You might assume that the best smartphones 2013 has to offer will already have been released, what with the double whammy of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 taking all of the limelight early in the year.
Sony’s Xperia Z has also been a critical and commercial success, but this Japanese firm has a few more tricks up its not insubstantial sleeves.
Here is a quick roundup of all the rumours about the Xperia Z1, giving you everything you need to know about the phone from its specifications to its expected release window.
Like the LG G2 and a few other hotly anticipated smartphones, the Sony Xperia Z1 features a Snapdragon 800 processor from Qualcomm.
This next generation chip can boast clock speeds of up to 2.3GHz on each of its four cores and is built to handle 4K UltraHD video clips, for both playback and recording.
Combined with at least 2GB of RAM, it will make the Sony Xperia Z vs Xperia Z1 a very one-sided battle.
Another feature of the Xperai Z1 is a five inch touchscreen display with a full HD resolution, which would be in keeping with current smartphone trends. Sony have also used its BRAVIA Engine on the phone to make the screen work even harder to produce great results.
For audiophiles the presence of a Walkman chip within the Xperia Z1 will be welcome, as will the news that it will have all the connectivity options you could possibly require, from Bluetooth and GPS to NFC and 4G for the purposes of media content sharing and streaming.
The biggest excitement for the Xperia Z1 relates to its camera, which arrives with a 20.7 megapixel sensor, making it a much more capable snapper than its 13 megapixel-toting rivals.
Only the likes of the Nokia Lumia 1020 and PureView 808 will be able to top it in this arena, although a 20.7 megapixel photo may be a little more manageable than the almost 40 megapixel images that these phones can capture.
With the Snapdragon 800 chip onboard, the Xperia Z1 is capable of some impressive editing techniques and such a high-res camera combined with this powerful processor might even allow for the recording of 4K UltraHD footage.
While native playback on the 1080p screen of the phone will not reveal the full extent of the detail that this affords, it should appeal to those early adopters who are planning to get a 4K TV in the next few months.
The Xperia Z1 will come equipped with the 4.2 version of Android Jelly Bean for a fast and smooth smartphone experience.
It also features Google’s latest software, along with mainstays of the Xperia range such as Sony Timescape and other exclusive interface elements.
Sony has always gone for a more adult, stylish approach to its custom Android interfaces, which is a trend that continues with this new model.
Release date and price
Originally it was reported that the Xperia Z1 would be making an appearance in July, but this turned out to be false. Release date was much further into September, just in time for the Christmas market.
When it comes to pricing the Xperia Z1 will be at the top of the tree, presumably over the 500 mark as a result of its cutting edge components. On a monthly contract it should be free from 36–40 in the UK, based on the price of its contemporaries.