Sony Xperia 5 III review: A more smoothly on Xperia 1 III

Sony Xperia 5 3 packs almost all Xperia 1 3 goodies in a smaller package.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The Sony Xperia 5 III Furthermore, the Tokyo-based company has proven to be on the right track, delivering useful phones with proven amenities mainly from the photographs, audiophiles, films, and creative styles. No sweaters don’t fold or bend. I don’t have trendy finishes or any of the colors – the Xperia 5 III comes in black and green, which is as wild as Sony gets – but swooning when the Sony Xperia box is past my white cabinet.

When Sony decided to bring its own Alpha Mirror camera to the Xperia smart camera line, many audiences wondered if the angle would be too low for such a phone. People asked similar questions about game phones such as Asus ROG Phone 5and about foldable phones like Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Motorola Razr (2020). Rather than having access to more people drinking, the Xperia 5 III is the third phone that Sony is next to screen for what its audience wants.

For all intents and purposes, the Xperia 5 III is a smaller, more affordable version of the Xperia 1 III. Both phones were announced in April 2021, but until now only the Xperia 1 III has been available to buy in the US. Because the phones are so similar, I want to focus on the differences between the two and explain why I think Xperia 5 III succeeds when Xperia 1 III fails. If you want a full scoop on all major features check out my in-depth review of Xperia 1 III.

as

  • One of the last really small Android phones
  • Dual-telephoto lens large
  • Android 12 is a pleasure in Xperia 5 III
  • Battery life is much better than Xperia 1 III

It does not please

  • Price is still high what you have
  • The display could be brighter
  • missing wireless charging
  • Selfie camera feels forgotten

The Xperia 5 III convertible, priced at $1,000 (£899, which is roughly AU$1,390), puts it in direct competition with it. iPhone 13 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro which costs $100 less. Although I adore the Xperia 5 III, I think most people will do better with the iPhone or Pixel. If you’re a photo or videographer, and it comes with a slight mix from the Xperia, consider the Xperia 5 III. If you use Sony Alpha cameras, the Xperia 5 III is worth considering only for the consistency of the directing experience, especially if you find it online.

Speaking of discounts, Sony is offering a package discount: Buy the Xperia 5 III before February 27. Get a pair of Sony WF-1000XM3 2022 wireless noise canceler earbuds (a $200 value) and 43,200 Call of Duty Mobile CP Points (a $500 value) for free.

Xperia 5 III cameras iPhone 13 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro vs

When I look at how small the Xperia 5 III is, I am amazed by Sony’s technical achievements. This thin phone builds a horizontal telephoto camera with an actual lens that moves the elements. The full device can change between an equivalent 70mm lens (2.9x optical zoom) and a 105mm lens (4.4x optical zoom).

All the photos on the back of the camera look good. First of all, I wonder how “picture” pictures appear from telephoto cameras. Image quality looks natural when compared to photos payable taken by computationals phones like the iPhone 13 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro. Sony’s color renders it brilliantly accurate.

Sony Xperia 5 III

This train was captured with the main camera.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Sony Xperia 5 III

Captured 1x optical zoom with the main rear camera.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Sony Xperia 5 III

Capture at 2.9x optical zoom with telephoto camera.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Sony Xperia 5 III

The highest salesforce tower is captured in San Francisco with a telephoto camera at 4.9x optical zoom.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Sony Xperia 5 III

The office building has a 1x optical zoom taken at the back with the main camera.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Sony Xperia 5 III

The contents were captured on the back of the camera.

Mikela Cortopassi

Sony Xperia 5 III

The bridge was captured in 1x optical zoom with the main rear camera.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Sony Xperia 5 III

The Bay Bridge has been taken with a 2.9x optical zoom with telephoto camera.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Sony Xperia 5 III

The Bay Bridge has been taken with a 4.4x optical zoom with telephoto camera.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Sony Xperia 5 III

Captured 1x optical zoom with the main rear camera.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Sony Xperia 5 III

Grace Church in Greenville, South Carolina was captured through a window with a 4.4x zoom optical telephoto camera.

Patrick Holland/CNET

All of this comes from Sony’s access to hardware and sensor incorporation, including how successful the Alpha line is for mirror cameras. The Xperia 5 III stands stark against machine learning and artificial intelligence used by Apple and Google to exploit their computational power. The iPhone and Pixel have a point of simplicity and shoot that will serve many better. But every year Sony gets closer to what Apple and Google can do, while gaining a much richer experience.

