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Sony D6503 'Sirius' rumor roundup: specs, release date, price and all we know so far

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Sony D6503 'Sirius' rumor roundup: specs, release date, price and all we know so far
In case you were worried Sony won't have a flagship to counter the Samsung Galaxy S5 or LG G3 with this season, you need to stop fretting, as the Sony D6503, codenamed "Sirius", already made quite the splash in the rumor mill. The company's current flagship, however, the Xperia Z1, has barely been on the market for a few months now, so Sirius might simply be a refresh of sorts, rather than the speculated Xperia Z2 successor.

This theory is backed up by the leaked specs, features and interface screenshots - there isn't anything that is drastically different than the Z1 - not to mention that the design language seems to have been kept very similar. Moreover, another Sony handset, coded D6603, appeared in benchmarks, so Sony might be doing this season what it did with the Xperia Z and ZL combo. Let's recap what we know so far about the "Sirius" handset.


Design


Photos, allegedly showing the Sony D6503, reveal a device that is similar in appearance to the Sony Xperia Z1, but with thinner side bezel. This leads to the possibility that the phone sports a larger, 5.2 inch screen, just as outed already. The bottom of the device has three large holes instead of the mesh speaker grille found on the Xperia Z1. The microUSB and SIM ports are on the left side and the microSD slot is on the right side. The lanyard is now also on the left side instead of the right side as on the Xperia Z1. In fact, a few photos popped up, that show the Sirius lying next to an Xperia Z1, so you can judge on the visual differences yourself.



Dual speakers


Sony D6503 'Sirius' rumor roundup: specs, release date, price and all we know so far
In the latest leaked photos of the handset, two thin slits are visible top and bottom at the front, covered with protective mesh that looks like a speaker grill. One is above the LED notification light at the top, and the other is at the bottom, right above what looks like a complex noise-canceling mic setup. Let's not forget that the back panel features a small mic opening at the top, so we might be in for a three-mic placement, like on the iPhone 5s, or the Lumia 1020. Those eventual two front speakers are perhaps stereo, too, like on the HTC One and One mini. The new USB amp support option in the settings should also be a hint that Sony has some plans for the Sirius to be an audio-oriented handset, not only a cameraphone.


Display


Sony D6503 'Sirius' rumor roundup: specs, release date, price and all we know so far
Last we heard, the screen is supposed to be 5.2 inches, and that's where the biggest difference with the Z1 lies - speculation was also that Sony will equip Sirius with a 1440x2560 pixels QHD display panel. On the other hand, leaked system info files show a Full HD display, and the QHD claims sound like a wishful thinking. 

Sony will be losing a bit if everyone comes out with a QHD phone, while Sirius is still on 1080p, but if this one is meant as a Z1 refresh, a sheer use of IPS screen panel, instead of the poor TN ones, would make enough of a difference, as the viewing angles on the Z and Z1 are inexcusable on a modern flagship. Not that the actual resolution maters when we are choosing between 1080p and QHD, as mobile screen resolution is more than enough at Full HD even at this point.


Specs


One and the same specs list is a recurring theme in all leaks. The phone will eventually be powered by Qualcomm's MSM8974AB SoC, which is a faster variant of the Snapdragon 800, offering higher clock speeds and other extras. 

The handset will allegedly join the 3 GB RAM club, as that's what's shown on the system info list, and regurgitated in rumors. We can only hope for 32 GB of internal memory, too, but if there's a microSD slot, like on the Xperia Z1, we'll likely get 16 GB. 

In fact, that's exactly the case in the leaked screenshots from the D6503, which are claimed to show 16 gigs of storage.

Sony D6503 'Sirius' rumor roundup: specs, release date, price and all we know so far
Meanwhile, а few screenshots, claimed to be from the upcoming Sirius, appeared over at the dedicated XDA-Devs threads. These show the battery life reports from the phone, which is said to carry a generous 3300 mAh capacity unit. That's 10% more battery capacity than the Z1, so even if we do have a Quad HD panel on the D6503, the juicer that backs it up, will be enough for the eventual increased consumption.

Judging from the battery screens, endurance is on the average side, yet these are arguably taken from a preproduction unit, so we wouldn't read too much into them, and we will wait for the official endurance numbers from Sony, and our own battery tests with the retail unit.


