Xperia 5 iii – Hands on

This is Sony’s 3rdResearch and development An iteration of the Xperia 5, which brings with it some minor but subtle changes from the previous incarnation.

Just for clarification, I have been using the previous Sony Xperia 5 ii as my personal phone since it came out in November 2020, so I am in a really good position to see what has changed and improved over the last 12 months.

Starting with the specifications:

  • Snapdragon 888 5G mobile platform. (New from last years 865)
  • Dual Sim Hybrid (single SIM + optional 1TB Micro SD)
  • 4500 mAh battery + fast charging PD
  • 8GB RAM + 128GB storage
  • 1-inch screen 21: 9 CinemaWide
    • Refresh rate of 120 Hz / Reduce motion blur of 240 Hz
    • FHD + HDR OLED 2520 x 1080
  • 5mm audio jack for high resolution audio
  • Rear camera assembly 3 x 12MP
    • Camera 1
      • Focal length: 24 mm
      • Size: 1 / 1.7 inch Exmor RS ™ for mobile sensor
      • FOV: 82 °
      • Aperture: F1.7
    • Camera 2
      • Focal length: 70 mm / 105 mm
      • Size: 1 / 2.9 inch Exmor RS ™ for mobile sensor
      • FOV: 34 ° (70 mm) / 23 ° (105 mm)
      • Aperture: F2.3 (70mm) / F2.8 (105mm)
    • Camera 3
      • Focal length: 16 mm
      • Size: 1 / 2.5 inch Exmor RS ™ for mobile sensor
      • FOV: 124 °
      • Aperture: F2.2
    • Features: Photography Pro, ZEISS® quality lenses specially calibrated for Xperia 5 III, ZEISS® T * coating, up to 20fps AF / AE, up to 60 times per second continuous AF / AE calculation 8, real-time AF eye (human, animal), tracking Other objects, dual photo diode, RGB-IR, OIS photography, flash photography, photo light, 12.5x hybrid zoom (based on 24mm wide camera), AI Super Resolution Zoom, HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography
  • 8MP front camera
    • Size: 1/4 inch
    • FOV: 78 °
    • Aperture: F2.0
      • Features: HDR photography (high dynamic range), SteadyShot ™ with intelligent active mode (5-axis stabilization), portrait selfies, flash display, hand gesture

Only from the specifications, you can see that the camera setting is the main focal point of this device.

Sony is a leader in a reputable industry in camera technology. The software and image processing technology were almost ripped straight from the Alpha Series camera line and displayed neatly inside a phone – well, when I say neatly, it’s not exactly as intuitive as your regular Android camera app, explaining why it’s named Photo Pro. You can go deep, very deep, in fact, change all the elements you normally find in a full DSLR camera that allows you to aim and get the most out of your photography.

Deepening it down is great if you have time to organize and focus a photo, however as I found in 5 ii, I tend to use the built-in Android camera app, just to capture a quick photo for sending via Signal or WhatsApp.

Sony must have listened, as a nice addition to this year’s model, now introducing BASIC mode inside Photo Pro, which takes over from the need to use the full Android camera app, allowing you to log in and capture it without any frills. The software will find what needs to be done.

On the subject of fast photos and the big bonus on the Xperia line, is the dedicated hardware camera button, it not only allows you to quickly activate the camera but offers full functionality of the traditional camera buttons. Half-clicking on autofocus and full-click to take a picture, honestly this simple application of a photo hardware button, allows you to hold the phone steady and simple to take a better picture.

The main camera module is one of the elements that saw a slight upgrade over the previous model, although the main camera sensor and pixel count are the same as last year and the lens array gets a change in the form of a new telephoto array, which includes a periscope lens.

Here are some sample photos taken by, and some professional sample photos from Sony to show exactly what the camera is capable of, in the right hands. It’s easy to guess who it is, not just because of the lack of glorious sunshine and exotic places.

Another major difference in the Xperia 5 series is the form factor, if we were still in the age of common phones, with physical keyboards and phones designed for phone calls, you could probably classify it as what we would call a ‘candy bar’. Style phone, in the fact that it is taller than wide.

This is what gives you the 21: 9 movie display on a 6.1-inch screen, it may look a little weird and elongated, but don’t let that put you off in any way. This was one of the features that drew me to purchase my version II last year. It’s still big enough to display all your content and watch a movie on a super wide screen, but works comfortably with one hand, even more so with the optional one-handed mode, which reduces the screen content to an area that can only be reached with your thumb alone. So the whole device will easily slip into the jacket or pocket of your pants, without feeling like you just stuffed a mini-tablet into your pants.

I have to say that the phone is as slippery to grip as a wet eel covered in baby oil, it will try its best to leap off the couch at any given opportunity thanks to its super shiny gorilla 6 front and rear glass. Looks super sleek and sexy and not excessive. But seriously a case is a must just to keep it in your hands! Hi Sony if you are listening, for the coming years 5 iv – Can you include the lanyard holder hole, you just wore the Xperia Pro I – you know the one you once had in the original Xperia Z 😉

Multi-window apps are also able to take full advantage of real estate on an ultra-high screen, allowing you to have 2 apps that run fully on the screen, simultaneously in longitudinal or lateral mode and resize as needed.

Another upgrade this year, is the addition of 360 Reality Audio, to the already amazing sound quality you get from a pair of wired headphones using the ‘extra premium feature’ now that there was once a standard 3.5mm jack.

Connect it with a pair of Sony Hi-Res headphones like my reliable MDR-1A and your ears identify with indulgence without the need for USB-C DACs or external dongles. Yes, yes, I know it’s all about Bluetooth nowadays, but even with the best codecs out there you just can not get the same level of quality, and lagging audio that you get with a physical cable between you and the phone.

Sony takes all the knowledge and technology they excel at, even in other areas and somehow manages to cram everything into the phone.

It has always amazed me why when they deliver such amazing and feature-laden products like this, they always seem overshadowed by competitors, who usually just play to catch up, or borrow the same hardware that Sony manufactures and sells to them.

This has always been the case I feel with Sony, do not start me off with smartwatches and fitness trackers, Sony has already done that, reached an early peak and then left the market, before it ever became popular and mainstream.

I’m moving away… ..

So who is this phone for, well, if you like an almost standard Android operating system with very little swelling and some nice practical software features (sorry, here are negative points to pre-install, Facebook app that can not be easily removed) and weird physical design. Aesthetics, different from the competition, a camera that if you have time to play with and know how to handle a proper DLSR, you will see why megapixels are not always considered. Full-function physical camera button, I really can not praise this simple but appreciated feature enough, Sorry. Throw away the latest Snapdragon 888 and some specific features for fancy games, you have a device that others will replicate in a few years.

If you want to know more or have something to say, please contact in the comments below.

Otherwise, the Xperia 5 iii is now available for pre-order from Amazon For £ 899,

It is also worth noting that if you book in advance now, you will get a pair Noise-canceling WH-H910N headphones Thrown in, worth an additional £ 157.

If you came here in search of a full comparison between this year’s Xperia 5 camera and last year’s model, sorry I’m disappointed because we never officially reviewed the 5II last year. However, feel free to check out our friend Steve Litchfield allaboutmobile That goes into super-duper details and an in-depth comparison of the two devices.

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