Smartphones

Test: Sony Xperia 1 III

Sony Xperia 1 III – 4K-skärm

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Sony Xperia 1 III

For

Incredibly good screen for all purposes, very good rear camera solution, impressive sound, fast card reader, awesome professional modes for picture and film, fast gaming mobile.

Against

The 4K screen drains the battery when you want to use it, the front camera is not as impressive as the rear ones, a little sensitive to sunlight, a little high price.

Recommended to

Sony Xperia 1 III is an outstanding mobile for all types of entertainment and a perfect choice for the more prosumer-oriented mobile photographer / filmmaker.


Xperia 1 III is Sony’s best mobile in a long time. It offers a magical screen and superb sound for both games, movies and music. But it is important to have the charger ready if you are a movie buff.

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Sony introduced the name Xperia back in 2008 when the company developed “keyboard mobiles”. When the Xperia Z model was launched four years later, as one of the first waterproof mobiles, Sony was undoubtedly one of the leading mobile phone manufacturers with lots of innovative solutions.

Over the years, several different models have been launched, but none have really stood out – if we exclude a little different formats. But with the new Xperia 1 III we see a clear change and despite the model having some weaker points, we can already say that this is the best mobile that Sony has developed in a long time and a mobile that in several areas takes up the fight for a first place on the mobile market.

4K OLED screen

Sony was the first to offer mobile screens with 4K resolution, which is partly understandable as a 4K resolution often does not come into its own on a screen that is usually not that large. This also applies in part to the Xperia 1 III which has a 6.5 inch OLED screen that uses the 21: 9 format. But this is offset by the experience when we watch 4K movies, which will undoubtedly be a boost on this screen.

Sony Xperia 1 III - 4K screen
With a 4K OLED screen in 21: 9 format, we get a magically good picture experience.

Compared to the previous model, Sony has doubled the refresh rate from 60 to 120 hertz, which gives us a completely new experience both when watching movies, playing games or just surfing. This is undeniably a long awaited update.

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The screen supports HDR, high dynamic range, and has reproduction equivalent to ten bits, or to be exact eight bits plus two bits of smoothing, which gives noticeably smoother transitions and cleaner colors. Together with Sony’s special creator mode, it gives us the best screen solution the manufacturer has ever developed in a mobile. Yes, the fact is that this is one of the absolute best mobile screens we have ever tested, with one small exception. Because if we are to be a little picky, the Sony screen is a little sensitive to sunlight, and in direct daylight we find it difficult to perceive movies and games correctly.

Sony Xperia 1 III - color smoothing
The mobile uses an 8 + 2 bit color technology where the extra two pieces are used to even out the colors for a more natural reproduction.

Smart features for mobile games

In addition to the more normal functions, the mobile also comes with several features adapted for gaming. The Low gamma raiser function improves image details in dark areas, which highlights enemies without overexposing bright areas on the screen, we can also adjust the white balance in a simple way to highlight otherwise difficult to identify parts while optimizing the image for our eyes.

In addition, Sony has also taken knowledge from its sound side and created some of the most complete sound we have found in a mobile. By using the integrated equalizer, we can amplify and highlight basically the sounds we are looking for for the particular game we are currently playing. In order not to be disturbed when we play, we can also activate different types of notification blocks. To then make the game even more complete, the mobile comes with a flexible and easy-to-use solution for recording our games, all without losing image update or latency.

Sony Xperia 1 III - sound
Sony Xperia 1 III offers a classic Sony sound with lots of tweaks to fully suit our needs.

When we then talk about sound, the Xperia 1 III comes with a 3.5 millimeter connection that delivers Hi Fi sound with minimal interference. For those of you who prefer a wireless connection, we find here the same 360 ​​Reality Audio solution that we found on previous models and which via its sound engine mixes two-channel sound into a magically good, immersive sound image regardless of whether we are watching a movie or listening to music.

Add here that the phone comes with DSEE Ultimate technology that uses an AI algorithm to improve the dynamic range of our music in real time, and here we get the phone’s second clear strength and a sound that is top three of all mobiles we tested.

Sony Xperia 1 III - 360 Reality Audio
With 360 Reality Audio technology, an immersive sound is created in all situations.

Good battery, but…

We continue to look at the inside of the mobile. The frame is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 5G chip, which is supplemented with 12 gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes of UFS storage. The latter can be expanded by using an mSDXC card of up to one terabyte, which together gives us plenty of power for everything we might want to do.

The phone has dual nanoSIM slots and is of course equipped with the latest Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooh v5.2. We charge the phone via a USB-C connection which can also be used to connect a Displayport or an HDMI cable to an external monitor. The phone supports USB PD charging as well as QI and reverse charging and via the internal 4500 mAh strong battery. Usually it gives us a full day of use without any problems.

