Sony will be launching at least four new phones at Mobile World Congress 2019

We now know that Sony will be launching at least four new phones at Mobile World Congress this year thanks to leaked information obtained from Indian tech site, 91mobile. The Congress opens its doors on Monday 25 February and Sony is scheduled to hold a press event on the same day.

The leaked information reveal four new models – the entry-level Xperia L3, the midrange Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus, and a flagship device called the Xperia 1.

Here are the specs and feature breakdown:

Xperia 1

Sony Xperia 1. Credit: Evan Blass

The flagship Xperia 1 features a rather large 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display with a unique 21:9 aspect ratio that mimics the screen ratio of a movie theatre. Current smartphone displays in the market have an aspect ratio of either 18:9 or 19:9 like the displays on the iPhone X range and the Galaxy S10.

The 21:9 aspect ratio makes the Xperia 1 a very tall device compared to other smartphones. This can potentially make it difficult for users to reach the top of the screen on the Xperia 1 when operating the device one-handed.

The Xperia 1 will also feature a side-mounted fingerprint scanner continuing a long-standing Sony design element. Speaking of design elements, the Xperia 1 will feature Sony’s signature metal frame between two glass panel design with Gorilla Glass 6. The device is also IP68-certified for dust and water resistance.

At the back, the device gets three 12MP cameras. This is the first time Sony has put three cameras on the back of its phone. The cameras are capable of recording 4K HDR videos. At the front, there’s an 8MP selfie camera with a special feature that allow you to create 3D avatars of yourself, we assume this is something similar to Apple’s Animoji.

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The Xperia 1 will run Android 9 Pie and feature Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 855 processor mated to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. The storage is expandable up to 512GB via micro SD.

Earlier rumours purport a Sony device obtaining a record 395,721 benchmark score on Antutu Benchmarks but it is not determined if the device is indeed the Xperia 1..

Xperia 1 specs rundown:

  • 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED 21:9 display
  • Three 12MP rear cameras (one standard wide-angle lens; one ultra-wide-angle; one telephoto with OIS) with ‘Dual-pixel’ pixel binning technology for better pictures in low-light
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage (expandable with microSD up to 512GB)
  • 3,300mAh battery with fast charging; 4G LTE, dual-SIM, USB Type-C port
  • Android Pie

The new information contradicts rumours that claim Sony was working on a device with an advanced triple camera setup and a 52MP sensor dubbed the Xperia XZ4. The rumours purport that the XZ4 features a massive 52MP sensor mated to a relatively fast f/1.6 lens. In addition, the triple camera array is expected to house a 16MP f/2.6 telephoto lens and a 0.3MP f/1.4 ‘Time-of-Flight’ (ToF) 3D camera that will mainly be used for depth or bokeh effects but also possibly for other 3D features like AR and spacial awareness not unlike that of the Microsoft Kinect.

I was actually very excited to see this device in action at MWC19 but it looks like there may be no such device. Who knows, maybe Sony has a “one more thing” in store for us during Monday’s media event.

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Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus

Sony Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus. Credit: Evan Blass

The Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus will make up Sony’s mid-range line-up. Both devices will run Android 9 Pie and feature the same unconventional 21:9 aspect ratio along with a side mounted fingerprint scanner, mid-range processor and twin cameras at the back instead of the triple camera on the Xperia 1.

Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus spec rundown:

  • Xperia 10:6-inch, full HD, 21:9 aspect ratio display. Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, 3GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. Twin rear cameras – one 13MP and one 8MP. Single 8MP front camera. 2,870mAh battery.
  • Xperia 10 Plus: 6.5-inch, full HD+, 21:9 aspect ratio display. Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. Twin rear cameras – one 12MP and one 8MP with optical zoom. Single 8MP front camera. 3,000mAh battery

Xperia L3

Sony Xperia L3. Credit: 91mobiles

The Xperia L3 will be the entry variant of the new Xperia line up. The device features a 5.7-inch HD+ display with a more conventional 18:9 aspect ratio. To bring costs down further, the L3 packs a MediaTek 6762 processor instead of a considerably better Qualcomm equivalent. The device also runs Android Oreo rather than Android 9 Pie. Other specs include 3GB of RAM and a 3,300mAh battery simillar to the Xperia 1. As with the other Xperia phones mentioned here, the Xperia L3 also sports a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.

Xperia L3 specs rundown:

  • 5.7-inch, HD+ display with conventional 18:9 aspect ratio
  • MediaTek 6762 processor with 3GB of RAM and expandable memory
  • Dual rear camera — one 13MP, one 2MP. 8MP front facing camera
  • 3,300mAh battery
  • Android Oreo
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In terms of pricing, the Xperia 1 is expected to sell for 1,099 Swiss francs (about RM4,476) while the L10 is expected to cost 399 Swiss francs (about RM1,625) and the L10 Plus is 499 Swiss francs (about RM2,032). The Xperia L3 should retail for 199 Swiss francs (about RM810).

The Xperia 1 is expected to go on sale in Europe sometime in June while the Xperia L10, L10 Plus and L3 will go to market in early April.

Do take note that these prices are for the European market and as we’ve reported earlier in January, Sony Mobile is no longer selling its phones in Malaysia. If they do decide to come back to Malaysia, you can expect the Sony phones to be considerably cheaper than in Europe. However, with Sony’s track record of making lacklustre phones of late, I don’t see why you would want to get a Sony phone over much better devices from the likes of Huawei, Samsung and Xiaomi.

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Amin Ashaari