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Sony Xperia 1 III smartphone review - Camera phone with variable telephoto focal length

The smartphone for photo professionals? The third generation of Sony's flagship smartphone is also supposed to convince mainly with features for professional photographers. But the Sony-typical design and the high-resolution screen could also make it attractive for other users.
Florian Schmitt, 👁 Florian Schmitt, Brian Burriston (translated by DeepL / Ninh Duy), 🇩🇪 🇮🇹 ...
Sony Xperia 1 III

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Sony Xperia 1 III (Xperia Series)
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G 8 x 1.8 - 2.8 GHz, Cortex-X1 / A78 / A55 (Kryo 680)
Graphics adapter
Memory
12288 MB 
Display
6.50 inch 21:9, 3840 x 1644 pixel 643 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, OLED, 10-Bit-colours, X1 for mobile, glossy: yes, HDR, 120 Hz
Storage
256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash, 256 GB 
, 240 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, USB-C Power Delivery (PD), Audio Connections: 3.5mm audio jack, Card Reader: microSD (up to 1 TB), 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, barometer, compass, color spectrum
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.2, 2G,3G,4G(B1/​B2/​B3/​B4/​B5/​B7/​B8/​B12/​B13/​B17/​B19/​B20/​B25/​B26/​B28/​B29/​B32/​B34/​B38/​B39/​B40/​B41/​B46/​B66),5G(n1/​n3/​n5/​n7/​n8/​n20/​n28/​n38/​n40/​n41/​n77/​n78), Dual SIM, LTE, 5G, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.2 x 165 x 71 ( = 0.32 x 6.5 x 2.8 in)
Battery
0 Wh, 4500 mAh Lithium-Polymer, 30 watt charging
Charging
fast charging / Quickcharge
Operating System
Android 11
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix f/​1.7,pcAF,colour spectrum sensor,OIS,LED-flash,[email protected]/​120fps(Cam1);12.0MP,f/​2.2,pcAF,wide angle(Cam2);12.0MP,f/​2.3,f/​2.8,pcAF,OIS,tele(Cam3);ToF(Cam4)
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix f/2.0, 24mm, 1/4", 1.12µm, Videos @1080p/​30fps
Additional features
Speakers: stereo speakers, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, charger, USB-C cable, 24 Months Warranty, IP65/​IP68-certified, notification LED (front/​multicoloured), Hi-Res Audio, SAR: 0.49W/​kg (head), 1.28W/​kg (body), fanless, waterproof
Weight
186 g ( = 6.56 oz / 0.41 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
1299 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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Possible competitors in comparison

Rating
Rating Version
Date
Model
Weight
Drive
Size
Resolution
Price from
87 %7
07/2021
Sony Xperia 1 III
SD 888 5G, Adreno 660
186 g256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.50"3840x1644
85 %7
09/2020
Sony Xperia 1 II
SD 865, Adreno 650
181.4 g256 GB UFS 3.0 Flash6.50"3840x1644
89 %7
06/2021
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
SD 888 5G, Adreno 660
234 g256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.81"3200x1440
89 %7
12/2020
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
A14, A14 Bionic GPU
228 g128 GB NVMe6.70"2778x1284
90 %7
02/2021
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14
227 g128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.80"3200x1440

Case, features and operation - Unique design in the Sony phone

Sony officially charges 1299 Euros (~$1530) for its smartphone. That is a lot of money, even though 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of mass storage are on board.

The typical Sony design, which is a bit more angular and relies on a quite narrow but elongated screen, is also present in the Xperia 1 III. Compared to the predecessor, however, there is no longer a glossy back, but a chic matte surface. The slim design makes the phone feel good in the hand, and the smartphone is also well rounded at the corners. The large camera module clearly protrudes from the casing.

Thanks to IP68 certification, it is also possible to use the smartphone under water. Gorilla Glass Victus on the front, Gorilla Glass 6 on the back and a metal frame ensure a stable build.

Unusual for such an expensive smartphone: There is still a 3.5 mm audio jack, which can be used to connect microphones or headphones, for example. It is also nice that Sony has installed a USB-C port according to standard 3.1 Gen.1 so that data transfers via cable are faster. You can count on modern Bluetooth 5.2, 5G and NFC.

