I have been reviewing the latest Xperia Android flagship from Sony over the past couple of weeks and it’s comfortably the best phone from the brand I have ever used.
What has become increasingly obvious during my time with the device is that Sony has finally found a reason to make Android phones.
As I said in our Sony Xperia 1 III review, this isn’t a cookie-cutter flagship aiming to mimic mainstream devices like the Galaxy S21 – it’s quite the opposite.
The Xperia 1 III is for those who not only want the best-of-the-best when it comes to specs but also bemoan the slimming-down of feature sets on competing devices.
Where other phones have lost aspects once considered standard, the Xperia 1 III has kept them and, in some ways, made them better.
With the Galaxy S21, Samsung ditched expandable storage. With the Xperia 1 III, Sony has kept that handy card slot letting you up the 256GB or 512GB of internal storage.
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It’s a similar story with the headphone jack. With LG exiting the mobile business, Sony is pretty much the only flagship phone maker still continuing to include the 3.5mm input on its devices. If you appreciate good audio, whether it’s wireless, wired or through onboard speakers, then the Xperia 1 III is certainly worth a look.
There are other touches I really appreciate too. The physical fingerprint sensor embedded inside the power button is, for me, much better than the in-display variety that’s become so common while not needing a tool to swap SIM and SD cards is surprisingly useful.
There’s even a notification light for alerting to charge states and incoming messages and a dedicated button to open the camera. It’s the little things.
Of course, Sony’s true niche is the benefits of the display. I’m not entirely sold on the need for a 4K display on a panel this size and in certain instances, the tall display isn’t all that practical – but there are so many 20:9 devices that having something different is refreshing.
Where the display does shine for me is that lack of a notch. You’ve got a full screen without any intrusions or cutouts.
Since Apple introduced the notch design with the iPhone X, some form of it has become commonplace on just about all the best Android phone I’ve tested and it’s always getting in the way.
Other Xperia phones have had these features, but here everything fits together so much better than before.
The Sony Xperia 1 III isn’t the best phone and it’s far from perfect. But then, what phone is? What it does do fantastically though is cater to those who feel let down by the depleting feature sets on other £1000+ phones. I do wish other brands would try something different once in a while.
Sony has finally found its Android niche and if it could make the complete camera package then the Xperia flagship line will be hard to ignore.
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