Release Date, Pricing and Spec News

The Xperia 5 III is here. Sony’s third-gen premium mid-ranger has launched alongside the flagship Xperia 1 III at an event in Japan, but it shares many key specs with its more expensive sibling. The device has been pitched as a compact version of that phone, offering a portable, pocketable version without sacrificing on power. 

However, while the phone officially launched on 14 April, but we could still be waiting a while for any of the new Xperia handsets to be available for purchase. Here’s everything you need to know about the Xperia 5 III.

Sony Xperia 5 III release date

The Xperia 5 III was officially unveiled at Sony’s official event on 14 April 2021, alongside the high-end Xperia 1 III and more affordable Xperia 10 III. Here’s how to watch back the event if you missed it. 

All three devices will officially be available from ‘early Summer 2021‘, but Sony is yet to reveal a more specific release date. However, there are some doubts over whether it will arrive in June or even July. A listing for the flagship Xperia 1 III on US retailer B&H Photo’s website suggests pre-orders will begin on 1 July, and we’d expect the Xperia 5 III to follow suit. 

Sony Xperia 5 III pricing

Interestingly, Sony chose not to reveal pricing for the Xperia 5 III at the official launch event. However, a day later both the Xperia 1 III and 5 III appeared on Sony’s Russian site citing pre-order pricing of RUB₽99,990 and ₽84,990 respectively.

A direct conversion prices the Xperia 5 III at around £800/€925/US$1,105, which remains consistent with the pricing of its predecessor. The Xperia 5 II cost £799 at launch, while its predecessor cost £699.

However, the Xperia made a brief appearance on the website of US retailer Focus. It’s since been removed, but Reddit users managed to screenshot the listing:

This suggests the phone will start at US$998, a significant price increase over the Xperia 5 II. However, there’s a chance this won’t be the entry-level model.

We’ll update this section further once official regional pricing is revealed. 

Sony Xperia 5 III specs and features

Sony’s Xperia 5 III is pitched as a compact version of the flagship Xperia 1 III, so it has quite a few features in common. Arguably the most significant is the move to Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 888 chipset, which brings 5G support with it. The Xperia 5 II already had 5G, but it’s great to see the flagship make its way to the more affordable model. 

The other key upgrade comes with the display, which now comes with a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s only Full HD rather than 4K on the Xperia 1 II, but it seems like a wise trade-off on this smaller 6.1in OLED display. Sony has stuck with the tall, narrow 21:9 aspect ratio from last year’s phone, as well as 240Hz touch sampling for a fast response time.

Image: Sony

There’s also plenty in common with regards to the cameras – both have triple rear setups, consisting of a 12Mp main snapper supported by 8Mp ultrawide and 8Mp periscopic lens. Sony has ditched the telephoto camera seen on previous models, and the only thing you’re not getting on the Xperia 5 III is the 3D iTOF (time of flight) sensor. That means you’ll have to be content with continuous autofocus rather than real-time, but it remains to be seen how much of an effect it’ll have.

Both phones also can’t be separated when it comes to battery capacity, with a 4500mAh cell larger than we’ve seen on recent Xperia phones. Sony also advertises the long lifespan of the battery, which it says is capable of maintaining great performance for up to three years. There’s still no wireless charging, but the 30W adapter in the box comes with claims of 50% capacity in 30 minutes.

Image: Sony

Alongside the USB-C port you’ll need for that, there’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack. Sony is one of the last remaining manufacturers to offer this on a high-end handset, so it’s worth drawing attention to.

In terms of colour options, the green featured in official imagery will be joined in Europe by black and pink models.

We’ll update this article as soon as we know more about the Xperia 5 III. In the meantime, check out our guides to the best Sony phones and best phones overall to see what it’ll be up against.

We also discussed the Xperia 5 III in more detail as part of our weekly podcast, Fast Charge:

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