The Sony Xperia 1 III has one of the best cameras on the market and a beautiful 4K display. But is it worth buying instead of the iPhone 13 Pro Max or Galaxy S22 Ultra? Let’s find out…
Sony has been steadily plugging away at making the ultimate phone for years. Sadly, the company hasn’t enjoyed much success, consistently losing ground to brands like Apple, Samsung, and newer phone brands like RealMe, Xiaomi, and OPPO.
The Sony Xperia 1 III is Sony’s latest flagship offering and it packs in a ton of amazing specs. You have one of the most advanced cameras on the market, a bonkers-good 4K display, and plenty of additional performance specs under the hood. But the phone is massively expensive which begs the question: is the Sony Xperia 1 III better than the iPhone 13 ProMax or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra? Let’s find out…
Sony Xperia 1 III Reviews
Sony Xperia 1 III Specs
|Operating System||Android 11
Updates to Android 12 and 13
|display||6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED
21:9 aspect ratio
|Main rear lens||24mm F1.7 12MP sensor|
|Ultra-wide lens||16mm F2.2 12MP sensor|
|telephoto lens||70mm F2.3 12MP or 105mm F2.8 12MP sensor|
|front lens||1.4-inch F2.0 8MP sensor|
|Charging||30W fast charging
Reverse wireless charging
|connectivity||5G (sub-6, possibly mmWave)
|Protection||Gorilla Glass Victus | IP65/68 waterproof|
|Dimensions||6.5 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches|
The Sony Xperia 1 III is undoubtedly the best phone Sony has made in years. The phone is packed with loads of impressive specs like its 4K 120Hz screen and its hyper-advanced camera system – two massive updates over its predecessor. You also have plenty of storage – 256GB – a sizeable amount of RAM (12GB), and a powerful but not cutting-edge processor in the form of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 CPU. For die-hard Sony fans, if there are any out there, this is the phone you’ve been waiting for.
For everybody else, I’d err on the side of caution. Yes, the Sony Xperia 1 III’s specs are impressive. But its focus on the odd 21:9 aspect ratio means the phone looks and feels very unfamiliar compared to most other big-name phones. You also have Android updates to content with; Sony isn’t the best in keeping its phones updated with the latest builds of Android – and this is important to note given the Sony Xperia 1 III’s price.
With specs, though, the Sony Xperia 1 III is a flagship phone through and through and it will be more than able to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra. You have support for wireless charging, 30W fast charging, and a decently-sized 4500mAH battery that’ll provide all-day usage, even with heavy screen time. The phone also benefits from IP65/68 water resistance which, again, is good given how much the Xperia 1 III costs.
On paper, the Xperia 1 III makes a very good impression. It has everything you’ll need with respect to specifications. But I think its design, the phone is long and narrow, will divide opinion. I think it looks rather smart but I know plenty of people who think it looks weird. The design’s purpose is to make the Xperia 1 III better for watching videos and for playing games, and in this area, with its 4K 120Hz screen, it really does excel, making it an ideal choice for anyone who takes their mobile gaming seriously.
Is The Sony Xperia 1 III Worth It?
The Sony Xperia 1 III is an unusual, powerful phone that packs in plenty of excellent hardware and performance. It is one of the only phones on the planet that has a 4K display, and it is also one of the only phones that use the long and odd 21:9 aspect ratio. Whether this phone is worth it or not will depend entirely on whether you like using a 21:9 aspect ratio.
But even if you like the look of the Sony Xperia 1 III, you then have to factor in how much this phone costs. At almost $1200/£1200, it is very, very expensive. I know Samsung and Apple retail phones at this price point but they’re Apple and Samsung – they have the brand power to pull it off. Conversely, Sony’s brand has never been weaker in the mobile space which makes dropping over a grand on this phone, in my opinion, a pretty big ask even for those with deep pockets and/or money to burn.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to like here. The Sony Xperia 1 III ticks a lot of boxes and it does do a few things that no other phone does. Its camera is superb, for instance, and if you truly desire a phone with a 4K 12oHz display, the Sony Xperia 1 III is literally the only game in town right now. But you will pay through the nose for those USPs and, in my humble opinion, I don’t think they’re worth it. I think most people reading this would be far better of with either the iPhone 13 ProMaxthe Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultraor even the OnePlus 10 Pro.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the publisher and owner of KnowYourMobile.