Sony Xperia X2
Henry Burrell investigates Sony’s upcoming phablet
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.
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.
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.
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.