Sony Xperia 1 III and 5 III announced with 120Hz screens, variable telephoto lenses

14 April 2021
The two boast the industry-first telephoto camera with variable focal length.

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YUKI93, 14 Apr 2021Really looking forward to the 1 iii's battery life wit... moreIt's not going to be running at 4k120hz.
It will be an option between 4k60hz and 1080p+120hz.

Hahaha where are the, Sony guys who said they would never by 120hz on Xperia.
Justifying that pathetic 60hz dim panel for years...

  • AngryLithuanian

This is the first time someone put a 4K 120Hz screen in a phone and GSMA just casually mentions it. C'mon where's the hype?!
If Apple or Samsung would do it you would be over the moon for sure lol

So...my take:

4K at 120Hz...no freakin' way that's running at once (like I think you can only run 4K OR 1080p@120Hz). If that's not the case:

Holy crap, that battery is not big enough. Have they not seen what happened with Oppo and OnePlus with their 4,500mAH battery, Snapdragon 888, and even LTPO display? Unless Sony has an armory crate copycat, that battery life is not going to cut it.

The camera...Periscope is a good addition but I was at least expecting a better ultrawide cam (freeform lens or something). Oh well.

30W charging = good enough. Sony's battery care and Stamina modes are really good so I'll leave it there.

Xperia 5 almost seems like the better deal with that same battery despite not giving it a selfie upgrade (to which I don't care as much).

Considering the scope of the smartphones that are usable in the US, I might wind up still getting the 1 Mark iii. However, I would be lying if I said I wasn't afraid for how bad the battery life might end up...

pufanu, 14 Apr 2021I don't use wireless charging because it's effici... moreyeah, that's radically different: instead of simply laying on the desk being plugged to the charger in the wall socket, is simply laying on a wireless charger that is plugged to the wall socket. suuuuper...

This phone could be a thousand bucks and it'll be still worth the money. That premium Sony design is unlike anything else in the world of smartphones. There's no notches, no cut-outs on the screen, no unwanted or gimmick features, no cheap looking gradient finishes, no curved screen abomination, no fancy terms to promote it's tech, no stupid fast charging speeds that isn't required by everyone, no several versions of the same flagship model that cuts most of the features from the base version, no Pro, Plus, Max or Ultra naming schemes to artificially enhance the value or other usual BS that phone makers resort to. This is pure finesse and quality that only can be seen on a Sony Xperia smartphone

Nick Tegrataker, 14 Apr 2021(Continued) With that said, I have a mixed feeling about s... more50MP with under 10ms readout is impossible without embedded DRAM like on Sony a1 and powerful dual BIONZ XR ISP.

Also, it is quite unlikely for them to use Quad Bayer sensors since they don't handle colors as nice as normal bayers when demosaicing. Even if they were to use one, they'd market it as 12MP instead of 48MP Quad Bayer because Sony believes that it is not a true 48MP sensor due to its pixel layout.
Although I would've loved to see them hop into 8K bandwagon now, it is still fine for me that they stick to 12MP for improved image quality instead.

As for periscope zoom, I was also shocked with how they did it. A normal single focal length periscope lens wouldn't be too surprising, but this dual lengths really caught me off guard as well. Since it is also variable, it would definitely be the best implementation of telephoto camera today, as there will be no huge loss in quality going from 3x to 5x.

  • Anonymous

Iphone 14 pro max = 48MP 1/1.3"

I love them and their normal size. Way to go, just, please, make them available to a broader crowd.

When everyone switches to 48-108mp cameras, they use 12mp... Can't wait to see comparisons and reviews. I'm afraid the prices are going to be rather high, though.

  • wongwatt

Unlike most on here I've actually owned and used an Xperia 5 and a 1 ii.
Both of them were buggy and oddly slow for a lightly skinned Android and I have no intention of giving Sony any more of my money. My woes with the 1 ii include - the default camera point and shoot photos are horribly inconsistent, GPS is random, it stopped accepting or sending calls through the car twice, the app switcher disappears regularly (minimising apps instead), 5G is much flakier than other phones, the fingerprint sensor simply stops working and more. On top of all that the frame finish is fragile and it picks up display micro-scratches much faster than the Gorilla Glass would suggest and faster than any other recent flagship I've used.
I'm done with Sony.

