Sony has announced their latest flagship the Sony Xperia 1 Mark III that one-ups the best Android phone at the moment the Galaxy S21 Ultra in many key features.
The first one is the display. The Xperia 1 Mark 3 is the first smartphone to have a 4K HDR OLED display that can do a 120Hz refresh rate. It's locked at 120Hz, though unlike the variable refresh rate we see on other devices. To be honest, 4K on a smartphone is a little overkill. In my opinion, it's hardly worth paying extra for considering you're not going to tell the difference between a 4K and a QHD display on a smartphone.
But nonetheless, 4K at a 120Hz refresh rate is still impressive.
The second feature this phone has that no other phone can do is actually hidden beneath those bezels. At first glance, the phone looks identical to the original Xperia 1. It's tall and narrow, with lots of glossy black and small curves on all the angles, giving them the most monolithic look of a smartphone today with some bezels at the top and bottom of the display.
But those small bezels are there for a good reason since they house the world's first front-facing stereo speakers on a smartphone to offer 360 Reality Audio, producing 40% more output than the previous model. To be honest, even though the phone looks dated but I still like the design. It helps them stand out from the crowd of same-looking Android phones out there.
This phone also has a new variable telephoto camera bringing another world's-first. It has a periscope zoom camera module like the one found on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. However, the lens elements inside can move to change the focal length to either 70mm or 105mm for optical zoom. That's 3x and 4.5x zoom, if you don't understand the focal length.
Samsung offers the same benefit with the S21 Ultra, but it has two separate telephoto sensors. So with this new tech, Sony is achieving the same effect with one sensor whereas it took 2 separate ones for Samsung and Huawei.
Other Sony camera features like real-time tracking and eye autofocus, AI Super-resolution zoom for photos are all there.
Also similar to the Xperia Pro, this phone can be used as an external monitor for a dedicated camera.
There’s also the more standard fare like Snapdragon 888, 12GB RAM, wireless charging, and 4500mAh battery.
Sony is also the last mainstream brand to offer a headphone jack and a microSD card with this phone which is highly appreciated.
All in all, on paper, all of this sounds really great but the price plays a big factor as well.
Sony has struggled mightily to gain any measurable market share due to higher prices than is the norm for even flagship Android phones.
We still have no word on the prices but if Sony can price this handset competitively and with some good marketing (both are big ifs) it has a chance of not going the way of LG.