Sony Has An iPhone SE Alternative With Android On The Way

Apple might be the first company that comes to mind when you think of smartphones with small displays, given that it has not one, but two compact smartphones in its 2022 lineup — the iPhone SE (2022), and the iPhone 13 Mini. With the Android camp not too keen on launching small smartphones, it might come as a surprise that Sony appears to be a big proponent of the compact form factor. The company has been making the Sony Xperia Ace lineup of compact devices since 2019, and it looks like the 2022 iteration of the Xperia Ace should be unveiled very soon.

Popular smartphone leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer – in collaboration with Indian publication Zollege – recently shared the first-ever CAD renders of a new compact smartphone called the Sony Xperia Ace 3. These renders, which Steve himself makes, are based on early product blueprints and CAD drawings sent to third-party accessory makers.

If it wasn't evident from the name already, the Ace 3 is a third-generation smartphone that will succeed the original Xperia Ace from 2019 and the Xperia Ace 2, which came in 2020. At first glance, the third generation Xperia Ace doesn't seem to throw any surprises, and all things point towards the likelihood of it being an incremental update over its predecessor.

Keeping it simple

The upcoming Sony Xperia Ace 3 is near-identical to its compact predecessor from 2020 in terms of design and overall size, at least based on the renders, and it happens to have a slightly smaller footprint. However, the new model is slightly thicker than the outgoing model (9.1mm instead of 8.9mm). This tiny change to the dimensions does not affect the display size. This is why the Xperia Ace 3 retains the tried and tested 5.5-inch display we saw on the Ace 2 back in 2020.

Moving on to the rear panel, Sony seems to have gotten rid of the 2MP depth sensor on the Ace 3, which now only gets a single 13MP rear-facing camera. The Ace 3 leak does show a front-facing camera housed within the waterdrop notch. While we do not have details about the sensor used here, it is likely to be the same 8MP sensor we found on last year's Ace 2, unless, of course, Sony decides to upgrade it.

The rest of the design – including the side-mounted fingerprint scanner and the volume rocker keys – are all a straight lift from the Xperia Ace 2.

What we do not know yet

The rest of the hardware specs of the Sony Xperia Ace 3 continue to be shrouded in mystery. For example, we still do not know what processor this phone would feature. However, given that the Ace 2 came powered by the MediaTek P35 SoC, it wouldn't be erroneous to say that the Ace 3 would be targeted at the budget market, and may feature an entry-level chipset. It would be interesting to see if the device will finally make a jump to 5G networks this time around.

The marginal change in dimensions is not expected to impact the battery size of the Xperia Ace 3, and there is a good chance it will retain the 4,500mAh battery from the Ace 2. What remains to be seen is whether the Ace 3 receives a wider launch net compared to the Ace 2 — which only launched in Japan.

Although we do not have a confirmed launch date for this one, Steve indicates the likelihood of this model launching by June 2022. Given that the Sony Xperia Ace 3 will almost certainly not be an iPhone SE rival in terms of hardware performance, are you still interested in this one?