Sony Xperia 10 III: Mid-Range Mediocrity

Since Sony remodeled and simplified its smartphone lineup two years in the past, the corporate has prioritised high quality over amount. Certainly, we’ve simplest noticed 3 new Sony telephones in 2021, except for the Japan-exclusive Xperia 10 III Lite.

The common Xperia 10 III is the most affordable of the trio getting a world release, even supposing that also doesn’t prolong to america. There’s additionally been an important prolong between announcement and free up, albeit no longer at the identical degree as the dearer Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III.

Was once it well worth the wait? I spent a couple of weeks with the instrument to determine.

Design and construct

  • Tall, slender design
  • Narrow bezels, no notch
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

Until you’re accustomed to Sony telephones, the Xperia 10 III will take some being used to. Its tall, slender physique and 21:9 facet ratio is one thing we’ve noticed on Xperia handsets for some time, however few of Sony’s competitors have adopted its lead.

It could actually really feel impractical from time to time – even in this 6in instrument, one-handed utilization is nearly unattainable – however the Xperia 10 III may simply cross for a phone two times the associated fee. This top rate feel and look is emphasized by way of the Gorilla Glass 6 you’ll to find on each the back and front. It additionally makes the phone a lot more sturdy than I used to be anticipating; I felt quite at ease the usage of the Xperia 10 III case-free during my checking out time.

The chance of wear to the triple rear digital camera module is mitigated by way of it sitting nearly flush with the again of the phone. Regardless of the black type I examined being extremely reflective, the Xperia 10 III could also be impressively proof against fingerprint smudges.

Sony Xperia 10 III review

Speaking of fingerprints, the plastic-equipped facet of the phone is the place you’ll use yours to unencumber the phone. It’s constructed into the facility button and impressively dependable, albeit no longer the quickest. In-display fingerprint sensors are nonetheless reasonably hit-and-miss, so choosing a bodily is most definitely a smart transfer at this value level.

Sony Xperia 10 III review

A call that’s a lot tougher to grasp is the loss of face unencumber. The Xperia 10 III has a superbly serviceable 8Mp selfie digital camera, naturally situated simply above the reveal. It method the one possible choices to the fingerprint scanner are a normal display lock or ‘good lock’, which unlocks the phone when it’s close to a particular instrument, in a selected location or for your physique.

I’ll speak about how the cameras carry out intimately later, however that front-facing sensor is housed inside of a slender most sensible bezel. Taking into account how standard notches are this present day, coming again to a phone with out one is refreshing.

Sony Xperia 10 III review

A similarly-sized bezel under the display provides the instrument a beautiful symmetry, and few folks will take factor to a 80.3% screen-to-body ratio. It additionally method there’s sufficient room for front-facing audio system – a big grille on the backside of the phone combines with the earpiece for an outstanding stereo setup.

The ground of the phone is the place you’ll to find the USB-C charging port, however there are two different design options which might be a lot more uncommon.

Sony Xperia 10 III review

First up is the SIM card tray – no longer simplest does it fortify microSD card enlargement, a small flap method you received’t have to make use of a fiddly ejection device. It’s a delicate exchange, however makes a large distinction if (like me) you continuously transfer SIM playing cards between telephones.

You additionally get a three.5mm headphone jack, one thing of a demise breed on trendy smartphones. Wi-fi earbuds could be just about ubiquitous this present day, however many of us nonetheless respect stressed audio.


  • 6in OLED reveal
  • Handiest 60Hz
  • 21:9 facet ratio

All the ones design components are vital, however they’re simply fortify acts for the primary tournament – the reveal. If that’s lower than scratch, there’s no explanation why to shop for a phone.

Sony has performed it protected with the Xperia 10 III’s reveal. It’s the similar 6in, 1080×2560 panel as ultimate 12 months, even supposing it now helps HDR for added readability and element. The ongoing use of a 21:9 facet ratio will take some being used to for most of the people, however staring at movies and different widescreen content material with out black bars all sides is a pleasure. Mixed with the spectacular audio setup, this makes for an immersive viewing revel in you received’t to find on many different telephones.

Sony Xperia 10 III review

On the other hand, that is one thing we’ve noticed on Sony telephones for a number of years now. There aren’t any different adjustments of word in relation to the reveal, that means the Xperia 10 III stays with out a excessive refresh charge. The costlier Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III each function 120Hz displays, making the 60Hz panel in this phone extra jarring. It received’t be a dealbreaker for everybody, nevertheless it’s tougher to forget about when such a lot of handsets at this value level be offering no less than 90Hz.

