What you need to know
- The Sony Xperia 1 III is up for preorder in the United States.
- Sony is offering a free pair of wireless ANC earbuds for a limited time.
- The smartphone retails for $1300 and ships on August 19.
The Sony Xperia 1 III (read "one mark three") is finally available to preorder in the United States. The device will not come cheap, retailing for $1300 with seemingly no carrier partnerships available for device installments.
Sony hopes to justify the price with tempting add-ons to sweeten the pot. The company is offering a free pair of its previous flagship wireless earbuds, the Sony WF-1000XM3. They were released in 2019 but still feature impressive active noise cancellation that rivals even the best wireless earbuds.
For gamers, Sony also includes 43,200 CP points for Call of Duty: Mobile, valued at $540. These points are used to purchase items and weapons in the game to enhance your player.
These freebies will be available to anyone who purchases the Xperia 1 III from Sony by September 26.
Of course, Sony also hopes that the smartphone's strong spec sheet will entice potential buyers. The Xperia 1 III is the world's first smartphone to feature a 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The 6.5-inch OLED display comes in a 21:9 aspect ratio which Sony touts as ideal for entertainment since it's the standard that most films are shot in.
James Peckham over at TechRadar was fairly impressed with the display, particularly with the 120Hz refresh rate and the tall aspect ratio, although he finds 4K can be wasted on smartphone screens:
If you're looking for a phone on which to watch films, videos or TV shows, the Xperia 1 III is a great option. The 21:9 aspect ratio also offers something unique for mobile gaming, as it allows you to see more of the playing environment than on other handsets.
The device also has a new 12MP variable telephoto lens capable of switching between 70mm and 105mm focal lengths. Changing focal points is usually something that phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra require two separate lenses for, so it's impressive that Sony managed to achieve the same feat with just one sensor.
Patrick Holland over at CNET found this to be a strong point for the smartphone in his review, saying that the zoom lens "captures excellent photos, especially in terms of image quality and detail." Unfortunately, he wasn't completely impressed with the camera software due to some changes Sony made by rolling the "Basic" camera app into its pro apps.
It's strange opening the Photo Pro app in order to record videos and access a slow motion mode. There has to be a better way. When you record a video in Basic mode, there is a long delay between hitting the stop record button and the recording actually stopping.
The Xperia 1 III has much of what you'd expect from a 2021 flagship. It's powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, so it's quite speedy, especially given its mostly stock version of Android 11. It also has a 4,500mAh battery, stereo front-facing speakers, and wireless/reverse wireless charging.
Unlike its predecessor, the Xperia 1 III will also include support for 5G in the United States, but only the sub-6 flavor; there's no mmWave support here unless you spring for the much more expensive Xperia Pro.
The Xperia 1 III is expected to ship on August 19 and is available through third-party retailers and Sony, where you can score the bundle deal until September 17.
A 4K TV in your hands
Sony Xperia 1 III
The Sony Xperia 1 III may be pricey, but it comes with plenty of impressive world's-firsts for smartphones like the 6.5-inch 4K OLED at 120Hz and a 12MP variable telephoto lens. The Xperia 1 III is an ideal smartphone for photographers and videographers who want a professional smartphone camera.
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