May 29, 2023

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small but not cute

small but not cute

Xperia 5 III is Sony’s most compact high-end phone. However, the device makes no compromises in terms of specs, including the camera setup. Is this small top phone not to be underestimated? You will discover it in this review.

Sony Xperia 5 III

Sony introduced its three new phones in April: The Xperia 1 III (1299€) The top device, this slightly smaller one Xperia 5 III (999 euros) and Xperia 10 III (429 €) mid-range smartphone. Whoever thought we’d seen everything from the Japanese brand ran into surprises this year. The Xperia Pro-I It is a new camera phone from Sony with a 1 inch camera sensor. The review of this device is yet to come, but first let’s take a look at what the Xperia 5 III has in store for us.


Sony Xperia 5 III
Living: Corning Gorilla Glass Victus (front), Corning Gorilla Glass 6 (rear)
Dimensions and weight: 157 mm x 68 mm x 8.2 mm g
Monitor: 6.1 inch FHD OLED (Full HD + 2400 x 1080 pixels), 21:9, 120 Hz, 449 ppi
Healer: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
RAM: 12 GB
Storage memory: 256 GB / 512 GB UFS 3.X
Back cameras: 12MP main camera (f/1.7), 12MP ultra-wide angle camera (f/2.2), 12MP telephoto camera (f/2.3/2.8)
cameras for: 8 MP (f/2.0) Selfie Camera
Accu: 4500 mAh, 30 Watts Snyladen
AndroidVerse: Android 11
Extras: IP65 / IP68 Water Resistant, Dual Speakers with 360 Reality Audio, Dolby Atmos, 3.5mm Jack, Bluetooth 5.1, Fingerprint Scanner in On/Off Button
Colors: black, green
Recommended Retail Price: 999 Euro

(a) Sony’s typical design

The Sony Xperia 5 III is a true premium device in terms of finish. The front and back are finished with scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass Victus and the sides of the device are made of aluminum. So nothing to note. At the top we find the 3.5 mm jack for your wired headphones, which is a rarity for a phone that costs 999 euros. We also find a SIM slot, which you can remove from the device without a SIM tool. This is incredibly useful.

The device has space for two SIM cards or one SIM card and a microSD card. The Xperia 5 III is also fully waterproof and dustproof, which we can expect in this price range. What really stands out is that the device has an atypical proportion. The device is taller and narrower than a standard smartphone. This makes it easy to operate the phone with one hand.

Sony also chose, as usual, not to provide a screen notch for the front camera located in the edge at the top of the screen. So there are still fairly thick bezels on the top and bottom of the screen, but that didn’t bother me too much during my testing period. But I can’t speak for everyone and why they are still there after all these years, it remains a mystery.

The speakers can be found on the top and bottom, so they provide great stereo sound, but qualitatively, the sound could have been better. On the right side of the device we find two more buttons: the Google Assistant button and the physical camera button. It works just like a real camera. You press it partially to focus and all the way to take the final shot.

Screen 21: 9

The Sony Xperia 5 III has a 6.1 inch OLED display with a resolution of 2520 x 1080 pixels. That’s lower than the 4K resolution on the Xperia 1 III, but there’s really nothing wrong with Full HD smartphone screens. In fact, the Xperia 1 III usually displays Full HD because it benefits battery life.

Sony Xperia 5 III review: Small but not cute

The atypical aspect ratio of this Xperia 5 III is also logically reflected in the aspect ratio. The phone has a 21:9 ratio which makes it suitable for watching movies or recent series. The screen is beautiful and you can also adjust a lot in the settings to completely configure it to your taste. The screen also has a refresh rate of 120Hz, ensuring that everything runs very smoothly. Screen brightness is also on the lower side of the flagship and this varies with most competitors. We’ve already seen this with Xperia 1 III like you in dvd review He can read. Auto brightness did its job well.

fast and hot

If you know that the Xperia 5 III is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, then in principle you should not worry. The phone is very fast and can really handle just about anything. A game like Genshin Impact will run without any frame dropping on the phone, except when the greatest graphical power is needed.

What I also noticed is that with normal use the phone can get really warm after half an hour, especially if I charge it while using the phone. Then the phone drastically chooses to lower the refresh rate to 60Hz. I’ve tested it several times and it’s a shame to see it. The phone also has 8GB of RAM available, which keeps apps running fine in the background. There is also 128GB of storage, which can be expanded via a microSD card.

