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Sony is back at it again and despite the ever dropping sales results, it's even got a few smartphone firsts for us. The Xperia 1 III, the latest true flagship in the lineup, is the logical vehicle for those, and we're here to tell you all about it.
Ever since the Xperia Z5 Premium all the way back in 2015, Sony's top-tier phones have had 4K resolution displays. The Xperia 1 III combines the high resolution and a high refresh rate in one, making it the first smartphone with a 4K 120Hz display. (Update: We've confirmed 4K and 120Hz to work simultaneously only after this review was published.)
The other novelty is the variable focal length periscope telephoto camera. 5x periscopes are essentially mainstream now, and the long reach is most welcome. But for intermediate zoom levels, you typically need to rely on digital zoom or a second telephoto camera. The Xperia 1 III presents an alternative - its periscope camera can switch between 2.9x and 4.4x zoom levels (70mm and 105mm respectively). Now that's a first.
The rest of the Xperia is fairly standard, or at least not something we haven't seen before. It's a high-end Android phone in 2021, so that means the Snapdragon 888 is at the helm, and there's more RAM than on this reviewer's ultrabook (12GB come standard). Gorilla Glass front and back, dust and water protection, a 4,500mAh battery with (somewhat) fast charging - some things just can't be all that different.
The Xperia 1 III ships in what's been Sony's go-to two-piece white packaging for a few years now. The Xperia logo and the model number are embossed in the center of the lid in shiny lettering, while a smaller gray 'Sony' logo sits on the near end. It's a simple, yet stylish and sturdy box.
Our review unit came bundled with a charger and a USB-C cable, and nothing else. We got the XQZ-UC1 adapter (30W, USB PowerDelivery) which is the best one Sony has to offer, and we reckon that's what will ship with retail-grade units as well. Still, your bundle may differ from ours.
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