Sony's 'Mirai' Design Language May Stick With 16:9 Screens

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Sony's rumored mobile design language that the company will supposedly introduce next year may stick with 16:9 display panels instead of following the latest industry trends and opt for screens with an aspect ratio of 18:9, i.e. 2:1. That possibility was suggested by a series of HTML5 benchmarks recently uncovered by Dutch tech blog MobielKopen, with all of their subjects being devices bearing model numbers that are believed to belong to Sony's upcoming handsets. The model numbers start with the letter "H" that's indicative of them being meant for a 2018 release, much like Sony's Xperia-branded smartphones launched over the course of this year had model numbers starting with an "F." While HTML5 tests never show the true resolution of devices subjected to them, even the fact that their screens are listed as 360 x 640 ones seemingly confirms they'll be 16:9 affairs.

The design philosophy that's meant to replace Sony's OmniBalance aesthetic will supposedly be called "Mirai" and be radically different to the previous look, according to reports from mid-September. No concrete information on what Mirai may actually entail has yet emerged online, albeit the newly uncovered HTML5 tests and some previously sighted benchmarks all suggest that a widescreen image format is not something that Sony is keen on replacing. The Japanese original equipment manufacturer delivered a wide variety of devices over the course of this year, yet all of them shipped with regular-sized bezels while the competition kept introducing one bezel-less device after another. That state of affairs led to the 2017 Xperia devices look like more conventional smartphones with relatively small screen-to-body ratios while manufacturers such as Samsung and LG managed to deliver full-fledged phablets with small physical footprints.

As Sony is one of the only remaining OEMs willing to deliver highly portable flagships like the Xperia XZ1 Compact, a move to a bezel-free aesthetic would make sense for the company as it would allow it to additionally reduce the size of its offerings while delivering same-sized screens. However, with essentially every bezel-less display module on the market taking advantage of an aspect ratio taller than 16:9, it remains unclear whether Sony is presently developing its own panels or isn't prioritizing bezel reduction with its 2018 Android phones at all.

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