The Sony Xperia 1 III is an Android smartphone manufactured by Sony. Designed to be the new flagship of Sony’s Xperia series, the phone was announced along with the compact flagship Xperia 5 III and the mid-range Xperia 10 III on April 14, 2021. Sony is back at it again and despite the ever dropping sales results, it’s even got a few smartphone firsts for us. The Xperia 1 III, the latest true flagship in the lineup, is the logical vehicle for those, and we’re here to tell you all about it.
Ever since the Xperia Z5 Premium all the way back in 2015, Sony’s top-tier phones have had 4K resolution displays. The Xperia 1 III combines the high resolution and a high refresh rate in one, making it the first smartphone with a 4K 120Hz display (with some caveats).
The other novelty is the variable focal length periscope telephoto camera. 5x periscopes are essentially mainstream now, and the long reach is most welcome. But for intermediate zoom levels, you typically need to rely on digital zoom or a second 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 that’s a first.
Sony Xperia 1 III Design
The Xperia 1 III improves on the design used on its predecessor, the Xperia 1 II. It now features a matte frame and slightly smaller bezels all around. The phone has Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection on the front and Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on the back with a frosted glass finish as well as IP65 and IP68 certifications for water resistance. The build has a pair of symmetrical bezels on the top and the bottom, where the front-facing dual stereo speakers and the front camera are placed. The left side of the phone contains the SIM card tray and microSD card slot, while the right side contains a fingerprint reader embedded into the power button, a volume rocker, a customisable shortcut button, and a shutter button with an embossed finish. The rear cameras are arranged in a vertical strip like its predecessor. The phone will be available in three colors: Frosted Black, Frosted Gray, and Frosted Purple.
Sony Xperia 1 III Specifications
The Xperia 1 III has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC and an Adreno 660 GPU, accompanied by 12GB of RAM, 256 GB storage space (which can be expanded up to 1 TB via the microSD card slot), and single/dual-hybrid nano-SIM card slot depending on region. The phone features a 21:9, world’s first 4K HDR 10-bit 120Hz OLED display in a smartphone. The phone has a 4500 mAh battery, and supports 30W Fast Charging alongside Qi wireless charging with reverse wireless charging support. The phone has front-facing dual stereo speakers with support for 360 Reality Audio, which Sony claims is now 40% louder than the predecessor. There is also a 3.5 mm audio jack up top just like its predecessor.
Sony Xperia 1 III Camera
The phone has a triple 12 MP camera setup and a 3D iToF sensor on the back, and an 8 MP camera on the front. The rear cameras comprise the main lens (24 mm f/1.7), the ultra wide angle lens (16 mm f/2.2), and the world’s first variable periscope telephoto lens that can switch between 70mm and 105mm; all of which use ZEISS’ T✻ (T-Star) anti-reflective coating. Digital zoom can now reach the equivalent of 300mm, compared to 200mm on the Xperia 1 II and 5 II with a new enhanced algorithm which Sony calls “AI super resolution zoom”. The phone still has support for 4K video recording for up to 120 FPS and 2K for up to 120 FPS like its predecessor. Sony introduced “Realtime Tracking” which now allows users to tap on a subject and have the phone continuously track it without ever losing focus of what is important.
Sony Xperia 1 III Software
The Xperia 1 III runs on Android 11. It is also equipped with a “Photo Pro” mode developed by Sony’s camera division α (Alpha) and a “Cinema Pro” mode developed by Sony’s cinematography division CineAlta, just like its predecessor. The old camera app has been integrated with “Photo Pro” and was renamed as “Basic Mode”.
Sony Xperia 1 III Color
Sony Xperia 1 III Reception
Despite not being widely released yet, the Xperia 1 III has been described by Engadget as a “love letter to photography nerds” because of its camera features.
Sony Xperia 1 III
||Speed and beyond
SO-51B (NTT Docomo)
SOG03 (au/Okinawa Cellular)
- 4G LTE
- WiMAX 2+ (SOG03 model only)
||Early Summer 2021
|Availability by region
||1 June 2021
9 July 2021 (Japan; SO-51B, SOG03 and A101SO models)
||Sony Xperia 1 II
||Sony Xperia 5 III
||165 mm (6.5 in) H
71 mm (2.8 in) W
8.2 mm (0.32 in) D
||186 g (6.6 oz)
|System on chip
||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
||Octa-core (1x 2.84 GHz Gold Prime, 3x 2.42 GHz Gold, 4x 1.8 GHz Silver) Kryo 680
||12 GB LPDDR5 RAM
||Universal Flash Storage (UFS 3.X)
256 GB (SO-51B, SOG03 and A101SO models)
||microSDXC, expandable up to 1 TB
||Non-removable Li-ion 4500 mAh
USB PD 3.1 30 W Charging
Qi 11 W Wireless Charging
- Fingerprint scanner (side-mounted, always on)
- Proximity sensor
- Colour spectrum sensor
||6.5 in (170 mm) 4K 21:9 (3840 x 1644) HDR OLED CinemaWide™ display, ~643 pixel density
Gorilla Glass Victus
10-bit color depth 120Hz
||12 MP (Sony Exmor RS IMX557), f/1.7, 24mm (wide), 1/1.7″, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS12 MP (Sony Exmor RS IMX663), f/2.3, 70mm (telephoto), f/2.8, 105mm (telephoto), 1/2.9″, Dual Pixel PDAF, 3x/4.4x optical zoom, OIS
12 MP (Sony Exmor RS IMX363), f/2.2, 124˚, 16mm (ultrawide), 1/2.5″, Dual Pixel PDAF
0.3 MP (Sony Exmor R IMX316), TOF 3D, (depth)
Zeiss optics, HDR, eye tracking
||8 MP (Samsung ISOCELL S5K4H7), f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1/4″, 1.12µm, HDR Photo, Portrait selfie, Display flash, Hand and Smile Shutter
||Front Stereo speakers and 3.5 mm headphone jack
Cirrus Logic CS35L41 Speaker Amp x2
High-Resolution Audio Wireless
360 Reality Audio hardware decoding
Dolby Atmos tuned by Sony Pictures and Sony Music
Qualcomm® aptX™ HD
Qualcomm® aptX™ adaptive
Qualcomm® aptX™ TWS+
||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4/5GHz)
GPS with Assisted GPS
Mobile FeliCa/Osaifu-Keitai (SO-51B, SOG03 and A101SO models only)
||IP65/IP68 Water/dust resistant
PS4 Remote Play
DUALSHOCK®4 Control compatibility
Dynamic Vibration System
Sony Xperia 1 III specs at a glance:
- Body: 165.0×71.0x8.2mm, 186g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass 6), aluminum frame; IP65/IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins).
- Display: 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: 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM; UFS 3.X; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
- OS/Software: Android 11.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 12 MP, f/1.7, 24mm, 1/1.7″, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 124˚, 16mm, 1/2.6″, Dual Pixel PDAF; Telephoto: 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, 24mm (wide), 1/4″, 1.12µm.
- Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@24/25/30/60/120fps HDR, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps; 5-axis gyro-EIS, OIS; Front camera: 1080p@30fps, 5-axis gyro-EIS.
- Battery: 4500mAh; Fast charging 30W, 50% in 30 min (advertised), Fast wireless charging, Reverse wireless charging, USB Power Delivery.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; 3.5mm jack.