Sony Xpe­ria X2

Henry Bur­rell in­ves­ti­gates Sony’s up­com­ing ph­ablet

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We’ve only just got our hands on the Sony Xpe­ria X and the Xpe­ria XA, but lit­tle over a week later the Sony ru­mour mill is crank­ing into gear again fol­low­ing the emer­gence

of high qual­ity pho­tos of what looks like an­other Xpe­ria phone. It may well be called the Sony Xpe­ria XR. A tipster gave the pho­tos to GSM Arena, and they’re a world away from the grainy, blurred images that make up the vast ma­jor­ity of the iPhone 7 ru­mours.

The leaks show a smart­phone un­doubt­edly akin to the Xpe­ria range, but with the curved edges in­tro­duced on the new Xpe­ria X and Xpe­ria XA. The screen looks a shade big­ger than that on the 5in Xpe­ria X, but de­tails are un­con­firmed.

Well re­spected in­dus­try in­sider @OnLeaks also shared some ren­ders of the Sony Xpe­ria XR on Twitter (see over­leaf). Here are a few, which con­firm the in­clu­sion of USB-C and the now ex­pected side power but­ton/finger­print scan­ner.

While the ini­tial ru­mours seemed to sug­gest the new Xpe­ria in the be­low pic­tures was co­de­named F8331, Phone Radar went one fur­ther, re­port­ing this new Xpe­ria will be named the Sony Xpe­ria XR – and might also be launched by Sony at IFA, the con­sumer elec­tron­ics show in Ber­lin in Septem­ber 2016.

Re­ports also sug­gest that a Croa­t­ian clas­si­fied ads site (we’re get­ting pretty left­field here, we know) had the new model up for sale, but it has since been taken down. It was de­scribed on the list­ing as a ‘new model of the Xpe­ria X Per­for­mance’. The fact that the X Per­for­mance isn’t even out in the UK yet goes to show how many Xpe­ria phones Sony churns out, but hey, we love phones so a new Xpe­ria in Septem­ber, if true, is no bad thing. It could even be a spe­cial or lim­ited edi­tion phone.

The list­ing also men­tioned specs such as a 5.1in screen, 23Mp rear cam­era, 12Mp cam­era and 3GB RAM. These are un­con­firmed of course, but make sense for a hand­set like this.

Re­lease date

The pho­tos seem to be sourced from a bloke get­ting out of his car on the way to the gym, but we can’t fault the qual­ity of them – it is un­likely to be a fake. How­ever, it may be a pro­to­type model rather than the fin­ished ver­sion. Hav­ing said that, Sony loves to up­date its phones more fre­quently than other man­u­fac­tur­ers, so we think the world might see this phone in 2016, or early 2017.

Sony an­nounced the Xpe­ria Z5, Z5 Com­pact and Z5 Pre­mium at IFA in Ber­lin in Septem­ber 2015 be­fore an­nounc­ing the Xpe­ria X and XA at MWC in Barcelona in Fe­bru­ary 2016 – so keep your eyes peeled for a launch of this mys­tery phone at IFA in Ber­lin this Septem­ber. IFA starts on 2 Septem­ber and runs for six days.

Although the new Xpe­ria may be an­nounced then, it prob­a­bly won’t be re­leased for a few months, most likely in Fe­bru­ary 2017. How­ever, given the im­pres­sive na­ture of the leak, Sony may be buck­ing its own trend and aim­ing for a 2016 launch. Good in some re­spects, but a sure-fire way to an­noy the hell out of those who have just in­vested in the over­priced Xpe­ria X.

Price

We re­ally liked the Xpe­ria X, but it was def­i­nitely over­priced at £459 given that it has lower specs than the Xpe­ria Z5 that pre­ceded it, plus it lost the

waterproofing that many Sony fans (and us) loved. Given Sony’s er­ratic track record when it comes to up­grad­ing its hard­ware and chang­ing its pric­ing, this phone could re­tail from any­where be­tween £400-£500 in the UK, though we’d wa­ger to­wards the higher end. That will be cer­tain if this turns out to be the pre­mium flag­ship de­vice.

There’s a chance, as re­ported by Xpe­ria Blog, that this leak is one of two Sony phones com­ing up. The phone leaked in the images in this ar­ti­cle are sup­pos­edly of the model F8331, but there will likely also be the F8332. Is the model end­ing 1 the high-end phone, or the 2? Is this just spec­u­la­tion? Well, yes – but it’s in keep­ing that

Sony will re­lease ei­ther one high end and one cheaper phone, or a com­pact vari­ant of a larger flag­ship – although no­tably, the Xpe­ria X does not have a com­pact cousin.

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

GSM Arena re­ported that its tipster gave specs for the new Sony Xpe­ria cit­ing a 1080p screen and 4K video cap­ture with both front and back cam­eras, which is no­table con­sid­er­ing the technology is only just com­ing to smart­phones. Re­mem­ber that even if a phone can cap­ture 4K video, it can’t nec­es­sar­ily dis­play it. Co­in­ci­den­tally, the Sony Xpe­ria Z5 Pre­mium was the first smart­phone in the world to fea­ture a 4K dis­play.

The phone has a USB-C port, which we’ve seen on the likes of the OnePlus 3 and HTC 10, but never on a Sony hand­set be­fore. There’s also a head­phone jack on the top, and an NFC sticker show­ing the NFC chip lo­ca­tion. You can also see a dual LED flash on the back, dif­fer­ent to cur­rent Sony mod­els. Over­all, it’s a well made phone and is an at­trac­tive dark aqua­ma­rine colour.

We hope this next Sony Xpe­ria will have a Qual­comm Snap­dragon 820 chipset, which is this year’s gold stan­dard when it comes to smart­phone pro­cess­ing power. The Xpe­ria X had a step down in pro­ces­sor to the Snap­dragon 650. Un­der close in­spec­tion, this neg­a­tively af­fected per­for­mance.

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