Sony Xperia 10 III review

GSMArena Team, 4 June 2021.

Android 11, Xperia style

The Xperia 10 III boots Android 11 in what appears a very stock state. Looking deeper, though, there are several touches from Sony that add extra functionality.

Sony Xperia 10 III review

Starting with some of the basics, the lockscreen is business as usual with a clock (that you can customize), a shortcut to the camera and another one for Google Assistant (a bit redundant when there's a hardware key for that already). The homescreen, too, is as standard as they come. The Google feed is the leftmost pane, but you can disable it if it's not your thing. The quick toggles/notification area is Google's stock too.

With this version of Android, you get Notification history and the Bubbles shortcuts as part of the Conversations features - both available on the Xperia, unlike some more heavily customized UIs.

Lockscreen - Sony Xperia 10 III review Homescreen - Sony Xperia 10 III review Folder view - Sony Xperia 10 III review App drawer - Sony Xperia 10 III review Notification shade - Sony Xperia 10 III review Notification settings - Sony Xperia 10 III review
Lockscreen • Homescreen • Folder view • App drawer • Notification shade • Notification settings

This brings us to one of the Sony exclusives, already available on the previous generation, the Multi-window switch. Split-screen multi-window implementation is one of the bits Google changes most often, but the current one has stuck for a couple of years, and it's a really clunky one, so Sony intervened.

You access it from the task switcher or from the dedicated shortcut icon on the homescreen, and you get sort of like two stacked task switcher rolodexes with your currently opened apps to pick one for the top half and one for the bottom half of the screen. The rightmost pane in each half lets you launch another app, not just pick from the already running ones. The phone remembers three previously used pairs so you can access them directly, though we couldn't find a way to save custom app pair presets. It's worth mentioning that the window split can be done in almost any arbitrary ratio, not just 50/50.

Task switcher - Sony Xperia 10 III review Multi-window switcher - Sony Xperia 10 III review Multi-window switcher - Sony Xperia 10 III review Multi-window switcher - Sony Xperia 10 III review Multi-window switcher - Sony Xperia 10 III review
Task switcher • Multi-window switcher

Side sense is another of the in-house Sony features. A bar shortcut on either side of the phone opens up a menu of shortcuts to apps and features, most of them user configurable. The 21:9 multi-window pairs can be customized here, but they don't go into the three pair shortcuts in the regular task switcher. A new addition to the menu a widget to control the Sony headphones app - handy if you have Sony headphones.

Side sense - Sony Xperia 10 III review Side sense - Sony Xperia 10 III review Side sense - Sony Xperia 10 III review Side sense - Sony Xperia 10 III review Side sense - Sony Xperia 10 III review Side sense - Sony Xperia 10 III review
Side sense

There's a fairly standard set of gestures for call handling, as well as a one-handed mode and smart backlight control. It's in this menu that you'll find the navigation options with the two basic options - gestures or a nav bar.

Gesture settings - Sony Xperia 10 III review Gesture settings - Sony Xperia 10 III review Gesture settings - Sony Xperia 10 III review Gesture settings - Sony Xperia 10 III review Gesture settings - Sony Xperia 10 III review Gesture settings - Sony Xperia 10 III review
Gesture settings

Just in case you were wondering, the feature-rich Game enhancer, as seen on the Xperia 1 II and 5 II, is not present on our Xperia 10 III review unit, just as it was missing on the Mk 2. Sony's in-house Album gallery is long gone, but Music still persists.

Synthetic benchmarks

The Xperia 10 III is powered by the Snapdragon 690 chipset, a mid-tier chipset with 5G capability, and it's manufactured on an 8nm process. It's a significant step up from the Snapdragon 665 of last year's model (in both performance and, obviously, next-gen connectivity), but in the context of 2021 5G midrangers, it's still not among the chart-toppers.

Sony Xperia 10 III review

The SD690 has an octa-core CPU in a 2+6 arrangement (2x2.0 GHz Kryo 560 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 560 Silver) and uses the Adreno 619 for graphics. A single 128GB/8GB RAM and storage configuration is available.

In GeekBench, the Xperia is roughly comparable with other mid-tier 5G-capable handsets using the SD690 (the OnePlus Nord N10 5G is the one we've seen), while the SD750 and SD765 devices do have a small if largely inconsequential advantage. The Xperia, in turn, is slightly more powerful than a Dimensity 800U device such as the vivo V21 5G. You might be able to squeeze a Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro within the same budget as the Xperia, and its SD865 is a notably scarier beast.

GeekBench 5 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
    3311
  • Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
    3091
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    2009
  • Motorola Moto G 5G
    1980
  • OnePlus Nord
    1953
  • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
    1910
  • OnePlus Nord N10 5G
    1848
  • Oppo Reno5 5G
    1813
  • Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G
    1805
  • Realme 8 5G
    1784
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    1768
  • Sony Xperia 10 III
    1738
  • Google Pixel 5
    1647
  • vivo V21 5G
    1600
  • Samsung Galaxy A52
    1577
  • Sony Xperia 10 II
    1413

GeekBench 5 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
    901
  • Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
    712
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    661
  • Motorola Moto G 5G
    659
  • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
    643
  • Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G
    615
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    611
  • OnePlus Nord
    610
  • OnePlus Nord N10 5G
    608
  • Oppo Reno5 5G
    608
  • Google Pixel 5
    594
  • Sony Xperia 10 III
    592
  • vivo V21 5G
    574
  • Realme 8 5G
    569
  • Samsung Galaxy A52
    525
  • Sony Xperia 10 II
    315

Over in Antutu, the Xperia 10 III maintains its position behind the bulk of 5G midrangers - it's within 10%, but not quite a match for the Snapdragon 700s.

