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The Sony Xperia 1 III is gunning for the Galaxy S21 in these first images

Sony Xperia 1 Iii Leak
Sony Xperia 1 Iii Leak (Image credit: Steve Hemmerstoffer / Voice)

What you need to know

  • The first images of the Sony Xperia 1 III have leaked, showing a familiar design.
  • The cameras have received a noticeable upgrade over the predecessor.
  • There are no details on specs but we can expect the device to be launched next month.

This year, Sony appears to be taking the if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it approach to smartphone design as we saw in previous leaks of the Xperia 10 II successor. As far as midrange devices go, it didn't seem like Sony was really trying too hard to break the mold, at least in terms of design. New images of the flagship Sony Xperia 1 III indicates it will also have a similar design to its predecessor, although that may not be such a bad thing considering its premium build.

Steve Hemmerstoffer (@OnLeaks) has just posted up several images of the Sony Xperia 1 III, and at least from the front, the device is more or less the same as the Xperia 1 II. It has a tall and flat 6.5" 21:9 CinemaWide 4K HDR OLED display, very thin side bezels, and a bit of a forehead and chin. And while OEMs are continually moving towards ways to get rid of the top and bottom bezel, Sony seems to want to hold on to its uninterrupted cinematic display experience, which fortunately includes front-facing stereo speakers.

There are a few noticeable differences between the Xperia 1 III and its predecessor, with the first being the additional side button that can be used as a shortcut key. This was absent from the original Xperia 1 II but present on the recently launched Xperia Pro. The second difference can be seen around the back, where there appears to be a periscopic camera sensor in lieu of a standard telephoto lens that was present on the Xperia 1 II. This could suggest that Sony is looking to increase optical zoom beyond 3x, although camera details are currently unknown.

Beyond that, the device appears largely the same and appears to be keeping the headphone jack as well as the microSD card slot, both features that are now missing on the Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphones. That means you won't have to go fishing around for the best USB-C audio adapters. According to Hemmerstoffer, the Xperia 1 III will be slightly shorter and not as wide, but nearly a millimeter thicker. And while there's no word on internal specifications, it's likely to be powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, but hopefully, we'll get some details soon.

Sony Xperia 1 II

Sony Xperia 1 II

The Sony Xperia 1 II may have flown under the radar for many, but this device offers one of the best entertainment experiences of any smartphone with its large 4K OLED display, excellent triple-camera system, and professional photo and video modes that should appeal to creators.

Derrek Lee
Derrek Lee

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

  • Why would one buy the galaxy S21, when this Sony has so much more to offer, including high resolution audio, 3.5mm jack, and SD card support?
  • I guess the problem with Sony are not the devices itself. But the bad timing. If they show up this Xperia Mark III in the end of february you may wait another 3 months before you are able to buy it.
    So thats one reason many customers pass Sony and go for a Samsung instead.
  • For starters, the S21 is out now. When's this Xperia going to be on a store shelf? I picked the G8 over waiting for an Xperia because I had to sit and wait until May for the G8 to launch and the Xperia 1 didn't drop until July. Now, throw in that a Galaxy device launches in February (and now late-January), and what's the compelling reason to wait for the Xperia? The added features are nice, but when the S21 is $800 and the Xperia's going to probably ask for Sony's standard $1,200 or's easier for the masses to justify NOT waiting to pay maybe $300-400 more for Sony's offering.