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Sony Xperia 5 III Review

Create a compact high-end mobile. A purpose that sounds simple but that hardly materializes in the market. Sony has been on the table for two generations with this proposal, first with the Sony Xperia 5 and, a year later, with the Sony Xperia 5 II. In 2021 the bet is on the Sony Xperia 5 III, the twin brother of the Xperia 1 III, but reduced. keep up with review.

It is a compact mobile with a stellar battery and a photographic behavior with many unknowns revealed throughout this analysis. Let’s see in-depth how the Sony Xperia 5 III performs and if they have managed to refine a concept they have been working on for three generations.

Design: different, narrow, and comfortable

Sony maintains the same design line that we saw with the Xperia 5 II. It is a rectangular terminal and quite elongated, so it is narrower than usual. The lines are identical to those of its predecessor, are built-in aluminum and glass.

Build quality can be seen right out of the box: the Sony Xperia 5 III is well finished, with glass and aluminum.

Build quality can be seen right out of the box: very solid keypad, slim enough body, and great ergonomics. Despite being a visually very rectangular terminal, the corners are quite curved, so it does not become uncomfortable at any time.

For yet another year, Sony treats the keypad of its Xperia with special affection. On the right side, we have a total of four buttons:

  • Volume
  • Power (and fingerprint reader)
  • A button for Google Assistant
  • A button dedicated to the camera

Not a single button dances, the press is more than solid, and the fingerprint reader is a good size to fit the thumb.

On the left side, Sony repeats a detail that we would like to see in more terminals: a removable SIM tray without a spike. There is no hole to insert the classic skewer and eject the SIM; remove the slot with your fingernail so that the tray comes out, where we can house SIM and microSD. Despite having this mechanism, the mobile is resistant to water and dust.

Looking at the top, we have a headphone jack, great news for analog lovers. The bottom is starring the USB-C port, as the speakers are built into the front.

The speakers are also well integrated into the front, right in the gap between the screen and the bezel. Speaking of the front, we like that Sony keeps some small frames on the front, giving complete symmetry to the terminal.

If we talk about compaction, the dimensions are somewhat strange. The Sony Xperia 5 III is a very narrow mobile, but it is quite tall despite having 6.1 inches. It thus becomes a terminal that touches 16 centimeters high but with a much lower volume than its direct rivals. This means that we have a tall terminal, although very easy to use with one hand.

The weight is only 169 grams, very light compared to its direct rivals, which touch or exceed 200 grams in weight. Finally, note that there is a small notification LED in its upper part, a rare sight in these times.

Sony returns to bet on the 6.1 inches in its new generation Xperia, with OLED technology and Full HD + resolution. Its 449 PPI is more than enough, being a fairly sharp panel with outstanding quality. We have been surprised by the maximum brightness, notably better than in the previous generation, but we have been conquered by how we can calibrate the panel from the settings.

Sony Display Options

We can adjust the white balance to the exact value we want. By default, the panel is quite warm, so we have moved it to a cooler setting (I am more comfortable with this setting). We can choose between predetermined temperature values or adjust to the exact value to leave it to taste.

Sony cannot be without creator mode, which offers support for the BT.2020 color spectrum (somewhat wider than sRGB and DCI-P3) and support for 10-bit color depth. Really few contents take advantage of this configuration, so the most comfortable thing is to move in the standard model, leaving the automatic creator mode active, which will adapt to the apps we are using.

The 120Hz is not adaptive on this Sony, but it hardly impacts the battery and consistently works.

In addition to these settings, we find 120Hz on this Sony. In this case, they are not adaptive, but they work as soon as we touch the panel. The answer is more than correct, we have not noticed drops in the refresh rate, and the fluency experience is outstanding. Later we will also see how 120Hz does not harm autonomy.

Finally, note that the latency of the panel is excellent. There are no lags when typing fast, and the screen responds to the millisecond. In short, and despite not leaping Quad HD +, we are facing a distinguished panel with good brightness, sharpness, and level viewing angles.

Performance: we have run into the heat

Being a small mobile has its advantages, but also its drawbacks. One of them is the greatest difficulty in dissipating heat from the surface. The Sony Xperia 5 III burns. Its Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (not a very efficient processor at a thermal level) raises the body temperature of the terminal above 50 degrees in very common scenarios: heavy downloads, demanding games, camera use, and others.

The Sony Xperia 5 III gets too hot: it closes applications and lowers performance to cool down.

The heat reaches such a point that we have had performance drops in games like Genshin Impact by regulating the processor and lowering the frequency to prevent the temperature from rising. If we don’t use it intensively, there isn’t too much of a problem, but if we’re going to play a lot, we’d better be careful with our hands.

Beyond the excessive heat, the performance is as expected in a high-end of this category. The opening times are immediate, the fluidity outstanding, and there is nothing to recriminate here except the occasional drops due to the heat. We leave you below with the benchmarks of this terminal.

Sound: good, but not great

The body of the mobile acts as a resonance box, so the lower the volume, the worse the sound is usually. In the case of the Sony Xperia 5 III, we have a double front speaker to emit stereo sound and the headphone jack. As in the previous generation, we have a good sound powered by Dolby Atmos, but the experience is far from the best exponents on the market.

There is some distortion when exceeding 70/80% volume, and above all, it lacks body and bass. We were also not convinced by Sony’s dynamic vibration system, which makes the phone vibrate to the rhythm of songs and series. The vibration motor is not very tuned either, so it ends up annoying more than pleasing.

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