If Sony wasn’t going to introduce a excessive refresh charge, I want it higher the solution of the Xperia 10 III’s reveal as a substitute. The 1080p OLED panel is completely serviceable, however 1440p or upper would make me extra susceptible to observe movies at the phone regularly.

All through checking out, I additionally recorded a most brightness of 386 nits. That’s about reasonable for a contemporary smartphone, however visibility in direct daylight was once nonetheless very tricky.

{Hardware} and function

  • Snapdragon 690
  • 5G fortify
  • Copes neatly with maximum duties

Underneath the hood is the place you’ll to find one of the vital Xperia 10 III’s key upgrades. It now options Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 690 chipset, up from Snapdragon 665 on ultimate 12 months’s type. It’s a modest build up relating to processing energy however does imply the instrument now helps 5G. This brings it consistent with maximum different mid-range handsets, even supposing with out a 5G-enabled SIM I couldn’t take a look at the way it plays.

The Snapdragon 690 is paired with an Adreno 619 built-in GPU and 6GB of RAM. On a regular basis efficiency from the Xperia 10 III is forged in consequence – it copes with electronic mail, internet surfing, multitasking and a few mild gaming with relative ease.

Difficult video games and complicated multitasking end up extra of a problem, however the instrument copes admirably. It surely can’t rival devoted gaming handsets and the revel in feels extra bulky than flagships, however a handy guide a rough consultation on Name of Responsibility: Mobile or race on Asphalt 9 is easily inside of succeed in.

On the other hand, that’s no longer essentially mirrored within the benchmarks under, particularly the place graphical efficiency is anxious. The Xperia 10 III is an invaluable improve over its predecessor, however lags neatly in the back of probably the most very best mid-range telephones you’ll purchase:


  • Ships with Android 11
  • Replace to Android 12 anticipated
  • Blank, intuitive utility revel in

The Xperia 10 III runs Android 11 out of the field, even supposing it’s broadly anticipated to get the replace to Android 12 one day. On the other hand, the location past this is unsure. Flagships such because the Xperia 1 III gets two years of Android updates, nevertheless it’s no longer transparent if that can even practice to Sony’s extra inexpensive telephones.

Sony Xperia 10 III review

For now, the utility revel in at the Xperia 10 III is considered one of its highlights. It’s similar to the so-called ‘inventory’ Android you’ll to find on Pixel telephones, with a easy person interface and restricted bloatware. The primary distinction you’ll most definitely realize is a handy guide a rough get right of entry to menu referred to as ‘Aspect sense’, however I discovered it extra irritating than helpful.


  • Triple rear cameras
  • Hit-and-miss effects
  • Respectable selfie digital camera

There are simplest minor slight adjustments to the cameras at the Xperia 10 III, that means it has the similar triple rear setup as its predecessor. A 12Mp major lens is joined by way of 8Mp telephoto and 8Mp ultrawide. I’m happy Sony resisted the temptation to incorporate separate macro or intensity sensors, which generally upload little to the entire revel in.

Sony Xperia 10 III review

In optimum lighting fixtures prerequisites, stills from the Xperia 10 III are impressively detailed and be offering respectable dynamic fluctuate, however generally tend to seem moderately washed out. It’s essential argue that is nearer to what the scene looks as if in genuine existence than the saturated symbol many telephones produce, nevertheless it’s not at all as fulfilling to the attention.

A telephoto lens lets in for 2x optical zoom, making a large distinction when you wish to have to concentrate on a subject matter or scene additional away. The similar may also be mentioned for the ultrawide sensor, with a 120° box of view providing additional flexibility when capturing panorama pictures. Regardless of a discounted megapixel rely, neither of those sensors yield a noticeable drop in high quality.

On the other hand, all 3 lenses battle when there’s much less mild within the scene. The Xperia 10 III has a tendency to overexpose in consequence, and also you lose most of the main points within the background. A software-based night time mode is helping to mitigate this, however you almost certainly received’t wish to use it each time you are taking footage in darker environments.

Sony Xperia 10 III review

Device could also be used for macro and portrait-style pictures at the Xperia 10 III. Each are rather spectacular, even supposing the latter can battle for edge detection from time to time.

