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(Pocket-lint) - Sony Mobile refreshed its phone line up in 2021 with the Xperia 10 III, alongside the flagship Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III during an online event on 14 April.

The Xperia 10 III succeeds the Xperia 10 II that arrived in 2020, continuing to offer just one device in the mid range Xperia portfolio rather than two. In 2019, the range began with the Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus - both of which are included in this feature for reference.

So which Sony Xperia mid-range device is the best one for you? Here are the Xperia 10 III's specifications up against the Xperia 10 II and Xperia 10 and 10 Plus to help you decide.

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Design

  • Xperia 10 III: 154 x 68 x 8.3mm, 169g, IP65/68
  • Xperia 10 II: 157 x 69 x 8.2mm, 151g, IP65/68
  • Xperia 10: 156 x 68 x 8.4mm, 162g
  • Xperia 10 Plus: 167 x 73 x 8.3mm, 180g

The Sony Xperia 10 III, Xperia 10 II, the Xperia 10 and the Xperia 10 Plus all share similar design traits, but the Xperia 10 III and 10 II are more premium, offering a glass rear over the metal backs seen on the Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus.

The camera housings on the rear of the Xperia 10 III and 10 II are also positioned in the top left, just like the Xperia 1 III, making for a better design finish than the horizontal housing on the Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus. The Xperia 10 III is also slightly shorter, though heavier than the Xperia 10 II.

All four devices have rounded edges and a tall, slender look though and they all feature a 21:9 aspect ratio display. The Xperia 10 III and Xperia 10 II are both IP65/68 water and dust resistant however, like the flagship Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III, while the Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus offer no water resistance.

Display 

  • Xperia 10 III: 6-inch, OLED, Full HD+, 21:9, HDR
  • Xperia 10 II: 6-inch, OLED, Full HD+, 21:9
  • Xperia 10: 6-inch, LCD, Full HD+, 21:9
  • Xperia 10 Plus: 6.5-inch, LCD, Full HD+, 21:9

The Sony Xperia 10 II1 and Xperia 10 II come with a 6-inch display, matching the size of the Xperia 10. The Xperia 10 Plus has a slightly larger display at 6.5-inches, though all four models have the same Full HD+ resolution.

The Xperia 10 III and Xperia 10 II differ in terms of panel technology too though. Like the Xperia 1 III, the Xperia 10 III and 10 II have an OLED display for vibrant colours and deep blacks. The Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus both have LCD displays. The Xperia 10 III also adds HDR support over its predecessors.

All four devices have a 21:9 aspect ratio display, as mentioned above, and all of them offer a 60Hz refresh rate. It's worth noting that the Xperia 5 II, Xperia 5 III and the Xperia 1 III all have a 120Hz refresh rate.

Hardware and specs

  • Xperia 10 III: Qualcomm SD690G, 5G, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, 4500mAh
  • Xperia 10 II: Qualcomm SD665, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, 3600mAh
  • Xperia 10: Qualcomm SD630, 3/4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 2870mAh
  • Xperia 10 Plus: Qualcomm SD630, 4/6GB RAM, 64GB storage, 3000mAh

As you would expect from a succeeding device, the Xperia 10 III improves on the internals of the Xperia 10 II, as well as - naturally - the Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus too. The 2021 device runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 690G platform, supported by 6GB of RAM. That chipset means the Xperia 10 III is a 5G capable device, which is the first for the Xperia 10 range.

The Xperia 10 II runs on the older, but still capable, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor, supported by 4GB of RAM as standard.

The Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus both run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor with 3GB of RAM as standard for the smaller model and 4GB of RAM as standard for the Plus model. Both come with 64GB of internal storage, while the Xperia 10 II and Xperia 10 III come with 128GB.

The Xperia 10 II, Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus all support microSD for storage expansion but the Xperia 10 II will take cards up to 1TB, while the Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus will only support cards up to 512GB. At the time of writing, it was not confirmed if the Xperia 10 III will also offer microSD support.

In terms of battery capacities, the Xperia 10 III wins here too. It offers a 4500mAh battery, compared to the Xperia 10 II's 3600mAh battery, Xperia 10's 2870mAh battery and Xperia 10 Plus' 3000mAh battery. All models offer Sony technologies like Stamina Mode however and the Xperia 10 III also has Sony's Battery care feature.

Camera

  • Xperia 10 III/10 II: Triple rear, 8MP front
  • Xperia 10: Dual rear, 8MP front
  • Xperia 10 Plus: Dual rear, 8MP front

The camera department is another area the Xperia 10 III and Xperia 10 II improve over their original predecessors, at least on paper. There's a triple lens rear camera on the Xperia 10 III and Xperia 10 II, consisting of an 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle sensor, a 12-megapixel wide angle and an 8-megapixel telephoto sensor. There's also a night mode.

The Xperia 10 meanwhile, has a dual camera consisting of a 12-megapixel sensor and an 8-megapixel sensor, while the Xperia 10 Plus has a 13-megapixel sensor and an 8-megapixel sensor on the back.

All four devices have an 8-megapixel front camera.

Price

Sony hasn't announced the Xperia 10 III's price as yet, though we don't expect it to stray too far from the Sony Xperia 10 II, which costs £319 in the UK.

When they launched in 2019, the Xperia 10 started at £299, while the Xperia 10 Plus started at £349, but you'll likely find them cheaper now.

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Conclusion

Sony simplified its mid-range Xperia in 2020, by only offering one device rather than the two offered in 2019 and that was a good thing. It continued this is in 2021, whilst also adding 5G support and some good upgrades.

The Xperia 10 III offers a more advanced processor, 5G capabilities, HDR support and a larger battery than the devices it succeeds. It also has a better camera capabilities (on paper at least) and a nicer design than the original Xperia 10 handsets.

The Xperia 10 III is the device to buy out of these four, assuming Sony doesn't price it too high and you are happy to wait for it to hit shelves of course. That said, you might consider the Xperia 10 II if you can find it for a good price now, or 5G and HDR don't bother you too much.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 24 February 2020.