Within the expanse of smartphones, the Sony Xperia 1 III (learn as “one mark three”) positions itself as a instrument for photographers, filmmakers, audiophiles and players. That is Sony’s third tackle a telephone focused at artistic varieties, and like a band on its third album, its ambitions solely succeed among the time.

With a state-of-the-art telephoto lens made up of tiny shifting lenses that may change between two focal lengths, 5G assist for the US, and a first-of-its-kind 4K excessive refresh-rate show, it’s a must to surprise if Sony’s making an attempt to do an excessive amount of and inadvertently mucking up what would in any other case be a powerful telephone? The truth that the Xperia 1 III prices $1,300 (which converts roughly to £940, AU$1,735) makes its shortcomings unimaginable to disregard.


  • Images and movies are fantastic
  • Autofocus is sensible
  • Cinema Professional app is a delight to make use of
  • 4K show appears unbelievable indoors

Do not Like

  • The worth is simply too rattling excessive
  • Poor battery life
  • 4K show laborious to see outside
  • Selfie digital camera is common
  • A number of customized Sony apps are buggy or poorly organized

Sony lent me a preproduction model to check for a couple of week. I discovered it equally spectacular and stuffed with wrinkles. Images and movies are nice. Each mother or father ought to think about this telephone as a result of the autofocus can lock onto the eyes of their youngsters. The Xperia is filled with options that verify the entire Android flagship telephone bins.

However a nose-bleeding excessive price ticket, buggy software program and a complicated approach of organizing commonplace picture and video options make it laborious to suggest the Xperia 1 III. For those who preorder one earlier than Sept. 26, you will get an Xperia 1 III, Sony WF-1000XM3 wi-fi noise-canceling earbuds and 43,200 Name of Responsibility: Cellular CP Factors for $1,300, which lessens the sting only a bit.

The Xperia 1 III is Sony’s third era of telephones designed with artistic varieties in thoughts.

Sarah Tew/CNET

A 4K show that is good indoors

Greeting you on the entrance of the Xperia 1 III is a 6.5-inch 4K show. It is fairly improbable indoors and the colours look superb. It may be set to 60HZ or to 120Hz which make animations and gaming look easy. The refresh charges are fastened so if it is set to 120Hz, it’s at all times at that fee which has a big influence on battery life.

As spectacular because the 4K decision is, it is laborious to understand the display. It is not dramatically higher than a decrease decision display with a excessive refresh-rate like the one on the Galaxy S21 Extremely. Nevertheless, utilizing the telephone outside is the place the show’s weak spot is revealed. It is not that shiny. If it is sunny, it is practically unimaginable to make out what’s on the display.

Just like the Sony Xperia Professional, you should use the Xperia 1 III as an exterior monitor for a devoted digital camera. It does not provide all the things the Professional does, however it’s good to have. After I examined it, the Exterior Show app on the Xperia 1 III was buggy. When it did work, it was pretty.

Sony Xperia 1 III external monitor

After working for about quarter-hour. The Exterior Monitor app on the Xperia 1 III stayed zoomed in on the video feed out of my Panasonic S1H. Weirdly, once I restarted the app it had a inexperienced and purple overlay. I attempted different HDMI to USB-C adapters, however all of them had the identical outcome.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The Xperia 1 III’s rear cameras are fantastic, the selfie digital camera much less so

On the again are three cameras: a predominant 12-megapixel broad angle digital camera with a bigger sensor for higher low-light efficiency, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle digital camera and a 12-megapixel telephoto digital camera with a variable lens. The variable telephoto lens is a outstanding achievement, however when it comes to advantages you really discover, the dual-telephoto lens stays a query mark. For instance, regardless of taking on much less room it does not make the telephone any cheaper. In reality the Xperia 1 III prices $100 greater than final yr’s Xperia 1 II.

For those who’re searching for versatility, it is good to have a lens with the choice of two telephoto cameras, however different telephones just like the Galaxy S21 Extremely obtain one thing related with two separate telephoto cameras. Luckily, the Xperia 1 III’s zoom lens captures wonderful images, particularly when it comes to picture high quality and element. In reality, throughout the board, the rear cameras on the Xperia 1 III are intently matched when it comes to picture high quality and shade. Check out the gallery beneath to see the images I took with the Sony Xperia 1 III.

