What you need to know
- Sony announced the Xperia 1 III with the first 4K 120Hz display on a smartphone.
- The Xperia 1 III and 5 III are also equipped with the first telephoto lens with variable dual PD optics for different focal lengths.
- The device will be available this summer together with the Xperia 10 III.
Sony did it again. While not quite the smartphone powerhouse like other OEMs like Samsung, the company manages to make impressive flagship smartphones. Last year’s Xperia 1 II brought the right improvements in terms of design, cameras, and the overall experience, though hampered by the lack of a high refresh rate display. Well, it’s a new decade and Sony wants to prove that it can offer the best display on a smartphone with the new Xperia 1 III.
You’ll find that the boxy design is largely unchanged from last year’s flagship, featuring a tall 21: 9 ration display flanked by two large bezels, at least until 2021. You can forgive the bezels as they are the world’s first stereo Includes front speakers on a smartphone that offer 360 Reality Audio and 40% more power than the previous model. The real story is what’s between the bezels. The Xperia 1 III rocks the world’s first 6.5-inch 4K 120 Hz HDR OLED display on a smartphone. Given that Sony couldn’t manage a 90Hz display on the last model, this is quite an advance.
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Sony stuck to its proven 12-megapixel triple camera system with the additional ToF sensor and the Zeiss T * coating on the back. Last year’s setup was pretty impressive, and Sony added some new tricks to its telephoto lens this year, bringing another world first with its variable Dual PD optical sensor.
This allows the telephoto lens to physically switch between two different focal lengths. Three sensors are used for which telephones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra require four sensors. With this system, the telephoto lens can quickly move from a focal length of 70mm to 105mm while maintaining focus.
Last year Sony introduced improvements like real-time tracking / eye autofocus and 20 fps burst modes with continuous autofocus. The Xperia 1 III also has a high-resolution AI zoom that keeps your images sharp, as well as Optical SteadyShot and Flawless Eye to keep your video footage stable. The main sensor can also record 4K video at 120 frames per second and up to 5x slow motion. Unfortunately, Sony left the front-facing selfie camera unchanged at a meager 8 MP.
The Xperia 1 III also brings some changes to the Photography Pro and Cinematography Pro camera modes. The photography app now has a “basic mode” that is supposed to make it easier to switch to a simpler camera layout with a screen trigger. The Cinema app also makes it easy to view the various parameters of different clips to ensure that the footage remains consistent within a project.
The Xperia 1 III is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, the same chip that powers the best Android phones of the year with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of expandable storage. Sony is promoting the gaming performance of the Xperia 1 III with its 240 Hz sample rate and 240 Hz motion blur reduction so your gameplay is as fast as you are. To keep the lights on, Sony has increased the battery to 4,500 mAh with 30W fast charging, wireless charging and a battery sharing feature. There is also Sub-6 5G on board, which was missing from the US version of the Xperia 1 II, so hopefully Sony can deliver the goods this time.
In addition to the Xperia 1 III, Sony is launching the Xperia 5 III ahead of schedule. Given the similarities between last year’s models, the 5 III has almost all the same specs as its big brother. The design differs slightly due to the rounded frame. The Xperia 5 III also has a smaller 6.1-inch HDR OLED display with FHD + 120 Hz, Gorilla Glass 6, no wireless charging and 8 GB of RAM with 128 GB or 256 GB of storage. The camera system is also largely the same except that the Xperia 5 III drops the ToF sensor.
Finally, Sony is launching the Xperia 10 III powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 690. The FHD + HDR display is slightly smaller at even 6 inches, and the triple camera setup offers more traditional wide, ultra-wide and telephoto sensors.
The Xperia 1 III, Xperia 5 III, and Xperia 10 III should be available sometime this summer, though Sony didn’t mention specific dates, availability, or pricing.