ4 doesn’t have the curved display of the XZ3, instead opting for a flat panel. But it does retain the rounded corners of the display for a modern look. You might be pleased to see there’s no notch.

It’s notable that the renders point to a return of the side-mounted fingerprint sensor last seen on the XZ1. There was a degree of hate for the circular sensor on the XZ2 and XZ3 that was bang in the middle of the rear of the phones. Perhaps Sony has come back with its tail between its legs on that decision.

Also even though it's not clear on the photos there is reportedly a 3.5mm headphone jack on the XZ4. We think this is unlikely though, seeing as Sony dropped it from the XZ2 and XZ3. No smartphone manufacturer has yet reversed its decision on this. 

There are also three rear cameras. The only Sony phone with more than one so far is the XZ2 Premium, so for the regular XZ line to get triple shooters is notable. It would, if true, see Sony chasing Huawei and LG. Sony really needs to make a smartphone with truly excellent cameras given its imaging prowess in its actual cameras.

There’s a single camera on the front and the familiar and fairly unique dedicated camera shutter button. No headphone jack to be seen, as with the last two Xperia flagships.

The article goes on to claim that the XZ4 will measure 166.9 x 72.4 x 8.2mm and have a 21:9 6.5in display made by LG. This is a very tall screen for the size, and is so because there is no notch and slim top and bottom bezels.

As is often the case - although there was no XZ3 version - it seems there will also be an XZ4 Compact for those looking for a smaller phone. It looks like it will come with a 5in screen, single rear and front cameras, dual front facing speakers and USB-C. Interestingly it will have a 3.5mm headphone jack which the larger XZ4 won't have.

What are the new features of the Sony Xperia XZ4?

We don’t know any of the features of the XZ4 yet but it should ship with the next Snapdragon 855 that is the successor to the high-end 845. This will bring with it better performance and, hopefully, more efficient battery life.

We’ll bring you more details as and when we get them verified.