There was a time (not so long ago, actually) when OEMs used to push out a new flagship mobile phone once every eight, nine months or even a year. Not anymore! Now, everyone from Samsung to Apple and HTC to LG makes at least a couple of top of the line smartphones available during a single year, stepping things up hardware-wise at a staggering pace.
But Sony seems to have the edge over all the competition when it comes to number of top-notch handhelds prepped for 2013. The Japanese have already introduced two spearheads, the Xperia Z and ZL, and with the Honami and Togari slated for H2 launches you’d think that would be enough.
Only it isn’t and there’s at least one more high-end Xperia family member in the works. Previously known by the “Dogo” codename, this fellow dropped off our radar a couple of months ago, but is now back with a vengeance under a different moniker – Xperia A.
Spotted getting FCC certification, the A is likely headed to Japan’s NTT DoCoMo before anything under the SO-04E name. That confirms the thing will top the Xperia Z (aka S0-02E) on the Android food chain, despite the rebooting of the alphabet hinting otherwise.
The FCC approval docs themselves appear to paint the picture of the Xperia A being a top-notch gadget, as there’s a very clear mention in there of a 5-inch, 1080p display, 13 MP rear-facing camera, 16 GB of on-board storage, 4G LTE and 2,300 mAh battery.
True, that’s not exactly on-par with what we expect Android flagships to bring to the table in the second half of 2013, but it should still be enough to make the Xperia A a better choice than the Z if not for anything else, but for the user-removable battery.
That’s right, unlike the Z and ZL, you will be able to just pop this thing’s back cover open and replace that ticker with another one in case you run out of juice while on the road. Sure, it would have been nice to see the battery’s size bumped up a little as well, but you can’t have it all, right?
Now, what the FCC doesn’t reveal is the CPU lying beneath Xperia A’s hood. Chances are therefore the thing will come packing one of the new Snapdragon 600 chips instead of the “old” S4 Pros inside the Z and ZL, which could well put the A on-par with Samsung’s GS4 and HTC’s One.
Thankfully, all the mystery should be shattered to pieces soon enough, with NTT DoCoMo expected to reveal an entire slate of new phones, including the SO-04E, on May 15. We definitely fancy seeing the Xperia A outside Asia soon after, but we have no way to know if that’s part of Sony’s plans yet.