But here is a big “but”. Due to the large screen, we can quickly drain the phone, and if we choose to stream a couple of 4K movies with high brightness, we will definitely need to charge it accordingly. But thanks to the included 30 watt charger, we get almost 50 percent in just 30 minutes of charging, so this is not a major problem.

Sony Xperia 1 III battery
With the 21: 9 mode, we get an expanded field of view in both film and games. But unfortunately, the 4K resolution tends to quickly drain the battery during intensive use.

Something we were a little surprised by was that Sony chose not to integrate its fingerprint reader in the screen, which is almost the standard for today’s high end mobiles. Instead, we have to make do with a solution where the sensor in the classic Sony style is in the power button. This, on the other hand, is both fast and maintains high precision, which means that it does not matter much.

Size is not everything

We round off with the most important function for many – the camera solution. The Xperia 1 III has three rear camera lenses and a front lens. After using the mobile for just over a week, we get a little “flashback” to a previous mobile made by Sonyericsson. It had a camera of around three megapixels and was thanks to the high quality it was a personal favorite for many years.

Because unlike alternative top mobiles in 2021, which boast high megapixel numbers, this mobile has three camera sensors, each of which is twelve megapixels. The primary lens has a focal length of 24 millimeters and a field of view of 82 degrees as well as an aperture of f1.7. The second lens, which is a zoom, has a focal length of 70 millimeters or 105 millimeters and a field of view of 34 and 23 degrees, respectively, as well as an aperture of f2.3 versus f2.8.

The third lens has a focal length of 16 millimeters and a field of view of 124 degrees and an aperture of f2.2. All lenses are based on Zeiss optics and come with a special Zeiss-T coating that will reduce reflections. For these we also get a 3D iTOF lens that in real time measures distance to the target we are photographing. Together, it produces images with an impressively high sharpness, even at full motion.

Sony Xperia 1 III - camera
The rear camera solution offers three lenses and a 3D iTOF for incredibly good images with perfect sharpness.

We also get with the eye-autofocus technology that has existed in previous models, but which has been refined and accelerated for an immediate identification of eyes on humans or animals for an exact depth of field. All in all, this gives us impressive images regardless of object and environment with vibrant, deep and natural colors and portraits that capture expression and facial expressions in a correct way.

Sony Xperia 1 III - camera
For the Xperia 1 III, Sony has refined and optimized the eye focusing technology and through the various pro modes we get full control over both photography and filming.

For those of you who want to take photography one step further, Sony Photography Pro offers a mode where we get full control over all settings and where we can shoot in RAW format. The menus in this mode are the same as in Sony’s Alpha cameras and give us, used correctly, images that are among the best we’ve seen from a mobile camera.

Night photos are good with a tripod

Sony Xperia 1 III

The phone also has a selfie camera that works with a resolution of eight megapixels and has an aperture of f2.0. The pictures taken with this are fully approved but are unfortunately quite far from the high level that the phone’s rear lenses deliver. Another part we had hoped for a bit more is dark photography. Not because the pictures are bad but rather the opposite, the mobile has a very good handling of photography in poor light conditions but on the other hand it is sensitive to movement. This means that we get really good night pictures when a tripod or a so-called gimbal is used, but when we try to get the same pictures by hand, it is important that we are still to avoid vibrations in the picture. Why it is in this way is a little difficult to explain as the device has a very good image stabilizer during normal shooting.

An interesting extra feature is that we can use the phone as a separate screen or as a remote control for a traditional Sony Alpha camera. We must also briefly mention the camera’s film possibilities where we through Cinematography Pro can record films with similar parameters and color settings as on a professional film camera and where we can record video with eight different color settings and curves for lower contrast to capture different styles.

In short, the Sony Xperia 1 III is a really good mobile that with a slightly lower price could just as easily have been the given first choice.

Sony Xperia 1 III

For

Incredibly good screen for all purposes, very good rear camera solution, impressive sound, fast card reader, awesome professional modes for picture and film, fast gaming mobile.

Against

The 4K screen drains the battery when you want to use it, the front camera is not as impressive as the rear ones, a little sensitive to sunlight, a little high price.

Recommended to

Sony Xperia 1 III is an outstanding mobile for all types of entertainment and a perfect choice for the more prosumer-oriented mobile photographer / filmmaker.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Manufacturer: Sony, www.sony.se
  • Approximate price: SEK 12,990 incl. VAT, 10,392 excl. VAT
  • Dimensions: 165 x 71 x 8.2 mm
  • Weight 186 grams
  • Protection; IP65 / 68
  • Screen: 6.5 inches 21: 9 OLED
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 12 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB + mSD
  • Battery: 4500 mAh
  • Rear camera: 3 12 MP lenses
  • Front camera: 8 MP
  • Sound: Hi-Res with 360 Reality audio
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.2

prices in collaboration with PriceRunner

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