However the standout function is not the variable telephoto lens. It is EyeAF (eye autofocus). This is not new to the Xperia line and really comes from Sony’s in style line of Alpha mirrorless cameras. Basically if you open the Picture Professional app to take a photograph, the telephone can determine individuals or animals within the viewfinder and lock give attention to their eyes. Even when they transfer or look away, EyeAF follows them. You do not even must faucet on the display. For folks making an attempt to seize that “good in-focus picture” of their child or pet dad and mom wanting a nonblurry snap of their fur-baby, EyeAF is the reply you’ve got been searching for.

EyeAF is solely superb. You do not even want to the touch the display. The Xperia can discover animals and other people and lock give attention to their eye (the tiny inexperienced sq. within the gif).

Patrick Holland/CNET

Then there’s the selfie digital camera which in comparison with the rear cameras is simply OK. It has an 8-megapixel digital camera and images are common. I count on extra from any telephone geared toward photographers, particularly one with a $1,300 price ticket. I wanted the selfie digital camera was nearer in picture high quality to the rear cameras. Additionally, it will be good to make use of the selfie digital camera to movie your self within the Cinema Professional app.

Sony eliminated a digital camera app however made a conundrum

The Xperia 1 III retains the {hardware} shutter button which is sweet. Additionally, as a substitute of getting a default Android digital camera app and two separate professional digital camera apps, the Xperia 1 III has a Picture Professional app and a Cinema Professional app. I recognize Sony simplifying issues, however it’s odd the way it’s finished. Basically, Sony took what was the default Android digital camera app and put it contained in the Picture Professional app below a mode referred to as Primary. Sure, that is really what it is referred to as.

It is unusual opening the Picture Professional app to be able to report movies and entry a sluggish movement mode. There needs to be a greater approach. Whenever you report a video in Primary mode, there’s a lengthy delay between hitting the cease report button and the recording really stopping. I find yourself considering my faucet did not register so I faucet a second time which leads to the primary video stopping and a brand new recording beginning. Additionally, if you report a video, you’ll be able to’t change between cameras. You are restricted to only the digital zoom on the digital camera you began recording with.

Sony’s Cinema Professional app brings out the filmmaker in me

If you’re into handbook controls or taking a extra cinematic strategy to capturing movies along with your telephone the Cinema Professional app is for you. Just like the Xperia 5 II, the Cinema Professional app now has the power to report 4K 120fps video with the primary digital camera and put it aside as a 30fps video file. Gradual movement footage from the Cinema Professional app appears unbelievable. In reality, as with earlier Xperia telephones, the Cinema Professional app yields attractive trying movies. Check out the video beneath to see among the Cinema Professional movies I shot. The video is edited and coloured by CNET video producer Oliver Padilla.

The Cinema Professional app does have some limitations. Low gentle movies are unhealthy and that is as a result of the app is designed to shoot at a most ISO of 800. Additionally, when capturing outside on a sunny day, it is easy to bottom-out the ISO which implies utilizing a ridiculously low shutter angle to compensate. For those who’re planning on utilizing the Xperia 1 III and capturing with the Cinema Professional app exterior, I undoubtedly suggest discovering a ND filter resolution.

The Xperia 1 III performs nicely however has a poor battery life

The Xperia 1 III is the primary “common” Sony telephone to get 5G within the US. The $2,500 Xperia Professional had 5G assist within the US for sub-6 and MMWave 5G. The Xperia 1 III helps mid- and low-band 5G. I examined it on T-Cellular’s 5G community in Greenville, South Carolina. The indicator shows a 5G icon however more often than not it is really simply LTE — this occurs on different 5G telephones I examined on T-Cellular 5G, too. Knowledge speeds have been far and wide however calls sounded clear. 

The Xperia has a Snapdragon 888 processor and 12GB of RAM which interprets to stable efficiency particularly for recording movies, and taking part in video games. The one time I had a difficulty was taking images and filming movies exterior on a 92-degree F day. Inside half an hour, a temperature warning popped up.

In benchmark checks, the Xperia 1 III scored on the excessive aspect of Android 888 telephones however lower than gaming telephones just like the Asus ROG Cellphone 5. Check out benchmark check outcomes beneath.



Longer bars point out higher efficiency



Longer bars point out higher efficiency



Longer bars point out higher efficiency

After which there’s the battery, which is extra disappointing than the Associates reunion. In gentle use, I used to be capable of principally get via a day. However on days the place I performed video games or did loads of pictures, I wanted to high it off by meal time.

In our CNET battery checks with steady video playback in airplane mode, it lasted 16 hours, 12 minutes with the display set to 60Hz, which is an OK time. After I ran the identical check with the display at 120Hz, it lasted 10 hours and 45 minutes. Not even remotely good.

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