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

Ro, 14 April 2021

Sony just held its Xperia event, introducing three new phones with two of them being full-fledged flagships - Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III. As before, the latter aims to appeal to users looking for something more compact without sacrificing anything in terms of user experience. The two phones have unique variable telephoto cameras that can switch between 70mm and 105mm, which equates to around 2.9x and 4.4x optical zoom.

The shooter itself uses a 12MP 1/2.9" Sony sensor with f/2.3 or f/2.8 aperture depending on the focal length you use and optical image stabilization. Digital zoom can now reach the equivalent of 300mm, compared to 200mm on the Xperia 1 II and 5 II and Sony calls it AI super resolution zoom.

Sony Xperia 1 III and 5 III announced with revolutionary cameras

The main camera uses the good old 12MP 1/1.7" sensor coupled with an f/1.7 OIS lens while the ultrawide snapper has a 12MP 1/2.6" imager, f/2.2 aperture and autofocus, which is not that common on ultrawide units even among flagships.

For optimal performance on those precious cameras, Sony has put ZEISS lenses with T coating. Additional software features include real-time Eye AF on top of the already existing Eye AF that works on animals and humans, Optical SteadyShot and 4K recording at 120fps for those crisp slow motion takes.

The front camera seemingly remains unchanged from last year - using the same 8MP sensor. The only difference in the camera department is the 3D ToF camera, which is exclusive to the Xperia 1 III. This means it's also the only one to support real-time Eye autofocus tracking, although the Xperia 5 III still has the real-time Eye AF.

Sony Xperia 1 III and 5 III announced with revolutionary cameras

With the cameras mostly identical it's the screens that set the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III apart. The larger Xperia 1 III uses a 6.5-inch 4K OLED panel with a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio and is capable of running at 120Hz and displaying HDR content.

The Xperia 5 III also moves to 120Hz refresh rate, but on a smaller 6.1-inch OLED panel of Full HD resolution with the same 21:9 aspect ratio and again complete with HDR support.

Both phones are powered by the flagship Snapdragon 888 chipset with the Xperia 1 III having 12GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB storage. The Xperia 5 III gets the slightly more conservative 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB versions. Both phones have hybrid dual SIM slots so you can easily expand the storage through a microSD card if you need to.

Even the battery is the same - a 4,500mAh unit with support for up to 30W fast charging (50% in 30 minutes) promising 3-year-long life. The Xperia 1 III also adds wireless charging, but the Xperia 5 III makes do without it.

It wouldn't be a proper flagship release if multimedia and gaming features were left out so Sony doesn't disappoint there as well. Both devices boast powerful stereo loudspeakers and 240Hz motion blur reduction in supported games. Low gamma raiser helps with visibility in shadows, while sound equalizer helps you better hear gunshots and footsteps. Sony has also made extra effort to improve the microphone input during voice chat - removing background noise and clears up the speech.

Game recording is also available at up to 1080p@120fps and there's one neat feature Sony calls Rewind time recording. It's similar to Nvidia's highlight recording, where it constantly records the last 30 seconds during gameplay. So if you want to save your highlight of the game, just hit record and the software rewinds the last 30 seconds and saves them.

Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III
Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III

The final key difference between the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III is the screen protection. The former uses Gorilla Glass Victus for the front and frosted Gorilla Glass 6 for the back while the smaller model settles for two Gorilla Glass 6 sheets. Both phones are rated IP65/68 for protection from dust and water.

The available colors for the Xperia 1 III are Frosted Black. Frosted Gray and Frosted Purple while the Xperia 5 III's colors are just Black, Green and Pink. Sony says both phones will be available at the start of this summer with pricing to be confirmed later on.


Reader comments

xperia 1 mark 3 scored 1350 nits in auto brightness. eat it and don't choke! in OLEDS, the color accuracy and consistency across all brightness levels is more important than high brightness itself. here's my review

  • Anonymous
  • 12 May 2021
  • kky

No. The results are simply better on average.

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