The Sony Xperia 5 III, which was unveiled on April 14 alongside the flagship Xperia 1 III and the mid-range Xperia 10 III, is smack dab in the middle of Sony’s muddled 2021 phone lineup.
The Xperia 5 III has similar tech and features to the more powerful Xperia 1 III, but cuts back in a few main areas like display size and resolution, similar to the iPhone 12 Pro/ Pro Max or Galaxy S21+/ Ultra.
Reviewers favored the more portable Sony Xperia 5 II to the more costly Sony Xperia 1 II from last year’s lineup, finding it easier to carry and much more affordable while still providing many of the same benefits.
Let’s take a look at what we know about the Xperia 5 III’s release date, how its specs compare to the other Xperia phones coming out in 2021, and how much you can expect to pay now that Sony has published some spec and feature details.
Release date and price
The Sony Xperia 5 III will be released in ‘early Summer 2021,’ according to the company. No other details have been revealed. Summer technically begins on Sunday, June 20, so the likely release window is late June to early July. The price has yet to be revealed.
The Xperia 5 II 2020 phone cost $949 / £799 (approximately AU$1,350), so the 5 III could cost around or slightly more than that, putting it in the same price range as the iPhone 12 Pro and OnePlus 9 Pro.
However, according to a Sony Xperia 1 III leak, it will cost about $170 / £100 / AU$200 more than the Xperia 1 II. If the Xperia 5 III receives a similar price increase as the 5 II, it will end up being more expensive than the iPhone 12 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Aesthetics and display
Owners of the can Sony Xperia 5 II recognize the style and sound of the Xperia 5 III. There aren’t many gaps between the two when comparing specs and even looking at the product render Sony provided.
The Xperia 5 III, like its predecessor, features a 6.1-inch HDR OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on both the front and back, and IP65/68 water and dust resistance.
The display resolution of the 5 III is unknown at this time, as Sony only mentioned that the Xperia 1 III has a 4K display. The Xperia 5 III would most likely stick to FHD if it fits the 2020 handset (1080 x 2520).
The only new function listed in the press release is the ability to adjust the display’s color levels. You can use the low gamma raiser to make dark areas easier to see when gaming, or you can change the white balance to minimize eye strain.
The Sony Xperia 5 III will be available in either Black or Green mirrored glass, as opposed to Black or Blue on its predecessor and Frosted Black / Frosted Purple on the Xperia 1 III.
Cameras and battery life
Sony has yet to confirm the Xperia lineup’s camera specifications. The renders display a triple-camera setup with ZEISS T lenses, but there’s no way of knowing if the standard, ultra-wide, and telephoto cameras will all be 12MP or get an upgrade.
The telephoto lens, on the other hand, is getting a major update that will boost your close-up shots significantly.
The Xperia 5 III, along with the Xperia 1 III, is the ‘first’ smartphone to feature a variable telephoto lens and a dual pixel diode sensor, according to Sony. It can shoot at focal lengths of 16mm, 24mm, 70mm, or 105mm (most phone telephoto lenses stop at 70mm), and it uses a dual PD sensor to autofocus between lengths ‘in an instant.’
Another latest camera feature is ‘AI super resolution zoom,’ which uses artificial intelligence to fill in missing pixels and improve images.
The battery capacity is 4,500mAh, which is slightly higher than the 4,000mAh used in the 2020 Xperias. Since the more efficient processor in this year’s phones will definitely eat up this boost, we don’t expect a big increase in battery life.
Software and performance
Sony equipped the Sony Xperia 5 III with Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 888 processor, placing its performance (potentially) on par with 2021 flagships like the Galaxy S21. It will also embrace 5G technology.
The base model will most likely have 8GB of RAM, but Sony hasn’t said whether a 12GB or 16GB upgrade will be available. Sony hasn’t announced storage specifications, but a 128GB base model with a 256GB upgrade option seems possible.
Sony has stated that the Xperia 5 III will come pre-installed with Android 11.
The built-in speakers can create 360 Reality Audio for better surround sound without headphones, and it has new audio EQ controls that Sony claims can highlight unique sounds like footsteps or gunshots for gaming.
With 40 percent more powerful stereo speakers than last year’s Sony phones, the Xperia 5 III may be one of the best phones for music fans.