Sony Mobile has a tendency to launch a new smartphone every six months and it seems it has no intention of slowing down.

No sooner has the Xperia XZ arrived on shelves, than the next Sony flagship is the topic of conversation on the rumour mill. This is everything we know so far.

Sony's naming convention isn't the easiest to predict in comparison to other manufacturers, well not anymore anyway. The company announced the death of its Z range of smartphones at MWC 2016, the same time it launched the X Series, which it signified as its future.

Sony then announced the Xperia XZ at IFA 2016, which it claimed sat above the XA, XA Ultra, X Compact, X and X Performance models that were seen in Barcelona. The name of the next Xperia is therefore anyone's guess, but given the X series has a fair few devices under its umbrella, we wouldn't be surprised to see a move to X2.

For the sake of this feature, we will be using the Sony Xperia X2 but this could change as rumours develop.

  • CES announcement rumoured 
  • MWC launch more likely

Sony tends to announce new smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, or IFA in Berlin. It's been claimed the new Xperia devices will launch at CES 2017, which takes place in Vegas however.

Sony has used CES to launch smartphones in the past, but it hasn't launched a flagship at the show since the Xperia Z so we would suspect an MWC launch would be more likely. The Xperia Z1 Compact was the last time Sony announced a smartphone at CES, which was 2014.

MWC 2017, which takes place from 27 February to 1 March, will mark a year since the launch of the Xperia X range meaning an upgrade at the show would be reasonable.

  • OmniBalance design likely to remain
  • Metal build expected
  • USB Type-C and fingerprint sensor likely

Rumours are few and far between when it comes to the design of the next Xperia flagship, but Sony's design pattern hasn't changed as much over recent years as its naming convention has.

All the Xperia flagships feature an OminBalance design, resulting in flat slabbed phones. The Xperia X range saw the move from tempered glass rears to all metal, with most models retaining waterproofing. We'd expect the OmniBalance to remain for the future flagship, though we would like to see just one sheet of metal on the rear, rather than several elements like the Xperia XZ.

A side power button with built-in fingerprint sensor is also likely, given this has become a signature feature of Sony phones, and as the Xperia XZ has USB Type-C, we'd expect any new phones to offer the same. There has been a very blurry leak of a front panel, claimed to be the Xperia XZ (2017), showing minimal side bezels and the typical chunky top and bottom bezels, but the image doesn't give a great deal else away.

  • Rumours of 5-inch or 5.2-inch device
  • Also reports of 4K 5.5-inch display

Reports suggest the new Sony Xperia devices will come in a 5-inch or 5.2-inch Full HD display and a larger 5.5-inch 4K display.

Unlike its competitors, Sony has notoriously avoided the Quad HD fad, claiming users don't want to trade battery life for the extra pixels, so the suggestion of Full HD and 4K makes sense.

The Xperia Z5 and more recent Xperia XZ offer a 5.2-inch Full HD display, while the Z5 Premium was the first smartphone to have a 4K display and is due an upgrade.

  • Next Xperia still likely to continue with a focus on camera

The camera has always been one of Sony's main focuses when it comes to its smartphones, which isn't surprising since the company not only makes its own professional cameras but supplies other smartphone manufacturers with camera lenses too.

The Xperia XZ features a 23-megapixel snapper on the rear and a 13-megapixel camera on the front, hitting all the numbers when it comes to the spec sheet.

There haven't been any rumours as yet regarding what we can expect from the next Sony smartphones, but we would imagine Sony will continue to place a big focus in this area.

  • Qualcomm processor likely
  • 4GB of RAM rumoured

Sony is one of Qualcomm's most loyal fans, with all its Xperia flagships featuring the latest and greatest Snapdragon chip at their time of launch. With that in mind we would expect any new Xperia flagships to follow suit.

It will depend on when the device or devices launch, but we'd expect to see either the Snapdragon 821, or the Snapdragon 830 under the hood of the next Xperia. Rumour has it we can also expect 4GB of RAM.

Other hardware specs have yet to be detailed but an educated guess would suggest at least 32GB of internal storage, microSD support and around a 3000mAh battery.

We'd hope that any devices launching at either CES or MWC would come with Android 7.1 Nougat from the box, though that might not be the case.

Whether Android Marshmallow or Nougat, Sony's software will no doubt sit over the top, even if we would love to see a vanilla Android experience or less bloatware.

The rumours have only just started properly for the next Sony smartphones but expect them to shift into full swing over the next couple of weeks.

Will we see new Sony phones at CES 2017? Who knows. If we don't, there is a very good chance we will see at least one new Xperia at MWC.

Watch this space as we will be updating this feature as soon as we hear any more rumours.