Sony’s Xperia 1 III may look like a confusing name on paper, but it’s what we’re likely to see the 2021 flagship phone from the Japanese company be called when it’s officially unveiled.
The Xperia 1 III has yet to be leaked or properly rumored, but it’s likely Sony will continue making smartphones, with a new flagship in the next 12 months. We’ve put together a list of improvements we’d like to see on that device, especially after our time with Sony’s last big phone.
We don’t yet know anything for certain about the Xperia 1 III, but there are ways the Sony Xperia 1 II could be improved upon. TechRadar gave the Xperia 1 II a 4 star review, so there’s room for improvement from Sony’s next flagship phone.
Sony Xperia 1 III release date and price
We don’t know much about the Sony Xperia 1 III, but we can comfortably assume that Sony’s next flagship will land at some stage in 2021.
The Xperia 1 II was unveiled a full year after the original Xperia 1. That latest phone was unveiled in February 2020, so we’d expect a similar announcement for the Xperia 1 III in 2021.
That said, it took Sony three months to bring the Xperia 1 II to shop shelves as it began to be released in May – and that was just for certain markets – so it may be we have to wait a few months after release to be able to buy one.
We don’t yet know what to expect when it comes to price, but the Xperia 1 II cost $1,199.99 / £1,099 (around AU$1,840). That’s remarkably high, but we wouldn’t expect Sony to drop the price any lower than this.
Sony Xperia 1 III news and rumors
We haven’t yet heard any firm leaks around the Xperia 1 III, but we’ll be sure to collate anything extra we hear about the upcoming device here in the future.
What we want to see
Sony’s next flagship is sure to be designed to improve on the last smartphone from the company. Here’s what we’re hoping the company will be able to do.
1. A lower price
The Sony Xperia 1 II is particularly expensive, especially for those in the US. The variant you can buy in the US doesn’t have 5G functionality – a major driving force in phone prices – yet it still costs $250 more than the Xperia 1’s launch price.
There are a few additional upgrades here, but it’s a remarkably high price for Sony’s latest and we hope the company reconsiders that for the Xperia 1 III and may be able to drop it down a little.
2. 5G across the world
This is a simple one, but the Xperia 1 II didn’t feature 5G connectivity when it was released in the US. Other markets around the world, including the UK, got 5G connectivity by default.
Exactly why this happened hasn’t been made clear by Sony, but it’s a feature that is soon becoming standard on a variety of other smartphones. We’d like to see Sony embrace 5G technology across the world for its next flagship.
3. Keep the 3.5mm headphone jack
Sony has a big selling point in that the Xperia 1 II has a headphone jack. If you want to be able to use a wired headset with your smartphone, the Xperia 1 II is one of the best flagship options on the market that offers you the option.
The company made an odd choice to drop the headphone jack on the Xperia 1, but then brought it back for the Xperia 1 II. We’d like to see Sony hold onto the headphone jack for its next release.
4. A faster release date
This is a minor one, but the wait for the Xperia 1 II to be available was long. It was announced in late February, and it only begun to be released in May with markets like the UK having to wait until June.
For true Sony fans, that wait was probably worth it but for some who were just passingly interested in the handset they had a lot of other choices including the Samsung Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 Pro series.
5. Keep the 21:9
Again, this is a unique selling feature of Sony’s phones and it’s clearly something that fans are resonating with. We’d like to see Sony continue its 21:9 aspect ratio, but we hope to see more content to watch or play available in the next year or so to make the technology worthwhile.
6. Include a high refresh rate screen
This is similar to 5G in the fact that it’s a feature we’re seeing become standard on a variety of competing smartphones but is missing here. That’s a big omission for a flagship phone.
We’d like to see Sony embrace a higher refresh rate, especially if it’s able to combine that with a phenomenal 4K display that would offer one of the best screen experiences on a smartphone.
7. Make it easier to grip
The rear of the Sony Xperia 1 II is made of glass, and combined with its long shape that can make is a difficult phone to grip.
We’d like to see Sony look toward rounded the corners of the rear of the phone or including another material that makes you more confident of holding the phone in one hand without dropping it.