Leaked Sony Xperia 1 IV renders show the company continue to resist industry trends

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Leaked Sony Xperia 1 IV renders show the company continue to resist industry trends
Unlike LG, which has given up on the smartphone market altogether, and HTC, whose handsets have turned from global pioneers to running jokes of the industry in recent years, Sony continues to crank out high-end mobile devices with... ambitious price points.

Granted, the Japanese tech giant has considerably reduced the breadth of its own smartphone portfolio compared to its alphabet soup days, but while the low to mid-end Xperia L or Xperia R lines seem to have gone the way of the dodo, the premium Xperia 1 and Xperia 5 families are likely to get new members soon.

An atypical Galaxy S22 Ultra rival

For better or worse, ultra-high-end Android phones tend to look very similar nowadays. The trend is clear - curved displays with centered punch holes and razor-thin bezels are in, while 3.5mm headphone jacks, visible fingerprint scanners, and even microSD card slots are out.

But in many ways, the newly rendered Sony Xperia 1 IV is a blast from the past that some nostalgic consumers are likely to welcome as a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stale landscape. If you dig flat (and tall) screens with fairly conspicuous top and bottom bezels, you may want to wait until April or May, when this bad boy is expected to be formally unveiled... or just go with the Xperia 1 III right now.

At least at first glance, Sony's next flagship looks virtually identical to its 6.5-inch predecessor, purportedly retaining that exact same screen size, as well as an off-center hole punch, side-mounted fingerprint sensor (embedded into the handset's power button), and three vertically arranged rear-facing cameras made to stick out from the chassis.

The boxy and sharp-edged phone will definitely keep the headphone jack alive while nixing its forerunner's dedicated Google Assistant button. The overall dimensions seem incredibly familiar too, at 164.7 x 70.8 x 8.3mm, which means the 4,500mAh battery capacity of the Xperia 1 III is unlikely to suffer a big change either.

In a nutshell, the Xperia 1 IV (pronounced One Mark Four) could be everything Samsung's hot new Galaxy S22 Ultra is not (for better or worse), rocking a narrower, thinner but just as tall body as its 6.8-inch rival while offering significantly less screen real estate.

Sony Xperia 1 IV specs and price - what to expect

Although today's report revealing the design of this next extra-tall boy is depressingly light on other details, there are at least a few educated guesses we can make without much fear of being wrong. 

While a wild recent rumor called for the Xperia 5 IV to pack an as-yet unreleased Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus processor, it seems unlikely that will ultimately prove the case for the 1 IV if it does indeed see daylight in April or May.

If history is any indication, the undoubtedly smaller 5 IV could go official at the same time, and common sense suggests both high-end devices will be powered by Qualcomm's existing Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. 

The Xperia 1 IV doesn't have much room for improvement in the display and memory departments compared to the already outstanding 12GB RAM-packing 1 III with a 4K HDR OLED panel in tow, but at least on paper, those three rear 12MP shooters could get better fairly easily.

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Unfortunately, that's all we can really "predict" at the moment. Well, that and an extravagant starting price of well over $1,000 in the US. The unlocked Xperia 1 III, mind you, still costs an obscene $1,300, and there's no reason to expect anything more budget-friendly from the next generation. Hopefully, Sony will at least be able to actually release its new flagship shortly after unveiling it.

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