Sony plans to reveal its latest Xperia phone on April 14, the company confirmed, although there are some rumors circulating about what the big release will be. The company most recently launched a niche smartphone quite by its own standards, with the Xperia Pro aiming to give a twist to 5G use cases for those who focus on upload speeds rather than downloads.
The Android phone can not only act as a mobile hotspot for uploading raw photos and videos – including live streaming – from a compatible camera, but it also has an HDMI input to use it as a 4K OLED monitor. Smart stuff, but for $ 2,500 unlocked, the Xperia Pro was definitely not mainstream oriented.
This is something we hope the company will resolve on April 14th. There have been two big rumors surrounding Sony’s roadmap recently, one pointing to a flagship in development and the other a more affordable and significantly smaller device. Either – or even both – could be the focus for mid-April.
On the main side, the conversation was fixed on the Sony Xperia 1 III. As the name suggests, it will be the third generation of the Xperia 1 series, launching familiar hardware like a Snapdragon 888, 5G chipset and a 6.5-inch 120 Hz 4K screen very similar to the Xperia Pro. However, although the phone targeting people using external cameras, the Xperia 1 III will drive independent content creation, including a more capable version of the Xperia 1 II’s periscope zoom lens.
At the same time, however, we also heard about a restarted version of the Sony Xperia Compact. This would target the opposite end of the scale, at least in terms of size, with a smaller screen, but less compromise in specifications.
While it is easy to say that it was requested by the iPhone 12 mini, it is actually a strategy that Sony has explored before. The original Xperia Compact was launched in the United States in 2018, although it was discontinued a year later. Since then, we have seen interest in smaller form factor devices resurfacing, as a reaction to the increasingly large cellphone manufacturers are pressing.
That said, this new Xperia Compact could still be noticeably bigger than its predecessor. It had a 5-inch screen, but rumors indicate that this updated version measures 5.5 inches. What remains to be seen is how much of its other cutting-edge technology from Sony can squeeze into a smaller design: one of the persistent criticisms of “compact” or “mini” smartphones is that, when delivering a device that is easier to hold, use and put in your pocket or purse, they also sacrifice a lot in terms of power and capabilities.
We’ll find out for sure if any of them are on Sony’s agenda – or if it’s something else entirely – on April 14th. The event starts at 3:30 am ET / 12:30 pm PT.