AnTuTu 8

Higher is better

  • Poco F3
    631850
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
    563961
  • Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
    435166
  • vivo V21 5G
    336699
  • Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G
    333952
  • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
    324686
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    318882
  • Oppo Reno5 5G
    317762
  • Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G
    317139
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    314978
  • OnePlus Nord
    312794
  • Motorola Moto G 5G
    312461
  • Realme 8 5G
    302059
  • Google Pixel 5
    289261
  • Sony Xperia 10 III
    286216
  • OnePlus Nord N10 5G
    279579
  • Samsung Galaxy A52
    261282
  • Sony Xperia 10 II
    196545

It's a wider gap in graphics benchmarks where the higher-series Snapdragons are more heavily equipped. The Xperia is a good 30% behind in fps numbers in GFXBench, when compared against the SG750 Moto G 5G or the SD765 OnePlus Nord.

GFX Manhattan ES 3.1 (offscreen 1080p)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
    87
  • Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
    74
  • OnePlus Nord
    38
  • Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G
    37
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    37
  • Oppo Reno5 5G
    36
  • Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G
    35
  • Motorola Moto G 5G
    34
  • vivo V21 5G
    34
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    33
  • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
    33
  • Samsung Galaxy A52
    29
  • OnePlus Nord N10 5G
    26
  • Sony Xperia 10 III
    26
  • Realme 8 5G
    25
  • Google Pixel 5
    22
  • Sony Xperia 10 II
    13

GFX Manhattan ES 3.1 (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
    77
  • Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
    57
  • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
    56
  • Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G
    51
  • OnePlus Nord
    34
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    33
  • Oppo Reno5 5G
    31
  • Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G
    31
  • vivo V21 5G
    31
  • Motorola Moto G 5G
    30
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    28
  • Samsung Galaxy A52
    26
  • OnePlus Nord N10 5G
    23
  • Realme 8 5G
    22
  • Google Pixel 5
    22
  • Sony Xperia 10 III
    21
  • Sony Xperia 10 II
    10

GFX Car Chase ES 3.1 (offscreen 1080p)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
    51
  • Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
    43
  • OnePlus Nord
    21
  • Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G
    21
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    21
  • Oppo Reno5 5G
    20
  • vivo V21 5G
    20
  • Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G
    20
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    19
  • Motorola Moto G 5G
    19
  • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
    19
  • Samsung Galaxy A52
    17
  • Realme 8 5G
    15
  • OnePlus Nord N10 5G
    14
  • Sony Xperia 10 III
    14
  • Google Pixel 5
    13
  • Sony Xperia 10 II
    7.1

GFX Car Chase ES 3.1 (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
    46
  • Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
    36
  • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
    33
  • OnePlus Nord
    19
  • Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G
    18
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    18
  • Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G
    18
  • Motorola Moto G 5G
    17
  • Oppo Reno5 5G
    17
  • vivo V21 5G
    17
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    16
  • Samsung Galaxy A52
    15
  • OnePlus Nord N10 5G
    13
  • Realme 8 5G
    13
  • Sony Xperia 10 III
    12
  • Google Pixel 5
    12
  • Sony Xperia 10 II
    5.6

Things are no different in 3D Mark where the Xperia is, again, not quite up to the standard of other phones you can get for the money.

3DMark SSE ES 3.1 (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
    7101
  • Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
    6436
  • vivo V21 5G
    3331
  • Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G
    3288
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    3286
  • OnePlus Nord
    3285
  • Oppo Reno5 5G
    3208
  • Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G
    3167
  • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
    2819
  • Motorola Moto G 5G
    2810
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    2789
  • Samsung Galaxy A52
    2529
  • Google Pixel 5
    2318
  • OnePlus Nord N10 5G
    2166
  • Sony Xperia 10 III
    2135
  • Sony Xperia 10 II
    1125

3DMark SSE Vulkan 1.0 (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
    6412
  • Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
    5345
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    3127
  • OnePlus Nord
    3067
  • Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G
    3062
  • vivo V21 5G
    3050
  • Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G
    3035
  • Oppo Reno5 5G
    3008
  • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
    2609
  • Motorola Moto G 5G
    2608
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    2595
  • Samsung Galaxy A52
    2406
  • Google Pixel 5
    2267
  • OnePlus Nord N10 5G
    2012
  • Sony Xperia 10 III
    2002
  • Sony Xperia 10 II
    1121

3DMark Wild Life Vulkan 1.1 (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
    2713
  • Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G
    1668
  • Oppo Reno5 5G
    1658
  • vivo V21 5G
    1605
  • Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G
    1556
  • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
    1105
  • Realme 8 5G
    1104
  • Motorola Moto G 5G
    1099
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    1098
  • Samsung Galaxy A52
    1040
  • Google Pixel 5
    1033
  • Sony Xperia 10 III
    825
  • OnePlus Nord N10 5G
    811

The Xperia 10 III continues in the footsteps of its predecessor when it comes to raw performance - in that it's generally no match for its rivals of the day. It's not exactly underpowered and can stand its ground under CPU loads, but much better GPUs can be had for about the same asking price (of course, with inevitable concessions in other areas).

For what it's worth, the Xperia showed no signs of heat build-up or thermal throttling and maintained the same benchmark scores over repeated runs.

Reader comments

This is Sony Xperia 10 III review area, not Samsung XX area...

Just disable them and that's it.

I thought this phone is bloatware free. But I cannot uninstalled linked, Netflix, and digital wellbeing