We had a feeling Sony’s tricked-out Xperia 1 III smartphone would be expensive. Turns out, we were right. Sony has revealed that the new handset (pcitured above), which packs a pro-grade camera, is available to pre-order for a cool $1,300 ahead of its August 19th release date. That means the new flagship is $100 more expensive than its predecessor, the Sony Xperia 1 ii, and fellow high-enders like the $1,200 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, the $1,099 Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max and the $969 OnePlus 9 Pro.
As you’d expect at that price, the Xperia 1 III has some killer specs that should appeal to photography buffs. The 12-megapixel, 24mm equivalent Exmor RS sensor is accompanied by a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a time-of-flight sensor that gathers depth data. Sony says the flagship is the first phone in the world with “true” optical zoom, which is achieved by actually moving the telephoto lens elements inside the phone. While the burst mode captures photos as fast as 20 times per second.
Sony also claims that the phone’s 6.5-inch OLED display is the world’s first mobile 4K screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. Inside, there’s Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 888 chipset combined with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, along with a 4,500mAh battery that supports wireless charging.
If you find paying upwards of $1,000 is too steep, Sony is also releasing the cheaper Xperia 5 III (pictured above) a month later in September for £899 in the UK — we’ve reached out for US pricing. Here, you’ll get a 6.1-inch Full HD OLED screen, slightly less RAM at 8GB and either 128GB or 256GB of internal storage. Sony also cut back on some of the camera software tricks available on its big brother like real-time object tracking and the time-of-flight sensor. Plus, you don’t get support for wireless charging. Otherwise, it packs the same chipset, pro-grade camera setup, 3D Reality audio support and battery, making it more of a crowdpleaser compared to its pricey sibling.
To sweeten the deal, both phones will ship with Sony wireless headphones: the Xperia 1 III comes with the WF-1000XM3 earbuds and the Xperia 5 III with the WH-H910N over-ear headphones. Purchasing the flagship also gets you 43,200 Call of Duty: Mobile CP Points worth $540.
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