Sony Xperia 5 III review: Small but not cute

disappointing shake

What I really noticed – in a lower quality sense – is the vibration motor. Haptic feedback looks better on the older Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 than on the Xperia 5 III. I don’t think it’s worth a minus for the cheaper hardware, but with a €999 phone it certainly is.

Good battery, average fast charger

Sony put a 4,500 mAh battery in the Xperia 5 III, which is an improvement over the 4,000 mAh battery in the Xperia 5 II. You will definitely notice, because with normal use, you can easily reach the end of the day with a 5-hour screen time. The phone offers support for 30W fast charging and you definitely can’t call this a flagship. Only charger included. There is no support for wireless charging and that’s really a loss, especially considering the price of this device.

Excellent camera setup

Of course, Sony puts a lot of effort into the cameras with this phone. The camera setup is not unlike its more expensive sibling, the Xperia 1 III. Only the depth sensor is gone. However, there are three 12MP cameras.

  • Main Camera 12 MP (f/1.7)
  • 12MP Ultra HD Camera (f/2.2)
  • 12 MP Camera (f / 2.3 / 2.8)
  • 8 MP (f/2.0) Selfie Camera
Sony Xperia 5 III review: Small but not cute

The main camera takes beautiful pictures in daylight and even when it gets a little darker, the pictures are still rich in detail and contain little noise. The ultra-wide lens also takes beautiful pictures with enough detail and color that is slightly different from the main camera. It’s good to see him.

Then you have the telephoto lens and there’s something special going on. You can choose the focal length or Focal Length 70 or 105 mm. You can optically zoom in 2.9 times or 4.4 times. This means that it can handle shorter and longer zoom ranges. The telephoto lens is of good quality and takes beautiful, detailed photos with colors that are sometimes different from those taken by the main camera. The camera drops through the basket when it gets a little darker, but we see this happen more often with telephoto lenses and darkness.

Below you can see photos taken with the Xperia 5 III cameras. The last two photos were taken with the wide-angle camera and the telephoto camera respectively.

Sony Xperia 5 III review: Small but not cute

In short, the whole camera is very capable and takes very beautiful pictures. You can choose to take matters into your own hands in the Photo-pro app. The camera interface becomes a lot more complicated for ordinary people, but photography enthusiasts can find something in it. Videos from this camera are good, but they can’t keep up with the top in the video.

The Google experience on your Sony phone

The Xperia 5 III runs Android 11 with a Sony shell on top of it. The Android experience is actually pretty much the same that Google wanted it to be. There are also not many additional features, which is not necessarily a drawback. Sony acquires most of the applications from Google. The Photos, Messages, and Phone apps are all built by Google, and Discover is also on the home screen. This is an overview of news articles. Sony adds its own camera apps and music player. There is also a bloatware app, but fortunately you can uninstall it. When it comes to updating policies, Sony isn’t exactly progressive with a meager two-year warranty on release and security updates.

Sony Xperia 5 III review: Small but not cute


The Sony Xperia 5 III is a phone that focuses mainly on the camera and if you look at the differences with the Xperia 1 III, they are minimal. The phone has a somewhat smaller screen, but the design and features are pretty much the same.

The screen is good but the limited brightness is not a good thing. Moreover, the performance is smooth, but when the phone gets warmer during normal use, the screen refresh rate drops. The battery is fine but wireless charging is missing and it charges with relatively low power. The software on the Xperia 5 III is neat, but Sony also adds some interesting additions.

Do you always notice the word “but”? It does well in all other areas, but given the high suggested retail price of €999, expectations are also high. “Good” is simply too small given the asking price. We were able to prove this earlier in our test with the Xperia 1 III.

Where the Xperia 5 III can outdo the camera, even if the competition is also tough in this area. If you’re interested in a smaller phone with powerful specs, the Xperia 5 III is worth considering.

Sony Xperia 5 III alternatives are Google Pixel 6 (649 euros), and ASUS ZenFone 8 (€726), from Samsung Galaxy S21 (711 EUR) and the Xiaomi 11T Pro (€579).

Sony Xperia 5 III review: Small but not cute

Buy Sony Xperia 5 III

The Sony Xperia 5 III is available in black and green for €999.

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