With the Xperia 1, Sony promised to integrate all its know-how in video, photo and audio into its smartphone. 4K OLED display. In 2021, Sony takes the same formula the Xperia 1 III while making improvements to the concept. Are they sufficient to attract the attention of consumers? Does it correct the faults of the predecessors? Answer in this comprehensive test.
In January 2013, Sony presented the Xperia Z , the smartphone that would give a path to the high-end positioning of the Japanese brand for the next eight years. Of course, the firm has made some adjustments since then. A first time with the Xperia XZ in 2016 and a second time with the Xperia 1 in 2019. And, over the years, Sony affirmed that its new flagship was the right combination of all its know-how in design, photography, audiovisual , in music and video games.
In 2021, Sony therefore returns with the Xperia 1 III (pronounced Xperia 1 mark 3), always accompanied by the same argument, the same ambition, the same positioning and some changes. We find some at the level of the platform, the screen, the photo or even the battery. We presented these changes to you in a full article, where we also presented the Xperia 5 III and Xperia 10 III . It was April 14, 2021. Two and a half months later, Sony finally lends us the Xperia 1 III. We couldn’t wait. And here’s what we thought of it after a week of hard testing.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
As of this writing, Sony has yet to officially release the suggested retail price and release date for the Xperia 1 III. We will of course update this test when we finally have this information.
However, we can make a credible assumption about the price. The Xperia 1 II was launched at 1149 euros. His successor should therefore be offered between 1,100 euros and 1,200 euros . At this price, the Xperia 1 III would therefore be in direct competition with the iPhone 12 Pro Max , the Galaxy S21 Ultra , the Find X3 Pro or even the Mi 11 Ultra .
Some brands, such as Samsung for example, have managed to lower the price of their flagships very slightly this year. It is therefore not impossible that the Xperia 1 III is very slightly cheaper (1099 euros). However, some novelties in the technical sheet (especially at the photo level) tend to state the opposite.
In the box, you will find the smartphone, a USB type-C to USB type-C cable , a 30-watt power adapter and a pair of 3.5mm mini-jack compatible wired headphones . Sony does not provide a plastic shell, unlike Xiaomi, Oppo, Realme or Vivo.
The design of the Xperia 1 III is very similar to that of the Xperia 1 II . A very elongated smartphone. Angular and sober lines. A little marked protuberance for the photo module. There were several big differences between the Xperia 1 and the Xperia 1 II. This resemblance obviously leads to believe that there is very little change between the 2020 and 2021 generations of the Sony flagship. Fortunately, this is not (entirely) the case.
You find, like last year, two plates of mineral glass sandwiching an aluminum frame. The dimensions change very slightly: it is 0.1mm shorter, 0.1mm wider and 0.6mm thicker . This overweight is partly explained by the new battery. We will talk about it again in the autonomy part of this test.
To the right of the photo module, you will find the NFC logo: Sony has made a habit of marking the place where this element is located. Below the NFC logo, you will find the brand’s signature. And at the lower end of this slab of glass, the mark “Xperia” and the legal marking. You will notice that the glass is polished . Although it is slippery, the material is very pleasant to the touch and it does not take fingerprints. A very good improvement over the Xperia 1 II whose glass was shiny.
On the edges, you find the same elements in the same places, with one exception: a new hardware button slides between the photo shutter button and the power button (as on the Xperia 1 III). It is used to activate Google Assistant. It is not possible to change the function of this button. And that’s a shame for those who never use Google’s virtual assistant (or usually call it with a keyphrase).