This story was originally published on April 14, 2021, and last updated on April 27, 2021.
Sony continues its run of not trying to appeal to general smartphone users. Instead, it wants creatives and audiophiles to flock to its devices. The latest example is the newly launched Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III (read as “one mark three” and “five mark three”). Both are photo- and video-centric smartphones while appealing to those who want better quality sound on their mobile devices.
The flagship Xperia 1 III, in particular, gets the best of what Sony can offer in the photography and videography space. Both phones get a triple rear camera system with 12-megapixel wide, ultrawide, and telephoto cameras.
The telephoto camera comes with a variable zoom lens, where its optical elements move to switch between two focal lengths: a 70mm lens equivalent and a 105mm lens. As CNET explains, it’s similar to the 10x telephoto lens on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The Sony zoom lens sits horizontally in the phone and uses a mirror to reflect the image onto the dual-phase detect sensor. According to the company, this lens has fast and accurate autofocus in different lighting conditions. It also has an aperture of f/2.3 and f/2.8, depending on the focal length, to offer improved low-light performance.
The primary 12-megapixel 24mm equivalent Exmor RS sensor is expected to get the most use. Like last year’s flagship, it has a burst mode that can shoot stills as quickly as 20 times per second, all while that performs ridiculously fast focus calculations.
The Xperia 1 III gets an additional time-of-flight sensor to help with real-time object detection and depth information. Both phones also get Sony’s Eye AF (autofocus), which keeps track of human and animal subjects even if they turn away from the camera.
Sony now has only two camera apps instead of three. There’s the Photo Pro and Cinema Pro. Photo Pro gets a new “Basic” mode that replaces the default Android Camera app. Cinema Pro, of course, is for videos.
Videographers can record up to 4K at 120fps with both phones. And for those who want to use these phones as an external monitor for supported Sony cameras, that’s possible if you have a USB-C-to-HDMI adapter.
Those who have the Xperia 1 III might appreciate this more as that phone gets a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a cinema-ready 21:9 aspect ratio. The Xperia 5 III is downgraded a bit with a 6.1-inch Full HD 120Hz display. The Xperia 1 III is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, while the Xperia 5 III is protected by Gorilla Glass 6.
Both phones share many of their internals, including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, support for Sony’s 3D Reality Audio for more immersive speaker sound from their stereo speakers, 4,500mAh battery, headphone jack, dedicated hardware shutter button, and IP65/68 rating for dust- and water-resistance.
The Xperia 1 III gets 12GB of RAM, while the Xperia 5 III has 8GB. The Xperia 1 III gets either 128GB or 256GB of internal storage, while the Xperia 5 III has only 128GB. The flagship Xperia 1 III offers both wireless charging and reverse wireless charging.
Sony has yet to reveal pricing and availability for both phones. But expect some steep prices. For reference, the Xperia 1 II had a starting price of USD 1,200 (around PHP 58,207), while the Xperia 5 II started at USD 950 (PHP 46,080).
The Xperia 1 III is already available for pre-order on Sony’s Russian store for RUB 99,990, roughly USD 1,332 or PHP 64,525. As for the Xperia 5 III, it costs RUB 84,990, approximately USD 1,133 or PHP 54,845.
We don’t know if or when the phones will come out in other markets. But, for now, you know how much it might cost, give or take any taxes or dues.
UPDATE 1: 2021/04/27 11:32 A.M. GMT+8 BY NICOLE BATAC
Added Russian pricing details