In terms of Wi-Fi, Sony also supplies a current standard with Wi-Fi 6. The transmission speeds that we ascertained with the reference router Netgear Nighthawk AX12 are on a high level, but do not stand out in comparison with other smartphones in the price range.

The smartphone is supposed to get Android updates for two years, which is okay, but manufacturers like Nokia show that even much cheaper devices can be provided with new software for longer.

Sony Xperia 1 III
Sony Xperia 1 III
Sony Xperia 1 III

Size comparison

165.1 mm / 6.5 inch 75.6 mm / 2.98 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 227 g0.5 lbs165 mm / 6.5 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 8.2 mm / 0.3228 inch 186 g0.4101 lbs165.1 mm / 6.5 inch 71.1 mm / 2.8 inch 7.6 mm / 0.2992 inch 181.4 g0.3999 lbs164.3 mm / 6.47 inch 74.6 mm / 2.94 inch 8.38 mm / 0.3299 inch 234 g0.516 lbs160.8 mm / 6.33 inch 78.1 mm / 3.07 inch 7.4 mm / 0.2913 inch 228 g0.503 lbs
SDCardreader Transfer Speed - average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Average of class Smartphone
  (11.9 - 55.3, n=36, last 2 years)
26 MB/s ∼100% +77%
Sony Xperia 1 III
  (Angelbird V60)
14.7 MB/s ∼57%
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Cross Platform Disk Test (CPDT)

05101520253035404550556065707527.529.827.627.72927.527.325.22426.925.225.425.525.923.125.326.426.121.824.425.622.626.325.525.324.127.925.126.22526.725.426.324.926.422.824.925.924.427.223.82624.925.922.825.727.124.726.424.827.325.3262527.725.622.224.82625.425.525.327.225.326.524.127.424.826.322.626.425.624.325.425.725.826.123.92427.524.726.225.726.225.126.424.927.125.425.925.727.625.426.22523.525.526.123.724.926.825.32624.926.924.826.32626.325.226.226.42625.525.526.326.625.12626.32121.626.326.225.426.72425.427.529.827.627.72927.527.325.22426.925.225.425.525.923.125.326.426.121.824.425.622.626.325.525.324.127.925.126.22526.725.426.324.926.422.824.925.924.427.223.82624.925.922.825.727.124.726.424.827.325.3262527.725.622.224.82625.425.525.327.225.326.524.127.424.826.322.626.425.624.325.425.725.826.123.92427.524.726.225.726.225.126.424.927.125.425.925.727.625.426.22523.525.526.123.724.926.825.32624.926.924.826.32626.325.226.226.42625.525.526.326.625.12626.32121.626.326.225.426.72425.43642.242.142.442.242.342.342.342.342.242.142.141.642.442.442.341.742.442.340.941.742.242.542.142.641.842.742.142.441.939.938.838.538.53938.738.539.138.839.138.938.638.638.938.738.738.538.838.839.138.738.638.939.238.438.639.13938.33938.53938.838.838.838.537.942.641.138.438.939.238.938.838.43938.838.938.53938.738.539.138.738.738.338.938.838.53938.642.542.242.34242.542.24242.642.242.14242.442.240.339.238.730.679.640.541.342.442.142.242.34242.442.242.53837.436.736.536.836.337.236.641.7Tooltip
; Sequential write: Ø25.6 (21-29.8)
; Sequential read: Ø40.3 (30.6-79.6)
Networking
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Wi-Fi 6E
1190 (1121min - 1230max) MBit/s ∼100% +76%
Sony Xperia 1 II
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
875 (787min - 899max) MBit/s ∼74% +29%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
848 (822min - 881max) MBit/s ∼71% +25%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Wi-Fi 6E
803 (437min - 889max) MBit/s ∼67% +19%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Wi-Fi 6E
633 (523min - 703max) MBit/s ∼53% -6%
Sony Xperia 1 III
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
676 (632min - 694max) MBit/s ∼57%
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Wi-Fi 6E
922 (904min - 928max) MBit/s ∼100% +10%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Wi-Fi 6E
169 (156min - 180max) MBit/s ∼18% -80%
Sony Xperia 1 III
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
839 (806min - 865max) MBit/s ∼91%
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Wi-Fi 6E
779 (363min - 824max) MBit/s ∼84% -7%
Sony Xperia 1 II
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
748 (550min - 820max) MBit/s ∼81% -11%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
575 (364min - 613max) MBit/s ∼62% -31%
04590135180225270315360405450495540585630675720765810855817824834835852841827841847806844856839839849843837857828843849825849819857834840865828840817824834835852841827841847806844856839839849843837857828843849825849819857834840865828840632685668667677683666676671674668681679675691678678692677685682682675680694671662676676681Tooltip
; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø839 (806-865)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø676 (632-694)

