Everything we know about Sony’s 2021 flagship — the Xperia 1 III

Could this be the Xperia we’ve been waiting for?

Sony is — and has been for a while — in a tough spot with its smartphone business. We still see regular releases from the company every year, but time and time again, its devices just fail to cultivate any sort of meaningful audience. In 2021, all eyes are set on the Sony Xperia 1 III possibly being able to change that.

The Xperia 1 II was a great Android phone in more ways than one, but a lack of 5G and a steep price made it a difficult recommendation compared to its competitors. With a couple of small tweaks this year, Sony could be on to something special.

Whether you’re interested in leaked specs, design renders, or anything else, here’s everything you need to know about the Sony Xperia 1 III.

Sony Xperia 1 III Price

The Xperia 1 II is a device that flew under a lot of people’s radar, but if there’s one thing about it that did stand out, it was the price. Sony launched the Xperia 1 II in the United States for $1200, competing directly with the best from Samsung and Apple. Considering its lack of 5G and fast refresh rate display, it was ultimately a tough pill to swallow.

It would be great if Sony could lower the price of the Xperia 1 III down to at least $1000, but looking at the rumor mill, we haven’t seen anything to indicate that will actually happen. If Sony is determined to remain at $1200, it’ll be going head-to-head with the Galaxy S21 Ultra — and that’s not a fight we’re sure Sony is up for.

Sony Xperia 1 III Availability

Sony announced the Xperia 1 II in February 2020, but it wasn’t until July that the phone was released in the U.S. Looking ahead at the Xperia 1 III, we’re likely faced with a similar(ish) timeline.

A March announcement for the Xperia 1 III is very possible, though we could see that get pushed back to April given that Sony has yet to comment on any sort of press/launch event. We also wouldn’t be surprised to see another delayed U.S. launch, but that’s all stuff we’ll have to wait and see for.

Sony Xperia 1 III Design

CAD renders of the Xperia 1 III were shared in February 2021, giving us a clear look at what Sony’s next Xperia flagship will look like. And, to cut to the chase, it’s lot like the Xperia 1 II.

Just like last year, we’re dealing with a phone that has a very narrow display, four rear cameras, and minimalistic styling. There also appears to be a 3.5mm headphone jack and dual front-facing speakers — two features that audio fans will really appreciate. The only real design change is an extra physical button, which is rumored as being a „shortcut button.“

There are some rumored technical changes that we’re really looking forward to, but as far as aesthetics go, the Xperia 1 III will be a very familiar phone. That’s not necessarily a bad thing given that design has been one of Sony’s strong suits, but there’s also an argument to be made that Sony is playing it too safe here.

Sony Xperia 1 III Specs

While the design of the Xperia 1 III may leave you wanting more, Sony should be making up for that in the spec department. That same render leak from February also shed light on a few of the phone’s key specifications, and based on what we know so far, we’re pretty excited.

One of the biggest upgrades of the Xperia 1 III over its predecessor is the camera system. We’re once again looking at three main cameras and a time-of-flight sensor, but this time around, Sony is going to offer a periscope/telephoto lens. Exact details on that periscope camera remain unclear, but it’s an exciting change nonetheless.

The display is said to be a 6.5-inch OLED panel with a 4K resolution and 21:9 aspect ratio. That’s basically identical to the Xperia 1 II’s display, but once again, that’s not a knock against the Xperia 1 III. We would love to see Sony add a 90 or 120Hz refresh rate to the mix, but we aren’t holding our breath for that to happen.

Other specs are likely to include the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, at least 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and a microSD card slot for adding more space to the phone.

Sony Xperia 1 III FAQ

Will the Sony Xperia 1 III have pro-grade camera features?

Sony launched the Xperia Pro in January 2021, and while it certainly isn’t for everyone, it is one of the more unique releases we’ve seen from the company. The main appeal of the Xperia Pro is that it can be used with a Sony camera, allowing it to function as an external monitor and livestream video content over 5G.

As unique as those features are, we don’t envision them trickling down to the Xperia 1 III — largely because they resulted in the Xperia Pro costing $2,500. As much as Sony loves its steep price tags, that’s way too much for a mainline Xperia release.

Is the Xperia 1 III going to support 5G in the U.S.?

The lack of 5G on the Xperia 1 II was a difficult roadblock to get around, but thankfully, that should be addressed with the Xperia 1 III. The Xperia Pro mentioned above also stands out as Sony’s first 5G smartphone release in the United States, and assuming the Xperia 1 III is powered by the Snapdragon 888, there’s no reason for it to not come with 5G.

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