The new Sony Xperia 1 III is the best smartphone made by Sony for years. It has an outstanding display, battery life, and a versatile camera that’s easier to use than the previous models.
Not everyone can use it, and it has some special elements to Sony’s approach to smartphones that imply it may not be for you. However, if you love Sony smartphones or love trying new things, it could be for you.
Sony Xperia 1 III Design
The Xperia 1 III’s design looks quite similar to the recent Sony flagship phones, having a similar long-and-narrow design. It has a 6.5-inch 21:9 aspect ratio display, which implies it is longer than its competitors like the Xiaomi Mi 11 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The difference between Xperia 1 III and Xperia 1 III is that Xperia 1 III is a bit thicker for a larger battery to fit in. Although, It doesn’t feel too thick. It weighs 186g, but it increases by a few grams if you choose the Xperia 1 III in its mmWave 5G variant (sold in the US).
It possesses a glass rear with a brushed finish that makes gripping easy, but its size at 165 x 71 x 8.2cm in a 21.9 aspect ratio makes it an awkward phone for people with small hands to grasp things quickly. It’s better to get a phone case if phones usually trip off your hands.
The volume button and power button are placed on the right side of the phone. Also, the fingerprint scanner is built into the power button. That means it doesn’t have an in-screen sensor like other phones in its price range. The Google Assistant button is placed below the power button.
At the bottom of this edge is a camera shutter that’s appropriately placed so you can easily hit it when the phone is in landscape mode. It was accurately embossed on the Xperia 1 III for easy access.
The bottom edge houses the USB-C port, and the SIM tray is on the left edge, while on the top edge is the 3.5mm headphone jack – this will be a significant selling point for some, as it’s a feature that’s not available on a lot of top-end phones.
The Xperia 1 III has front-facing speakers, a feature that has been the highlight of Sony’s top-end phones. But this one is different, and they are 30% louder. So if you want a phone with incredible speakers, then this is a great option.
Sony Xperia 1 III Display
The tagline for the selling of the Xperia 1 III is it is the world’s first smartphone to have a 4K 120Hz display. Currently, Sony is the only company providing smartphones with 4K displays.
The Xperia 1 III has two image quality modes: Standard mode (default mode) or Creator mode, which was created to provide reliable color reproductions and a series of other image-processing enhancements to make the content look close to the creator’s intentions.
We used this mode more during the test, and it didn’t cause damage to the smartphone’s battery life. The colors aren’t as bright when navigating through the phone’s user interface but look more natural in the video.
If you need a phone to watch movies, videos, or TV shows, the Xperia 1 III is a good option. Also, the 21:9 aspect ratio provides something unique for mobile gaming, as it enables you to see more of the playing environment than on other smartphones.
Sony Xperia 1 III Camera
Sony only modified the Xperia 1 III camera experience instead of renovating it, though it’s not a bad thing. The camera isn’t the best in the market when it’s in auto mode. But its captured images are comparable with most smartphones released in 2021.
The primary camera is a 12MP f/1.7 aperture 24mm wide-angle shooter. There’s also a 12MP f/2.2 16mm ultra-wide used when you want to get more scenes or people into the frame. The camera setup is an adaptive telephoto camera which includes a 12MP sensor and two lenses (an f/2.3 70mm telephoto lens and an f/.2.8 105mm lens (for a wider reach).
Sony said an adaptive camera is faster than switching between two different telephoto cameras; while we were testing it, we discovered that the camera has a smooth experience that provides incredible image quality. Using it is more flexible than on other smartphones.
The 70mm lens is created to zoom in to 2.9x, and the 105mm lens provides 4.4x zoom; there’s also digital zoom up to 12.5x. The zoom won’t provide similar quality to Samsung’s telephoto zoom on products like the Galaxy S21 Ultra. However, it does provide an excellent experience with the primary camera.
An excellent photography feature of the Xperia 1 III that Sony is fussing about is their autofocus Dual PDAF technology. This camera can track objects like humans and animals to ensure it’s less likely to blur whenever the shutter button is hit.
It’s beneficial when taking animals or children who can’t stay still as you capture their portrait, and the autofocus implies you’re getting a good photo.
Photos contain great levels of detail, and colors feel natural. So if you want colors to look natural as possible, the Xperia 1 III is a fantastic option.
The front camera is similar to the one on the Xperia 1 II, which provides high-quality selfies. This camera is placed in the bezel at the top of the phone, and it’s an 8MP f/2.0 camera that’s suitable for social media odd shots and also for video calls.
Sony Xperia 1 III Performance
The Xperia 1 III is Sony’s first regular to have 5G in the US. It supports mid and low-band 5G.
It possesses a Snapdragon 888 processor and 12GB of RAM, which changes to firm performance, mainly recording videos and playing games.
During the benchmark tests, the Xperia 1 III scored on the high side of Android 888 phones but less than gaming phones such as the Asus ROG Phone 5.
It has a 3.5mm headphone port, which’s rare on flagship phones and will probably be even challenging to find now that LG has stopped producing phones. The headphone port supports High-Res audio and some AI trickery to enhance the sound from audio and video streaming apps.
Sony included some gamer-centric features, such as motion-blur reduction and high-fps video recording. It’s a bit odd that Sony isn’t pushing more into gaming with some PS5 connected, though.
Sony Xperia 1 III Battery life
It has a 4,500mAh cell, compared to a 4,000mAh one in the Xperia 1 II. Well, the difference isn’t that much on paper, but mixed with the power-usage optimizations enabled by the Snapdragon 888, we discovered that it made a noticeable difference.
Also, Sony improved its fast charging, so you’ll get a 30W charger alongside the phone. As several other manufacturers have removed the charger from the box, Sony decided to continue adding one. Wireless charging is also an option with this phone.
Also, for the first time, Sony added reverse wireless charging that works perfectly well. It allows you to charge devices like smartwatches, headphones, or other phones from your phone’s battery.
The Xperia 1 III is the latest Sony phone, and it has an extraordinary battery life, a 4K display, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a price tag to match it. If you need a cheaper Sony phone, you may have to consider an older-generation device, or maybe the Xperia 5 III.