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Sony Xperia 10 III review: A solid mid-range 5G phone with a 21:9 screen and good battery life, but the price is high Review

Sony has very long ploughed its possess smartphone furrow, supporting a wide 21:9 display screen that makes for taller handsets than standard and lends alone to video clip intake. Xperia phones goal a few rate bands: Xperia 1 is the flagship, Xperia 5 handles the mid-selection, and Xperia ten is the entry-stage model, vying with mid-selection priced phones from other makers. I have already looked at the latest Xperia 1 III which turned out to be effectively showcased but costly. How does the £399 (inc. VAT) Xperia ten III fare? (At the time of crafting, the Xperia ten III is not officially out there in the US.)


The 6-inch Xperia ten III is run by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 690 5G chipset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of inside storage (expandable by way of MicroSD at the cost of a second SIM).

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

By modern day specifications this 6-inch phone is a small handset. It steps 68mm wide by 154mm deep by eight.3mm deep, and slipped neatly into any of my pockets. Whilst I could access across the display screen, that 21:9 component ratio makes for a tall display screen, so I could not do whole-finger sweeps 1-handed. Quite a few people will, for that reason, have to use each hands to navigate the Xperia ten III.  


The 3.5mm headset jack is on the best edge.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

At 169g, the Xperia ten III is significantly heavier than last year’s 151g 10 II model, many thanks largely to an improve in battery capacity (4500mAh vs . 3600mAh).

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Appropriate side buttons (from best): volume rocker ability/fingerprint reader Google Assistant.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

Sony continues with its exclusive, squared-off, considerably monolithic style and design. My assessment unit’s black back fades to grey in some lighting (the Xperia ten III is also out there in blue and white). Promptly out of the box it looked great, with its shiny Gorilla Glass 6 back. However, inside of 5 minutes it was lined in fingerprints and looked substantially significantly less intelligent. It can be also really slippery and unsuccessful my ‘sofa test’ abysmally, falling off the arm seemingly at will with impressive frequency. 

Like its predecessor, the Xperia ten III has a 3.5mm headset slot on its best edge. The left edge properties the SIM caddy with a fingernail slot for easy removal. You can install two SIMs or 1 SIM and a MicroSD card — the Xperia ten III is a 5G phone, run by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 690 5G chipset. 

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The fingerprint reader is developed into the ability button on the handset’s suitable edge. Higher than this is a volume rocker, and down below it you can find a Google Assistant shortcut. Pressing the ability button two times starts off the digital camera, creating it easy to capture visuals promptly when the phone is on. The Xperia ten III has IP65/68 certification, which implies it is ‘dust tight’, and can handle ‘water jets’ and immersion in up to 1.5m of water for 30 minutes. 

The 6-inch OLED display screen sits in sizeable best and base bezels, ensuing in a moderate screen-to-entire body ratio of eighty.3%. The best bezel properties the front digital camera, minimising interference with the display screen. The display screen is sharp, with a resolution of two,520 by 1,080 pixels (457ppi). However, brightness could be superior, creating outdoor viewing on sunny days a challenge. 

Video clip is a blended practical experience: when it really is shot in 21:9, video clip is a enjoyment to observe. But with other content material, these kinds of as capture-up Tv, there are borders, often annoyingly thick, all-around the image. The screen’s 60Hz refresh amount feels a little at the rear of the instances much too, looking at this is a handset wherever video clip is a key promoting point 90Hz or 120Hz, as on the Xperia 1 III, would be preferable, even though the latter would enhance the expense. 

The Snapdragon 690 5G chipset, accompanied listed here by 6GB of RAM, is considerably from a powerhouse by present day specifications. Under Geekbench 5 the Xperia ten III sent CPU scores of 548 (one core) and 1601 (multi core). That is shut to the results reached by Motorola’s £199.99 Moto G50 (501 and 1583) and Samsung’s £349 Galaxy A52 5G (642 and 1659). 