It’s in the middle and low light where the Xperia 5 III wall hits. There’s a dedicated night mode that combines multiple versions to make your photo brighter and sharper. Sony does some processors, but nowhere on the Apple and Google level. I wonder what kind of phone camera could be produced near perfect if Sony combined their star lenses and sensors with half the phone number of the iPhone or Pixel.

iPhone 13 Pro

Here is the night mode photo taken with the iPhone 13 Pro.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Sony Xperia 5 III

This is the same house taken together with the Sony Xperia 5 III.

Xperia 5 III

Price is a lot of fun. The $1,300 Xperia 1 III is $300 more than the Xperia 5 III. Physically, the Xperia V III is smaller and lighter. On the back, both phones have a Gorilla Glass 6, though the Xperia 1 III has a matte finish, which I like. Both phones support 5G, and both have an IP68 rating for dust-and-water resistance and the headphone headband – this is particularly unusual for most high-end mobile phones.

The Xperia 1 III wireless charging is missing on the Xperia 5 III. And, most notably, the Xperia 1 3 has a larger 6.5-inch 4K display with 120Hz repair rate. Xperia 5 III has a 6.1-inch 1,080p display with 120Hz repair rate. I believe the screen resolution difference and smaller file size benefits the Xperia 5 III. Now I can hear people saying, “Are you? 4K is higher and better than HD!”

Sony Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III

On the left is the Sony Xperia 5 III and in the middle is the Xperia 1 III.

Sony

Displaying 4K on the Xperia 1 3 is attractive, but I’d say the same for the FHD screen on the Xperia 5 3 — especially in a smaller size. The real benefit is in battery life. The Xperia 1 3 has less-than-average battery life and much of this is because its 4K display is closed at either 60Hz or 120Hz.

The lower resolution allows the Xperia 5 3 to perform better at 120Hz, so its battery life is much better. But to put things in perspective, the Xperia 5 3 Vita battery is good, but not great. I also like the Xperia 5 III screen brighter. There have been a few times when I worked in the sun to take a photo and I was annoyed that it was on screen.

I opt for the Xperia 1 III and 5 III repair ship as an option. Better if you’d like to have LTPO screensjust like those on iPhone 13 Pro, Pixel 6 Pro and Galaxy S21 Ultra. I understand Sony is driving the limits, especially with the Xperia 1 3 having the first 4K 120Hz display, so you may want to discuss issues that are not yet technically possible.


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Both phone have Snapdragon 888 processor, but the Xperia 5 III has 8GB of RAM while the 1 3 has 12GB. In practice, the Xperia 5 III is not as hot as the Xperia 1 III. (But for context, I tested Xperia 1 III in South Carolina in July, when I tested Xperia 5 III in San Francisco in January.

Both phone cameras have an identical, less-than-stellar camera included. On the Xperia Pro-1, Sony had an optional small magnetic monitor accessory that allows you to use later cameras for selfies and videos. The next-generation Xperia phone will have a better front-facing camera, especially for video calls and chats.

Android 12 surprise on Xperia 5 III

In October, Sony’s Xperia Pro-1. One of my favorite features was the inclusion of the new Video Pro app, which controls the video’s program offerings that were more friendly than those on the Cinema Pro app. Sony didn’t add the Video Pro app to the Xperia 1 III or 5 III, which is a shame. It’s app i much better than cinema pro app cum tested $1,700 Xperia Pro-I.

In terms of Xperia 5 III, you can either record video with the cinema Pro app or basically just a photo in the Pro app.

Sony Xperia 5 III

My unit has had Android 12 which I found a great fit for Xperia 5 III.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Apart from this omission, the Xperia 5 3 comes with Android 11. My unit had Android 12, which was fantastic. I’m not saying Android 11 and Sony’s light usages are monotonous, but Android 12 with its interfaces with big friendly bubbles is a better balance for a useful Sony tool. In my time with the Xperia 5 3, apps and animations were smooth and some bugs were largely absent.

Xperia 5 III is good for the right person

At the end of the day, I like the Xperia 5 III. The phone series from Sony 5 is almost always some of my favorites. And if you want a solid Android phone that plays to the level of organization it offers when to capture photos and videos, you can’t do much better.

About Franklin Cheatham

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