Despite Apple and Samsung cornering most of the smartphone market, it appears Sony isn't giving up on its Xperia handsets just yet.

Alleged press renders of its upcoming Xperia XA3 have now surfaced, showing a design not only radically different from past Xperia handsets, but also from other smartphones in general.

The images in question, published by WinFuture, reveal a more squarish design for the handset. It's not terribly different from curvier phones of this generation, but it does more resemble the Essential Phone in its boxiness rather than an iPhone, which features more dramatically tapered corners.

Sony Xperia XA3 Display

But the shape is just appetizer. The real conversation-starter here is its screen. The Xperia XA3 seems to be sporting an ultra-wide display with an aspect ratio of 21:9. There has been a surfeit of phones with 18:9 displays in recent years, but Sony appears to be taking things even further.

Having an aspect ratio of 21:9 means that the Xperia XA3 would be a prime phone for watching films, as most movies today are displayed in that configuration. These movies would have no black bars on the top and bottom when played — an effect called letterboxing — making for a more immersive experience.

The Advantages And Disadvantages

But that also means anything that's not stretched to 21:9 would invoke black bars on both sides of the screen in landscape mode. That's the tradeoff users would have to contend with.

Another advantage 18:9 phones have over more drastic aspect ratios is that they're fairly easier to use with a single hand. A phone with a 21:9 display would make it even taller, making certain onscreen icons and selections hard to reach using only one hand.

Samsung solves this with its One UI, which divides the screen into bottom and upper halves. The upper half is where most of the visual elements are displayed, and the bottom half is where all things clickable are placed. This way, even if the screen is taller than one would be comfortable with, the interface makes up for it by making things easy to interact with.

The renders unfortunately don't offer any glimpse on the Xperia XA3's interface, so it's anyone's guess at the moment whether Sony will offset the tall screen with a user interface that makes all things more accessible with one hand.

Moving to other elements, the rest of the renders reveal that the Xperia XA3 will have a dual-camera system. No fingerprint sensor is in sight, perhaps Sony will integrate it into the power button again. There's a USB Type-C port on the bottom bookended by speaker grilles. Expect more details once the Mobile World Congress rolls around later this month.

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