Sony’s smartphone division has not shined in recent years. We don’t say that, the numbers say. There was definitely a lack of investment, but every time we had a modern Sony smartphone in our hands, we always had the feeling that the product wasn’t exactly what to expect from the company that revolutionized consumer electronics in this century.
Today Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III arriveAnd, perhaps the chosen name is the only criticism that enables us to move to the first and only smartphones that finally seem to be able to give their say in an increasingly competitive market.
Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III erase bugs that occurred in previous models. They have many new features, some of them unique, and above all offer what everyone wants in the Android field: The ability to choose between two advanced models that are identical in features but not in size.
They are called the Xperia 1 and 5, but they are exactly the same product: the Xperia 5 III is the “compact” version of the Xperia 1 III. Obviously, it changes the screen resolution and size, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and some details change but it’s still very similar.
Sony is Sony, and like every Japanese company, it is very attached to its traditions: the two new models do not disturb the design already seen in the past, and choosing to keep the 21: 9 format without adding notches or cameras in the screen makes these smartphones very extended. However, the frames are being reduced more and more, and we are far from feeling the extra bulk that the early Xperia 1 models provided.
First variable focal length periscope cloth
The point is the photo and video section: if in recent years Sony has limited itself to homework, or introduced some innovations that in our opinion were almost unnecessary on a smartphone, this year it seems that this year has changed gears. So much so, that it is coming for the first time on a smartphone It uses a dual focal length periscope lens. Sony calls it a “variable telephoto lens” and it is a periscope lens with moving elements that can operate like a 70mm telephoto and 105mm telephoto.
Sony, in short, was very close to achieving optical zoom but not really a zoom: there is a mechanical adjustment, but focal lengths are fixed and all mid ranges are still managed by interpolation.
Made by Zeiss, the lens (installed) uses a 12MP autofocus sensor. In the Xperia 1 II we criticized the management of the images captured in the wide angle. New models allow you to take portraits, always using computational photography, either with a wide angle or with two 70mm and 105mm canvas panels.
The sensors used are 12 mega-pixels. Main camera from 1 / 1.7 “pixel With a lens equivalent to 24 mm and a fixed F1.7 lens, the 1 / 2.6 “ultra-wide lens sensor with F2.2 is always dual pixel (16 mm equivalent) while the lens behind the” dual-length telephoto lens “is 1 / 2.9” F2. 3 / F2.8, also stable. Thus all the sensors are dual pixel. Especially the stabilization of the main sensor: Sony calls it Flawless Eye Steadyshot because it uses the read speed of the sensor to help with the mechanical stabilization of the lens.
It is clear that choosing a sensor of this size is related to the need for a quick reading of the data: the larger sensor with a higher resolution has a series of contraindications.
However, what makes the difference is not so much the sensor, when managing these sensors. Sony has advanced autofocus technology further and thanks to new sensors, it ensures this faster All lenses have continuous autofocus with eye detectionFor people and animals. More than continuous autofocus, what is new is the improvement in the function of tracking subjects in strong motion, and here there is a difference between the Xperia 1 and the Xperia 5.
In fact, the Xperia 5 contains “object tracking” technology, which allows you to keep a framed object closed for exposure and focus, while the Xperia 1 has a real-time tracking feature, which also uses a ToF sensor to assess the distance from the subject and thank the device. Learning is also capable of Manage people who leave the scene temporarily, and assume a possible location to return to the photo.
As on previous models, 20fps continuous shooting is maintained with real-time exposure focus adjustment. Thanks to the new fast sensor, and thanks to the new night mode, the new Xperia can also shoot bursts in low-light conditions while reducing active noise.
The software improvements don’t end there: there’s also a new machine learning paradigm for digital zoom called AI Super Resolution Zoom. It allows you to pass from the original 105mm to a focal length equivalent to approximately 500mm.
The interface has also been revamped: if it is still necessary to use two applications on the Xperia 1, one consumer and the other “professional”, in the new paradigm the Pro app gains a new “basic” mode that allows you to take selfies, use the night and take advantage of the automation also from the application Ad hoc for photographers. One application, Which allows access to all manual adjustments, including shooting in RAW, auto and auxiliary mode.