The portrait revel in extends to the 8Mp front-facing digital camera, with the strategy to blur the background in selfies. I used to be pleasantly stunned with the consequences, even though a synthetic good looks mode is switched on by way of default.

Take a look at a choice of photographs within the gallery under:

Sony Xperia 10 III camera test

At the video facet, the Xperia 10 III is able to recording as much as 4K at 30fps, even supposing most of the people will go for 1080p at 60fps. It’s wonderful for the occasional house video, however the loss of OIS method photos has a tendency to shake so much with even slight actions.

Battery existence

  • Higher 4,500mAh battery
  • Very good battery existence
  • Sluggish charging out of the field

Battery existence has obviously been a concern for Sony at the Xperia 10 III. The phone includes a 4,500mAh mobile, up from 3,600mAh on ultimate 12 months’s 10 II. Once more, this brings it consistent with many different mid-range telephones, however with out a high-res reveal or excessive refresh charge, battery existence is spectacular.

With brightness set to 120 nits for Geekbench 4’s screen-on take a look at, I recorded 14 hours and seven mins from a unmarried rate. That is up there with probably the most very best telephones you’ll purchase, albeit no longer essentially reflective of real-world utilization.

PC Mark’s Paintings 3.0 is a extra rigorous take a look at, particularly with the next brightness of 200 nits, however the Xperia 10 III carried out admirably. You most likely received’t get the total 13 hours and 35 mins of utilization sooner than wanting to plug-in, however you must have the ability to make it via a complete day with rate to spare. With mild utilization, this can most likely be prolonged to 2 days.

The Xperia 10 III additionally helps 30W speedy charging, however you’ll have to shop for the supported adapter one after the other. Within the field, you get a measly 7.5W plug, one of the vital least tough I’ve noticed bundled with a phone in 2021. The bigger battery method it fees even slower than the Xperia 10 III – I recorded simply 21% in half-hour from off. There’s additionally nonetheless no wi-fi charging.

Worth and worth for cash

Sony assists in keeping issues easy in relation to Xperia 10 III configurations. In maximum nations, there’s only one type on be offering – 6GB of RAM and 128GB of garage for £399. It isn’t formally on sale in america, however you’ll import the world model by way of Amazon from $388.14.

Lots of the very best mid-range telephones you’ll purchase function in and round this value level, together with the Pixel 5a, Poco F3 and present champ, OnePlus’ Nord 2. The latter is generally priced identically in the United Kingdom, but ticks many extra packing containers for most of the people.

On this corporate, the Xperia 10 III is a tricky promote for most of the people. It’s no longer priced competitively sufficient to be picked up over this kind of different gadgets, until you’re a die-hard Sony fan.


Sony hasn’t launched the cheap phone globally in 2021, however the mid-range Xperia 10 III feels find it irresistible must be considerably extra inexpensive.

It sticks with a 60Hz reveal, whilst maximum telephones shift to 90Hz and even 120Hz. There are nonetheless some rather noticeable bezels too, which indubitably don’t seem to be to everybody’s tastes. The cameras also are extraordinarily patchy, with charging speeds out of the field painfully sluggish.

That’s to not say the Xperia 10 III doesn’t get the rest proper – a ways from it. Efficiency is okay and extends to cell gaming, whilst battery existence is without doubt one of the very best you’ll to find anyplace. It nonetheless seems and seems like a top rate handset, and the straightforward utility revel in is pleasing.

However Sony’s wary spec sheet and relatively excessive price ticket method the Xperia 10 III had to nail the fundamentals. It merely doesn’t do this, making the phone tough to counsel.


Sony Xperia 10 III: Specifications

  • 6.0in, 1080×2520 60Hz HDR OLED reveal with Gorilla Glass 6
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128/256GB garage
  • microSD expandable as much as 1TB
  • 12Mp f/1.8 major digital camera, 8Mp f/2.4 telephoto, 8Mp f/2.2 ultrawide
  • 8Mp f/2.0 front-facing digital camera
  • Android 11
  • Twin front-facing audio system
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • IP65/68 mud/water resistance
  • 5G
  • WiFi 6
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • 4500mAh battery
  • 30W speedy stressed charging
  • 186 grams
  • 154 x 68 x 8.3mm
  • Colors: Blue, White, Black

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