Updated: Sony Xperia Z6 release date, news and rumors


Update: A new flagship phone which could be the Sony Xperia Z6, but is more likely to be branded as the Sony Xperia X2 or similar, has started leaking in photos and benchmarks.

Sony turned it all around with the Xperia Z5, making up for the lacklustre Sony Xperia Z3+ with a far more stable phone. It also benefited from one of the best fingerprint scanners we’ve seen on a handset and a camera upgrade that made for much clearer photos.

Yet we can’t help but feel that Sony could have done even more. There are still missing features and undercooked specs and there’s only so many times the company can wheel out essentially the same design, even if it has been increasingly polished.

It’s a tough market right now too. If Sony wants to sway people away from the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, HTC 10 – and the upcoming iPhone 7 – it needs to make the very best phone it can.

But making the best phone it can might mean ditching the Z line altogether, as Sony currently seems a lot more focused on the Xperia X range and it’s unclear whether we’ll get a Sony Xperia Z6 at all.

The latest leaks suggest a mystery new phone is in the works, but whether this is the Xperia Z6, the Xperia X2, or something else altogether remains unclear.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Sony’s next Z-branded flagship
  • When is it out? Possibly IFA 2016 in September, if it launches at all
  • What will it cost? It’ll be expensive, it’s a flagship after all

Sony Xperia Z6 or Xperia X2?

The Xperia Z6 is a confusing situation. Sony took to the stage at Mobile World Congress 2016 to announce three new phones; the Xperia X, Xperia XA and Xperia X Performance, followed shortly after by the Xperia XA Ultra. The eagle-eyed among you will note none of these bears the Z6 moniker.

The phones feature premium specs, with the Xperia X boasting a fingerprint scanner and a 23MP rear facing camera much like the Xperia Z5 – but the assumption is they will slide in below the flagship Z line. Or so we thought.

Sony didn’t confirm whether these are its new flagship devices – thus killing off the Xperia Z6 and the Z line – and since the launch it’s not exactly made the situation any clearer.

Over the course of MWC the question was put to a variety of spokespeople from the company and the message was somewhat confusing.

Sony Xperia X

Jun Makino Senior Product Marketing Manager at Sony Mobile told uSwitch “I can’t comment on the future, but we will not be releasing a Z6.” He said that Sony is “turning to the next stage, with the Xperia X series”.

But soon after, Sony denied this was the case. In a statement to techradar, a Sony spokesperson said “Although we can never confirm about the future possibilities of our product line-up, we can share with you that we have no plan to launch Xperia Z6 at this stage.”

Emphasis on the “at this stage” part, suggesting that Sony does plan to announce the Xperia Z6 in the future. That was then followed by a statement to AndroidPIT from Sony Mobile US which said, “The Z series is not going away. We want to make it clear.”

Xperia X slide

But more recently a leaked slide seemingly shows that Sony plans to focus exclusively on the ‘X’ brand until at least 2018. It may not be genuine of course, but it’s looking like we may not see the Xperia Z6 for quite some time. For now the Xperia X2, or whatever Sony’s next high-end phone ends up being called, could be the closest we’ll get to it.

Here’s our look at the Xperia X and what it means for the Xperia Z6.