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Sony launches Xperia 8: But its a firm Pixel 3a, not Pixel 4, rival

Sony has unveiled a new Xperia 8 mid-range smartphone, but it’ll only be available in Japan.

The company announced the Xperia 8 in a post on the Sony Mobile Japan blog earlier today. The handset has a very similar design to past 2019 Xperia phones, like the company’s current Xperia 1 flagship.

The Xperia 8’s specs are firmly mid-range, with it being powered by a Snapdragon 630 chipset and 4GB of RAM. The camera setup is similarly mid-range with it packing a dual sensor rear camera that combines basic 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel sensors.

Related: Best mid-range phone 2019

The only slight atypical feature is that the 6.0-inch FHD+ resolution display has a 21:9 aspect ratio. The aspect ratio is a rarity in the phone market outside of Sony Xperia handsets. Sony claims the aspect ratio lets the phones offer a better movie watching experience as most modern films are mastered in 21:9. Outside of this the Xperia 8 will come with 64GB of storage and  slightly small for comfort 2760mAh battery with 18W Fast Charging.

The Xperia 8’s currently only confirmed for release in Japan, where it’ll be available on Y!mobile. It’ll carry a fairly hefty 54,000 yen (£410) price tag. This would put in direct competition with key handsets like the Pixel 3a, Motorola One Action and Motorola One Zoom, which target the same segment of the market, but come with clean Android installs and moderately improved specifications.

Related: Best phone 2019

The Xperia 8’s release comes during a low point for Sony phones. Despite releasing some of its best phones to date – the Xperia 1 is the highest reviewing Sony phone on Trusted Reviews in years – Sony’s western market share is still at an all time low. The Sony phone division posted a 15% decline in revenue in Q2 this year. Most analyst houses now peg it as having a less than 5% share of the smartphone market as a result.

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