Sony recently tipped its hand when it updated the banner on the Xperia YouTube page while also reportedly sending out invites to members of the media. Sony’s banner doesn’t give any hints about the specific device or devices it intends to announce, but the expectation is that Sony’s new flagship phone will be the Xperia 1 Mark III, with rumors that Sony could bring back the Xperia Compact as well in some fashion.
According to leaks and a render posted by Steve Hemmerstofer (aka @OnLeaks), the Xperia 1 III is expected to retain the minimalist design used on previous Xperia phones while featuring specs that could rival Samsung’s Galaxy S21+ or possibly even the S21 Ultra. OnLeaks says the Xperia 1 III will feature a 4K 6.5-inch OLED display with very thin bezels and a triple rear camera with Zeiss’ T* lens coating and possibly a Sony-designed periscope-style telephoto cam Cybershot branding.
As you’d expect from a high-end phone in 2021, the Xperia 1 III is also believed to come with support for 5G connectivity, along with stereo speakers, a bonus shortcut button (which could also double as a dedicated camera shutter button), and a fingerprint sensor built into the phone’s power button.
Notably, the Xperia 1 III is also rumored to include a dedicated 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot, which are two features that Samsung has abandoned on recent Galaxy S phones. To me, this puts Sony in a very interesting position because for the first time in years, the Xperia line might be the best alternative to Samsung’s popular flagship phones, especially with LG looking like it’s about to bow out of the mobile phones business.
According to Chinese leaker ZACKBUKS (via TechRadar), other Xperia 1 III specs including a 120Hz refresh rate for its 6.5-inch display, a Snapdragon 888 chip, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage (or more depending on the config).
Sadly, there’s a lot less info regarding the rumored Xperia Compact, aside from it having a 5.5-inch screen, which is slightly larger than the iPhone 12 Mini’s 5.4-inch display, but just a tad smaller than something like the Pixel 5 with its 6-inch screen. And in case that’s not enough, there’s a chance Sony may also announce refreshed phones for the Xperia 5 and Xperia 10 lines at its event as well.
Regardless, if Sony can continue to leverage the fantastic tech it puts in its high-end mirrorless cams while tossing in a bunch of premium features and increasing carrier support in the U.S., the Xperia 1 Mark III could be exactly what Sony needs to make a big comeback in the smartphone market.