The suspense – if the leaks spared any in the first place – is finally over. Sony has finally launched its latest flagship – the Xperia 1 III (pronounced Xperia 1 Mark 3). Let’s start with the design first, which is actually almost identical to its predecessor. But hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? You get the same glass-and-metal build with an IP68-certification for dust and water resistance. But instead of a glossy back, Sony has gone with a frosted finish that will do a much better job of masking smudges. If you’re not a fan of the black trim, there is also a Frosted Purple option on the table.
Now, let’s talk the specs. Being a true-blue flagship, it is no surprise to see the Xperia 1 III go for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 SoC. It keeps things running inside accompanied by a healthy 12 gigs of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. Notably, the phone also lets you expand the onboard storage via a microSD card and also retains the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Coming to the imaging hardware of Xperia 1 III, you get a trio of 12MP cameras. The optically stabilized main snapper has an f/1.7 lens and is capable of recording 4K videos at a 120FPS rate frame. You also get some Sony software tricks such as real-time eye auto-focus tracking for both humans and dogs. It sits alongside a 12MP ultra-wide-angle snapper (f/2.2), an optically-stabilized 12MP telephoto camera with a folded lens design, and a 3D ToF sensor as well.
On the front, you will find the 8MP selfie camera sitting above a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display that offers a 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate. The screen is protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass Victus – the best that Corning has to offer – and is flanked by thin bezels at the top and bottom. The Xperia 1 III retains the familiar 21:9 aspect ratio, or ‘cinematic’ in Sony’s marketing lingo.
Sony has equipped the phone with full-stage stereo speakers that are claimed to be 40% louder this time around, and also bring support for the proprietary 360 Reality Audio tech that is claimed to provide a surround sound experience. Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res Audio support is there, alongside the DSEE Extreme audio signal upscaling technology. Plus, the Xperia 1 III can connect directly with the Dual Shock 4 controller, but not the newer DualShock 5 controller that comes with the PlayStation 5 console.
The Xperia 1 III comes fitted with a 4,500mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging and is claimed to last 3 years. There is also support for wireless charging as well as reverse wireless charging for juicing up other accessories such as earbuds. Notably, the official spec sheet shared by Sony mentions only support for the slower Sub-6GHz 5G network, and not the faster mmWave flavor of 5G. The fingerprint sensor has been embedded in the power button, and there’s also a dedicated shutter button.