Alleged renders of Sony’s next flagship — tentatively called the Xperia 1 IV — have popped up online, giving the glimpse of a familiar design that has been a mainstay on Sony phones for a while now. Less than a month ago, Sony finally brought the Xperia 1 III to the U.S. shores, nine months after its official announcement. The phone is a solid package, but with a $1,000 price tag on top, it’s not the most attractive high-end Android phone out there.

While the old design has its share of fans and naysayers, offering a Snapdragon 888-powered phone for that price, when the likes of Samsung are dishing Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phones for a lower premium, doesn’t make much sense. However, it appears that Sony wants to change the status quo in 2022 with its upcoming Xperia 1 IV flagship, whose renders have already made their way to social media.

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The leaked renders come courtesy of @OnLeaks, while Giznext has also shared some finer details about the upcoming phone. Sony is keeping the tall 21:9 aspect ratio screen on its forthcoming offering, promising a ‘cinematic’ experience for watching videos. Plus, the tall display also fits in just a tad bit more content for doomscrolling, while the thin profile makes one-handed usage less of a chore. The screen reportedly measures 6.5-inches, which is the same as Sony’s camera-centric Xperia Pro-I that came rocking a 1-inch camera sensor with many tricks in tow. Suppose Sony’s previous flagships are any indication. Then Xperia 1 IV buyers are in for an OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and a sprinkling of proprietary display tech borrowed from Sony’s Bravia line of TVs.

Hopefully, The Internal Upgrades Are Worth It

The only change that Sony appears to have been made in the design department is the absence of a dedicated Google Assistant button that could also be customized and assigned a shortcut on previous Sony flagships. The camera lens island still has a vertical, pill-shaped profile. There’s no word on megapixel figures yet, but a rectangular lens suggests that one of them is a periscope-style telephoto camera that relies on a folded lens system for zooming in and out. Apple is reportedly exploring the same camera tech as well, but it is unclear if the iPhone 14 Pro models will be the first to embrace it. The rest of the internal hardware is a mystery at the moment.

But the general trend of 2022 flagships suggests that the Xperia 1 IV will dole out goodies like Qualcomm‘s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC paired with a healthy amount of RAM, fast charging and some camera improvements as well. Sony’s smartphone sales finally saw some growth last year after years of decline, and in its financial results, the company pinned the revenue uptick on higher unit sales. Unfortunately, Sony’s pricing policy hasn’t been attractive enough to attract more buyers, but the real problem is a delayed market release pattern. One can only hope that Sony offers the Xperia 1 III at a competitive price and brings it to the market in time to have a chance against some very competitive phones offered by the likes of Samsung, Apple and Google.