The smartphone’s incredible camera sends the iPhone 13’s snapper into the dust

YES, you heard that right, Sony is still releasing smartphones – and despite flying under control, they’re not half bad.

Last year, the Japanese tech giant released the Xperia 1 III, a flimsy mobile phone boasting a camera that is said to be the best on the market.

Xperia 1 III is an expensive kit


Xperia 1 III is an expensive kitCredit: Sony

I’ve been taking a look at the gadget over the past week to see how it really is and whether it’s worth the wobbly £1,199 price tag.

What is Sony Xperia 1 III?

Launched in August 2021, Mk. III is Sony’s latest flagship smartphone, boasting impressive specs that rival the latest Samsung and Apple mobile phones.

In line with several recent Sony mobiles, the gizmo is camera-focused and boasts an unusually elongated shape to help it stand out from the crowd.

It’s also an expensive kit, costing the same as Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra and Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Those are two of the best phones money can buy right now, meaning the Sony product has a lot to do with its price tag.

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Mk. The III’s standout design feature is its taller-than-average 6.5-inch OLED display.

It boasts a 21:9 aspect ratio, making the phone exceptionally long compared to the standard 16:9 ratio used in most mobile phones.

That long chassis can definitely turn a bus or train and is perfect for watching movies, big-budget TV series, and anything else shot on the big screen.

Although it has a lot of retail screens, it is noticeable that the front of the device lacks all the beautiful screens of the highest-end Samsung and OnePus mobile phones.

Instead, Mk. The III’s selfie camera and other front-facing sensors are housed in a black bar above the display, which is pretty hard to miss.

At the bottom, a similar piece of dead space forms a noticeable chin. For a phone at this price point, I’d expect something a bit more stylish.

Flip the phone upside down and you’ll notice that its powerful camera system is housed in a vertical array that juts out a fair distance.

I think it looks sleek and is a nice break from the square arrays seen on the latest iPhones and Google mobiles.

Sony leads them all with a luxurious matte finish that gives the phone a premium feel.


Mk. The III’s main feature is the camera system (more on that later), but it has a lot of other things worth talking about.

First, the display is superb, with Sony claiming it’s the world’s first 4K phone with a 120Hz refresh rate.

It’s vibrant and responsive, while intense games and movies stay smooth thanks to that high refresh rate.

Elsewhere, the phone’s chipset has been upgraded to Snapdragon 888 5G.

It helps Mk. III works at breakneck speed and handles more power-hungry tasks and applications.

To help handle that extra workload, there’s a larger, 4500mAh battery inside, an upgrade over the 4000mAh in last year’s model.

In my experience the battery doesn’t perform as well as I’d hoped like the Mk. III often struggles to last all day.

There are settings you can make to fix this, but then you’ve lost many of the phone’s most eye-catching features.

To help you, Sony has equipped the ability to fast charge for 50% power in 30 minutes. The phone also supports wireless charging.


Now we come to Mk. The III’s main selling point and probably the reason most people will buy it over other expensive smartphones: The camera.

It has a triple camera setup with a 12MP main lens, a 12MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultra-wide lens.

Sony says the snapper borrows a lot of technology from its Alpha line of cameras – so you know it’s top quality.

You could say that Sony engineers poured blood, sweat and tears into the camera app in particular.

They gave users more options than you shake one. It’s a bit overwhelming at times if you’re an amateur photographer like me.

Through the sophisticated Photography Pro app, Mk. III can customize everything from shutter speed, ISO, color balance and pretty much everything else.

It’s fun to play with and offers control if you’re a photography enthusiast who doesn’t want to carry around a heavy, expensive DSLR everywhere you go.

However, I frequently find myself sticking with my phone’s excellent auto mode and satisfied with my results.

I’m not the best photographer in the world, so I can do with all the help I can get, and clean, sharp mobile photos are managed even when my unsteady hand.

Pricing and Final Verdict

Mk. The III is a great piece of kit with top-of-the-line specs – but it’s undercut by its price tag.

Coming in at £1,199 (or $1,300), it costs the same as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and £150 more than the base iPhone 13 Pro Max (£1,049).

Those are definitely better phones that give buyers more money than the Mk. III.

For me, Sony mobile phones are a great choice for camera enthusiasts who want as much control over their smartphones as their high-end cameras.

For anyone else, it’s hard to see how they would justify spending so much on a phone when they could get a better experience elsewhere.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

The phone's biggest selling point is its customizable camera


The phone’s biggest selling point is its customizable cameraCredit: Sony

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Fry Electronics Team

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