Since the beginning of the year the high-end mobile market has been mainly dominated by Samsung and HTC. One would think this is a direct consequence of the two companies pumping out a ton of flagship smartphones over the past several months, but in truth, they haven’t. HTC has released the One and not much else (HTC Butterfly S doesn’t count … yet). Samsung, on the other hand, has launched the Galaxy S4, and more recently, the SGS4 Active.
In reality, Sony is the one smartphone manufacturer that has announced and / or released the highest number of flagship phones in 2013. It’s also been one of the first companies to officially unveil its top-of-the-range line-up for the first half of the year. This happened back in January, during CES, where Sony has lifted the veil on both the Xperia Z and ZL. In addition, the manufacturer has recently announced its first phablet – the gargantuan Xperia Z Ultra – beating Samsung to the “who gets to reveal it first” game (Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is still under wraps).
Nevertheless, the story is far from being over, and the Japanese consumer electronics giant seems to have at least one more smartphone in the works. More so, based on the information provided by the most recent leaks and rumors, this particular handset – which is known as the Sony i1 Honami – is also shaping up to be a flagship smartphone, and a camera-centric one as well.
Sony i1 Honami – Design and Hardware Specs
A handful of leaked pictures supposedly depicting the Honami have recently leaked on the web via multiple sources. The Brazilian techblog “Techtudo” has posted a handful of images with a mysterious white Sony Xperia device, claiming that it is indeed the Honami.
According to this particular source, the handset runs on a very stable version of Android 4.2, it features a microSD card slot and it is accompanied by a 20 MP main camera. Interestingly enough, Techtudo has captured a photo of the alleged Honami next to the Xperia ZQ (the Brazilian ZL variant) and the recently unveiled Xperia Z Ultra. Judging by its dimensions when compared with the other two smartphones, the Honami could feature a larger than 5 inch display.
Shortly after these events, JAMPB (or Just Another Mobile Phone Blog) has also posted a handful of images with the mysterious Sony smartphone. This time around the gadget was pictured in black, and the back panel was covered with a leather-like case. Nevertheless, plenty of details have been revealed, such as the fact that the device features an LED as well as a xenon flash, a microSD card slot (again), and a speaker that has been positioned in a rather unusual location – on the bottom edge of the device, where the Lightning port would be located on the iPhone 5. Sources at JAMPB have also “confirmed” that the device will arrive with a powerful Snapdragon 800 processor under the hood.
Sony i1 Honami – Leaked Press Renders and UI Elements
During this past week or so, Honami-related leaks have continued to emerge at a constant rate. Shortly after the real gadget has been supposedly caught on camera, a handful of press renders have also been seen on GSM Arena. These renders depict a Sony smartphone that looks somewhat similar with the one that has been leaked previously, but not necessarily identical. The renders have also revealed that the handset is set to arrive in Japan via NTT Docomo, leading sources to believe that this particular handset might be the international variant of the Honami.
As if all these leaks were not enough to confirm that Sony is definitely brewing something, several days ago, what appears to be the user interface of the i1 Honami has also been leaked in multiple instances, via Xperia Blog.
These screenshots are indicating that the Honami will arrive with a slightly different user interface than the one present on the current Xperia line-up. The screenshots have revealed a new clock, calculator, contacts and calendar app, as well as what seems to be an augmented reality application. Additionally, the new user interface seems to allow users to open multiple apps / windows at the same time (with the ope apps being visible on the screen).
The source of these leaked UI elements has once again confirmed that the device is being powered by a Snapdragon 800 SoC and that it features a 20 MP main camera. Meanwhile, a so-called “Super Resolution” algorithm would allow the user to record videos at a resolution of 4000 x 2000 with an aspect ratio of 2:1. Last but not least, the camera module would also include a “Steadyshot” mode, and ISO up to 12800.
In the end it seems like Sony is definitely working on at least one more flagship smartphone for year 2013. Whether or not all of the aforementioned software and hardware characteristics will turn out to be real remains to be seen. Remember that nothing has been or can be confirmed at this point, so take the information above with a pinch of salt.
As always, feel free to share your thoughts on these Honami leaks by leaving a comment in the section below.