(Pocket-lint) - Sony announced the third generation of its compact Sony Xperia 5 smartphone during an online event on 14 April 2021, just six months after the Xperia 5 II came to market. 

The Xperia 5 II was revealed alongside the Xperia 1 III and mid-range Xperia 10 III and you can read how it compares to those devices in our separate feature, but here we are looking at how the Xperia 5 III compares to its predecessor - the Xperia 5 II.

Design

  • Xperia 5 III: 157 x 68 x 8.2mm, 168g
  • Xperia 5 II: 158 x 68 x 8mm, 163g

The Sony Xperia 5 III and Xperia 5 II share a very similar design, both offering an OmniBalance body with a metal frame with curved edges and corners sandwiched between a glass front and rear panel.

The Xperia 5 III is slighter shorter and 0.2mm thicker than the Xperia 5 II, as well as 5g heavier, but otherwise, the two devices are almost identical in size and appearance. 

They also both offer IP65/68 water and dust resistance, a physical fingerprint sensor built into their power buttons on their right edge and a 3.5mm headphone jack. They also have a Google Assistant button and dedicated camera button, as well as a pill-shaped rear camera housing.

The Xperia 5 III comes in Black, Green and Pink colour options, while the Xperia 5 II comes in Black and Blue options.

Display

  • Xperia 5 III: 6.1-inch, OLED, Full HD+, HDR, 120Hz
  • Xperia 5 II: 6.1-inch, OLED, Full HD+, HDR, 120Hz

The Sony Xperia 5 III and Xperia 5 II have the same 6.1-inch OLED 21:9 display, with both offering a Full HD+ resolution at 2520 x 1080 and both delivering the same 449ppi pixel density.

There's HDR support on both the third and second generation models and they both also offer a 120Hz refresh rate with 240Hz touch sampling. 

The two displays are also "powered by CineAlta", which is designed to deliver the same colour reproduction on the screen as the Master Monitor used for films.

Hardware and specs

  • Xperia 5 III: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, 8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB storage, 4500mAh
  • Xperia 5 II: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, 4000mAh

The Sony Xperia 5 III runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, supported by 8GB of RAM and a choice of 128GB or 256GB storage. We would expect it to offer microSD support but that wasn't confirmed at time of writing.

The Sony Xperia 5 II runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, also supported by 8GB of RAM, though there's only 128GB as a storage option. MicroSD support is on board. Both the Xperia 5 III and Xperia 5 II are 5G devices

There's a bump in battery capacity for the third generation model, with the Xperia 5 III featuring a 4500mAh cell under the hood. It also offers support for 30W fast charging, wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. The Xperia 5 II meanwhile, has a 4000mAh battery with support for fast charging but not wireless, with a a graphene heat dissipation pad instead to keep the device cool.

Camera

  • Xperia 5 III: Triple rear camera, 8MP front
    • 12MP ultra wide, 16mm, 1/1.7in, f/1.7
    • 12MP wide, 24mm, 1/2.6in, f/2.2
    • 12MP periscope, 70mm-105mm, 1/2.9in, f/2.3-f/2.8
  • Xperia 5 II: Triple rear camera, 8MP front
    • 12MP ultra wide, 16mm
    • 12MP wide, 24mm, 1/1.7in 1.8µm pixels, f/1.7
    • 12MP telephoto, 70mm

The Sony Xperia 5 III features the same camera as the Xperia 1 III, but without the additional ToF sensor. That means it offers a triple 12-megapixel rear camera, featuring ultra wide, wide and periscope lenses. The periscope lens offers two different telephoto lengths from the single lens, with the ability to switch between 70mm and 105mm and an aim of delivering better results.

The Xperia 5 II meanwhile, also has a triple 12-megapixel rear camera, though its third lens is a standard telephoto lens with 70m focal length. It has some interesting features on board though, like 20fps burst shooting, real-time eye autofocus for people and animals and the ability to capture 120fps 4K HDR slow motion. The Xperia 5 III offers all these too though, plus a few extras.

Price

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Sony hasn't revealed the price of the Xperia 5 III as yet, with the device not expected to hit shelves until early summer. 

The Xperia 5 II costs £799 in the UK and €899 in Europe. We would expect the Xperia 5 II to fall into a similar ballpark, though nothing is confirmed as yet.

Conclusion

The Sony Xperia 5 III makes a couple of adjustments to the second generation model, with a processor upgrade, a camera upgrade, a battery increase and a storage increase. It also adds wireless charging and support for faster wired charging.

For those with the Xperia 5 II, it's probably not worth the upgrade to the third generation model unless you are really keen on some of those additions given the Xperia 5 II isn't even a year old yet. 

For those choosing between the Xperia 5 III and Xperia 5 II, the third generation model is the model to go for on paper, unless you can find the Xperia 5 II at a good price when the Xperia 5 III hits the shelves.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Editing by Chris Hall.