It's no secret that some of the biggest mobile hardware gets announced at Mobile World Congress, fast approaching at the end of February. So it's about this time of year that we expect to start seeing major leaks from OEMs. Queue XperiaBlog, hot on the trail of the next Sony devices as usual. Today they've published an absolutely massive gallery of screenshots from an upcoming Sony phone, codenamed "Sirius" and running Android 4.4.2.

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According to an earlier leak on XperiaBlog (which we can't confirm), the D6503 Sirius will use a Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974AB) processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 5.2-inch 1080p screen. Those specs would match up with an upgraded version of the Xperia Z1, the latest Sony flagship. (Sony tends to use cryptic, cool codenames, and follow them up with strangely boring product names.) This may or may not be the same phone that was leaked even earlier than that on the XDA forums. That device, also denoted as the "D6503," looks like a flagship phone with Sony's signature design language, though it's a bit more rounded and less glossy than the current lineup.

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Back to XperiaBlog's latest leak. The software on the phone is similar to Sony's current skinned build, but it includes several notable enhancements. Some are more obvious than others: you can see right away that the home screen now uses transparency in both the notification bar and navigation bar, a telltale KitKat function. Sony is also building in a "Simple Home" launcher (in addition to the Xperia Launcher), which looks very similar to Samsung's Easy Mode. Sony isn't shy about dipping in to other manufacturer's playbooks - the software also includes a Smart Stay-style feature that keeps the screen on while you're looking at it, plus the double-tap to wake function from the Tablet Z.

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In other visual tweaks, the various menus are almost entirely custom, and Sony's software includes some basic themes selectable by the user. There's also a "What's New" app, which seems to be integrated into social features and perhaps Sony's media properties. What's New launches with a swipe up from the home button, just like Google Now - in fact, it sits right next to the Google Now shortcut on that contextual arc. Other small changes include a "close all" button on the Recents menu and a transparent app tray. The dialer application looks like it includes an answering machine function, a local voicemail box that stores messages on the phone rather than on a provider's server. It will also have a "glove mode" that should allow the screen to be operated with non-capacitive objects.

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Combing through the interface screenshots, XperiaBlog thinks that the Sirius will be waterproof (like most of Sony's high-end phones), use stereo speakers, have a 16GB storage capacity with a MicroSD card slot, and that it will use the same 20.7MP camera sensor as the Xperia Z1. However, the Sirius will include slow-motion video capture similar to the iPhone 5s.

Of course none of this information is official, so consider it mutable until Sony announces the Sirius, or whatever it comes to be called. Mobile World Congress seems like an obvious venue, but even that is up in the air at this point. You can see many more screenshots at the source link below.

Source: Xperia Blog, XDA Developers

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Kaero

    The main thing that turns me off of Xperia phones is the bezel. It's an extremely stupid thing to be complaining about but it just really bugs me for some reason. I otherwise love Sony products. Just... that bezel :(

    • taz89

      Same here, there bezels on there devices are huge compared to other devices.

    • dos

      Same here... it's what keeps me from owning one.

    • Besbes Souhaieb

      exactly my thoughts: great devices, too much bezel
      i wouldn't mind giving up waterproof to have a smaller device

      and seeing all the great devices sony is outing these two years i'm just waiting for such device to jump ship from samsung

  • evertjr

    OMG this is fugly

  • Jaime

    It's nice to see other OEMS put the close all button from Samsung. It really is helpful.

  • Kcls

    Looks a little bit heavy, I'm hoping it's still light on resources and closer to stock like previous Sony skins.

  • TopXKiller

    Bootloader prob locked

    • NemaCystX

      Most likely since this is the very device that is rumored to be going to Verizon (the first Sony device in a very very long time)

  • Darrien Glasser

    Breaking News: As Samsung moves away from a disgusting, bloated, 3D UI, Sony moves in and uses the idea for their own phones.

  • Gabriel Fernandez

    Still needs smaller bezels, unless they're planning to do stereo front facing speakers a la HTC One. Other than that with some GPE software it looks like a very promising phone, specially with the waterproofness which is my favorite feature about Sony phones.