Sony’s Aspect Feeling application allows you open an application in a floating resizable window.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Sony has slice down a good deal on apps that are forced downloads on best of Android 11, even though the Xperia ten III does contain Amazon, Netflix, Linkedin, Fb, and its possess music and PlayStation apps, amongst many others. In all, 24GB of the pre-mounted 128GB of storage is consumed out of the box, leaving 104GB free. As mentioned earlier, you can enhance the storage capacity with a MicroSD card, albeit at the cost of a second SIM card. 

Irrespective of this handset’s comparatively small dimensions, Sony involves its a few usability tools — Aspect Feeling, Multi-window, and a 1-handed manner. You double-tap the screen’s suitable edge to phone up Aspect Feeling, which gives obtain to 1-handed manner (a shrunken display screen which is easier to sweep simply because of its scaled-down dimensions), shortcut buttons to usually made use of apps, and the choice to open an application in a floating pop-out window that you can shift all-around and resize. 

Multi-window gives a split display screen watch. Some pairs of apps are already configured, but you can quickly find your possess apps. This characteristic just isn’t as usable on the Xperia ten III’s comparatively small 6-inch display screen as it is on some much larger phones, but you can alter the relative dimensions of the higher and reduce portions, and some consumers may possibly discover it handy. 

The 8MP f/two. front digital camera is unremarkable, even though mugshots can be increased by way of a selection of tweaks in Portrait Selfie manner. There are a few cameras at the back: 12MP f/1.eight wide angle 8MP f/two.two extremely-wide angle (120°) and 8MP f/two.four telephoto (2x optical, 10x hybrid). The optical zoom is accessed by tapping an on-display screen button digital zoom involves an preliminary display screen pinch, then both far more pinching or utilizing an on-display screen slider. The zoom method feels a bit fiddly, and digitally zoomed shots promptly drop fidelity. 

The Xperia ten III works fantastic for point-and-shoot visuals, but you can find absolutely nothing listed here to entice serious photography admirers (no macro manner, for illustration), and very low-light-weight taking pictures is notably lacklustre. Like the preceding model, the Xperia ten III shoots 4K video clip at 30fps. 


The Xperia ten III arrives in black, blue and white, with Gorilla Glass 6 protection front and back.

Images: Sony

The Sony Xperia ten III has a 4500mAh battery, a massive action up from the 3600mAh battery in the non-5G Xperia ten II. From a whole demand, the PCMark for Android Work 3. battery life test arrived in at fourteen several hours fifty one minutes — about forty minutes shy of the 15h 30m we recorded for last year’s Xperia ten II and effectively forward of the best-conclusion Xperia 1 III’s 10h 27m.  

In my informal exam, playing a few several hours of YouTube video clip caused the Xperia ten III’s battery to fall from one hundred% to eighty three%, suggesting about 17h on a linear extrapolation. Until you are a serious consumer of video clip content material, you must quickly get a day’s use from this phone, and may possibly frequently go two days involving expenses below light-weight workloads. 

My assessment handset was lacking a Sony ability adapter, so I made use of a simple charger I experienced to hand for screening. This regretably ruled out the speedy-charging capability stated on Sony’s spec sheet. On 1 celebration when battery lifestyle experienced slipped to two%, a 15-moment period of time of charging lifted the battery to 17% right after 30 minutes the battery was at 31% and right after 45 minutes it experienced reached 44%. If you consistently run demanding workloads and are likely to need the speedy-charging, Sony’s 30W Quickly Charger XQZ-UC1 is offered separately for £49.ninety nine (inc. VAT). 


Like its stablemates, the Sony Xperia ten III is to a huge extent described by its 21:9 display screen, whose positive aspects will only definitely be felt when you are looking at video clip shot with that wide component ratio. The construct good quality is solid and it really is pleasant to see 5G assistance, but in other respects this feels like a phone whose rate tag is much too high. The 60Hz display screen refresh amount, an unremarkable digital camera set up, and lack of speedy charging out of the box do it no favours. 

If budget is a important variable, you must appear at the Moto G50 which for £199.ninety nine just about matches the performance of this £399 handset, while a comparator nearer to Sony’s asking rate is the £359 Samsung Galaxy A52, which provides a 120Hz display screen refresh amount into the combine.

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