Sony ‘Honami’ Xperia i1

Rumor has it Sony is working on its next flagship smartphone codenamed Honami, which will be marketed as the Sony Xperia i1. There are two features that I am interested in. One is the 5-inch 1920×1080 Triluminos LCD sporting quantum dots, and the second is the 20-megapixel Exmor R image sensor capable of recording 4K video and top-notch low-light photography.

Sony’s Triluminos technology takes advantage of a blue LED and a glass tube with two types of quantum dots. The quantum dots absorb and re-emit the blue light from the blue LED as red and green light. Compared to the broad spectrum light generated by a blue LED coated with yellow phosphor, white light using quantum dots result in more intense reds, greens, and blues.

A large color gamut without accurate colors end up being useless; just have a look at the blown out colors on many OLED display equipped Samsung Galaxy smartphones. I hope Sony takes advantage of its brilliant TV heritage and make colors as real as possible. Sony has an opportunity to bring to market a smartphone with a remarkable display.

The 20-megapixel Exmor R image sensor is rumored to be the same one used in the newly introduced RX-100 II compact camera. The RX-100 II is capable of quickly focusing on subjects in near dark environments; it’s low-light capabilities are best in class. Imagine a smartphone that takes photos as good as the RX-100 II. And, there’s 4K.

Once 4K recording is possible on a smartphone it’s game over; 4K has come. The only concern I have is storage space. According to rumors Honami will come in two versions: 16GB and 32GB, with SD expansion up to an additional 64GB. With new video compression algorithms such as H.265, 4K video should be only about 50% larger than 1080p. Be on the look out for 64GB SD deals; you’ll need them.

A 5-inch 1080p Triluminos LCD combined with RX-100 II-like photo capabilities and 4K recording makes the rumored Sony ‘Honami’ Xperia i1 one heck of a smartphone.