Cameras - Variable focal length and good image quality

Recording front camera
Recording front camera

The 12-megapixel main lens simply has large pixels and does not rely on a high resolution that combines pixels like other smartphones. This makes the camera a bit less flexible when you want to take extremely high-resolution pictures in good light.

In return, Sony's camera module has a color spectrum sensor and numerous software helpers that are supposed to ensure an even more accurate reproduction of reality. Also great is the physical, lightly ridged shutter button on the left lateral side, which triggers autofocus when pressed lightly, just like on a camera, and records an image or even a series of images when pressed fully.

And what quality do the pictures from the main camera have now? The light situation is reproduced very naturally, the iPhone 12 Pro Max tends to brighten up a lot, and at the same time, the main subject on the Apple looks much more detailed and also sharper. When looking at the sky in the surroundings, it is noticeable that Sony achieves a very good reproduction here; hardly any pixel artifacts can be seen even in the magnification. Here, for example, the OnePlus 9 Pro does a much worse job. Sony achieves a good brightening and detail reproduction in low light.

A wide-angle lens is also available, and it takes decent pictures. However, you should not enlarge them too much, as is the case with all current smartphone ultra-wide-angle lenses.

However, the telephoto lens that Sony installs in its smartphone is even more interesting: With optical image stabilizer and variable focal length, it is actually also the largest and most striking lens on the back. It enables good zoom options, you can actually bring objects in a picture closer in quite high quality.

Videos are recorded in 4K by the main camera. You can record with all lenses, but you have to choose a lens before recording. Only digital zoom is possible in the recording.

The Camera Pro software is now the standard photo app on the smartphone, it offers numerous setting options.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Main camera flowerMain camera environmentMain camera Low LightWide angle lens
Main camera recording
Main camera recording
Recording telephoto camera 4.4x zoom
Recording telephoto camera 4.4x zoom
ColorChecker
7.1 ∆E
9 ∆E
11.7 ∆E
9.8 ∆E
11.3 ∆E
10.2 ∆E
8.5 ∆E
10.5 ∆E
9 ∆E
8.9 ∆E
7.9 ∆E
5.6 ∆E
8.7 ∆E
9.1 ∆E
7.8 ∆E
2.7 ∆E
9.4 ∆E
11.6 ∆E
6.4 ∆E
4.9 ∆E
7.5 ∆E
4.2 ∆E
3.7 ∆E
7.5 ∆E
ColorChecker Sony Xperia 1 III: 8.04 ∆E min: 2.71 - max: 11.72 ∆E
ColorChecker
19.4 ∆E
32.3 ∆E
27.3 ∆E
25.4 ∆E
30 ∆E
33.1 ∆E
26.6 ∆E
20.8 ∆E
21.5 ∆E
18.1 ∆E
31.8 ∆E
32.9 ∆E
15.4 ∆E
27.4 ∆E
16.7 ∆E
29 ∆E
23 ∆E
33 ∆E
25 ∆E
28.4 ∆E
34.1 ∆E
28.5 ∆E
21.9 ∆E
12.8 ∆E
ColorChecker Sony Xperia 1 III: 25.59 ∆E min: 12.77 - max: 34.14 ∆E

Display - cinema format with 120 Hz

Subpixel recording
Subpixel recording

The display of Sony's Xperia 1 III is also a special feature: It has a 21:9 format, which means it can natively display movies in the original format without borders. The resolution of 3,840 x 1,644 pixels is also on a very high level. The display is very accurate and sharp, but you cannot lower the resolution, which should lead to increased battery consumption. The display now also offers a 120 Hz refresh rate, but this can only be set to a fixed value, there is no variable mode like other manufacturers, which should also affect the runtimes.

The screen brightness is good, but still clearly below the level that other smartphone manufacturers achieve in Boost mode. The color reproduction is also only moderately accurate in the factory settings, but professionals can make numerous settings here: The white balance can be fine-tuned with many profiles and sliders, and the Creator mode is supposed to offer significantly improved image reproduction.

