Xperia 1 III leads the charge for Sony's new camera-focused phones
Sony has three new smartphones to show off: the flagship Xperia 1 III, the more compact Xperia 5 III, and the more affordable Xperia 10 III. As is traditional for Sony handsets, the devices are particularly appealing in the camera and display departments.
The most powerful and most expensive of the trio, the Sony Xperia 1 III, comes with a triple-lens 12-MP + 12-MP + 12-MP rear camera that offers both an ultrawide mode and variable, "true" optical zoom – its lens actually moves inside the casing, rather than relying on image processing trickery.
Thanks to a separate time-of-flight sensor, Sony says that the autofocus capabilities of the handset are better than ever, while you also get access to a host of manual photography options if you need them (covering ISO, shutter speed, and more). Video recording is impressive too, up to a 4K resolution at 120 frames per second.
If that wasn't enough to tempt you into a purchase, the Sony Xperia 1 III also comes with the first 4K (3,840 x 1,644-pixel), 120-Hz refresh-rate screen on a smartphone – the 6.5-inch, 21:9 aspect ratio display is absolutely packed with pixels and should look super-smooth in use. Sony also says the display matches the color calibration of its professional-level monitors.
Under the hood, the Xperia 1 III is running the Snapdragon 888 processor from Qualcomm, the most powerful chipset in the business as far as 2021 Android phones are concerned. That's paired with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage, so it's a worthy challenger to the best Android phones of 2021 so far – on paper at least.
The Xperia 5 III shrinks the screen size down to 6.1 in (with a 2,520 x 1,080-pixel resolution) but keeps a lot of the features of the Xperia 1 III: the 120-Hz refresh rate, the Snapdragon 888 processor, 5G connectivity, and the triple-lens rear camera. With this more compact model you get 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage.
Both phones are fitted with a 4,500-mAh battery that offers 30-W wired charging and wireless charging too. They both have fingerprint sensors embedded in the power button, and both have a 3.5-mm headphone jack. These phones come running Android 11 and offer IP68 water- and dust-resistance as well.
Frosted Black and Frosted Purple are the color choices for the Xperia 1 III, while you can get the Xperia 5 II in Black or Green, and both are launching in the next few months. Perhaps tellingly, Sony hasn't shared pricing for these phones yet – arguably the most important specification of all.
Sony has also unveiled the Xperia 10 III phone: however much the other two handsets cost, this one will be cheaper. It keeps 5G but knocks the processor down to a Snapdragon 690 chipset, with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage on board. There's a 6-inch screen on this model, and a triple-lens rear camera, though the sensors are a downgrade on what you get with the Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III. Black, Blue and White are the color options for this handset.