Camera 


The staple feature of an Xperia flagship is, naturally, the camera, ever since Sony outed the Z1 with a 20 MP shooter on the back. That same camera is supposedly making its way into the Sirius phone, and rightfully so, as everything less would be a disappointment already. Judging from the leaked photos, the LED flash placement, and the sensor spot itself, seem to be similar to the Z1, so hopefully Sony adds some extra features and improved algorithms as well, especially for nighttime footage, which on the Z1 is a rather weak point. 

At the very least we see that the 20 MP camera will be capable of 4K video recording, in line with Sony's recent trend to do everything centered around the next video resolution craze. More screenshots have appeared from an engineering unit of the device, and they show some new camera modes are in place, too.

First off, the 1080p video recording will have the option to be captured with 60 frames per second, in addition to the usual 30fps mode. Moreover, there will be a new camera resolution setting. With the Z1, you can only go from 20 MP in 4:3 aspect ratio, to 8 MP in the same ratio, with widescreen 16:9 format also done in 8 MP. Well, with Sony D6503 "Sirius" you will have the option of a more "resolute" 16:9 aspect, shot with 15.5 MP. Here are some leaked camera app screenshots and photos, claimed to be from the Sirius, compared with shots from the Z1.


Software


A treasure trove of screenshots was unearthed from a Sony D6503 Sirius, showing its Timescape interface, sitting on top of Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The screens reveal that new features are in store with Sony's upcoming flagship refresh - 4K video recording gets confirmed, as well as a Glove mode for the screen, meaning you can operate it out on the ski lift, like any self-respecting Lumia these days. There are numerous other tweaks like an extra homescreen for the visually impaired, smart backlight control, notification tabs in the status bar, as well as a whole lot of themes, transparencies and full-screen wallpapers, brought along by KitKat, which you can see in the slideshow below, plus a video of the interface in action just underneath.



Release date


Numerous pointers show that the new Xperia "Sirius" will be announced around the MWC expo, which starts at the end of February, with release date following next month, in March, for a typical flagship price north of 600 USD or EUR without a contract. That would mean a roughly six-month refresh cycle from the Z1 to the Sirius upgrade, and it would be worth it for the new screen and dual speakers alone, not to mention the features that Android KitKat and the new camera app will bring along with the handset. What do you think?

40 Comments
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posted on 21 Jan 2014, 06:34 2

1. xperiaDROID (limited) (Posts: 5399; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Why until now there's only rumors and leaks of the D6503? What about the D6603?

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 14:43

12. james004 (Posts: 471; Member since: 15 May 2013)


edit the pictures and specs pictures of this phone and just make some rumor.
Isnt that what the tech news blogs do? :/
its about reader's traffic.

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 19:42 6

14. __0__ (banned) (Posts: 242; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


I think this is the xperia ZL1 ! I am so excited .
Xperia ZL > Z is many ways .
ZL has better speakers .
ZL has slightly larger battery .
ZL is cheaper .
ZL has a camera shutter key
ZL has smaller bezel
ZL has slightly better looking screen , if you use a razor blade to remove the anti shatter film

posted on 11 Feb 2014, 08:06 1

29. akki20892 (Posts: 3413; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Sony put this in at&t too and we know it's coming in Verizon.

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 06:46

2. Teja171 (unregistered)


I think one of them is the Z2 and the other one too is a Z2, but some region specific locked device, or with a different cpu.

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 06:53 1

3. aayupanday (Posts: 516; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Don't think those speakers will be as powerful as the BoomSound

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 07:12 1

5. Teja171 (unregistered)


True to some xtent

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 07:51 4

8. buccob (Posts: 1394; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


I wouldn't mind having the same loudness I currently have... but you would be surprise what a better placement (plus stereo) can make...

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 06:56

4. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 1000; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


this better be a phone with a damn good viewing angles.QHD if thats what takes.speaker grill so thin thou,hope its loud enough.

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 07:14

6. Teja171 (unregistered)


Fingers crossed

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 07:46 1

7. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2701; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


This beast will beat the cr*p out of it's competition! Let's call it the GODZILLA

posted on 11 Feb 2014, 12:45 1

37. Arsen (Posts: 30; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)


GODZILLA with a CRAPPY BATTERY LIFE. HAHAHA

i'm a sony fan too but from what I've experienced from Xperia S and Xperia Z1 i won't be going back.

Sony's Displays eats a lot of battery. Sony didn't even noticed that.

Didn't you even see the Screenshot?

