The Sony Xperia XZ3 was without a shadow of a doubt one of the most exciting Sony Mobile smartphones to come from the trusted brand in years. Its successor therefore, has some pretty big shoes to fill.
This new phone should be the Xperia XZ4 by previous convention but Sony went on a renaming spree at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona when it launched the Xperia 1, Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus. The Xperia 1 replaces the XZ Premium line, while the Xperia 10 replaces the Xperia XA line, meaning there is still a place for a Xperia XZ3 successor.
Little is currently known about it, since many of the previous leaks actually referred to the Xperia 1. Here's everything we're expecting for the Xperia XZ3 successor though, along with what we'd like to see.
What will Sony's next phone be called?
We interviewed Sony Mobile's Adam Marsh during Mobile World Congress 2019 and he told us that "Xperia 1, Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus is the new naming structure so...any future product would probably be named around that structure."
Marsh wouldn't comment on whether Sony would be releasing a successor to the Xperia XZ3 or whether the line is now redundant. We still expect a device to launch that sits between the premium flagship Xperia 1 and the mid-range Xperia 10 though, which would theoretically be the Xperia XZ3's successor.
What this device will be called though, is anyone's guess. Sony Xperia 5 maybe? That's mid-way between the two current ranges names, though that will pose a problem in four years time if Sony offers a yearly update to those ranges.
Release date and price
- Likely IFA 2019
- Around £699?
In the past, Sony Mobile has refreshed its main smartphone range - the Xperia XZ line (previously called Xperia Z) - every six months so we'd see one device launch at Mobile World Congress and a refresh at IFA. Alongside that range, we've seen yearly launches of other ranges, like the Xperia XZ Premium (now called Xperia 1) and the Xperia XA range (now called Xperia 10).
While a new Xperia XZ3 hasn't been confirmed by Sony Mobile as coming at all, we'd be surprised if the company didn't announce a smartphone at IFA 2019 and the Xperia XZ3 successor is the most likely candidate.
In terms of pricing, we'd expect the Xperia XZ3 successor to be priced around the same as the XZ3, so near the £699 mark. That would also put it under the Xperia 1, which costs £849.
Next Xperia: What we want to see
- More curves
- 21:9 display
- In-display fingerprint sensor
The Sony Xperia XZ3 shook up the Xperia range completely. It moved away from the OmniBalance design we had come to expect from Xperia devices, switching to a curved rear, slimmer edges and reduced bezels around the display.
The Xperia 1, Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus then launched and changed the form of Sony smartphones as we knew them. They feature tall, slender bodies with 21:9 displays. They return to the flat slab design though, and while there is no bezel at the bottom of their displays, they all have foreheads.
We'd like the see the next Xperia device merge the Xperia XZ3's design with the Xperia 1's design. A 21:9 display is welcomed but we want to see the bezel above the display reduced, or better yet removed, in order to offer a slighter shorter device overall.
We'd also like to see some of the XZ3's curves to reappear for the next device.
What we expect to see on Sony's next Xperia
If Sony launches a smartphone at IFA, it is very likely to offer the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset in it as Sony is one of Qualcomm's most loyal fans and this will still be the flagship Qualcomm platform available.
It wouldn't be too surprising to see the X50 5G modem on board too after Sony's Adam Marsh told us Sony would be releasing a 5G smartphone in the near future. That said, the Sony 5G smartphone could be a different range entirely.
If the next Sony smartphone is the Xperia XZ3's successor, we expect a glass front and rear with a metal core. We'd also expect at least a dual camera setup on the rear, though we'd hope for the Alpha-certified triple system found on the Xperia 1.
In terms of display, we'd put our money on around 6-inches with a Quad HD+ resolution and support for mobile HDR. This would allow for it to differentiate itself from the Xperia 1 and its 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED screen. We'd also hope to see a return to curved OLED on the next Xperia like the Xperia XZ3 - which will also make Sony's Side Sense software feature more practical again compared to what it is on the Xperia 10 models.
An in-display fingerprint sensor would be great too, though we're not expecting this. Instead, we see Sony sticking to the side-mounted fingerprint sensor it launched on the Xperia 1.
For now, we don't even know if a successor to the Xperia XZ3 will appear but we will update this rumour if we hear any whisperings.