Sony used Mobile World Congress to announce the Xperia 1, Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus, but they launch at a show where 5G devices and foldable phones are all everyone is talking about.

The new 21:9 devices offer a different form factor to the devices that currently flood the flagship market, but could Sony have done more to stand out rather than just stand tall?

The company briefly mentioned 5G during its press conference, but there was certainly no talk of a foldable device, despite rumours suggesting Sony was working on one.

A prototype of Sony's 5G device was available on its stand and Qualcomm's stand, however. Now, the device on both stands was in a casing and the Qualcomm model was simply running a looped video so no details were available as such. The prototype on Sony's stand had a speed test gauge, though it was a little temperamental.

Both prototype models highlighted the use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, which would have been a logical assumption given the device was on the Qualcomm stand and Sony often opts the company's chipsets in its devices. It will of course have the optional X50 5G modem too as it is a 5G handset. The prototype also showed a 21:9 aspect ratio, like the Xperia 1 offers with a slim bezel at the top.

It is being known internally as the "AG-1" as we were told by Sony's Adam Marsh, who is part of its global communications team. Marsh told us the device was not a "commercial product" and instead, it is a "Product [the company] is using in trials with certain key customers who are using it to do consumer testing, as well as network testing and experience testing". 

Marsh also told us it was not just a sub-6 product, but a 5mm wave product too.

Pocket-lintSay hello to the first Sony Xperia 5G smartphone image 2

He explained the design wasn't representative of the 5G product that would be commercially available from Sony, instead saying the company was "trying to understand [what would happen] if you take an antenna away from a certain place and make it thinner, [and] what the consequence of network connectivity [would be].

Marsh added: "At the moment, from a rollout point of view, 5G just isn't there. In 4G, you can still [get] more speed in more places than 5G, at the moment."

He followed with: "We are massively involved in 5G, just not launching anything commercially just yet. You can see we have a product so in the near future."

When the Sony Xperia 5G device will be available is therefore not yet known, though we would be surprised if the company didn't offer a 5G smartphone at IFA 2019.

Other brands, including LG and Samsung have put their 5G devices at the top of their smartphone ranges, which the Xperia 1 is for Sony. If Sony follows suit, perhaps Sony's first 5G smartphone will launch as the Xperia 2 in September?

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