The Sony Honami, or possibly the Xperia i1, still doesn't have an official existence. But it's been spotted in leaked renders and system dumps, so it's a pretty safe bet that it's coming to market at some point. The big phone with an even bigger camera sensor was recently spotted hanging out with an iPhone 5 on Chinese forum Digi-Wo, which also compared it to a less bombastic Xperia Z.

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The Honami is probably the direct successor to the Xperia Z, sitting in the ultra-premium slot in Sony's lineup. (The Xperia Z Ultra is more of a niche device, as at least some of its specs are actually lower than its predecessor.) The system dump reported a Snapdragon 800 processor, a redesigned Sony Android skin, and a mind-blowing 20MP camera sensor capable of 4K video recording. That seems to be confirmed by the images here (note the "20.7MP" text near the rear lens). The camera is clearly the focus of this device - other specs include a possible 1/2.3" sensor and an ISO of up to 12800. Add those numbers up, and they equal really great low-light performance.

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Other specs are still up in the air, and of course nothing's official until Sony makes it so. But assuming that this phone is nearing the production phase, it looks like they're keeping the general style queues of the Xperia Z, with perhaps a small bump over the current flagship's 5" screen. Rumors indicate a 3000mAh battery and 2GB of RAM. You can expect the rest of the specifications to be equally tip-top.

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A reveal of the Honami, or whatever they end up calling it, might just come at IFA in September. It would be well-positioned to go up against Samsung's next Note, which will undoubtedly be introduced at the pre-show Unpacked event.

Source: Digi-Wo via XperiaBlog

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • sourabh

    i never liked sony's Android skin

    • Hans Pedersen

      They have improved it a lot, and not over-doing everything like they used to. My old backup phone, an X10 Mini, I agree the skin is horrible on. This looks okay, keeping the basics of the Holo theme intact.

  • ProductFRED

    I see they've taken the Nexus 7 approach and made it easier to hold landscape by making the upper and lower bezels larger (for photography, no doubt).

    • Matthew Fry

      Is that what the Nexus 7 bezel is for? I never understood why it was there. I would not be happy if my Nexus 10 had 2" bezel on the sides.

      • ProductFRED

        Believe me, as an N7 2013 owner, it makes all the difference. And one handed use is a lot more comfortable.

        • Di Lu

          The Large top & bottom bezel on Xperia phones might have something to do with their water proof qualities, go look at Xperia Z vs ZL's difference in bezel size.

          • Benjamin Rodriguez

            Yep, same with the Xperia T and Xperia V. Or the S and the Acro S, waterproofing takes some space apparently.

      • Alex Murphy

        I love those large bezels on the N7. Makes for perfect landscape holding.

  • RobotiChris

    Just release an Xperia Play successor already!

    • Benjamin Rodriguez

      At this point i don't think that would make sense. I'd rather have them release a high quality portable controller accesory. You can use it with a Dualshock 3 but i can't have that in my pocket.

      So i think they should make a thin(but not flat, curved) NFC equipped bluetooth controller. And bam, Xperia Play experience on a modern device without making it unnecessarily thick and niche.

      • Herman

        Sony's doing some great things with NFC, unlike any other company it seems.
        I bet that camera module will easily connect via NFC as well. It's got the perfect placement at least, in the leaked images.

        So now that you mention it, an NFC capable gamepad would really be a great idea!

  • Mike Loomis

    4k video at what frame rate?

    • Hans Pedersen

      Probably 30, though the compression is more relevant. The amount of compression used on smartphones for video today it really is already a marginal improvement going from 720p to 1080p. Hopefully they won't ruin it all by compressing this too much.

      • Mike Loomis

        30fps would be impressive. The Sony 4k TVs can't play anything higher than 30 fps in 4k, but that is more to do with limitations of HDMI 1.4. I am expecting 15fps on this phone in 4k.

        • Benjamin Rodriguez

          Hmmmmm but that wouldn't make sense, i wouldn't want choppy 4K recording, i'd rather just have less compressed(or 60fps, like the LG G2) 1080p.

          • Mike Loomis

            I know it wouldn't make sense, but that is how the first 1080p video from cell phones were a year or two ago. It was capped at 15fps. 4k video is going to be very intense to encode. I would think it would take phone technology a bit to catch up, but Sony is at the forefront of 4k so maybe they have it figured out. I hope they do.

          • Ufupuw

            These 4K rumors are totally bogus, There is no way you can record 4K (which like 8 MP per frame) 30 frames per second on micro sd cards, not without so tight compression that image quality would suck.

            Plus imagine all the heat generated with that much processing and data transfer.

            Whoever has been posting these false 4K rumors got you ..

  • Andreas Martin Mørch

    "Other specs are stull up in the air" - Just a quick typo. Seems very interesting, this.

  • crackinthewall

    At least it's not as big as their Z Ultra. It looks like it'll have a 5.2-5.5" screen.

    • Hans Pedersen

      Though it looks like they've made the "bumper" much thicker, and that makes it look a lot bigger. Possibly a bit too big, I think, if this is supposed to be their future bread and butter device.

      • Benjamin Rodriguez

        No, the thing is that before the sides were pretty much flat. There's a curve this time around, so that adds a couple of mm, but at least you won't feel it much because it'll be more comfortable and not sharp like the Z.

    • Benjamin Rodriguez

      The screen is still just 5". The bezels are just bigger.

  • troph

    The white border gives it a tacky look. They should stick to what they did for Xperia. Those are beautiful phones.

  • basteagow

    This phone sounds awesome, but I'm so conflicted over the huge top and bottom bezels. I chose the ZL over the Z because the Z's bezel made the phone too tall, and the Honami's is even bigger.

    • Di Lu

      If I will ever buy a version of Honami it would the be the Honami L version like the ZL.

      • Benjamin Rodriguez

        I doubt they're making one. It would have leaked already, and i doubt they can physically fit the camera and 3000mah battery on a phone the size of the ZL, even if they drop the waterproofing.

  • Shitiz Garg

    I'll buy it just for the wallpaper

  • Mihai

    link to wallpaper?

  • hughjohnson

    That sony skin is almost as awful as lg's skin, and that is very, very bad.

    • Ishimaru

      Care to elaborate on what is so "awful" about this skin? Or are you just going to bash it, just because?

    • http://myanimelist.net/profile/_Megatron_ Megatron

      it's the closest thing to stock android out of all the OEMs

      • Ryan O’Neill

        *other than Motoblur

        • Benjamin Rodriguez

          Not called like that anymore, it doesn't have a name now. Because they don't consider it a skin anymore, and really it barely is, only adds features and replaces some apps, it doesn't really change the interface itself.

    • Muhammad Zohaib Rizwani

      Really? Lg is just a rip off of Samsung you know that right?

  • http://kawangeek.com/ EddyGeek


    • Muhammad Zohaib Rizwani

      IP58 or so I hear

    • Herman

      Which Sony flagships nowadays aren't? :)

  • Andrew Smith

    Tbh, I prefer the LG G2, Sony ZL, and S4's tiny bezel designs. Looking at the screen turned on is so amazing with them. But with all the stuff crammed into this phone, I would say bezels are definitely not a deal-breaker. Hear me out (a long passage ahead):

    People have to realize how much stuff goes into a phone now days and those almost bezel-less phones are an engineering marvel. You know what else is impressive? Sony managed to put one of the biggest camera sensor (after 1020 of course), other optical/camera hardware, better lens, impressive screen tech (triluminous), offer much more battery, improved speaker hardware/quality, improved cpu/gpu and still only needed an extra of 1.5mm space on side and 2.5mm on top compared with the Z. Now tell me if that makes a practical difference.

    And guess what, it managed to package all that in a water-friendly handset (and it is expected to carry a better IP rating than Z as well). Most water-resistance handsets currently available are either just mid-range or have to loose premium features to accommodate for size/price (a la Galaxy Active). All these numerous improvements combined, I am impressed they still seemed to fit it all in a premium looking package.

    However, bezels were not a priority and still are not above other factors in a smartphone, such as the hardware, screen quality, camera, internals, and even the design. Heck, an year ago, bezels are comparatively large yet no one seemed to mind at all. Apple, even in 2013 offers its best smartphone with huge bezels. As such, I am happy with Sony's effort with Honami if all people can critique about it is it's slightly larger than average bezels.

    • Benjamin Rodriguez

      Exactly, thing is people are slamming the bezels on this phone because.... that's all there is to criticize. Everything else is perfect on paper. If you can tolerate the size, to me this is the best phone of 2013, from screen to camera to battery and of course, premium design.

      • Herman

        Well, there is one more thing to criticize: it hasn't got a xenon flash.
        And I really cannot mention this enough. A xenon flash makes or breaks party photographs. And there's much more you can do with the added high shutter speed!

        Apart from that, I fully agree with you two on the bezels. Heck, when I'm holding my Xperia S to shoot, I often hold my thumb on the menu button. Even those bezels aren't really big enough for comfortable photography..!

        • Benjamin Rodriguez

          Yeah that actually makes sense, it normally wouldn't matter but it is an important omission in a cameraphone.

  • muhammadusamasheikh

    Where can I get that wallpaper??

  • VoiceofSky

    this better come to Big red for once.. i mean c'mon,i know Verizons "business strategy" may suck some big ones,but their Network is where its at and it would be nice to have a premium phone with premium Network from Sony ..

    • Ambroos

      Sorry, Sony is not going to bother with creating a pretty much whole new phone and software set for one carrier. Last time they did that was with the Xperia Play.

      They're focusing on Japan, Asia and Europe. In the US you'll see a slightly delayed release on T-Mo.

      • Benjamin Rodriguez

        Oh damn, really? I mean are you certain? I know you have some insider info, i know you from The Verge :P

        I was hoping they'd release on AT&T too at least this time. You know, because success of this phone will be limited again if they go the Z route.

      • VoiceofSky

        Don't Crush my hopes like that,man ..*sniffles* ..hope ... hope :)

  • Toinou

    I'm already having a hard time holding my Xperia Z, and this one's even bigger. God damn it I wanted it to be my next phone.

    • Toinou

      holding it comfortably*

      • Benjamin Rodriguez

        It's the price to pay for the bigger camera and battery, sadly.

  • sonyfan

    bezel= fail... dony may have come up with a 20mp camera.. but asthetics matter... xperia z is way more beauty than this :(

  • SSX

    seriosuly, i get the top bezel, but the lower bezel, when having the on screen buttons , is just plain stupid

    • apatt

      Have you considered where your fingers are going to go when the phone is in landscape orientation?

  • Josh

    Would it kill them to make a smaller phone for once? Why are most phone companies following the "bigger is better" approach?

    Give me a Sony i1 with a 4.5" screen and I'm golden