Review Of The Sony Xperia 1 III: Almost Perfect
There’s no denying that Sony’s triple-threat Xperia series made an impact last year, despite the company’s inability to come up with a suitable naming scheme for its most recent phones. The Xperia 1 II flagship was a standout, although a costly one, and the Xperia 1 III is about to take its place.
In actuality, there isn’t much separating the two. Even though the new phone is more expensive than the old one, Sony hasn’t exactly ripped it to shreds in terms of advancements. The Xperia 1 III may not necessarily suffer as a result of Sony’s choice to emphasize improvement over revolution.
Review of the Sony Xperia 1 III: Important information
What then are the distinctions? It’s unclear at first glance. The newest four-figure flagship from Sony features a luxurious 6.5-inch 4K OLED screen and a 12-megapixel triple-camera with the same Zeiss branding as the Xperia 1 II.
The major changes, as you would have predicted, are on the inside. The Xperia 1 III is powered by Qualcomm’s most recent flagship mobile chipset, the Snapdragon 888, which offers improved sustained performance and power efficiency over the model from a year ago.
The Xperia 1 III has a slightly bigger, 4,500mAh battery in addition to an additional 4GB of RAM (bringing the total to 12GB). A maximum screen refresh rate of 120Hz (up from 60Hz) and support for reverse wireless charging are additional additions. Android 11 is also included with the phone.
Review of the Sony Xperia 1 III: Cost and Competitors
Unfortunately, all of this will cost you a lot of money. The Xperia 1 III will go on sale in August 2021 for £1,200, which is £100 more expensive than the model from the previous year. Although the cost of a monthly contract has not yet been disclosed, you can anticipate it to be just as exorbitantly expensive.
It’s unfortunate that Sony keeps asking such stupidly outrageous prices for its flagship phones. Alarmingly, the Xperia 1 III is £200 more expensive than the perennially popular iPhone 12 Pro and £100 more expensive than the entry-level iPhone 12 Pro Max. Bonkers.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is our top pick among premium Android phones, but like the iPhone, it is also far less expensive than this Sony. In actuality, it is currently available for about £900.
It’s also important to note that a few less expensive Xperia phones have just emerged or will soon do so. The Xperia 10 III, Sony’s mid-range phone, is a viable option for just £399, while the Xperia 5 III, which will soon be available in stores for £900, sits between the two (though is more expensive than the Xperia 1 III).
Cameras on the Sony Xperia 1 III
After quickly addressing the Xperia 1 III’s high launch pricing, I’m going to depart from our customary phone review format and go into what makes the Xperia 1 III so fantastic right out of the gate.
After using Sony’s newest flagship for a few weeks, there’s no doubting the Xperia 1 III delivers one of the most extensive and well-thought-out photography packages I’ve ever used on a smartphone.
A trio of 12MP lenses with various focal lengths are included in the back camera array, which is configured as a vertical traffic light. An ultra-wide unit with a comparable focal length of 16mm is positioned at the top. The centrally located primary sensor includes an f/1.7 aperture, a 24mm focal length, and optical stabilization.
The third camera on this phone, a 12MP telephoto lens that can switch between 70mm and 105mm focal lengths at the touch of a button, is, however, the most intriguing feature. Its “Variable Optical Zoom” system, as Sony refers to it, uses a movable lens element that is mounted on top of the camera’s 1/2.9in sensor to create an equivalent optical zoom range of 2.9x and 4.4x.
As a result, Sony is able to provide two optical zoom ranges in a single camera module, much like a teleconverter on a conventional camera lens. It’s a technical accomplishment, and Sony’s engineers have undoubtedly created something special with this.
How did I perform in testing with this unique camera arrangement, then? I took some very excellent landscape photographs while on a foggy stroll around Ditchling Beacon in the South Downs. These images are filled with minute details, such as wispy cloud layers and dense tree foliage.
Portrait photos taken with the Xperia 1 III were equally impressive. Only the 8MP selfie camera has a dedicated portrait mode for the rear cameras, however you may apply and customize the bokeh before taking a picture. The subject’s surroundings are nicely defined, and the subject’s facial features are perfectly accurate.
Design and major features of the Sony Xperia 1 III
It’s a lot to process, but now let’s move on to the other features of the Xperia 1 III. Another one of Sony’s long, slender flagships is this one. Due to its screen’s aspect ratio of 21:9, it is not quite as wide as the plus-sized Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (71mm across), but having a similar total height (165mm).
If you wear jeans with short pockets, you might notice that the Xperia 1 III pops awkwardly out of the top. Other than that, it feels comfortable in the hand, and using the phone one-handedly didn’t present any problems for me in reaching across the screen with my thumb.
Sony’s floating “Side Sense” dock makes one-handed use even easier. Simply double-tap the highlighted area of the screen to access a list of your most-used apps and activate the phone’s one-handed and multi-window modes.
The Xperia 1 III’s design is essentially a carbon duplicate of the model from the previous year, but that’s not always a bad thing. The “Frosted Black” model I was provided for evaluation is in keeping with its high price tag: it looks beautiful, feels well, and the new matte coating isn’t a magnet for fingerprints.
The dedicated camera shutter button, which can be partially depressed to focus, is also a great feature. A thumbprint sensor is conveniently integrated into the phone’s power button, which is located on the right edge of the device. The selfie camera is instead housed within a narrow bezel at the top of the display, which is a bit of a throwback to using a phone without that annoying holepunch notch eating away at the screen.
Another unique feature of the Xperia 1 III is the presence of a 3.5mm audio connector. The “full stage” stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos tuning are 40% louder than those from last year, and they also support Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format.
Review of the Sony Xperia 1 III: Display
The only smartphone manufacturer still offering premium models with 4K displays is Sony. The 6.5-inch OLED screen on the Xperia 1 III is as excellent as it gets, with 10-bit colors, compatibility for HDR 10 content, and a maximum resolution of 1,644 x 3,840 with an extremely high pixel density of 643ppi. This puts potential power consumption to one side.
I say “maximum” because the phone won’t always display a native 4K image, depending on the settings you select. In fact, the Xperia 1 III instantly switches to FHD+ resolution when you activate the new 120Hz refresh mode. The Galaxy S21 Ultra doesn’t need to do this to operate the display at 120Hz, and it also doesn’t cause too many problems, so I assume this is some type of battery-saving mechanism.
I have very few issues with the screen’s quality. With a measured average Delta E color variance of 1.15 in the phone’s Creator display mode, which aims for the BT.2020 color gamut, color reproduction is flawless. No errors will be visible to even the most meticulous eyes.
The Xperia 1 III’s display isn’t exceptionally brilliant, which is the only minor drawback. The Xperia 1 III is not the finest device for watching HDR movies or television, with a measured max brightness of 450cd/m2 in HDR video. As a point of comparison, the iPhone 12 Pro, which also boasts an AMOLED display, can achieve HDR brightness levels of well over 1,000cd/m2.
Judgment on the Sony Xperia 1 III review
Though the Sony Xperia 1 III is otherwise a genuinely amazing smartphone, its weak endurance is a significant disappointment. The Xperia 1 III is a clear sign that Sony is a mobile industry expert, mostly faultless in every other area and extremely remarkable in others.
Sony just needs to swallow its pride, demand lower prices than what Samsung and Apple are now asking, and give up the worthless 4K display in favor of longer battery life. Nothing prevents its phones from competing head-to-head with the greatest phones available if they are able to accomplish those tasks.
But right now, the price and battery life of the Sony Xperia 1 III make it impossible to recommend.