Sony Xperia 1 III release date, price, features, and news

Sony's mobile division is still very much alive and that's a good thing. Even though Xperia phones have dropped in popularity (and sales) in the past few years, the Japanese tech giant puts a lot of effort into bringing the line back to its former glory. Ever since the Xperia 1 debuted back in 2019, Sony's been trying its best to show people that Xperia devices are worth their money. And for the most part, they really are. Sony is giving people something fresh in the design department — a gorgeous AMOLED display with a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio, uninterrupted by notches, cutouts and other eye-sores.

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The modern Xperia lineup features three main devices - the flagship Xperia 1, the compact Xperia 5, and the affordable Xperia 10. That's it, more or less, and we've already seen two generations of these phones. A lot of resources have gone into reimagining the modern Xperia smartphone — Sony brought experts from its highly successful Alpha camera department to help with the camera systems on the new phones and the results are obvious. The Xperia 1 II (Mark two) refined all the rough edges of its predecessor and so we're really excited to see what the next generation flagship from Sony — the Xperia 1 III — will bring to the table.

UPDATE:Sony officially revealed the Xperia 1 III and most of the rumors turned out to be true but there was one big surprise. Jump to the camera section to find out what it is.

Sony Xperia 1 III Price

Pricing has always been a sort of controversial topic when we talk about Xperia phones. The first flagship of the "new wave" - the Xperia 1 - received a hefty $1,000 price tag, only to fall below the $600 mark a year later. Then the Xperia 1 II came along and that phone was even more expensive — $1,199 at the launch. Now, several months later, it can be found for just a hair under $1,000 and it will probably keep depreciating. 

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It's safe to assume that the Xperia 1 III will arrive with a premium price tag too. We don't know the exact figures yet, but we'll be very, very surprised if the price of the Xperia 1 III happens to be below $1,200. Now, looking at the previous two iterations of this model, you'll be better off waiting a couple of months before getting the phone. Chances are the Xperia 1 III will depreciate and fall below the somewhat psychological $1,000 threshold. 

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UPDATE: According to the latest rumors, the Xperia 1 III will be priced at 8,999 Chinese yan - it's the equivalent of $1,369 - a 10% increase compared to the price of the Xperia 1 II. We're still waiting for the official pricing from Sony, though.

Sony Xperia 1 III Release date

If Sony decides to stick to tradition, like a traditional Japanese company, which it is, we should expect the Xperia 1 III announcement to take place sometime in February 2021. However, as with the previous two generations, we'll be in for a long wait before the actual devices hit the stores. We're talking about months here. The Xperia 1 III will probably go on sale in late May, early June 2021.

UPDATE: Sadly, Sony has once again decided to be Sony, and the launch date of the Xperia 1 III has been postponed even further away from the announcement event. The Japanese company first stated that the official release will happen in early Summer, but latest rumors pinpoint August 31st as the possible release date. That's not the earliest of Summers.

Sony Xperia 1 III Specifications

Now that the official reveal is long gone, we know the exact specs of the Xperia 1 III.

Sony Xperia 1 III specifications:

  • CPU: Snapdragon 888
  • Display: 6.5 inch, 4K HDR OLED (10 bit, maximum brightness 1300 nit ), 120Hz refresh rate
  • Memory and storage capacity: 12GB + 256GB
  • Camera: 64MP wide-angle + 12MP ultra-wide-angle + The first periscope lens with variable optical lossless zoom - 70mm - 105mm
  • Battery capacity: 4,500 mAh
  • Charging: 30W fast charging

Sony Xperia 1 III Design and Display

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. 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.

Japanese sources have leaked some information about Xperia 1 III's screen. No changes to the resolution, which is a good thing, as we're looking forward to another 4K panel. According to the Japanese sources though, there'll be a 15% bump in overall brightness compared to the previous generation. According to the latest rumors, the display will sport 1,300 nits peak brightness and also support 10-bit color output. 

Although the official announcement confirmed most of the specs, we have to thoroughly test the display in our lab to see how it stacks against its predecessor.

Sony Xperia 1 III Camera system

The Xperia 1 III offers a total of four focal lengths in photo and video recording - 16mm, 24mm, 70mm and 105mm, respectively - covering most photo and video scenarios. Sony has decided to be brave and incorporated a periscope zoom system in the Xperia 1 III. Unlike other similar camera systems with fixed focus, this one features a variable telephoto lens. This means there’s an optical element that physically moves inside the camera system, switching between two focal lengths — 70mm and 105mm.

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The autofocus magic taken straight from Sony Alpha professional cameras is present and there’s now a Basic mode in the Photography Pro app to allow people take advantage of all the pro algorithms without having to fiddle with settings manually.

Sony Xperia 1 III Battery and Charging

The Xperia 1 III comes equipped with a 4,500mAh battery. The battery is supported by a 30W fast-charging technology. Give that the Mark II can fill up its battery for about two hours, we can expect charging times to shrink significantly for the new Xperia 1 III. 

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