Sony's next Xperia flagship has leaked and it looks beautiful

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The Xperia 1 saw Sony adopt an entirely new design language last year in a bid to stand out from the crowd. And now that the flagship is nearing its first anniversary, new renders published by Steve Hemmerstoffer in partnership with Slashleaks suggest the Japanese company is preparing to introduce a rather elegant-looking successor that could be called the Xperia 1.1 or the Xperia 5 Plus.

No controversial notch, front-facing speakers, and more cameras

Building upon the looks of the original, this upcoming phone reportedly features a slightly larger 6.6-inch OLED display that presumably boasts a 21:9 aspect ratio. It's paired with virtually undetectable side bezels and a uniform forehead and chin which have been reduced significantly this time around.

Together, these bezels house a pair of front-facing stereo speakers, something Sony hasn't included since the Xperia XZ3. The forehead also includes a single selfie camera that boasts an 8-megapixel resolution and is paired with an upgraded rear camera setup now positioned in the top-left corner.

As indicated by today's renders, Sony has included a primary camera on the rear of the Xperia 1.1 (or Xperia 5 Plus) and coupled it with an ultra-wide-angle alternative and a telephoto shooter rather than a periscope-like implementation. To ensure things are still relatively competitive, though, the company has added a Time-of-Flight sensor which should improve portrait photography.

For those of you wondering how these changes affect the physical size of the phone, the dimensions provided by Steve Hemmerstoffer suggest the Xperia 1.1 (168.2 x 71.6 x 8.1mm) won't be that much bigger than last year's Xperia 1 (167 x 72 x 8.2 mm). If anything, it should be a little more comfortable to hold because the width has been reduced slightly.

The headphone jack is back after two years away

Sony's updated flagship design is completed by a boxier frame that's seemingly carved out of aluminum. It's home to the usual USB-C port on the bottom and a power key up the right side.

In addition to this, the Japanese brand has included a dedicated shutter button and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. Most other smartphone brands have switched over to modern in-screen fingerprint scanner alternatives over the course of the past year despite the perceived reduction in accuracy, but Sony still appears to be putting quality first on the upcoming Xperia 1.1.

Rounding out the phone's physical package is a 3.5mm headphone jack on top of the smartphone. Sony became one of the first mainstream brands to ditch the port back in 2018 with the release of the Xperia XZ2, but following a long outcry from loyal fans, it appears to have reverted course and fitted its next flagship with the much-loved feature.

Sony Xperia 1.1 (Xperia 5 Plus) announcement, release date, specs

Sony is expected to debut the Xperia 1.1 or Xperia 5 Plus at MWC 2020 in late February, just a couple of weeks after Samsung announces the upcoming Galaxy S20 series. However, if history is anything to go by, shipments of the phone might not begin until late May or early June, therefore giving rivals the chance to pull further ahead.

As for the internal specifications, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 is probably going to power the smartphone, which means 5G network support will be available as standard. It should be coupled with Android 10, Sony's very minimal custom overlay, and at least 8GB of RAM with 128GB of expandable internal storage.

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