With a spec sheet rumoured to contain a 20MP camera and 4K video recording capabilities, the Honami has got us very excited indeed. Here's how we expect it to bring the fight to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4, LG G2 and HTC One and iPhone 5.
What's it actually going to be called?
Sony's new device has currently got three names associated with it – Xperia Honami, i1 and Z1. In Japanese, the name Honami means 'sail, south and beauty', and was almost chosen by Sony as a code name for the handset as opposed to a final product name.
The final name is likely to be either Xperia i1, or Xperia Z1, as both are closer to Sony's traditional phone naming conventions. We're wagering that Z1 is the final choice, as it makes sense as a follow-up to Xperia Z, and fits in well with Sony's current naming conventions for other similarly monolithic devices including the Xperia Z Ultra.
It's an Xperia through and through
Leaked photos of the Xperia Z1 show off a design that's almost identical to the Xperia Z, with a sleek rectangular body slathered in glass. The same distinctive aluminium power button and silver port flaps are also present and correct, so we'd expect the Z1 to be just as water resistant as its predecessor.
The Xperia Z1 also features side magnetic charging pins, similar to those found on the huge 6.5in Sony Xperia Z Ultra phablet.
[Image: Gadget Helpline]
It'll be 1080p, but a better version of 1080p
Like the Xperia Z, we expect the Sony Xperia Z1 to arrive with a 5in 1080p display, but one that benefits from the same improved screen technology that can be found in the Xperia Z Ultra. That hopefully means that we won't be seeing the poor viewing angles of the original Xperia Z.
If the Xperia Z Ultra's Triluminous display and X-Reality technology are anything to go by, then the Xperia Z1 should also have an beautifully bright and vivid LCD display: a worthy rival to the HTC One's stunning 4.7in effort, which is our current favourite.
How many megapixels?
Here's where things get really interesting. The Xperia Z1 has been the subject of numerous camera rumours, all of which state the very same thing: that it will have a 20.7MP Exmor S sensor with a Carl Zeiss or 'G' lens and xenon flash, in addition to a standard LED flash.
Leaked images don't always back up the existence of the xenon flash, but there's good reason to suspect that Sony will leverage the G Lens branding for its flagship phone – after all, it's traded off the Bravia, Cyber-shot and Walkman brands in its mobile devices for years, and G Lens-equipped cameras such as the HX50 have excellent pedigree.
The rumoured 1/2.3in sensor is the same size as the one found in the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and dedicated compact cameras, so we've got high hopes for the Xperia Z1's performance in low-light shooting, thanks to the extra light-guzzling capabilities of the larger sensor. Watch out Nokia Lumia 1020.
There's also a dedicated shutter button which, we presume, will be used to quickly start up the camera app, as well as offering a two-stage movement to allow focusing before capturing the shot.
A second newer leaked image of the Xperia Z1 shows a noticeably different rear, with a curvier design and a circular camera module, reminiscent of the one on the Lumia 1020. It's hard to make out a Xenon flash though so it's unclear whether or not this leaked image is an accurate portrayal of the Xperia Z1's final design.
It'll eat 4K video recording for breakfast
The Sony Xperia Z1 is rumoured to have 2GB of RAM and the same 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor as the Xperia Z Ultra and LG G2. That would make it one of the most powerful phones in the world, both in benchmarks and real-life use. If our review of the Xperia Z Ultra is anything to go by, then we expect nothing but the slickest performance in everything from games to multitasking from the Xperia Z1.
The Snapdragon 800 processor also supports 4K video recording, which is why rumours of ultra HD capturing capabilities are far from a tech pipe dream, especially as Sony is so eager to push its 4K TVs and 4K-capable PS4 at the moment.
It'll have a whopping battery
As for other specs, the Z1 is widely expected to have 16GB of expandable storage, along with (according to Taiwanese site ePrice's specs) a large 3,000mAh battery to keep everything running for at least a day of use. Sony's familiar power saving features will also be baked into Android, promising to squeeze out every bit of juice by turning off updates and connections when the device is idle.
When's it out?
While there's no indication at the moment as to when the Sony Xperia Z1 will hit shelves, its official announcement is expected to take place on 4 September – the same day as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launch at IFA.
That's going to be a big day, so make sure to stick it in your cloud-connected, multi-platform diaries forthwith.