The Sony Xperia Z1 mini
is an elusive handset - rumored to be the first Android ‘mini’ phone
with a top-shelf performance, we’ve been hearing about it for a long
time and now it seems that expectations are that it will launch in the
first quarter of 2014.
The story: from Honami mini, to Xperia Z1s and ‘Amami’
Xperia Z1 mini story is quite the thriller. We started hearing rumors
about it in the summer as people in the know unveiled this mysterious
phone as the Honami mini, a companion to the Xperia Z1, the original
Honami. Both devices appeared only in rumors until the Xperia Z1 was
eventually official confirmed and later released, while its miniature
brother remained under cover.
Then, quietly, Sony officially
unveiled the Xperia Z1 f, a Japan-only device that is about to launch
very soon on NTT DoCoMo. This was the rumored Honami mini, but limited
to just a single market. In the following months, an international Sony
Z1 ‘mini’ finally started to take shape and now we have a clearer
understanding of what it looks like and a likely Q1 release date.
the name. The Honami mini quickly transformed into Xperia Z1s, a name
that seemed nearly official as it even surfaced on Sony’s website. It
was quickly pulled and after a few silent weeks, the Z1s finally
reappeared under a new model name - the D5503
with a bunch of 4G LTE bands suggesting it might finally be heading to
global markets and Europe in particular. For good or worse, it seems
that Sony is not heavily focused on expanding its US presence, and this
leaked D5503 fit that trend. Now, the device has cleared FCC certification and is one step closer to release. We also have a new codename - the Sony Xperia ‘Amami’. Here’s what it’s all about.
bread and butter of the expected Xperia ‘Amami’ are its specs. This will be a downsized Xperia Z1 mostly in size, but the
performance and camera prowess will remain. Yes, this means the ‘Amami’
is said to feature the top-notch Snapdragon 800 system chip and the
impressive 20.7-megapixel camera of its bigger brother.
Xperia ‘Amami’ is expected to come with a 4.3” display that will be much
easier to use single-handedly and resolution is said to be 720 x 1280
pixels. This is a step down from the 1080p Xperia Z1, but we would not
say it’s a huge downgrade - the smaller screen means pixel density would
still be very high at around 341ppi. What’s more impressive, though, is
to think about the huge performance gains coming from the fact that the
Snapdragon 800 will drive much less pixels. We expect games to simply
fly on it. Needless to say, there’s no other ‘mini’ on the market
offering even half the expected performance of the ‘Amami’.
the ‘Amami’ will keep the gorgeous glass style of the Z1,
just shrink it down in size. It is also expected to be water and dust
resistance with IP55/58 rating.
It will also keep the impressive
20.7-megapixel camera. We’ve already seen the first leaked camera sample
showing a fast and wide-aperture (f/2.0) shooter. Most importantly,
Sony seems to have managed to keep the much larger than usual camera
sensor, a crucial part of the Z1 camera magic in the ‘mini’.
last seemingly ‘downgrade’ is the expected 2300mAh battery on the
‘Amami’, lower than the 3000mAh juicer on the Xperia Z1. It’s hard to
say though that this will indeed translate into lower battery longevity.
Instead, come to think about it, this upcoming Sony ‘mini’ has the
largest battery we’ve ever seen on a 4.3” phone.
Finally, software. The
Xperia ‘Amami’ has leaked out featuring Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. If Sony
indeed sticks to the rumored Q1 2014 release date, though, we hope its time to bump this up to the latest 4.4 KitKat.
only piece of the puzzle left unsolved is the actual price of the this
upcoming Xperia Z1 mini. Given the later than expected release, we can
only hope it’s lower than that of the flagship Z1.
1. The Xperia Z1 mini ('Amami') pictured alongside its bigger Z1 brother
2. Leaked image of the Xperia Z1 ('Amami')
3. It's expected to feature the same 20.7-megapixel camera on the Z1
4. The 'Amami' recently passed FCC certification
5. It's expected to run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
6. It will keep the OmniBalance glass Sony design
7. It has surfaced on the Sony website under the Xperia Z1s moniker
8. The phone has surfaced in Russia
9. Another supposed image of the Xperia Z1 mini ('Amami')