1Hr 50Mins Screen on Time. and 38% Remaining. 3300mAh Battery won't help. i got 2Hrs Screen on time on my g2 with 60% battery remaining.

posted on 11 Feb 2014, 20:09

38. minhajmsd (Posts: 7; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


If you would go to the thread on XDA you would know that the software is very buggy so you really shouldn't expect a good battery life.

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 08:22 5

9. nasznjoka (Posts: 337; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)


Huge BEZEL is like when someone has a huge forehead why do they still bring that ish#t in 2014?? even huawei is a lot better than that ish#t and guys says it looks awesome!!! #fanboys

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 12:22 10

11. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Huge BEZEL is like when someone has a huge forehead why do they still bring that ish#t in 2014??
Maybe because IP certification is much more important and useful than thin bezels.
And from what i know ish#t isn't waterproof and dustproof.

Those huge bezels also will provide us with more better and secure grip especialy when you hold the phone with one hand in landscape mode.

For my eyes this phone looks elegant and premium maybe thats why many people says it looks awesome.

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 08:01

28. tech2 (Posts: 2015; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


hmmmm........if waterproof and dustproof phones comes have bigger bezels then tell me why GS4 Active has smaller bezels inspite of supporting removable back and physical keys, Mr. Genuis ?

http://www.phonearena.com/phones/size#/phones/size/Sony-Xperia-Z1,Samsung-Galaxy-S4-Active/phones/8000,7840

posted on 11 Feb 2014, 09:08

33. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Hahaha... Z1 has larger sensor and battery thats why the bezels is taller and wider but the body is thinner than S4 Active.

Now can you tell me why S4 Active and Optimus GJ is bigger and thicker than S4 and Optimus G???

removeable cover doesn't make any different in size since samsung uses flimsy and thin back cover.
And there is also no problem with physical keys because the size of physical keys on S4 Active is about the same size as S4 (S4 also has 2 capacitive buttons)

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 14:55 4

13. Feanor (Posts: 304; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


A smartphone is mainly a square thing with a square screen in the middle. There is nothing about big bezels that resemble huge foreheads or other huge body parts except in your own imagination.
Most likely the large top bezel is because Sony engineers cannot fit the big camera sensor directly behind the screen without making the phone thick. It's their decision. Not everyone has to like it but also not everyone has to hate it. I personally think that 8-10mm additional length comparing to an LG is no ergonomic disaster. And design looks to me long and elegant.

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 12:00 3

10. LikeMyself (Posts: 267; Member since: 23 Sep 2013)


I still can't see the difference between a 720p S3 and a 1080p S4. And the 1080p on the Z1 is just awesome. So pleasant for the eyes. Don't need qHD(more than my FullHD tv wtf). Bring in more natural colors and battery efficient displays instead of useless qHD. Those who see a difference will make opticians become richer as they are using their phones glued to their eyes!

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 08:08

18. docj8404 (Posts: 72; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)


This isn't meant as an insult, but if you can't see any difference between a 720p 4.8' display & a 5' 1080p display, especially of AMOLED variety, it may be time for you to see an optometrist yourself. I suppose the following is a matter of opinion, but the colors on all Sony displays come across as severely washed out, regardless of what the resolution is, which I'm attributing to the TFT display technology if I recall correctly.

That aside, maybe one day Sony will release a smartphone that doesn't have abnormally large bezels.

posted on 26 Jan 2014, 02:11

15. Sonny_09 (Posts: 49; Member since: 24 May 2013)


The real question is whether should they continue this 6-month refresh cycle thingy? Why not just make one flagship for the whole year? I'm a bit hesitated to buy Sony flagship nowadays.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 08:25

19. Amir1 (Posts: 262; Member since: 20 Aug 2013)


buy it and be happy with your purchase. this way you won't think your device is old. new devices are announced all the time.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 12:27

24. Sonny_09 (Posts: 49; Member since: 24 May 2013)


Yes,new devices are announced all the time, but flagship aren't. If they continue such trend, all their products are just unfinished goods, that need to be refreshed every 6 month. I'm just scare this phone would suffer the same fate as Xperia Z.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 07:23

17. teja171 (unregistered)


And some flimsy loose flaps too.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 08:26

20. Amir1 (Posts: 262; Member since: 20 Aug 2013)


flaps are said to be very easy to open and close, said the xda user who shot these photos.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 10:31

21. teja171 (unregistered)


