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Sony Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III now official with 120 Hz OLED displays and variable telephoto lenses

Sony Xperia 1 III - Frosted Black. (Image Source: Sony)
Sony Xperia 1 III - Frosted Black. (Image Source: Sony)
Sony has introduced two new Xperia premium phones — the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III. Both phones sport largely similar specifications including the Snapdragon 888 5G SoC with the main differences being with respect to the display, storage options, wireless charging, and a 3D ToF camera. The highlight of this launch is the introduction of a variable telephoto lens that offers a focal length between 70 mm and 105 mm.

The Sony Xperia 1 III has seen quite a few leaks so far, and it is now finally official. Sony has announced two Xperia premium phones today, the Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III targeting creators and multimedia enthusiasts.

Both the Xperia 1 III and the 5 III are 5G devices powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC. The differences lie primarily with respect to the display, storage, and a minor change in the camera setup. That being said, both the phones have variable telephoto lenses that offer between 70 mm and 105 mm focal length (between 2.9x and 4.4x optical zoom).

The Xperia 1 III sports a larger 6.5-inch 4K OLED HDR CinemaWide 21:9 panel that supports a 120 Hz refresh rate. The Xperia 5 III also offers a similar display spec but at a size of 6.1 inches and an FHD resolution. The HDR offered is 8 bit + 2-bit dithering and fully supports the BT.2020 color space. Sony claims that both the Xperia 1 III and the 5 III offer perfectly calibrated "CineAlta" displays out-of-the-box. Another difference we find here is that the Xperia 1 III gets a Corning Gorilla Glass Victus coating while the Xperia 5 III makes do with Gorilla Glass 6.

The Xperia 1 III is available with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB/512 GB internal storage options while the 5 III offers 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB/256 GB storage. microSD expansion is supported thanks to the presence of hybrid dual-SIM slots.

The camera setup in the Xperia 1 III and the 5 III is largely similar and uses Zeiss lenses with a T-coating. However, the 1 III is additionally endowed with a 3D ToF sensor for distance measurement and real-time tracking. Sony said that the cameras were developed by the Alpha camera team with an aim to enable fast autofocus. According to the company, the new autofocus makes 60 AF/AE calculations per second to enable up to 20 fps photos with precise focus and exposure.

The variable telephoto camera uses a folded periscope design lens and a 12 MP 1/2.9-inch sensor with OIS and an f/2.3 or f/2.8 aperture depending on the focal length. Sony also offers an AI super resolution zoom that can enable a digital zoom length equivalent to 300 mm. The primary camera is also 12 MP but with a 1/1.7-inch sensor with an f/1.7 OIS lens. The ultrawide lens is a another 12 MP shooter with a 1/2.6-inch sensor and an f/2.2 aperture. Interestingly, the ultrawide lens is also capable of autofocus, something we don't find often in the current crop of Android flagships. The selfie camera is the same 8 MP sensor as in the previous generation.

The camera app has been upgraded this year with an enhanced pro mode that gives a feel of using Sony's cameras. Both devices include a 4,500 mAh battery that supports 30 W fast-charging with the Xperia 1 III featuring a wireless charging mode as well.

Other features include USB-C video-in from an SLR camera for use as a monitor, CineAlta-inspired 120 fps 4K HDR 21:9 video recording with wind filter, eye-tracking autofocus, IP65/68 rating, full-range stereo speakers with 360 Spatial Sound (including a three-month TIDAL Hi-Fi subscription), and more.

Gamers get to experience a 240 Hz motion blur reduction and a low-gamma raiser that helps in improved visibility in shadows while not affecting the brighter areas of the scene. Sony is also allowing gamers to adjust the white balance to allow for a more comfortable gaming experience while also improving on the microphone to enable clear communication and reduced background noise. Players can also enable the option to record gameplay at 1080p 120 fps along with a rewind time recording feature that continuously records the last 30 seconds during gameplay, which can then be edited and shared online. Sony said that when the phones are connected to AC power during gaming, the battery will not be charged in order to prevent overheating and throttling.

The Sony Xperia 1 III will be available in Frosted Black, Frosted Gray, and Frosted Purple color options while the Xperia 5 III can be had in Black, Green, and Pink colors. By looking at the specs above, it looks like Sony is counting on raw hardware prowess to improve its sales prospects. The devices look to appeal for photographers and videographers on the move, who specifically seek these features than the average flagship Android shopper.

Sony has not yet announced prices for the Xperia 1 III and 5 III but availability is expected from this Summer. Sony does not maintain carrier partnerships in the US, so it remains to be seen how these phones would be priced relative to the competition in the Android flagship space.

Sony Xperia 5 III - Green. (Image Source: Sony)
Sony Xperia 5 III - Green. (Image Source: Sony)
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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 04 > Sony Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III now official with 120 Hz OLED displays and variable telephoto lenses
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2021-04-14 (Update: 2021-04-14)