(Pocket-lint) - Sony Mobile revealed three smartphones in April 2021, all of which will be available at some point in the summer. The devices come in the form of the flagship Xperia 1 III, compact Xperia 5 III and mid-range Xperia 10 III.

Which is the right Sony Xperia smartphone for you though? We've compared the specs of the Xperia 1 III, Xperia 5 III and Xperia 10 III to help you decide which one to set your sights on when they become available.

Design

  • Xperia 1 III: 165 x 71 x 8.2mm, 186g
  • Xperia 5 III: 157 x 68 x 8.2mm, 168g
  • Xperia 10 III: 154 x 68 x 8.3mm, 169g

The Sony Xperia 1 III, Xperia 5 III and Xperia 10 III all share a similar design language. All three feature a tall and narrow build, flat slab design and they all offer rounded corners. The Xperia 1 III has squarer edges than the Xperia 5 III and Xperia 10 III, and the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III have a Google Assistant button on their right edge compared to the Xperia 10 III.

There's a physical fingerprint sensor built into the power button on the right edge of all three devices though, they all have their camera housings positioned in the top left corners of their rears and they all come with IP65/68 water and dust resistance.

The Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III are more premium in their finish compared to the Xperia 10 III, but all have glass rears and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Xperia 1 III is the largest by quite a bit, as well as the heaviest, while the Xperia 5 III and Xperia 10 III are more compact and closer in size and weight to each other.

The Xperia 1 III is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, while the Xperia 5 III and the Xperia 10 III have Corning Gorilla Glass 6. 

The Xperia 1 III comes in Frosted Black, Frosted Grey and Frosted Purple colour options. The Xperia 5 III comes in Black, Green and Pink and the Xperia 10 III comes in Black, White, Pink and Blue.

Display

  • Xperia 1 III: 6.5-inch, 4K, OLED, 21:9, HDR, 120Hz
  • Xperia 5 III: 6.1-inch, FHD+, OLED, 21:9, HDR, 120Hz
  • Xperia 10 III: 6-inch, FHD+, OLED, 21:9, HDR, 60Hz

The Sony Xperia 1 III has a 6.5-inch display with a 3840 x 1644 pixel resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 643ppi. It's the largest and sharpest of the three Xperia devices being compared here and it also offers a 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling.

The Xperia 5 III has the same 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling, but it drops the size to 6.1-inches and the resolution to Full HD+ at 2520 x 1080 pixels, which results in a pixel density of 449ppi.

The Xperia 10 III has a 6-inch display and also offers a Full HD+ resolution like the Xperia 5 III, though it has a standard 60Hz refresh rate. It will depend on what you use your phone for as to how noticeable this will be compared to the faster refresh rates.

All three devices support HDR, all are OLED panels and all have a 21:9 aspect ratio, which is good for movies.

Hardware and specs

  • Xperia 1 III: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, 5G, 12GB RAM, 256/512GB storage, 4500mAh
  • Xperia 5 III: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, 5G, 8GB RAM, 128/256GB storage, 4500mAh
  • Xperia 10 III: Qualcomm Snapdragon 690G, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, 4500mAh

The Sony Xperia 1 III and Sony Xperia 5 III both run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, while the Xperia 10 III runs on the Snapdragon 690G. That means the Xperia 1 III and 5 III will be the more powerful devices, though the Xperia 10 III will still be more than capable and all three offer 5G connectivity

The Xperia 1 III is supported by 12GB of RAM and a choice of 256GB or 512GB of storage, while the Xperia 5 III has 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage. The Xperia 10 III meanwhile, drops the RAM to 6GB and comes in just one storage option of 128GB. 

All three devices feature a 4500mAh battery under their hoods, but where the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III both have support for 30W fast charging, as well as wireless charging and reverse wireless charging, the Xperia 10 III does not.

As mentioned, all three devices offer a 3.5mm headphone jack. They also all offer support for Hi-Res Audio and DSEE Ultimate. The Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III both have Sony's 360 Reality Audio through speakers and 360 Spatial Sound too.

Camera

  • Xperia 1 III: Triple 12MP camera + ToF, 8MP front camera
  • Xperia 5 III: Triple 12MP camera, 8MP front camera
  • Xperia 10 III: Triple rear camera (12MP main, 8MP ultra wide, 8MP telephoto), 8MP front camera

The Sony Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III both come with a triple rear camera made up of three 12-megapixel sensors. One of these sensors is a periscope lens that offers two different telephoto lengths from a single lens. 

It means that while the sensor behind the lens remains the same, the lens is able to switch between 70mm and 105mm for two different telephoto options of around 3x and 4.4x, both optical and both offering OIS. 

There's also a 12-megapixel 1/1.7in main camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera on board the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III. The only difference between these two devices is that the Xperia 1 III also has a 3D time-of-flight sensor to feed data into the real-time tracking system, offering a slightly more advanced system.

The Xperia 10 III meanwhile, also has a triple rear camera but it has a different make up to the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III. The Xperia 10 III has a 12-megapixel main sensor, with an 8-megapixel telephoto sensor and 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle sensor. There's no periscope lens and no ToF sensor. 

All three models have an 8-megapixel front camera on board.

Price 

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Sony hasn't revealed pricing for the Xperia 1 III, Xperia 5 III or Xperia 10 III as yet. That said, the Xperia 1 III will be the most expensive, followed by the Xperia 5 III, while the Xperia 10 III is likely to come in around half the price of the Xperia 5 III.

The Xperia 1 II costs over £1000 in the UK, while the Xperia 5 II starts at £799 in the UK. The Xperia 10 II meanwhile, costs £329 in the UK. We don't expect the third-gen models to differ too much from their predecessors.

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Conclusion

There aren't a great deal of differences between the Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III. You get a larger, higher resolution display on the Xperia 1 III, as well as the ToF sensor on the camera system, more RAM and storage and a higher grade of Corning Gorilla Glass protection. It's also larger and heavier than the Xperia 5 III, otherwise their specs are very similar.

The Xperia 10 III offers a similar size to the Xperia 5 III but it misses out on the faster refresh rate display, drops the processor and RAM slightly, as well as the storage capacity and it offers a less capable camera system on paper.

That said, it's likely the Xperia 10 III will cost around a third of the price of the Xperia 1 III and around half that of the Xperia 5 III so cost will undoubtedly be a factor when deciding between these handsets. The Xperia 1 III has some excellent specs, but the Xperia 5 III sounds like it could be the one to choose for a good balance of specs and price unless you really want that 4K display and ToF camera.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.