I mean that the flaps are somewhat substandard, and can fall off any moment, making the device no more waterproof.

posted on 11 Feb 2014, 09:04

32. majp89 (Posts: 98; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)


Unless you bite your fingernails. I know, this is my fault, but still annoying nonetheless.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 11:20 1

22. mokhtar (Posts: 219; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


sorry sony .. im a big fan seens the ion , z and z1 owner , but if this is really the next flagship ( i dont think so ) or z2 of sony .. thats a big big shame .. where is the double led or xenon , the optical image stabilization ? slow motion ? and a different design of z1 ? this is just the z1 , i think sony have a surprise for us .. im sure

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 21:05

26. trinkner (Posts: 12; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)


I agree. Without a xenon flash, this is just another fast, big Android phone. That's a nice phone in general, but it won't stand out from the S5, Nexus, G3, et al. I guess the water and dust resistance is different from the rest, but I was hoping Sony would step up their photography game to compete with Nokia.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 11:52

23. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1810; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)


I'm all in, for 4k recording

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 18:51

25. fireblade (Posts: 693; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


Sony is getting serious

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 22:13

27. Leonis (Posts: 334; Member since: 08 Jan 2014)


Please fix every thing that was wrong with z1.
Better battery life
Better viewing angle
Smaller but same screen size
Lighter
Better water and dust proof (already damn good)
Better drop protectiveness
More color choices
Better UI
Better camera!
The look of the phone is really great already! I love the purple.

posted on 11 Feb 2014, 08:53

30. Klamba92 (Posts: 195; Member since: 25 Jun 2012)


Lol I just commented on a previous article saying why people think the z1 will be announced sometime during MWC And got told I was talking BS and to read the article.

I'm just going to copy and paste what I said in the previous article:

We are at a point where every phone runs buttery smooth especially with android 4.3 and 4.4. So the needless specs race is useless now unless you are a heavy gamer. But lets be honest if you are a gamer you would have a console, gaming PC or handheld device.

I am waiting for real innovation to come back stuff with better battery tech, foldable phones /tablets etc.

If you want to go on about displays Sony xperia z1 has a very decent display if only for the viewing angles. If they improve that and the accuracy of colours you have a winner.

Another point being with devices coming up with shorter life cycles we the tech crowd would be keep being unimpressed because everything will just be iterative updates. Whereas if newer tech came out say every 16-18 months would be able to see bigger updates to each device that would actually "wow" us.

Well that's what I think anyway!

posted on 11 Feb 2014, 10:40

35. Leonis (Posts: 334; Member since: 08 Jan 2014)


I totally agree with you. Nothing will really wow us when we only see a new phone every 12 months from now on. Something amazing will have to be done with the UI and camera. This is a good thing because other OEM will have a chance to catch up with Samsung. Samsung will never be able to outrun like they did once android was new and tech was changing quite a bit for every 6 months.

posted on 11 Feb 2014, 09:03

31. majp89 (Posts: 98; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)


I wanted to like Sony so much, that I bought the Z1S.

Huge mistake. While this phone isn't terrible, it's just not a good phone. The viewing angles are washed out (as everyone already knew), the touch screen is a monstrosity, texting is a nightmare, battery life is paltry for a phone with such a massive battery, and the software is lacking. Nonetheless, the ergonomics leave something to be desired, but I knew that when I bought the phone. Your money should be spent elsewhere, invest in a Motorola or something from LG. Unless Sony changes their design language, avoid them like the plague.

posted on 11 Feb 2014, 11:52

36. THE_Hulk (Posts: 55; Member since: 09 Feb 2014)


maybe you've got a faulty one.... get replacement

posted on 11 Feb 2014, 10:33

34. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6375; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


This is going too be one beautiful piece of hardware

posted on 11 Feb 2014, 21:14

39. fzacek (Posts: 1580; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


The side bezels were fine, but the top and bottom bezels of the Xperia Z1 were disgustingly large. I would rather that they made it just 1080p, because that would give about 430ppi which is well enough for anybody. A 5 inch smartphone with a QHD screen is just stupid, useless, and wasteful of battery life.

posted on 15 Feb 2014, 18:05

44. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


I want, there's not really anything else to say about this one.

posted on 19 Feb 2014, 07:31

45. predateur (Posts: 10; Member since: 18 Feb 2014)


Sony put this in aT T too and we know it's coming in Verizon also !

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