Hardware, Rumors, Software Programs

Sony ?Honami? ? Smartphone/Cameraphone Flagship?

Rumors on a device called Sony ?Honami? are piling up in recent times. Some information from earlier this year said that the Xperia Z flagship will ?soon? receive a refresh with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC paired with a fantastic imaging sensor, in order to compete with both Android flagship smartphones and cameraphones at the same time.

While Samsung went on to satisfy needs of those who like the idea of having an optical zoom (Galaxy S4 Zoom) in their smartphones (while keeping the relatively small imaging sensor), Nokia is preparing to launch a Windows Phone unit with oversampling from an enormous 1/1.2? Toshiba imaging sensor known from their Symbian unit 808 PureView. Now, Sony is going after something else. What most of these leaks suggest is that the ?Honami? is carrying a 20-megapixel 1/1.6? imaging sensor that allegedly falls under the Exmor RS line of products (stacked CMOS imaging sensor).

Worth noting is that the current most powerful imaging units from Sony come with the ?mini? IMX135 (or rather, IU135F3-Z if we are talking about the whole module) 1/3.06? sensor with 13MP. It is found in Samsung Galaxy S4 flagship, as well as Sony?s own Xperia Z.

While some have claimed that the ?Honami? will have an optical zoom as well, with alleged press photos of the device, it turned out to be a fake ? as new photo of the unit appeared on the techtudo website (?Honami? is the device in the middle, with Xperia ZL and Xperia Z Ultra on sides):

Sony "Honami"

Just Another Mobile Phone Blog leaked a whole set of images of what appears to carry over the Xperia Z line of design to a unit named Xperia ?Honami? i1. Leaker claims the final version of the unit will not carry an LED flash, but a mini xenon unit. He also confirmed that the smartphone will sport a 20MP sensor inside, and images reveal a dedicated camera shutter button:

Sony Honami Prototype
According to the leak, LEDs in the prototype hardware will be replaced with a mini xenon flash unit

Sony Honami Prototype
Side view of the "Honami" prototype reveals a dedicated shutter button

Sony Honami Prototype
Although leak doesn’t show the final hardware, it is likely that the new cameraphone will have a microSD expansion slot

This was followed by a major leak, where folks at XDA developers dismantled the system dump of the Sony?s ?new flagship?. Analysis confirmed that the unit will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, and will have a 20MP camera (5248×3936 resolution) with boatload of special features and even ability to record a 4000×2000 video with 2:1 aspect ratio. Some of the camera UI icons (Bokeh, Info-eye, Manual, Socialcast, Timeshift, Effect) can be found bellow:

For all of the UI images found in the system dump, visit the XDA forums

Camera Sensor Size Comparison Chart
Graphic we’ve made shows how 1/1.6" "Honami" sensor compares to the rest in terms of sheer size. It is expected it will perform much better than what is found in most devices on the market, aside from the 808 PureView (and likely its Windows Phone successor).

It is certainly a possibility that the July 4 event in Paris is actually not about the recently unveiled Xperia Z Ultra but for the cameraphone codenamed Honami.