Sony's next Xperia flagship leaks with beautiful design, periscope camera

Sony's next Xperia flagship leaks with beautiful design, periscope camera
Days after leaking the next-generation Sony Xperia 10 III and Xperia Compact, tipster Steve Hemmerstoffer has returned with CAD-based renders of the premium Sony Xperia 1 III. 

Take a look at the premium Sony Xperia 1 III

Building upon the success of the Xperia 1 II, the upcoming Xperia 1 III boasts an industrial design that's once again characterized by the presence of a large 6.5-inch 21:9 display and uniform bezels. 

Sony has focused most of its efforts on reducing the thickness of the bezels, and that's noticeable in the dimensions department. Whereas the Xperia 1 II measured in at 165.1 x 71.1 x 7.6mm, the Xperia 1 III lands in at just 161.6 x 67.3 x 8.4mm. 

This setup has been paired with an updated frame, presumably carved out of aluminum, that's now completely flat. It houses a volume rocker, a power button that doubles as the fingerprint scanner, a dedicated shutter key, and a new shortcut button, like the one included on the pricey Xperia PRO

Like the last model, Sony's Xperia 1 III is aimed at power users, so it continues to include a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot. To ensure the best audio experience, Sony has retained the dual front-facing speakers too, which leaves the bottom of the home for the USB-C port. 

Sony isn't holding back in the camera department

Periscope cameras became quite popular in 2020, yet Sony skipped the feature on both of its flagships. To address the related complaints and keep up with the competition, though, the Japanese brand has now decided to add one to its first 2021 model.

The exact specifications aren't available at the moment, but the new zoom camera should offer at least 5x optical zoom, although 10x can't be ruled out, and it'll sit alongside a 3D Time-of-Flight sensor, the main camera, and what's probably an ultra-wide shooter. 

As was the case last year, the entire camera system has been developed in partnership with ZEISS and sports a ZEISS T coating. 

In regards to the selfie department, there is a single sensor in the upper bezel. Its specifications haven't been revealed.

The Xperia 1 III should be powered by the Snapdragon 888

Sitting at the heart of the Sony Xperia 1 III should be Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888. The latter is also used inside US Galaxy S21 models and means the next Xperia flagship is going to be one of the fastest phones on the market.

As Hemmerstoffer corroborated himself, the Xperia 1 III offers 5G network support as standard, much like the previous-gen model. The more efficient modem means the related battery drain should be less noticeable. 

The RAM and storage are a bit of a mystery, but an educated guess can be made. Sony's Xperia 1 II shipped with an 8/256GB configuration last year, so the same could be on the cards for the 2021 model. Whether pricier variants are in the works will remain to be seen. 

Sony Xperia 1 III announcement, release date, price

The Sony Xperia 1 III should be announced later this quarter, potentially in late February or March. A launch date soon after would be ideal, but Sony tends to ship its Xperia 1 flagships towards the end of the second quarter. If that's the case in 2021, expect the Xperia 1 III to be released around June. 

Pricing is more of a guess at this stage, although the Xperia 1 II retailed at $1,199 last year and it wouldn't be surprising to see Sony position the Xperia 1 III similarly considering its focus on a niche segment rather than the mainstream market. 

Related phones

Xperia 1 III
  • Display 6.5 inches 3840 x 1644 pixels
  • Camera (Quad camera) Other front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 8GB RAM
  • Storage 256GB, microSDXC
  • OS Android 11


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