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Don't expect to see an 18:9 phone from Sony any time soon

While LG, Samsung and possibly even Apple will be releasing phones with an 18:9 aspect ratio this year, Sony won't be among the early adopters.

Published onMarch 1, 2017

With LG, Samsung and apparently even Apple putting out phones with an 18:9 aspect ratio (or something very close to it) this year, it’s beginning to look like the mobile market might be the first to readily adopt this new Univisium as a standard. But as with all transitions, not everyone is going to go along quite so easily. One such company is Sony.

After speaking with Sony’s marketing director Don Mesa at MWC 2017, it’s pretty clear that Sony will not be putting out a phone with a 18:9 aspect ratio any time soon. Why? A couple of reasons. For starters, Sony is perfectly happy with the current 16:9 ratio, but the main reason is entertainment.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium review

Maintaining symmetry across the Sony Groups’ various enterprises makes a lot of sense. This is why we’ve seen PlayStation integrations in Xperia phones in the past and why the new Xperia XZ Premium has fancy hi-res audio, for example. But that positive symmetry between Sony’s other interests is also what’s stopping it from diving into the 2:1 pool.

Mesa told me that it’s unlikely Sony would adopt a new aspect ratio unless Sony Pictures did too. After all, why would the mobile division consciously change the current standard that allows its phones to display Sony Pictures films without pillar-boxing? Sadly, that means we might be waiting a very long time to see a 18:9 aspect ratio Xperia device.