It is pleasing that the OLED flickers with a fairly high frequency even in very low brightness, so Sony's Xperia 1 III should cause fewer problems for sensitive users. The panel's response times are reasonable.

554
cd/m²
535
cd/m²
528
cd/m²
552
cd/m²
537
cd/m²
531
cd/m²
552
cd/m²
533
cd/m²
530
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 554 cd/m² Average: 539.1 cd/m² Minimum: 4.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 95 %
Center on Battery: 537 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.78 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.5
ΔE Greyscale 5.8 | 0.64-98 Ø5.7
99.9% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.363
Sony Xperia 1 III
OLED, 3840x1644, 6.50
Sony Xperia 1 II
OLED, 3840x1644, 6.50
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
AMOLED, 3200x1440, 6.81
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
OLED, 2778x1284, 6.70
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 3200x1440, 6.80
Response Times
-18%
44%
-21%
24%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
8 (3, 5)
6 (3, 3)
25%
3.2 (1.2, 2)
60%
8 (3, 5)
-0%
3.2 (1.6, 1.6)
60%
Response Time Black / White *
7 (4, 3)
9 (5, 4)
-29%
2.4 (1.2, 1.2)
66%
8 (3, 5)
-14%
2.8 (1.2, 1.6)
60%
PWM Frequency
476.2
240.4
-50%
510.2 (68)
7%
238
-50%
250 (99)
-48%
Screen
11%
54%
57%
54%
Brightness middle
537
557
4%
891
66%
855
59%
910
69%
Brightness
539
561
4%
888
65%
857
59%
913
69%
Brightness Distribution
95
94
-1%
99
4%
98
3%
98
3%
Black Level *
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.78
2.86
40%
1.9
60%
1.1
77%
2
58%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.83
7.29
7%
3.7
53%
2.51
68%
3.1
60%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.8
5
14%
1.3
78%
1.4
76%
2.2
62%
Gamma
2.363 93%
2.171 101%
2.3 96%
2.187 101%
2.06 107%
CCT
7982 81%
6993 93%
6527 100%
6337 103%
6512 100%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-4% / 2%
49% / 51%
18% / 31%
39% / 44%

* ... smaller is better

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
7 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4 ms rise
↘ 3 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 9 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (23.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3 ms rise
↘ 5 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 8 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (37.8 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 476.2 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 476.2 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 476.2 Hz is relatively high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering. However, there are reports that some users are still sensitive to PWM at 500 Hz and above, so be aware.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 15366 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color space
CalMAN color space
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Saturation

Performance, emissions and battery life - Lots of power, but short runtimes

When it comes to performance, the Sony Xperia 1 III is not easily outdone: Both the Snapdragon 888, and the very fast UFS 3.1 storage are on a very high level. Sony cannot keep up with the current iPhone, but it is one of the fastest among the Android phones.

The temperature increases very selectively, but reaches up to 43.7 °C (~111 °F), which is clearly noticeable and could also become unpleasant in warmer ambient temperatures.

The Xperia Phone is HiRes Audio certified and supports numerous codes like Dolby Atmos to further improve the sound. The stereo speakers then also sound decent, they even show some bass frequencies in our measurement. You can also connect external devices via the 3.5 mm audio port or Bluetooth, where you get powerful sound that can also be improved with numerous settings. If desired, the smartphone even vibrates to match the music.

The battery, compared to the Sony Xperia 1 II, has grown by 500 to 4,500 mAh, which also extends the runtime in our WLAN test. However, only as long as you do not activate the 120 Hz mode: Then you should expect runtimes that can even be below the predecessor's level. Even in 60 Hz mode, all other comparison devices still last longer.

The Sony Xperia 1 III can be charged with a maximum of 30 watts. That is okay, but in view of charging rates of up to 67 watts in the current Xiaomi flagship, it does not seem quite up to date. Wireless charging is also possible with a maximum of 15 watts.

