In brief: Sony’s latest refresh to the Xperia lineup includes the new flagship Xperia 1 Mark III, the similarly-specced but smaller Xperia 5 Mark III, and the mid-tier Xperia 10 Mark III. There’s no word yet on pricing or availability for these models, but they’re expected to launch sometime this summer.
The new Xperia phones might be difficult to tell apart from their predecessors since they carry the same tall and narrow form factor with an almost identical aesthetic. However, they now pack beefier internals, including 5G-capable Qualcomm chips across all three models, more RAM, bigger batteries, and are powered by Android 11.
The main highlight is Sony’s new flagship Xperia 1 III, which is the world’s first phone to combine a 4K OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate on its 6.5-inch 21:9 screen. Sony has previously (and needlessly) offered such high-resolutions on the Xperia 1 and Mark 2 before, but doubling the refresh rate this time around should make for an actual, noticeable difference to the viewing experience.
Unlike the power-efficient QHD 120Hz variable refresh rate displays on rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S21, Sony’s 4K panel is fixed at 120Hz, which should make for some interesting screen-on time and battery life figures. Sony has increased the capacity by 500mAh over the Mark 2 for a 4,500mAh unit on this phone and added 30W fast charging that’ll juice it up to 50 percent in 30 minutes. There’s now also support for reverse wireless charging.
The Mark 3 also packs a revised triple-camera system, now featuring a new variable periscope-style telephoto lens that can shift between 70mm-105mm focal lengths without losing focus. The phone’s built-in Photography Pro and Cinematography Pro apps have also been revised to take advantage of the new hardware.
Both the Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III are powered by Qualcomm’s 888 SoC and offer 8GB RAM with either 128GB or 256GB of microSD expandable storage. The flagship Mark 3 also has a 12GB/512GB version. Apart from the smaller 6.1-inch 120Hz OLED on the Xperia 5 III, both phones carry nearly identical specs, including the same triple-cameras, 4,500mAh batteries, 3.5mm jacks with Hi-res audio support, USB-C 3.1, side-mounted fingerprint scanners, and IP65/IP68 dust and water resistance.
Lastly, there’s the mid-tier Xperia 10 III, which is powered by Qualcomm’s 5G-capable 690 SoC and comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of microSD expandable storage. Its 6.0-inch FHD+ OLED display has a standard 60Hz refresh rate and uses a lesser-spec triple-camera setup on the rear. Like its siblings, it also packs a 4,500mAh battery and other niceties like dust/water resistance and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Sony has not revealed the prices or availability dates of these Xperias, but this info can be expected closer to their launch window in the summers. Like Samsung with its Galaxy S21 series, Sony needs to bring down prices for these Xperias if it wants them to sell well, even if it’s targeting a niche audience with the Xperia 1 III or a wider one with the Xperia 5 III and Xperia 10 III.