Sony is bringing a new phone to market as an exclusive release in its homeland of Japan, but on closer inspection, things look oddly familiar with regards to what the Xperia 8 Lite offers.
While the 8 Lite isn't set to launch in any markets outside of Japan, for the time being, we already have a pretty good idea of what the phone would feel like to use, namely because of 2019's Xperia 10.
The 8 Lite's spec sheet bears a striking resemblance to that of the Xperia 10's. A 6in, 21:9 aspect ratio Full HD+ IPS LCD? Check. Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor from 2017? Check. 4GB of RAM? Check. 64GB of internal storage? Check. The Xperia 8 Lite even comes running Android Pie - meaning this is a 2020 device with a two-year-old operating system and a three-year-old processor.
While loyalty to Sony's Xperia smartphones is understandably strong in its native market, it still seems like it would be a tall order to expect fans of the brand to fork out the JPY29,800 (approximately £215/€240/US$280) asking price for what amounts to an outdated phone with updated cameras.
The only real change (minus a slight tweak to its proportions) from the Xperia 10 is the 8 Lite's rear camera setup, which replaces the 13Mp main sensor and 5Mp depth sensor found on the former with a dual 12Mp main and 8Mp telephoto sensor that sports 2x optical zoom and helps with background bokeh in portrait shots.
Those familiar will the Xperia 10 - as a series of phones - will notice that this too seems like a familiar setup, however, this time it's borrowed from the Xperia 10 Plus, which launched alongside its mid-range sibling at the start of 2019.
Why Sony is releasing a device like the Xperia 8 Lite is unclear. Manufacturers sometimes use older hardware or simply downgrade older models to flesh out their more affordable offerings (like Apple, for example) but on first impressions, it feels like Sony is reaching a little too far back here.
The Sony Xperia 8 Lite will be available in Japan on 1 September but is available to pre-order now.
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