Geekbench 5.3
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
1134 Points ∼86%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
898 Points ∼68% -21%
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
989 Points ∼75% -13%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 6144
1326 Points ∼100% +17%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
1106 Points ∼83% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (989 - 1156, n=20)
1120 Points ∼84% -1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (58 - 1604, n=244, last 2 years)
578 Points ∼44% -49%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
3629 Points ∼100%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
3290 Points ∼91% -9%
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
3462 Points ∼95% -5%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 6144
3476 Points ∼96% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
3583 Points ∼99% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (3379 - 3810, n=20)
3600 Points ∼99% -1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (248 - 4455, n=244, last 2 years)
1981 Points ∼55% -45%
PCMark for Android
Work 3.0 (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
11705 Points ∼79%
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
13982 Points ∼95% +19%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
14339 Points ∼97% +23%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (11705 - 17085, n=14)
14724 Points ∼100% +26%
Average of class Smartphone
  (4436 - 17085, n=59, last 2 years)
9973 Points ∼68% -15%
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
10231 Points ∼71%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
9762 Points ∼68% -5%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
14362 Points ∼100% +40%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (10231 - 15027, n=9)
12332 Points ∼86% +21%
Average of class Smartphone
  (82 - 15299, n=260, last 2 years)
7923 Points ∼55% -23%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
10642 Points ∼100%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
9721 Points ∼91% -9%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 6144
8333 Points ∼78% -22%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
9245 Points ∼87% -13%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (8257 - 11302, n=15)
10026 Points ∼94% -6%
Average of class Smartphone
  (149 - 11895, n=278, last 2 years)
4136 Points ∼39% -61%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
15592 Points ∼71%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
12667 Points ∼57% -19%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 6144
22052 Points ∼100% +41%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
13273 Points ∼60% -15%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (10491 - 16863, n=15)
14739 Points ∼67% -5%
Average of class Smartphone
  (122 - 22052, n=278, last 2 years)
5238 Points ∼24% -66%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
5041 Points ∼94%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
5359 Points ∼100% +6%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 6144
2622 Points ∼49% -48%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
4483 Points ∼84% -11%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (3562 - 5344, n=15)
4792 Points ∼89% -5%
Average of class Smartphone
  (620 - 5784, n=276, last 2 years)
2982 Points ∼56% -41%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
6110 Points ∼70%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
8037 Points ∼92% +32%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 6144
7294 Points ∼83% +19%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
8345 Points ∼96% +37%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (6110 - 9839, n=16)
8738 Points ∼100% +43%
Average of class Smartphone
  (91 - 9839, n=277, last 2 years)
3358 Points ∼38% -45%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
10037 Points ∼85%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
9380 Points ∼79% -7%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 6144
11824 Points ∼100% +18%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
10794 Points ∼91% +8%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (7930 - 12914, n=16)
11691 Points ∼99% +16%
Average of class Smartphone
  (73 - 12914, n=277, last 2 years)
3792 Points ∼32% -62%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
2579 Points ∼48%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
5354 Points ∼100% +108%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 6144
3115 Points ∼58% +21%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
4651 Points ∼87% +80%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (2579 - 5366, n=16)
4723 Points ∼88% +83%
Average of class Smartphone
  (620 - 5793, n=277, last 2 years)
3027 Points ∼57% +17%
Wild Life Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
5851 Points ∼100%
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
5689 Points ∼97% -3%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
5756 Points ∼98% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (3958 - 5942, n=19)
5646 Points ∼96% -4%
Average of class Smartphone
  (153 - 7275, n=103, last 2 years)
2850 Points ∼49% -51%
Wild Life Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
5850 Points ∼100%
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
5734 Points ∼98% -2%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
5873 Points ∼100% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (3959 - 5925, n=19)
5600 Points ∼95% -4%
Average of class Smartphone
  (174 - 8672, n=99, last 2 years)
2964 Points ∼50% -49%
Wild Life Extreme (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
1497 Points ∼80%
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
1552 Points ∼83% +4%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
1871 Points ∼100% +25%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (1236 - 1559, n=14)
1506 Points ∼80% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (83 - 2288, n=51, last 2 years)
905 Points ∼48% -40%
Wild Life Extreme Unlimited (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
1423 Points ∼81%
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
1498 Points ∼85% +5%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
1758 Points ∼100% +24%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (997 - 1555, n=14)
1429 Points ∼81% 0%
Average of class Smartphone
  (117 - 1982, n=49, last 2 years)
910 Points ∼52% -36%
GFXBench
Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
53 fps ∼95%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
42 fps ∼76% -21%
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
44 fps ∼79% -17%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 6144
53.5 fps ∼96% +1%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
37 fps ∼67% -30%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (32 - 73, n=19)
55.6 fps ∼100% +5%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1.5 - 73, n=281, last 2 years)
22.9 fps ∼41% -57%
1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
66 fps ∼78%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
53 fps ∼62% -20%
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
85 fps ∼100% +29%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 6144
85 fps ∼100% +29%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
69 fps ∼81% +5%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (46 - 87, n=20)
71.7 fps ∼84% +9%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.95 - 257, n=280, last 2 years)
26.4 fps ∼31% -60%
Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
37 fps ∼93%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
27 fps ∼68% -27%
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
26 fps ∼65% -30%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 6144
40 fps ∼100% +8%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
26 fps ∼65% -30%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (25 - 46, n=19)
37.4 fps ∼94% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1.2 - 60, n=281, last 2 years)
15.1 fps ∼38% -59%
2560x1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1 III
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
27 fps ∼90%
Sony Xperia 1 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
20 fps ∼67% -26%
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 12288
30 fps ∼100% +11%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 6144
30 fps ∼100% +11%
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 12288
28 fps ∼93% +4%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
  (19 - 32, n=19)
27.9 fps ∼93% +3%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.35 - 101, n=281, last 2 years)
10.3 fps ∼34% -62%
Sony Xperia 1 IIISony Xperia 1 IIXiaomi Mi 11 UltraSamsung Galaxy S21 UltraAverage 256 GB UFS 3.1 FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-35%
1%
10%
-7%
-56%
Sequential Read 256KB
1947.6
1511.92
-22%
1928.39
-1%
1710.18
-12%
1753 (1330 - 2037, n=23)
-10%
781 (41.9 - 2037, n=289, last 2 years)
-60%
Sequential Write 256KB
742
396.4
-47%
756.12
2%
1077.13
45%
797 (552 - 1321, n=23)
7%
346 (11.9 - 1321, n=289, last 2 years)
-53%
Random Read 4KB
267.8
196.42
-27%
259.29
-3%
316.7
18%
251 (181 - 325, n=23)
-6%
139 (13.5 - 325, n=289, last 2 years)
-48%
Random Write 4KB
316.8
181.46
-43%
329.72
4%
279.54
-12%
257 (196 - 330, n=23)
-19%
125 (5.2 - 330, n=289, last 2 years)
-61%

