Sony is a huge brand, and not just for smartphones. Purveyors of the Walkman and the best TVs in the world, it has in recent years fallen down the pecking order when it comes to the best smartphones. Its Xperia Z3 was debatably the pinnacle of its vision of flagship phones with full waterproofing and two-day battery – but that was in 2014.

Since then, Sony has confused us (and probably you) by releasing the Z3+, the Z5, and then scrapping the Z altogether with the X, XA, X Compact and then the XZ (which is still an X series really). So – what’s next? Well, not the Xperia X2, it seems. Instead, Sony launched the XZ Premium, XZs, XA1 and XA1 Ultra at MWC.

You'll also like: Sony Xperia XZ2 rumours.

When is the Sony Xperia X2 release date?

The Sony Xperia X was announced on 22 February 2016 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It was a decidedly just-below flagship phone, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor, when flagships are currently touting the 820 or 821.

Sony loves a six month cycle of announcements, but has recently staggered them to go midrange/flagship, and IFA in September 2016 saw the company launch the Xperia XZ to replace the Z5, effectively killing the Z branding. Confusingly, though, Sony added a Z to the model to make XZ. The XZ became the flagship, with its 820 processor in tow.

So (keeping up?), we had expected Sony to release a new Xperia X at MWC 2017, but instead, it launched the XA1 and XA1 Ultra.

Prior to Sony's MWC announcement, rumours asserted that one of the phones would have the Snapdragon 835 chip, Qualcomm's latest processor for phones. It turned out to be true. Not only would the XZ Premium replace the Xperia XZ as Sony's flagship, it also contradicted reports that Samsung's Galaxy S8 would be the first phone announced with the 835.

How much will the Sony Xperia X2 cost in the UK?

In our review of the Xperia X, we were disappointed that a below flagship phone cost so much. It retailed at launch for a full £459 in the UK (though it’s currently on sale for £299.99 at Carphone Warehouse).

It's odd to have a phone just below flagship for such a high price – we would expect most consumers to plump for the Xperia XZ which is £539.99, and basically the same price on contract.

Therefore we hope the Xperia X2 - if it is ever launched - will be more in the £300 region. This would make it much better value for money for the specs. However, we can’t see Sony slicing over £150 off the price, so perhaps expect to spend at least £400 in an ideal world. The likelihood is the new Xperia X will cost at least £450 SIM free.

What does the Sony Xperia X2 look like?

Sony often sticks to what it knows, which suits the frequent update cycles it indulges. A leaked photo first seen by Slashleaks shows a potential box with a phone called ‘new Xperia X’, which is firmly looking like the Xperia X2:

The phone looks similar to the X but with thinner bezels at the top and bottom of the screen. If legitimate, this is Sony rectangle design 101.

Unlike the leaks leading up to the Xperia XZ Premium though, there has been relatively little news on the Xperia X2. We’ll update this article as soon as we find out more.

What are the rumoured specifications?

While nothing is confirmed, we can take an educated guess at the specs for the new Xperia X. The current Xperia X has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor. We suspect Sony might be canny here and give the Xperia X2 the Snapdragon 820, or maybe the slightly lower 810.

If 820, this would give it the same processor as the Xperia XZ flagaship. This would be odd, but it’d mean if and when Sony releases the sequel to the XZ, it could give it the latest 835.

This would put the X2 in the strong position of not being a ‘flagship’ so to speak, but with still-respectable processing specs. It'll also surely retain the cool fingerprint sensor on the side of the phone from the X.

Then again it could stick with the Snapdragon 650 in order to address the pricing issues we and many more had with the original Xperia X. We’d probably prefer slightly lower specs in order for Sony to offer a well-performing phone at nearer to £300 rather than £500.

We’d also expect Sony to bump the RAM up to 4GB and add USB-C – the Xperia X had 3GB and micro USB, so these updates make sense for 2017.

Beyond speculation though, there’s not much we can say for sure. The original Xperia X has just received Android Nougat 7.0, so we would hope Sony will release the Xperia X2 with the latest software.

Stay tuned for more news on the Sony Xperia X2.