Sony's next-generation phones will have an entirely new design, company executive confirms


Sony's efforts to design all of its smartphones based on a single set of design principles (officially known as OmniBalance) is certainly impressive, whether you're a fan of the company's devices or not. In an industry where most players radically change their designs almost every year, Sony has consistently chosen to go the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" route instead.

And while commitment to good design is something that should be applauded, it goes without saying that the smartphone market has gone some interesting places since OmniBalance's introduction. And to the company's credit, its decisions have led to some fairly unique solutions — the power-button-slash-fingerprint-scanner is the first one that comes to mind — but it appears we have finally reached the point where 2013 design decisions just don't cut it anymore.

And as it happens, we've already heard rumors that Sony will be ditching OmniBalance in favor of a new design, allegedly called Mirai. And this was great and all, but rumors originating from forum posts aren't exactly cream of the crop when it comes to trustworthiness. This time, however, they might just turn out to actually be true, as a Sony executive has now officially confirmed that, yes, we will be seeing an all-new Sony smartphone design "soon."

The news comes from an interview between Kenichiro Hibi, the managing director of Sony India, and The Indian Express. When asked whether Sony will adopt a new design language, Hibi responded with the following:


And while he avoided going into specifics, Hibi did make sure to acknowledge the fact that a lot of its competitors are pivoting towards bezel-less designs and tall display aspect ratios — so take from that what you will.

Sony traditionally presents out its major phones twice a year: at the Mobile World Congress held early in the year, and at the IFA expo in late summer. So while we've got no officially confirmed unveiling date for the next generation of Sony smartphones, we expect to see them next February. Hopefully.

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24 Comments

1. mahima

Posts: 727; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

you don't need a new design...just reduced the bezels to half or more... we need a boxy design when everyone is going for rounded corners design.. and please increase your batter from 3000mah from z2 days, not decreasing to 2700mah in xperia xz1

2. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Reducing the bezels is considered a new design concerning Sony.

18. phnrpt

Posts: 23; Member since: May 28, 2012

sony will further lose if it follows samsung's bezelless. Note 8 is an EPIC FAIL #1. 6.3" screen is deceptive because 6.3" screen is ACCUALLY SMALLER than 5.7" screen when watch video on screen. The reason is the screen aspect ratio of note 8 is 18.5:9 instead of the previous note 4 ratio 16:9 #2. bezel (side frame) is the nature protection to the NAKED GALSS EDGE. Without this protection, note 8 is facing more easy screen damage. #3. The reflexing white light on the curved edges damages eyes in a long run. Just like we will never place a curved mirror at homes for distorted images. It's the same reason why they do not make curved edge TV because the same problem will be more obvious which will eventually lead to return the defect devices and law sues. Meanwhile, the big industries are benefitting from this since their investments also include medicine. (Samsung makes MRI medical equipments, and etc.) #4. non-replaceable battery is another way to disrespect consumer's right of self-repair. Samsung's excuse is water-resistance. How many average consumer will really expose phone under the rain or under the water. What's the chance a phone will accidentally get dropped into the water? #5. solution? Yes, the 6.4" Lenovo phab 2 Pro is the true 6.4" FLAT SCREEN for comfortable view. The rest of specs are relatively low. But Lenovo has room to improve in a very easy way. #6. The ultimate phablet should be 7" FLAT screen with high-end specs, user-replaceable battery and STYLUS. Any manufacture first reach this will truly be the king of the industry. Sony, Huawei, Lenove or even LG, ARE YOU BOLD ENOUGH TO DO THIS? Ugly thing to talk about, for the ugly things already happening to us. People, if we don't stand up and speak up, nobody will speak for us.

19. TechNeck

Posts: 649; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

You have no idea how ridiculous you sound right now.

20. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

My gawd, leave the replaceable batteries to the low ends and features phones. Flagships and high ends left that feature years ago.

22. aBoss

Posts: 164; Member since: Sep 15, 2014

hell no REPLACEABLE BATTERIES = KING 100% All these new phones are average. iSheep samSheep LgSheep GoSheep Need to learn about having a long lasting phone via user replaceable batteries and privacy RIP Phones

23. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

So what's the most high end phone you get nowadays with replaceable batteries?

9. phonearenarocks

Posts: 606; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

AND for God's sake, they should stick to bezel less 16:9 display, bright and saturated display

10. Bankz

Posts: 2531; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

exactly. you couldn't have said it any better tbh

11. Jason2k13

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Reducing the bezels is pretty much what Sony is trying to say in terms of a new design.

12. monoke

Posts: 1157; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Yep. Keep the square cylinder shape. It's their signature look. Reduce dem bezels, go back to edge frame speaker slits. It's not that hard really.

3. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

The design in the top pic surely looks pretty good!

13. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

That's the Xperia XZ1 Compact

4. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

I have felling it's gonna have good design. Sony old design is only good at first when competitors still have similarly huge bezel. people get bored of their recycled design especially with dated bezel size.

5. surethom

Posts: 1661; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Finally, Sony has released over 30 phones that all look exactly the same. Finally. Smaller top & bottom bezels please.

6. Cat97

Posts: 1859; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

The ideal design is very simple: take a rectangular screen, and surround it with a 2mm bezel all around, and just don't release any other stupid phones until you are able to do this. That's it.

7. SyCo87

Posts: 298; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

Shrink bezel and advertise....that's literally all you had to do for the past two years of failure.

8. Loubielou

Posts: 603; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Why?as it took Sony so long to grow up at last,and realise there large Bezels on there phones,are not offering enough screen usage,why does nearly every Sony phone look the same?

16. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Sony just wanted to be too stubborn to stick with it's Omnibalance design and refused to admit that design got outdated since 2015... Design is what sells! Not even specs and performance sways in alot of attention like design does.

24. TheOneSilveriusXZP

Posts: 64; Member since: Jul 01, 2017

I think it's not the exact reason i thing what have you say .... The reason why Sony hasn't implied bezel-less design since 2016 due they already know bezel-less pronounced to break more than with bezel *cough S8 edge to edge display cough* and are you Sony is the only company to use their old design? *cough iPhone 8 and 8 Plus cough* . So even they're late to the bezel-less market , this proves Sony already has the solution to make bezel-less phone breaks even less or no more . That's all .

14. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1377; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Rumor has it a bezelless flagship is being prepared for release around May 2018. My hopes are for a less sharp edged design, good dual camera setup, no camera hump, 1mm side bezels, 2-3mm top and bottom bezels for sensors and stereo speakers, screen embedded FPS would be nice too, SD845 hopefully and a base 128GB storage (glass or ceramic back). Promote it like mad and it will sell.

15. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

LOL.....2mm? G6 has 7mm bezel and there is no space enough for a bigger front cam. Front cam of X phones has a 1/3.06". Same size of sensor used as rear cam on G6. Sensor has diagonal of 5.85mm. And we still have to count whole cam module. Now if Sony decides to use the oled screen as speaker like the Bravia A1E e finds how to put cam/sensors beneath screen then a 100% screen phone would be possible. Acoustic Surface is a patent from Sony. So other brands will never have 100% screen to body.

17. BAYmustafa

Posts: 13; Member since: Jul 13, 2015

Great news, Now put an oled to it and I might get one

21. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 717; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

I wonder why the screen is being faced on the other way?

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