Many people thought a successor to the Sony Xperia 1 would be unveiled at IFA 2019, but Sony chose to introduce a compact version of its flagship in Berlin, the Xperia 5.
It is now looking likely that we'll see our first look at Sony's 2020 flagship during MWC in February. It could well be worth the wait, rumoured to be the first 5G phone with a 4K screen.
But Sony will not be delivering that announcement actually at the show. With the ongoing Coronavirus fears it was one of many companies to have pulled out of the tradeshow, which has now itself been cancelled. However, it has confirmed that it will deliver its 24 February press conference as planned via an online stream.
What will the next Xperia flagship be called?
If we weren't already confused we really are now, with yet another suggested name for the next flagship popping up online recently: Xperia 1.1.
The logical name would of course be the Sony Xperia 2, but the company previously said it would be sticking to 1 and 10 for its naming customs before introducing the Xperia 5.
Leakers seem to think the next phone it will be known as the Xperia 5 Plus or Xperia 1 Premium, but these could easily confuse consumers.
When will it be released?
Sony has confirmed it will be holding an online-only event on 24 February, what should have been the first day of MWC 2020. Though the tradeshow is no longer taking place, it will host a live stream of its press conference from a safe distance.
We can only assume that this is when we will see the new Xperia flagship unveiled.
This would follow a similar pattern to the Xperia 1, although like that phone we may have to wait a few months to get our hands on the new device. We don't expect that to be the only phone unveiled at this press conference, with rumours of a mid-range follow-up to the Xperia 5 potentially in the works. The mid-range Xperia 20, a successor to the Xperia 10, is now also expected to be launched in Barcelona.
The Xperia 1 did not go on sale until the end of June, so it makes sense for Sony to push back the release date to comply with an annual update cycle. The Xperia 1 cost £849, and we expect its successor to come in at a similar price when it is launched (which is contrary to My Drivers' claim that it will cost 6,000CNH or around £670/US$870).
What new features are coming to the Sony Xperia 2?
In January 2020, prolific leaker @OnLeaks revealed renders of the next Xperia phone, which he expected to be called the Sony Xperia 5 Plus.
Here comes your very first look at which I assume will be launched as #SONY #XPERIA5Plus! (who really knows about naming schemes nowadays?...?)— Steve H.McFly (@OnLeaks) January 6, 2020
360° video + gorgeous 5K renders + dimensions + few specs, on behalf of... Myself and @Slashleaks...?
-> https://t.co/AoQROn7PVg pic.twitter.com/6Dooemv4Ep
However, make no mistake, this will be a successor to the Xperia 1 in all but name. This suggests we'll be getting a 6.6in OLED panel, complete with front-facing stereo speakers. On the back, a triple-lens camera plus ToF setup will be complemented by 18W fast charging and a 4000mAh battery.
Those four camera lenses have since been detailed by Android Next, which claims there will be a 12Mp 1/1.5in sensor, a 64Mp 1/1.7in sensor, a 12Mp 1/3.4in sensor, a 2Mp ToF sensor, and a periscope/OIS sensor.
Previously, Pocket Now reported on a User Agent Profile that detailed two smartphones with the model numbers J8210 and J8010, which is notable given that the Xperia 1 is the J8110.
Both handsets reportedly have a 5G modem, while the J8210 is shown to have a Full-HD 1920x1080 display and the J8010 a 4K 3840x1644 panel - the latter matches the Xperia 1's screen.
The theory that the new Sony Xperia will be a 5G handset with a 4K screen has since been backed up again by My Drivers, though its source is not clear. It also references a quad-lens camera - two 12Mp lenses, either a 48Mp or 64Mp sensor, and a Time of Flight (ToF) camera, matching what we've heard elsewhere.
Prior to this we saw some renders from reliable leakster @OnLeaks, working in partnership with CashKaro. They have since been allegedly 'confirmed' by some case renders leaked on Twitter:
According to the source, the next Xperia retains the triple-lens camera but moves it to a new position at the top left, and reduces the size of the display from 6.5in to 6.1in. This results in a reduced frame measuring 158x68.3x8.3mm, some 9mm shorter than Xperia 1.
It also references a 3,000mAh battery with wireless charging, a Snapdragon 855 processor and 6GB of RAM, so it might not be entirely accurate as these are definitely not high-end specs - perhaps more suited to a successor to the Xperia 5.
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