  • Anonymous

pufanu, 14 Apr 2021At least Samsung prices tend to drop a lot over time. Sony,... moreSamsung's and everyone else prices drop because the models will be 6 months old, by the time Sonys hit the shelves!

  • Anonymous

pufanu, 14 Apr 2021At least Samsung prices tend to drop a lot over time. Sony,... moreQuick price cut = lower sales than expected

  • Anonymous

Nick Tegrataker, 14 Apr 2021(Continued) With that said, I have a mixed feeling about s... moreSony has said Quadbayer are much slower than Bayer sensors.
Even the new GN2 cant match speed of old 557, despite the 12.5 mode.
Also, size changes speed too not only pixel count.
They do not want to use even for their Alpha or Venice.
Why using for phones?

Someone from mobile team said last year they can have access to any sensor they want.
They do not want to use Quadbayer.

pufanu, 14 Apr 2021I don't use wireless charging because it's effici... moreSame here :)

And happy to read that they will be potentially available before August, because knowing Sony ...

YUKI93, 14 Apr 2021S21 Ultra itself is also absurdly priced in the first place... moreAt least Samsung prices tend to drop a lot over time. Sony, not so much for some reason.

(Continued)
With that said, I have a mixed feeling about some aspects of Xperia 1 III. First of all, during the presentation, Sony never mentioned its screen brightness nor compared it to that of the last generation. Despite some fans claiming otherwise, 600-nit brightness would be arguably insufficient for a display panel used in a 2021 flagship phone, and if you look at the reviews of Xperia 1 II on the internet you will see many people complaining about its outdoor visibility. On top of that, a higher display brightness must be crucial for Xperia lineup since one of the expected use cases for this phone is to be connected to a camera as an external monitor, and Sony not confirming the change officially makes me feel very anxious about it.

And then here comes the concern regarding the battery life - Sony neither stated that its 4K panel uses the latest E4 display material (assuming the panel itself is made by Samsung) nor comes with LTPO technology, and it also doesn't appear to have a variable refresh rate unlike most high end phones released this year. SD888 has also proven to be a quite battery hog, and I'm not sure if 500mAh larger battery capacity can compensate for the drastic increase in power consumption introduced by 4K120Hz as well as more battery-draining SoC. I'd be happy to be proven otherwise regarding these two concerns, but I won't get my hopes up.

Finally, it's disappointing that they didn't use a Quad Bayer sensor even for the main camera. Sony clearly *could've* made a 1/1.12" 50MP QB sensor while keeping the full-sensor readout speed under 10ms, and I'm pretty sure this was a deliberate move to protect the RX100 lineup.. but still, it's sad to see this not happening.

GregLu, 14 Apr 2021Again, will be sold in August (At least ?) when announced i... morethey repeated, at least twice: early summer. so june-july.
if nothing else intervene.

Sony's Xperia lineup looks competitive as ever, and this time around it comes with one hugely evolutionary change to the camera system - dual focal length lens. This is something I was expecting Chinese/Korean companies to adopt in more experimental products, so it genuinely caught me off guard when I saw that they implemented on their flagship lineup. Kudos to Sony for pushing the boundary.

Other aspects of the phone are very solid, too. As usual both 1 and 5 come with IP65 splash resistance ON TOP OF the regular IP68 rating, MicroSD card support, HS power control, a headphone jack(!) and 4K120fps video recording in HDR format. As for 360 Spatial Sound, I'm just going to wait for the actual review to come out. The description suggests that it's something similar to Dolby Atmos equaliser does (= creates surround sound effect), but we'll see.

(Continues to the next comment)

Anonymous, 14 Apr 2021Magnetic adapters are the perfect balance between usbc char... moreI don't use wireless charging because it's efficient. I use it because it's convenient. Instead of the phone laying on my desk, I just place it on the charger. I don't even use a particularly fast charger and the phone doesn't heat up at all. But that's not the point. It's the fact that they're still reserving it for the pricier phone to make it look even more premium, while the 5 is still overpriced.