Sony could be working on a new Xperia phone — here's why

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A new Sony Xperia smartphone could be inbound and it’s got people talking. A cryptic message posted by noted tipster and leaker, Zackbucks, contains a single-letter clue, possibly hinting at either of a new budget Sony Xperia device or a possible return to Sony’s roots with an Ultra variant. 

If you thought Sony would slam the brakes on Xperia phone releases after the recent launches of the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III, then you’d be very much mistaken. Indeed, it seems the Xperia brand is blooming, with the Japanese firm possibly gearing up for yet another Xperia-branded drop this year.

Zackbucks’ Weibo (Chinese social network) post appears to nod towards a ’new U’ model that could arrive earlier than expected because of this year's rapid-fire launch of the two Sony Xperia flagships. The machine translation notes that Sony's fast rollout of the two Xperia flagships allows time for the “new U release.” 

Although this makes sense, the information should be taken with considerable hesitation, owing to the tendency for words to be lost in translation when machine translated. With that said, it poses the rather interesting question of what exactly this device could be.

Machine-translated post

(Image credit: Weibo)

 A riddle, wrapped in a mystery

Sony has already earmarked the Xperia 1 III and 5 III as this year’s flagship releases. And with this thought in tow, it leaves several spaces for the Sony Xperia U to fill.

Some speculation has suggested that the "U" could refer to a new "Ultra" smartphone variant, perhaps a follow-up to 2018's Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra. Alternatively, it might even refer to a new budget Sony Xperia model, perhaps an update to the entry-level Xperia L4, which hit shelves in April 2020.

Only time will tell

Of course, the most interesting possibility is that of a new "Ultra" device, even though this seems the least likely option given Zackbuks' information, which underlines that Sony has launched this year's flagships. 

But given the breathing room the two Xperia flagships will have had prior to a "new U" model arriving, there might not be a need to worry about competing audiences. 

A potential overhaul of the mid-range Xperia XA2 Ultra gives further credence to this; with a new mid-range device, it would sit away from the Xperia 1 III and 5 II, plus it wouldn't target the same premium audiences as, say, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Whatever it turns out to be, it's exciting news, even if it is only a slither of speculation at this stage before more solid information arrives. Stay tuned for further updates.

More: The best Android phones in 2021

Luke Wilson

Luke is a Trainee News Writer at T3 and contributor to Tom's Guide, having graduated from the DMU/Channel 4 Journalism School with an MA in Investigative Journalism. Before switching careers, he worked for Mindshare WW. When not indoors messing around with gadgets, he's a disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors.