Sony billboard accidentally leaks Xperia 1 V's 'next-gen' camera and official design

A billboard showcases the Xperia 1 V ahead of launch.
A billboard showcases the Xperia 1 V ahead of launch. (Image credit: u/LOL5552 / Reddit)

Accidental product leaks by brands are usually minor slip-ups that are only spotted by chance, such as a premature store listing that’s quickly taken down. But Sony has leaked its upcoming flagship Xperia 1 V phone in style – by posting a massive billboard featuring the device on the side of a building.

The billboard (see above) was spotted in Hong Kong before being taken down, but not before photos appeared on Reddit  and Twitter, and they show a handset that’s pretty much identical to what we’ve seen in leaks.

Based on the images, Sony Xperia I V – which is set to be officially revealed on May 11 – will look a lot similar to the Xperia 1 IV. The flat sides remain, surrounding a slender, slim body, characteristic of previous entries in the series. You’ll also spot a camera lens layout that remains uniquely Sony. The new phone’s camera array appears a little bigger than the previous generation, with Sony’s ad proclaiming that the phone will have a “next-gen” camera system.

 A tale of two promos

If I had a nickel for every Android phone launching on May 11 with an official render making the rounds on the first day of May, I would have two nickels, as the saying goes. The Xperia 1 V joins the Google Pixel 7a being teased by an official source only days ahead of launch, even if one was unintentional.

Though we’ve seen fewer leaks around the Xperia 1 V than we have for the 7a, we still have a clear idea of what to expect from both phones. The Xperia 1 IV is rumored to be coming with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 6.5-inch flat display, and a 5,000mAh capacity battery. The Pixel 7a, meanwhile, is expected to have a Tensor G2 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 6.1-inch display, and a 4,400mAh battery.

Though these are very different smartphones in many respects, both the Xperia and Pixel lines place a premium on the camera experience (though you could argue all the best Android phones do).

The Pixel series has typically outperformed the Sony Xperias in reviews and comparison tests, with our Xperia 1 IV review noting that the phone is for those who would rather edit their photos themselves than those who want a usable image straight out of the box.

Might this be the year that Sony makes up ground in the photography department? We’ll have a better idea soon, but for a phone that’s rumored to cost upwards of $1,000 / £1,000 / AU$1,800, we’d hope so.

Michael Allison
Staff Writer, Phones

A UK-based tech journalist for TechRadar, helping keep track and make sense of the fast-paced world of tech with a primary focus on mobile phones, tablets, and wearables.

When not writing on TechRadar, I can often be found reading fiction, writing for fun, or working out.