Temperature

Max. Load
 37.4 °C
99 F
36.2 °C
97 F
35.1 °C
95 F
 
 38.5 °C
101 F
36.9 °C
98 F
35.2 °C
95 F
 
 39.9 °C
104 F
37.5 °C
100 F
35.8 °C
96 F
 
Maximum: 39.9 °C = 104 F
Average: 36.9 °C = 98 F
34.8 °C
95 F
36.7 °C
98 F
37.5 °C
100 F
34.5 °C
94 F
37.4 °C
99 F
42.3 °C
108 F
33.8 °C
93 F
38.4 °C
101 F
43.7 °C
111 F
Maximum: 43.7 °C = 111 F
Average: 37.7 °C = 100 F
Power Supply (max.)  42.3 °C = 108 F | Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Fluke t3000FC (calibrated), Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.9 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 32.9 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 39.9 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 35.2 °C / 95 F, ranging from 22.4 to 52.9 °C for the class Smartphone.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 43.7 °C / 111 F, compared to the average of 33.8 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.8 °C / 78 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.


Heatmap back side
Heatmap back side
Heatmap Front
Heatmap Front

Speaker

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.738.12536.133.53126.9304032.430.45034.332.5632723.48018.920.810018.420.312517.831.916015.142.220014.546.125012.349.631511.356.54009.761.150011.566.563014.56980015.171.5100015.371.2125012.473160011.870.8200010.970.1250011.269.4315015.271400017.76550002060.6630018.668.6800017.168.31000018.1691250018.364.81600021.854.9SPL28.281.5N0.951.8median 15.1median 66.5Delta3.19.439.743.437.337.229.229.932.435.23236.223.624.421.719.621.921.722.526.218.533.714.837.612.346.512.553.811.960.413.166.514.570.518.765.419.366.318.267.716.464.314.365.514.967.814.66915.46516.164.816.766.417.762.718.662.919.458.120.349.156.366.463.728.778.310.719.118.1143.5median 16.4median 64.32.39.3hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseSony Xperia 1 IIISony Xperia 1 II
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Sony Xperia 1 III audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 11% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 82% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 24%, worst was 65%
Compared to all devices tested
» 37% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 55% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Sony Xperia 1 II audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 27.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.5% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 22% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 69% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 24%, worst was 65%
Compared to all devices tested
» 47% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 44% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Battery life

