We've heard rumors of a new Sony flagship phone on the way, by the codename of "Hayabusa," or LT29i to give it its product number. Last month an alleged image of the device in field testing appeared online, and now we have what may be a slightly clearer -- though still blurry -- photo of the device. Today's shots show the unmistakable green Xperia logo around the back, with a large camera lens up top and single LED flash. The front of the phone appears to be dominated by a large screen, with no traditional physical buttons, which might corroborate rumors that the Hayabusa will feature on-screen buttons. The device also appears to be fairly thin, though it's impossible to judge this precisely. Also of interest are the curved corners, in stark contrast to the sharp edges of the current crop of Xperia NXT phones.
As for rumored specs, the Hayabusa is said to sport a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset -- that's the one with the faster Adreno 320 GPU -- with 1GB of RAM, a 4.55-inch 720p screen (with on-screen buttons), and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. A whopping 2200mAh battery and 13MP camera are also rumored. If accurate, these specs would make the Hayabusa a worthy competitor to the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III. And if rumors of a 7-8mm thin chassis are true, the device could also be a worthy successor to last year's Xperia Arc.
A leaked roadmap suggests that the Hayabusa may appear in July around the €500 mark, while recent rumors from UnwiredView suggest a June announcement could be on the cards.
Of course we're well within unconfirmed rumor territory here, so take these reports with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, we'll admit to being intrigued by the possibility of a new super-high-end device from Sony. And the manufacturer will need to deliver something special in any upcoming flagship if it wants to compete with the latest devices from Samsung and HTC.