The Sony MWC 2018 situation is getting more and more confused as various names are bandied about the web, each with slightly differing specs. So here's what we know.
Sony will launch a flagship phone this Monday at MWC 2018. Its press conference takes place on Monday morning at 7.30am GMT/8.30am CET. You can follow the live blog and live stream right here, and be among the first to know.
The phone that is announced at the show could be either the Sony Xperia XZ1 Premium, as per tradition (Sony typically announces a flagship at IFA in Autumn, followed by a Premium version at MWC in Spring), or it could be the previously unknown Sony Xperia XZ Pro.
But as soon as it was beginning to look like the latter was most likely, now rumours are popping up all over the shop that it will be the Sony Xperia XZ2.
This is certainly what's been suggested by VentureBeat's Evan Blass, a respected tipster who says the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will launch Monday with 5.7- and 5in 18:9 displays (complete with Gorilla Glass 5) respectively, Android 8.0 Oreo, the Snapdragon 845, S Force surround speakers, 3180mAh/2870mAh batteries (the XZ2 with support for Qi wireless charging), and 19Mp, f/1.8 cameras capable of 4K video recording.
The fingerprint scanner is now found on the rear of these phones, which will be available in black, silver, green and pink. While the XZ2 is all glass, the XZ2 Compact is expected to have a non-scratch polycarbonate finish.
Does it really matter what it's called? Not really. What does matter is what it brings to the table.
Sony phones have been looking somewhat long in the tooth of late with their single-lens camera setups, 16:9 displays and chunky bezels. That should be about to change with the next Sony flagship, which will likely introduce an 18:9 'bezel-less' display.
When is the Sony Xperia XZ1 Premium release date?
Our best guess is that Sony will unveil the Xperia XZ1 Premium at MWC 2018, which takes place at the end of February.
Sony's press conference will be held on Monday 26 February 2018, at 7.30am GMT/8.30am CET.
This theory is backed up by the fact a Sony phone known as the 'ID PY7-21831A' has just passed through the FCC.
What are the rumoured features and specifications for the new Sony Xperia XZ1 Premium?
Our guess, which is part educated hunch and part based on rumours, is that the XZ1 Premium will have a 5.7in 4K 18:9 screen with Gorilla Glass 5, the Snapdragon 845, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, a rear fingerprint scanner and IP68 waterproofing. Cameras will be standout, potentially a dual-camera with 18Mp and 12Mp lenses.
The design was presumed to be standard Sony fare, which has a very distinct boxy shape, but with narrower bezels. But Sony posted the below teaser video suggesting a more curved design like on the recent mid-range Xperia XA2:
— Sony Xperia GB (@sonyxperiagb) February 19, 2018
The Sony phone that has just passed through the FCC also swaps out the headphone jack for USB-C audio. This phone has a 5.7in screen and a 152.79x72.42mm body, which is slightly smaller than the XZ Premium and supports the idea that it will have slimmer bezels.
Specs that have also leaked for a handset with the model number H8541 reveal an upcoming Sony flagship that features a 149x74x7.5mm body and an 18:9 panel. Could this be a compact version?
New Sony phone images
Renders of two unknown Sony phones have been created by Vortex - it says based on Sony’s own design drafts, so of course they're not the real deal.
At this stage we don’t know which is intended to be the Premium. The more boxy model fits better with Sony’s usual design, though the bizarrely spaced rear cameras (one may be a depth sensor) and strange combination of matt and gloss at the back is much less ‘Sony’.
The second model, meanwhile, features a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. We’ve previously seen Sony embed these into the power button, but even better would be to embed it into the screen.
My Drivers has also published some images of what it says is the Xperia XZ Pro, shown below.