November 12 came and went and, while we’re still not an inch closer to finding out the exact launch date of the Sony Xperia Z1S, a fresh batch of photos remind the world it’s coming and paint a fairly gloomy pricing picture.

Sony Xperia Z1S Sony Xperia Z1S caught on film next to big brother, pricing hints look discouraging

First, will you take a gander at that beautiful Xperia family portrait? On the left, you have the purported international flavor of the so far Japanese-exclusive Xperia Z1 f, whereas on the right the 5-inch Xperia Z1 sits all high and mighty, looking down on its kid brother.

The resemblance is uncanny, which is both a good and bad thing. Good, because it’s nice for a series of gadgets to have a close-knit identity. But also bad, as at least in this eleventh hour Sony designers could have found a way to shave a mm or two off those big-ass bezels.

Then again, who cares about looks when the Xperia Z1S (or Mini, or however it’s to be called) packs quad-core Snapdragon 800 punch a la big bro, a 20.7 MP rear-facing camera, 2 GB RAM, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and 4.3-inch 1,280 x 720 pixels resolution?

Sony Xperia Z1S 2 Sony Xperia Z1S caught on film next to big brother, pricing hints look discouraging

Probably no one, or at least no compact phone devotee with above average financial situation. That’s right, ladies and gents, I’m afraid you won’t be able to use the words “cheap” and “Xperia Z1S” in the same sentence. Ever.

Assuming the newly uncovered pics and the information going with them are all legit (and they sure look the part), Sony Mobile China will slap the Z1S with an extravagant $585 (CNY 3,600) price tag. That’s a measly 40 bucks or so less than what the original Z1 goes for in the Middle Kingdom, meaning Westerners might be asked to cough up $550, maybe even $600 for the 4.3-incher. Ouch!

Oh, and by the by, since the handheld ain’t official yet, the chances of it being up on North American store shelves in time for Christmas are slim to none. You got two strikes, Sony, and so you’re walking on wafer-thin ice. Don’t mess it up any further.

Sources: Xperia Guide, Digi-Wo