We finally have confirmation that Sony will introduce the Xperia i1, also known as Honami, on September 4th in Berlin ahead of IFA 2013 thanks to Bloomberg who got information from a source that asked to remain anonymous.
The i1 is Sony's approach to the best camera in a smartphone, an area that companies seem to be starting to compete in more seriously. Sony is packing the i1 with a 20.7 megapixel camera with a 1/2.3" ExmorRS sensor and an f/2.0 aperture, a Sony G Lens and a BIONZ image processor giving the competition, like the Nokia Lumia 1020 or the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, a run for their money. Other smartphones are also innovating in the camera department but have proven not to be as powerful as these ones. The Moto X has a 10 megapixel ClearPixel camera and the HTC One packs an Ultrapixel technology, both are really good in some situations but the technology is not yet on the same level as the others.
Sony seems to be aiming to gain market share using their imaging technology, not only with the Xperia i1 but also with the G lenses that have been leaking for a while now. Sony makes great cameras and if these products give us the expected quality, they might become an option for those who need to have the best camera possible in their smartphones. Sony really needs to start gaining some market share if they want to become relevant again as they now only have 3.8% of the global smartphone market.
The i1 specs are completed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 with an Adreno 330 GPU, a 5 inch Full HD Triluminos display and 2GB of RAM so besides the camera, it has the best technology available in today's market. If done correctly, the i1 will be a mashup of Sony's best technologies, with the lens and sensor from their Cyber-shot cameras and the Triluminos display technology with X-Reality chip from Sony's Bravia TVs.
Sony's current flagship, the Xperia Z, is a beautifully designed device and we expect the i1 to follow the same line but the ergonomics aren't the best so we'll have to see if Sony is sticking with the exact same design or if they're improving upon it to make it more comfortable to hold.
September is going to be a busy month with IFA starting on the 6th and both Sony and Samsung holding their respective events on the 4th, where Sony will introduce the Xperia i1 and the two G Lenses.