The Cinematography Pro app for video recorders has also been improved. It can capture 4K HDR video at up to 120fps slow motion and you can too Recording in 21: 9 format at 24p. Sony has included several recording profiles, movie simulations, and several sound filters to help those who want to customize the shot. It also increases the possibilities for manual adjustment and improves the management of the library of recorded clips, which can now also be regulated by technical shooting parameters (fps, filter, lens used).
120Hz OLED screen. Up to 4K
The two models differ in screen size. Xperia 1 III has a 6.5-inch 21: 9 screen, and a 6.1-inch Xperia 5 III screen, both of which are OLED screens with refresh rate up to 120Hz. Last year, the high refresh rate was a software feature. This year, the board is actually reaching 120Hz, but with a function called Motion Blur Reduction (Black Frame Input). It can reach up to 240Hz. We are not a fan of the 120Hz, we think it only works on battery consumption, but for Sony it is still important to be in harmony, at least in the technical data sheet, with the competitors.
The screen of the Xperia 1 is 4K, like all previous Xperia 1 devices: the resolution may be overrated, up to 6.5 inches, and we are curious to see how 4K and 120Hz will affect consumption. We are ahead of us The first Ultra HD 120Hz screen was used on a phone. The panels are factory calibrated, handle 10 bits despite Sony’s precision and talk about an 8-bit board with 2 bits of frequency.
Like the Xperia Pro, the new Xperia 1 and 5 can also be used as an external display: just connect them to the Sony mirrorless camera using a special cable.
Thinking a bit about the Playstation world, Sony has also included some innovations related to gaming usage: There is a screen function that allows you to reduce visual fatigue and a feature called Low Gamma Raiser that makes hiding things more visible in shadows.
Also for games, it comes with a low-delay audio output, an equalizer with a series of filters that highlight specific sounds like steps or shots, and a new noise-canceling filter designed to reduce background noise during game chats, but it only works when the audio jack is connected.
That’s not all: Players can also take advantage of the built-in recorder for game sequences Records 4K clips at up to 120 fps for compatible gamesIt also provides a 30-second buffer for continuous recording. This means that at every moment it is possible to save and share a clip with friends explaining what happened in the past 30 seconds.
For those who play and use a phone connected to a power source, there is a system called heat damping power control Directly operate your smartphone without charging it, This is to prevent the heat generated by the processor from being added to that which is inevitably generated by a charged battery. Clever.
We talked about the audio jacks, because the Xperia 1 and Xperia 5, despite being water-resistant, They also have a built-in audio jack. Sony hasn’t indicated whether a different DAC has been used than the one that Qualcomm has adopted on Snapdragon, but it talks about “unique hardware decoding” and says it has created a new virtual machine that allows you to reproduce 360-degree sound through two built-in speakers. . This feature, 3D audio via integrated speakers, is currently only available with Tidal and 360 Reality Audio encoded audio streams.
If 360 Reality Audio were used to properly reproduce Mpeg H-encoded audio tracks, and thus object-oriented audio, then Sony has also considered all of the existing stereo and multi-channel audio tracks. It’s called 360 Spatial Sound, and it works with any local and streaming source and with any type of headphone, wired or wireless.
The two front speakers, integrated into the frame, have been modified according to Sony 40% more powerful than the Xperia 1 II And above all, it looks much better thanks to a new inner case that manages reflections better. The headphone output has also been improved thanks to the new amplifier: 40% more powerful, but above all less distortion at high levels.
Qualcomm cardioid and there is wireless charging
The heart of the two Xperia devices is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888, and they change RAM and storage: the Xperia 1 III has 12 GB of RAM and 256/512 GB of storage depending on the version. Xperia 5 III has 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB / 256 GB of expandable storage. Both have a 4,500mAh battery, Which can be charged to 50% in just 30 minutes using the included 30W charger. Sony doesn’t go overboard and adheres to the Power Delivery standard.
Xperia 1 III, being bigger, It also has a wireless charging coil and can also have a reverse charge.
The Xperia 1 III will be available in two colors with a matte finish, black and purple, while the Xperia 5 III will be polished and will be available in black, pink and green. The authentication sensor is placed on the side button, according to Sony’s tradition.
Excellent dimensions and weight: the Xperia 1 III weighs just 186 grams, 165 x 71 x 8.2mm, while the Xperia 5 III weighs 168 grams and measures 157 x 68 x 8.2mm. Little gem.
The market is expected to be available in the summer. Prices have not yet been set.