Sony Xperia 1 III
4500 mAh
Sony Xperia 1 II
4000 mAh
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
5000 mAh
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
3687 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
5000 mAh
Average of class Smartphone
 
Battery Runtime
WiFi Websurfing 1.3
534
467
-13%
650
22%
961
80%
702
31%
899 (425 - 2000, n=295, last 2 years)
68%
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
8h 54min

Pros

+ great camera shutter release
+ good image quality
+ variable telephoto lens
+ 3.5mm port
+ a lot of power
+ high-quality, unique design
+ lightweight

Cons

- moderate charging performance
- bloatware
- moderately accurate display ex works
- screen could be brighter

Verdict - Not quite a perfect professional tool

Sony Xperia 1 III test device provided by Sony Mobile Germany.
Sony Xperia 1 III test device provided by Sony Mobile Germany.

As with the last generations of Sony's flagship, you get the feeling that Sony really delivers a great smartphone with unique features on the one hand, but lags behind the competition a bit on the other: You can hardly get such a high-resolution display in cinema format anywhere else, but the battery life suffers in return. The camera takes great pictures and the new telephoto lens allows zooming into objects in good quality, but at the same time the details are not always perfect.

The charging power is only passable at 30 watts, the battery is a bit smaller than other manufacturers and the temperature is a bit too high. Sony also installs some potentially unnecessary third-party apps ex-factory and charges a self-confident price of 1,299 Euros (~$1530).

But enough complaining, after all, the Sony Xperia 1 III also has its great sides: The unique design looks very high-quality, the physical camera shutter is simply ingenious, the smartphone works lightning fast, and so does the storage. A 3.5 mm port is hard to find in any other flagship phone, and Sony's Xperia 1 III is also relatively light.

Sony's flagship in 2021 is a high-quality camera phone that does a few things differently than the competition.

Sony's Xperia 1 III is certainly not a phone for everyone, but Sony deliberately wants to appeal to individualists and professionals. They should take a look at the high-quality and powerful smartphone.

If you want to save money, do not need a 120 Hz display and want a slightly shorter battery life, you can also go for the predecessor Sony Xperia 1 II. If you are looking for a slightly less fancy flagship phone, you will be better off with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra or the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Price and availability

The Sony Xperia 1 III will be available at the end of August 2021. At Amazon, Cyberport and numerous other online retailers, you can already pre-order the device for $1,298.

Sony Xperia 1 III - 07/18/2021 v7
Florian Schmitt

Chassis
90%
Keyboard
68 / 75 → 91%
Pointing Device
97%
Connectivity
52 / 70 → 74%
Weight
89%
Battery
85%
Display
84%
Games Performance
61 / 64 → 96%
Application Performance
86 / 86 → 99%
Temperature
90%
Noise
100%
Audio
84 / 90 → 93%
Camera
75%
Average
82%
87%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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Florian Schmitt
Editor of the original article: Florian Schmitt - Managing Editor Mobile - 871 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2009
I initially wrote about gaming laptops when I joined Notebookcheck in 2009. I was then involved with the setup of the comparison portal Notebookinfo and worked with social media concepts for large companies like BMW and Adidas, while also returning to work for Notebookcheck in 2012. Nowadays, I focus on smartphones, tablets, and future technologies. Since 2018 I have been Managing Editor for mobile device reviews, working alongside my colleague Daniel Schmidt.
contact me via: @FloSchmi26, LinkedIn, Xing
Ninh Duy
Translator: Ninh Duy - Editorial Assistant - 192736 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
My main responsibility as an editorial assistant is maintaining the Library section, which aggregates reviews from other publications and channels. In addition, my daily breakfast is Notebookcheck's long list of new content, which I comb through to select the most interesting topics for translation from English to French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch."
contact me via: Facebook
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Sony Xperia 1 III smartphone review - Camera phone with variable telephoto focal length
Florian Schmitt, 2021-07-23 (Update: 2021-07-23)