Sony’s next phone will be different (and weird too, I hope)

Chris Burns - Sep 27, 2017
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Sony’s next phone will be different (and weird too, I hope)

Sony’s Xperia smartphone series will get a new design language in 2018 after nearly a half-decade with the same rectangle. The design language they use currently began roughly around the time the first Sony Xperia Z device was released – see our original Sony Xperia X Review from back in 2014 to see what I mean. Now, here in 2017, Sony’s India-based managing director Kenichiro Hibi confirms that their industrial design will change come 2018.

Hibi spoke with Indian Express this week at the launch of the Xperia XZ1, suggesting that their “omnibalance” design will remain in the Xperia X series, but that they “are planning to launch new generation of products [in 2018] and you can expect a complete new design from the devices.”

An important point here is the distinction between “acknowledged” and “confirmed” in this next bit: India Express implies that the next Sony smartphone flagship will likely have a bezel-less design. In reality, the following sentence connects two separate bits of information in an effort to make them appear as one: “In order to keep pace with the competition, Sony may be looking to adopt a nearby bezel-less design for its next-generation flagship, which according to Hibi will arrive ‘soon’.”

Sony acknowledged that bezel-less design language and 18:9 aspect ratio smartphones exist, and that companies are making them. They also suggested – separately – that the next Sony smartphone flagship will arrive soon. Separate things – not confirmation of correlation.

We’re excited that Sony’s taking a moment to reconsider their smartphone aims, especially when it comes to hardware design. The industrial design of the Sony Xperia Z and X lineup is perfectly fine, but barring an industry-leading userbase like Apple, things need to change. While I’m hoping they don’t go all the way back to the designs they were using in 2010, like the Xperia X10, I wouldn’t mind Sony taking another crack at the PlayStation Phone.

At the head of this article is the PlayStation Phone itself – Sony Xperia Play. This device was the original Gingerbread Nexus phone – instead brought to an entirely different place before the Nexus S was chosen for the hero. While some of the videos are on the fritz at the moment, I recommend you have a peek at “Three weeks later: Xperia Play, an article written all the way back in 2011 by yours truly.

As the following video reminds us, Sony could truly get weird with it by the time 2018 rolls around. Here’s hoping there are even MORE thumbs involved this time.


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