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(Pocket-lint) - Sony's smaller-scale handset series, the Xperia 5, is expected to arrive in its fourth generation 2022 release as the Xperia 5 IV, succeeding the Xperia 5 III (which we reviewed in late 2021).

But the product's name isn't the biggest part of the story: it's the suggestion that it will feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus inside. The 'Plus' being the big takeaway from that, as the alleged step-up platform hasn't even been announced by Qualcomm as yet. 

Plus would follow the typical naming convention of the chip-maker, though, as the interim processor to feature ahead of a typical end-of-year announcement (for what will most likely be 8 Gen 2). Exactly what the Plus version will bring to the table is as yet unclear, but expect a little more processing power.

Otherwise the Xperia 5 IV's leaked specification thus far reads a bit like an interim device, truth be told, with that processor rumour being the biggest feature on the spec sheet. Elsewhere the phone's 6.1-inch display and triple rear camera system (using three 12MP sensors) are an exact echo of the previous Xperia 5 III.

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However, the fourth-gen Xperia handset is expected to get a slight battery increase, up from 4,500mAh to an as yet undisclosed capacity.

When will we know more? Well, MWC 2022 in Barcelona is just around the corner, but we doubt that will be where either Qualcomm or Sony reveal such future plans - it just seems a little too soon after the announcement of Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and too near to the Xperia 5 III's October 2021 release date.

Writing by Mike Lowe.