It looks likely that we'll be seeing the Sony Xperia 1 IV at some point this year – perhaps as early as next month – and we've got some new rumors to report that cover the camera configuration and other specs that could be in the pipeline for this flagship phone.
These rumors come via the usually reliable Zackbuks (opens in new tab) on Chinese social media site Weibo (via Notebookcheck (opens in new tab)). First up is the processor: like a lot of top-end Android phones scheduled for 2022, the Xperia 1 IV is being tipped to feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset from Qualcomm.
The RAM options will apparently be 12GB and 16GB – which is a lot – and the storage choices are tipped to be 256GB and 512GB. On top of that, the same source says the phone will have upgrades to the main lens and telephoto lens this time around.
Another tidbit revealed here is the battery capacity: 5,000mAh and a 45W charging rate. There's also talk of improved brightness for the screen, and perhaps a design overhaul, although this seems less certain from the information posted online.
We described the Xperia 1 III as "Sony's best phone for quite some time". It had a triple-lens 12MP+12MP+12MP rear camera, and Sony will probably keep the same megapixel ratings while upgrading the lens technology. The internal specs were a Snapdragon 888 CPU and up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
The Xperia 1 III came with a 4,500mAh battery and 30W charging, so if this leak is true then we're looking at substantial upgrades here. We'll have to wait and see whether or not that translates into a major improvement in the phone's battery life.
Analysis: another big year for Sony phones
As we've said, we were impressed by what the Sony Xperia 1 III had to offer – but down the years, positive reviews haven't really led to bumper sales for Sony's smartphone division, and that's the challenge that the Sony Xperia 1 IV is going to be up against.
We know that Sony can do cameras very well – it sells its sensors to many other smartphone manufacturers – and of course it has plenty of experience in displays thanks to its television business. That's two key areas of a smartphone where you know that a Sony handset is going to excel.
Typically it's been high prices that have made it difficult for the Sony Xperia series to get a foothold, and these phones aren't quite as high profile as those made by Google, Samsung or Apple either – even if they deserve to attract more fans through their combination of hardware and software.
We'll have to wait and see what the Xperia 1 IV brings with it. If it follows the schedule of its predecessor then it's going to appear in April, but we also know that Sony likes announcing products at MWC – so it might show up in February at MWC 2022.