Sony Xperia XZ
The Sony Xperia XZ (left) and X Compact (right) are expected to enjoy upgrades at IFA 2017. IBTimes UK

Leaked images reportedly showing Sony's next flagship smartphone suggest the Japanese tech giant has finally solved an issue that has plagued its Android phones in recent years.

Both the Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact are expected to be revealed at this year's IFA trade show in Berlin. The former represents Sony's high-end offering and acts as a successor to the Xperia XZ, with the latter targeting buyers after a smaller, cheaper alternative.

The more powerful XZ1 has been the subject of a number of benchmark and spec leaks in recent months prior to its official announcement. Sony has a pre-IFA launch event scheduled for 31 August.

The leaked images (via SlashGear) give us our first look at both devices and for the most part it is business as usual for Sony, aside from minor tweaks.

The real notable change, aside from moving the camera module to a more central position on one of the devices, comes on that same phone's rear, which now sports a large circular fingerprint sensor.

Previously, the Xperia X series (and Xperia Z before it) doubled-up their physical power keys as a fingerprint sensor, with the security tech instead located on the right edge of Sony's phones.

This has proved a tad divisive, although it's worth noting that we were really impressed by the Xperia XZ's sensor. What wasn't impressive, however, was the bizarre scenario where US customers missed out on fingerprint sensors entirely... despite the tech actually being there inside the phones to accommodate it.

The baffling situation - waved away by Sony as a "business decision" - may now be at an end though, as it has been speculated that patent issues in the US were to blame for the feature's omission in the region. A rear sensor could fix that, but we'll have to wait for official images from Sony to confirm the design shift.

However, it is worth noting that the device with the rear-mounted sensor is more likely to be either the XZ1 Compact, or the Xperia X1 - a mid-range handset also expected to launch at IFA. It remains to be seen if the Xperia XZ1 flagship will follow suit.

Sony Xperia XZ1 rear
Sony Xperia XZ1 front