Sony rumored to finally be ditching its OmniBalance design at MWC 2018


Pretty much any mention of the words "Sony Xperia" online will inevitably get you the same reaction: people unhappy with the manufacturer's decision to stick with its years-old design principles (even though it's far from the only company doing it).

But this might soon change, if a new rumor is to be believed: Sony is said to be retiring its OmniBalance for good starting next year. Rejoice!

As you may know, Sony likes releasing its major smartphones in two batches: one early in the year at the Mobile World Congress, and one in late summer at IFA. And as per the rumor, MWC 2018 will see the company release only devices using the new "Mirai" design principles (which is a terrible naming choice, by the way).


And as it happens, this isn't the first time we're hearing of a possible new Sony design: the company was previously rumored to be working on its own take on the bezel-less smartphone, and Mirai may well turn out to be the product of these efforts. Well, either that, or both rumors are false — given the lack of concrete info so far, we advise you take a healthy helping of salt alongside these rumors.

Still, it would be fun to see what Sony, a company widely know for its creatively designed products, would do once it finally decided to refresh its smartphone looks.

source: Esato forums

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49 Comments

1. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

I'm sure they can give the best camera phone phone in the market ...

2. Switch00

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

you've been saying this for more than 5 years now, boy. calm down. until owners sack top bosses, nothing worth mentioning is going to change.

22. ibend2

Posts: 159; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

*2 years

47. Greenmule

Posts: 129; Member since: Apr 24, 2017

Here is an article about Fujitsu selling their mobile phone division. Fujitsu has/had a 7.1% market share--*in Japan*. *In Japan*, Sony has a 5.4% market share. Since 2012, Apple has gone from a 15.9% market share to a 52.2% market share. Sony needs to figure it out and do what they need to do or they will be selling as well. Industry consolidation is here to stay. Even in Japan, Sony is not immune to it. https://qz.com/1060175/fujitsu-tyo-6702-to-become-latest-once-high-flying-japanese-cellphone-maker-to-leave-the-business/

48. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

If OmniBalance = thick bezels than good riddance! Japanese are known for being stubborn. Why can't they just learn from Sharp Crystal design in the earlier years and sell the phone in the international market? Still better late than never!

49. Kino2x

Posts: 16; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

Agree! ))))

7. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

I'm sure they can, but it looks like they don't want to. They keep the best sensors for themselves (1/2.3" IMX400) but they ruin it with not implementing OIS and not having the best noise reduction algorithms. Their video stabilization is umnamtched for several years though.

9. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Exactly my thoughts. They have hardware but camera software sucks for stills.

10. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

The daylight stills are actually very good. It's the low-light shots that leave a lot to be desired. I hope that they will add a brighter lens, OIS and better noise-reduction algorithms in the future so that they cak take full advantage of their exclusive sensors.

12. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

It wont change anything as long as Auto Superior keeps using at least ISO 1000. That is the issue. It is not processing, daylight shots would be bad too. The difference between Auto and Manual in low light is huge.

15. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

That smearing in images because o algorithm is not so bad but I remember Z2, Z3 was awful in that respect. Day time images are fine, surely could be better but nothing really bad. My guess was they don't want to compete to Sony camera division and in particular point and shoot segment otherwise I don't see the reason why they can't do it.

21. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

I read on weibo once that ppl from camera division makes the software.

26. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

That is interesting.

11. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

Let the IMX400 have OIS, f/1.8 aperture at least, and use the same processing as the Pixel, and I guarantee you it will be the best smartphone camera on the planet. There's no reason it can't, especially with the DRAM. Fun fact: we don't mind a camera bump if it means better pictures.

20. mixedfish

Posts: 1561; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

The Pixel just simply cheats by putting HDR on default, it isn't anything special.

27. Shamoy

Posts: 112; Member since: Dec 28, 2013

OIS doesn't make as much of a difference, however what does is ultimately the end image processing and the lack of RAW just limits you to use Sony's crappy offering. I'm seriously hoping this Mirai philosophy isn't just an iterative design change, I hope its a revolutionary change for Sony in not only design but in areas they lack.

33. Furbal unregistered

I'd love to see what Samsung or LG could do with the sensor.

29. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 703; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

Honestly, with the latest iPhones, Apple has taken over the leadership in the camera department. No other smartphone will produce better selfies than the iPhone X because the front camera is unique and it’s combined with a great SoC. The back camera of iPhone X and 8 Plus seem to be exceptionally good too.

32. vincelongman

Posts: 5724; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

We still haven't seen reviews yet Or the Pixel 2, the 2017 Pixel had the best rear camera and by far the best front camera of 2017 Unless your really into the lighting effects, I doubt quality will noticeably better than the U11, Pixel, Pixel 2 And in terms of rear camera, Apple need to close the gap with the S8 and Pixel first But in terms of video, I reckon Apple will be the best 4K 60fps and 1080p 240fps will be amazing

36. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

Low resolution selfie will never be better.

46. jsdechavez

Posts: 807; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Of course they do. They supply camera sensors to some really good other brand phones.

3. tangbunna

Posts: 485; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

i dont care about exterior unless unless it is not sort of iphone design or galaxy curve screen. pretty simple screen and simple chocolate bar is never outdated.

18. mixedfish

Posts: 1561; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Yep bang on, we don't need more iPhone clones.

4. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

Make it look like the xa1ultra and slim down the chin and forehead.

5. LanjaKodaka

Posts: 219; Member since: Sep 27, 2016

No problem Sony. You can continue to use the same design since the Xperia Z. But when you finally prepare to change, your customers might have already changed their mind about your brand.

6. surethom1

Posts: 31; Member since: May 01, 2009

Finally Finally they have has the same design for the last 30 phones. I may return to Sony of they change the design & much smaller bezels.

8. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Will this pack JDI's 18:9 LCD display?

14. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

Someone on reddit posted a benchmark that would belong to next Premium. Sadly it says screen is 2:1 Premium is oled.

28. Shamoy

Posts: 112; Member since: Dec 28, 2013

2:1 is 18:9, same thing. The 2018 Premium will be OLED? That's a huge surprise.

13. youssef44

Posts: 547; Member since: Apr 29, 2014

Finally we will see new design!

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