It looks like the Sony i1, also known as Honami, might be getting close to launch. It just passed through the FCC for certification and is now approved to be sold in the United States.
We already know the device pretty well: 5 inch 1920 x 1080 Triluminos display with X-Reality for mobile, a Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.2 GHz (yes, it’s a monster), an Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, although a 32GB is probably going to be released too, and most important, a 20 megapixel camera with a 1/2.3” ExmorRS sensor, Sony G Lens and BIONZ image processor. The G lens is what Sony uses for it’s high-end point and shoot cameras, giving us an idea of how much Sony is putting on this camera. All of this is supported by a 3000mAh battery.
The FCC filing usually doesn’t add too much information, but it is useful for knowing which carriers it might hit since they’re all using different LTE bands. In this case, the Sony i1 passed the FCC with LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 7 and 17 meaning that AT&T is most likely to carry the device with a chance of T-Mobile having it as well, or at least compatible with it, since T-Mobile has opened its arms wide to any unlocked device.
Two more pieces of information can be drawn from the filling, which are a microSD card slot and the WiFi antennas, with support for a/b/g/n/ac on board.
Even if the FCC filing doesn’t assure us that the phone will actually be sold and available in any of these carriers, it does gives hope for the device to arrive in the U.S. and honestly, I don’t think Sony will pass on such a big market for its new flagship, specially these days, where every manufacturer seems to be fighting for camera technology. HTC with the Ultrapixel camera, Nokia with the PureView in the Lumia 1020 and Motorola with the ClearPixel technology in the Moto X and the new Droids.
The Sony i1 is expected to be released right before IFA 2013, on September 4 in the Sony press event. The Samsung Galaxy Note III is also expected to arrive at IFA, so we might have a huge fight for the attention of the media and consumers.