    • Muhammad Zohaib Rizwani

      it has front stereo speakers :)

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

    I'm surprised Sony took Samsung's Smart Stay and called it Smart backlight control.
    On the other hand, since they added camera apps as well, I guess they're into gimmicks as well now.

    Let's see what else they will come up with.

    • NemaCystX

      Everyone one way or another takes each others ideas.

      How boring it would be if we lived in a society that people weren't allowed to improve on others ideas. It would be a monopoly

      Oh I forgot, Apple does that lol oops!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

    Also, am I the only one who notices 4K recording in the camera app list?

    The "background defocus" app actually sounds nice as well. I'm wondering how they'll pull that off.

    • The Scientists

      Apparently, finally 4K I love that.
      Background defocus:
      In the same way as on Sony's cybershot cameras. It takes 2 images, 1 in focus, 1 out of focus (blurred) then somehow combines both to one image.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

        Got me thinking, what if Sony did have 4K ready on the Xperia Z1 before its launch, but decided to leave it to have something to upgrade now?

        A d*ck move from Sony, if true. But I personally don't mind - there's little for me to choose the Z2 (with rumoured specs) over the Z1. And a Z2 must mean a cheaper Z1 :)

        • xConjo

          I read on some comments on XperiaBlog that it was an optimization problem, so they will probably bring it to the Z1 with an update.

    • Gary Ohanian

      Background defocus already on Z1s

    • Mike Harris

      I'm not saying this to sound like a fanboy, but my Galaxy Note 3 has 4K recording. (I don't know much about Sony's phones, so I'm not sure if you were pointing out the 4K as noteworthy because it was an upgrade for a Sony model or because it was an upgrade for any kind of phone.)

      I got my parents a 4K TV around Thanksgiving and I had just gotten my Note 3 at the time, so I was able to create my own 4K video to try out on it. I found the picture to be absolutely amazing - as long as I hadn't moved too much while I was recording. The second I made any big movements, though, it was a huge blur. To be honest, I don't know if I would complain about that since that's not the main purpose of the phone, but I just figured I'd share my thoughts for anyone who wondered about the quality.

  • WHO?

    So i guess its going to have sirius satellite service included.

  • blumpkinator

    sony really needs to drop the glass backs. Having had both a N4 and an Xperia Z I am done with glass backs. They're just too fragile and scratch prone. Sony makes some nice phones but the glass back is a deal breaker.

  • xConjo

    Also (via XperiaBlog):
    (Speakers, Comparision with Z1, and a comment that I foun interesting)

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Why is every OEM trying to change their UIs to a white color scheme instead of black? It's like they are preparing for future Android release that may get an overhault of the interface

  • hp420

    I sincerely hope that quick settings drawer is a joke. It looks like a 4 year old designed it.

    • Bojan Tomic
      • hp420
        • Gary Ohanian

          That's the simple home launcher. There's 2 launchers, standard Xperia and Simple. The Simple is for people that have eyesight issues/elderly etc. I think it's a good idea as it breaks down some barriers for some people (it's not for everyone, but I think not many people cater enough for the sight impaired).

        • Bojan Tomic

          Nope, that's Simple Home. :)

      • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

        You press that, and like, throw your Xperia around?
        You get points for that? Google Play Games?

        Achievement unlocked...
        Throw Xperia from the top of the Eiffel Tower... 200 XP
        Throw Xperia from the top of the Eiffel Tower and come off without even a scratch... 200 XP + 1 Cookie

        • xConjo

          Throw Is DLNA (i guess)

          • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

            Of course.
            But in the quick settings menu, it does sound as if it was what I said it was, earlier.

          • xConjo

            It has to be a shortcut to Kamikaze Phone

  • Bojan Tomic

    Looks soooo good! :O

  • jeffrey beck

    Yah! 4k videos finally! I can play them on my 4k tv, laptop and tablet... Oh hold on a second. Ok, so I dont have any of those. Come to think of it, even if I did, do i really need to make super HD videos of my baby and pet fish?

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Apparently yes, Sony says so

  • Reverse Vampire

    Slow-motion video capture similar to the *ahem* HTC One.

    • Clarence Alvarado

      As if HTC One innovated slow mo video recording.

  • Luka Mlinar