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Sony Xperia 1 III vs Sony Xperia 5 III: What’s the difference?

Sony has officially unveiled the latest additions to its Xperia 1 and Xperia 5 series: the Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III.

While the phones seem similar at first glance, there are a number of differences to note between the two Android phones before you choose your next upgrade.

Read on to discover how the Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III compare – and to decide which of the two is best for you.

Sony Xperia 1 III vs Sony Xperia 5 III – screen and design

The Xperia 1 III is the only phone around to pack a 4K HDR display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The Xperia 5 III has the same 120Hz refresh rate. just with a FHD+ resolution.

The Xperia 1 III features a 6.5-inch 21:9 CinemaWide display, while the Xperia 5 III has a slightly smaller 6.1-inch 21:9 CinemaWide OLED display. This makes it one of the smaller phone around, especially if you’re looking for a high-end Android device.

Both models support Sony’s Creator Mode for accurate colour reproduction, as well as the XI for mobile engine for BRAVIA HDR remastering, and Dolby Atmos sound.

Gamers also take advantage of 240Hz Motion blur reduction, 240Hz Touch scanning rate and adjustable white balance, as well as improved Game Enhancer features, including a new audio equaliser, an optimised VC microphone and a high frame rate recording feature.

Both phones come with a 3.5mm headphone jack, however, unlike the Xperia 5 III, the speakers on the Xperia 1 III are 40% more powerful than those found on its predecessor.

The Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III also support Sony’s 360 Reality Audio through the speakers, and also support 360 Spatial Sound for more immersive listening.

The Xperia 1 III is available in Frosted Black and Frosted Purple and features a frosted glass rear, while the Xperia 5 III is available in the less creatively named Black and Green and sports a mirror-glass finish. Both models feature IP65/68 water and dust resistance ratings.

Sony Xperia 1 III vs Sony Xperia 5 III – specs and features

The two Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III are powered by Qualcomm’s 2021 flagship Snapdragon 888 5G chip, both models are also kitted with a 4500mAh battery and can be charged 50% in 30 minutes with the 30W charger or juiced up using a wireless charging pad. Both phones also support battery share, so you can use your phone as a charging pad to charge other devices.

The highlight here is definitely the cameras. The Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III also mark the world’s first smartphones with a variable telephoto lens and dual PD sensor, allowing them to reach from 70mm up to 105mm in focal length with speedy autofocus. Both phones also include a 24mm wide angle camera and a 16mm ultra-wide camera, and can capture 4K HDR slow motion video at 120fps.

While both the Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III feature continuous AF across all lenses and Real-time Eye AF, they differ in their autofocus tracking. The Xperia 5 III includes object tracking to snap photos of moving subjects, while the Xperia 1 III boasts Real-time tracking, which uses AI algorithms and the phone’s 3D ToF sensor to focus on more challenging moving subjects – even when they temporarily move out of frame.

The continuous AF on both models perform AF/AE calculations at 60 times per second to support 20fps shooting, while the BIONZ X processor allows for low-light shooting in Burst Mode to reduce noise.

Lastly, the two Xperia phones feature Sony’s new AI super resolution zoom, which uses AI to restore detail and definition in images, as well as the Photography Pro function for manual camera controls and a new Basic Mode for quick access to other shooting features.

Will these high-end features ensure one of these Xperia phones enters our best camera phone list? We’ll have to find out when we do our full in-depth reviews.

Sony Xperia 1 III vs Sony Xperia 5 III – pricing and availability

Both the Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III will be available to buy from early summer.

Sony hasn’t revealed any specific dates nor prices, but we’d expect the Xperia 1 III to be the more expensive of the two based on previous models. Its predecessor, the Xperia 1 II, was priced around £1000/$1000, while the Xperia 5 II had an RRP of £800/$800.

Sony Xperia 1 III vs Sony Xperia 5 III – early verdict

The Sony Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III have a lot of similarities, from their chipsets to their 120Hz OLED displays. Of course, if you pluup for the 1 III you get a bigger screen, and that 4K resolution.

The other differences lie in the camera, speakers and design. The Xperia 1 III features more advanced Real-time tracking to the Xperia 5 III’s object tracking, as well as a 40% boost in speaker power compared to last year’s models.

The biggest difference here is the likely £200 difference in price, though we’ll have to wait and see what the final RRP is.

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