Sony Xperia 1 III review

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Sony is back on it again, and despite the ever-declining sales results, it even has a few smartphone firsts for us. The Xperia 1 III, the latest true flagship in the lineup, is the logical vehicle for them and we’re here to tell you all about it.

Ever since the Xperia Z5 Premium back in 2015, Sony’s top phones have had 4K resolution. The Xperia 1 III combines the high resolution and high refresh rate in one, making it the first smartphone with a 4K 120Hz screen.

The other novelty is the peripheral telephoto camera with variable focal length. 5x periscopes are essentially mainstream now and the long range is very welcome. But for intermediate zoom levels, you typically need to rely on digital zoom or another telephoto camera. The Xperia 1 III presents an alternative – its periscope camera can switch between 2.9x and 4.4x zoom levels (70mm and 105mm respectively). Now it’s a first.

Sony Xperia 1 III review

The rest of the Xperia is pretty standard, or at least not something we haven’t seen before. It’s an advanced Android phone in 2021, so that means the Snapdragon 888 is at the helm and there’s more RAM than on this reviewer ultrabook (12GB comes standard). Gorilla Glass front and rear, dust and water protection, a 4,500 mAh battery with (somewhat) fast charging – some things just may not be that different.

Overview of Sony Xperia 1 III:

  • Body: 165.0×71.0x8.2mm, 186g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass 6), aluminum frame; IP65 / IP68 dust / water repellent (up to 1.5 m in 30 minutes).
  • Screen: 6.50 “OLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR BT.2020, 1644x3840px resolution, 21.02: 9 aspect ratio, 643ppi; 4K @ 60Hz / FHD @ 120Hz.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm): Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680); Adreno 660.
  • Memory: 256 GB 12 GB RAM, 512 GB 12 GB RAM; UFS 3.X; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
  • OS / software: Android 11.
  • Rear camera: Wide (head): 12 MP, f / 1.7, 24 mm, 1 / 1.7 “, 1.8 ,m, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f / 2.2, 124˚, 16mm, 1 / 2.6 “, Dual Pixel PDAF; Tele: 12 MP, f / 2.3, 70mm, f / 2.8, 105mm, 1 / 2.9 “, Dual Pixel PDAF, 3x / 4.4x optical zoom, OIS; Depth: 0.3 MP, TOF 3D.
  • Front camera: 8 MP, f / 2.0, 24 mm (wide), 1/4 “, 1.12 .m.
  • Video recording: Rear camera: 4K @ 24/25/30/60 / 120fps HDR, 1080p @ 30/60/120 / 240fps; 5-axis gyro-EIS, OIS; Front camera: 1080p @ 30 fps, 5-axis gyro-EIS.
  • Battery: 4500mAh; Fast charging 30W, 50% in 30 min (advertised), fast wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, USB power supply.
  • Various: Fingerprint reader (side mounted); NFC; 3.5 mm jack plug.

Sony Xperia 1 III unboxing

The Xperia 1 III comes in what has been Sony’s two-piece white packaging for a few years now. The Xperia logo and model number are embossed in the center of the lid with shiny letters, while a smaller gray ‘Sony’ logo sits at the nearest end. It is a simple, yet stylish and robust box.

Sony Xperia 1 III review

Our review unit came with a charger and a USB-C cable and nothing else. We got the XQZ-UC1 adapter (30W, USB PowerDelivery), which is the best Sony has to offer, and we reckon that this is also what comes with retail quality devices. Still, your bundle may differ from ours.

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