Looks like new Sony Xperia XZ3 will be the world's first 5G smartphone

"Smartphone innovation has always been at the core of Sony Mobile engineers’ design philosophy," says Sony

Sony Xperia 5G

With the launch of the Sony Xperia XZ3 approaching fast (not that the name has been confirmed yet but we're going with it) Sony has taken to its official blog to talk up its history of smartphone innovation. It's pointed out a number of areas where it was first to market.

"Smartphone innovation has always been at the core of Sony Mobile engineers’ design philosophy, but you probably don’t realise just how many of the features that Xperia users take for granted were world-firsts that changed the way we use our phones," the Sony Mobile Team writes.

The Xperia Z launched with the highest level of water resistance in a smartphone in February 2013, the Xperia XZ Premium debuted an integrated 4K display, while the Xperia XZ2 was the first smartphone to offer 4K HDR movie recording. Sony goes on to proudly detail more world firsts in its infographic below.

That's not the talk of a company that is dialling back on its ambitions. Indeed, back in May, Sony outlined ambitious plans for its 2019 Xperia phones, saying that it would be launching an Xperia for the 5G era. It later went on to boast that the new Xperia phones would offer a "next generation camera experience".

So what world-first is Sony hinting at as it chest-thumps over past achievements, and why would it release the infographic now? Looks like it's planning to be first out of the gate with a 5G smartphone.

Huawei just told T3 that either the Mate 30 or P30 and P30 Pro will be 5G. OnePlus recently confirmed that it, too, will launch a 5G smartphone next year. And it's also been said that the Samsung Galaxy S10 will arrive packing 5G.

So where does that leave the 2019 5G Sony Xperia?

Of those 5G handsets above, the earliest of the bunch to be officially announced are likely to be the Samsung Galaxy S10, the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro. The flagship Galaxy S phone usually gets its annual refresh at Mobile World Congress, which takes place in Barcelona at the end of February each year. Huawei announced the P20 Pro at the same show in 2018, though it didn't officially unveil the handset until almost a month later, on 27 March.

So if Sony is to deliver another world-first, this time in the form of a 5G smartphone, it's going to have to unveil its 5G Xperia before the end of February 2019. The race is on.

Check out the infographic from Sony's site below.

(Image credit: Sony Mobile)
Paul Douglas
Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director, Future

Paul Douglas is Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director at Future and has worked in publishing for over 25 years. He worked in print for over 10 years on various computing titles including .net magazine and the Official Windows Magazine before moving to TechRadar.com in 2008, eventually becoming Global Editor-in-Chief for the brand, overseeing teams in the US, UK and Australia. Following that, Paul has been Global Editor-in-Chief of BikeRadar and T3 (not at the same time) and later Content Director working on T3, TechRadar and Tom's Guide. In 2021, Paul also worked on the launches of FitandWell.com and PetsRadar.