After a long wait, the Sony Xperia X5 III makes it way here at last

Sony's 'flagship-lite' offering is on the pricey side but has many unique features.

by Justin Choo

First announced in April this year, the Sony Xperia 5 III has finally arrived. Along with the Xperia 1 III, the 5 III was touted as the world’s first smartphone with a variable telephoto lens and paired with a dual PD sensor.

Like most Sony products, its list of features is often pretty interesting and very specific, so here’s (hopefully) a neater way to get a feel of what the new X5 III can do:

Camera features

  • Fast and accurate continuous AF for all lenses (and real-time AF allows for object tracking with a simple tap on the screen.
  • ‘Alpha 9-esque’ performance: shoot and store 20 shots (20fps) with high precision, accurate focus and optimised exposure.
  • Low-light burst mode shooting with noise reduction.
  • ZEISS optics with ZEISS T coatings improved rendering and contrast.
  • 16mm, 24mm, 70mm and 105mm focal lengths.
  • Up to 105mm focal length with fast autofocus and quick transition from 70mm to 105mm lens.
  • Optical SteadyShot + FlawlessEye: a combination of increased sensor reading speed and special algorithms for optical image stabilisation.
  • Photography Pro UI is similar to the manual controls on the Sony Alpha series cameras and has a Basic Mode feature to make it easier for newcomers.

Multimedia features

  • 6.1″ 21:9 HDR OLED display with 120Hz Refresh rate and factory calibrated. 10-bit equivalent (8-bit with 2-bit smoothing) and supports the BT.2020 colour space.
  • X1 engine for mobile devices with BRAVIA HDR remastering.
  • Dolby Atmos sound tuned in collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment.
  • Sony 360 Reality Audio via onboard speakers for the first time.
  • 4K HDR 120fps slow-motion recording (up to 5x slow-motion at 24fps).
  • 21:9 recording at up to 60fps.

Gaming features

  • Adjustable white balance to reduce eye strain, L-y raiser (low gamma raiser) to make it easier to see the action in dark areas without overexposing the bright areas.
  • 240Hz Motion blur reduction and 240Hz Touch scanning rate for more responsive action in mobile games.
  • Up to 120 fps screen recording.
  • R.T. record (rewind time record) pre-records 30 seconds of game footage so you won’t miss recording key in-game moments.
  • Heat Suppression power control powers the phone systems directly, rather than charging the battery when plugged in, to reduce overall heat.
  • Optimised V.C. microphone reduces background based on chosen headset type.
  • Audio equaliser to control in-game sound volume to maximise awareness of opponents.

The rest of it

  • Flagship-class Qualcomm 888 SoC.
  • 4,500mAh battery with quick charge (50% in 30 minutes).
  • IP65/68 water resistance and protection against dust.

Finally, it’s available now for pre-order at the Sony online store and priced at $1,499. Compact phones are coming back into fashion and the X5 III, while it isn’t small by any means, looks like a pretty decent example of the type, offering popular high-end features while maintaining a smaller form factor. It’s pretty pricey but then again its feature set is pretty compelling too.