Sony Xperia 10 III evaluate: A stable mid-range 5G telephone with a 21:9 display screen and good battery life, however the value is excessive


Sony has lengthy honed its smartphones, supporting a large 21:9 display screen which makes the handset taller than typical and lends itself nicely to video consumption. Xperia telephones goal three value bands: the Xperia 1 is the flagship, the Xperia 5 covers the mid-range, and the Xperia 10 is the entry-level mannequin, competing with mid-range priced telephones from different producers. I’ve already seen the most recent Xperia 1 III which turned out to be nicely featured however costly. How does the £399 (Inc. VAT) Xperia 10 III fare? (On the time of writing, the Xperia 10 III just isn’t formally out there within the US.)

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The 6-inch Xperia 10 III is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 690 5G chipset paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of inner storage (expandable through microSD at the price of a second SIM).

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

This 6-inch telephone is a small handset by fashionable requirements. It measures 68mm vast by 154mm deep by 8.3mm deep, and slips neatly into any of my pockets. Though I might attain the display screen, the 21:9 side ratio makes for a tall display screen, so I could not do a full-finger sweep with one hand. Subsequently, many individuals should use each fingers to navigate the Xperia 10 III.

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The three.5mm headset jack is on the highest edge.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

At 169g, the Xperia 10 III is considerably heavier than final yr’s 151g 10 II mannequin, primarily due to a rise in battery capability (4500mAh versus 3600mAh).

See: Smartphone gross sales are fueling world chip shortages

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Proper facet button (from high): Quantity rocker; energy/fingerprint reader; Google Assistant.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Sony continues with its distinctive, sq., considerably monolithic design. The black again of my evaluate unit turns grey in some mild (the Xperia 10 III can also be out there in blue and white). Instantly it appeared nice, with its shiny Gorilla Glass 6 again. Nevertheless, inside 5 minutes it was coated with fingerprints and appeared noticeably much less good. It is also very slippery and failed my ‘couch check’, apparently falling out of hand with exceptional frequency.

Like its predecessor, the Xperia 10 III has a 3.5mm headset slot on the highest edge. The left edge homes a SIM caddy with a fingernail slot for simple removing. You’ll be able to set up two SIMs or one SIM and a microSD card – the Xperia 10 III is a 5G telephone, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 690 5G chipset.

The fingerprint reader is constructed into the facility button on the suitable fringe of the handset. There is a quantity rocker above it, and a Google Assistant shortcut under it. Urgent the facility button twice begins the digicam, which makes it straightforward to rapidly seize photos when the telephone is on. The Xperia 10 III has IP65/68 certification, which implies it’s ‘mud tight’, and may deal with ‘water jets’ and will be submerged in water as much as 1.5m for half-hour.

The 6-inch OLED display screen sits in giant high and backside bezels, leading to a average screen-to-body ratio of 80.3%. The highest bezel homes the entrance digicam, which minimizes interference with the display screen. The display screen is sharp, with a decision of two,520 by 1,080 pixels (457ppi). Nevertheless, brightness may very well be higher, making out of doors viewing a problem on sunny days.

Video is a combined expertise: when it is shot in 21:9, the video is a delight to look at. However with different content material, akin to catch-up TVs, there are borders across the picture, typically annoyingly thick. The display screen’s 60Hz refresh price additionally appears a bit behind the occasions, contemplating it is a handset the place video is a significant promoting level; 90Hz or 120Hz, just like the Xperia 1 III, could be higher, although the latter would increase the price.

The Snapdragon 690 5G chipset, right here with 6GB of RAM, is way from a powerhouse by in the present day’s requirements. The Xperia 10 III underneath Geekbench 5 gave CPU scores of 548 (single core) and 1601 (multi core). That is near the outcomes achieved by Motorola’s £199.99 Moto G50 (501 and 1583) and Samsung’s £349 Galaxy A52 5G (642 and 1659).

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Sony’s Aspect Sense app permits you to open an app in a floating resizable window.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Sony has reduce closely on apps which might be pressured to obtain on high of Android 11, although the Xperia 10 III consists of Amazon, Netflix, LinkedIn, Fb, and its personal Music and PlayStation apps. In whole, 24GB of the 128GB storage pre-installed comes out of the field, leaving 104GB free. As talked about earlier, you may enhance the storage capability with a microSD card, albeit at the price of one other SIM card.

Regardless of this handset’s comparatively small measurement, Sony consists of three utility instruments in it – Aspect Sense, Multi-Window and One-Handed Mode. You double-tap the suitable fringe of the display screen to name up Aspect Sense, which is one-handed mode (a shrunken display screen that is simpler to comb as a consequence of its smaller measurement), shortcut buttons for often used apps , and supplies the choice to open. The app in a floating pop-out window that you may transfer round and resize.

Offers multi-window break up display screen view. A few apps are already configured, however you may simply choose your personal apps. The function is not as usable on the Xperia 10 III’s comparatively small 6-inch display screen as it’s on some bigger telephones, however you may change the relative measurement of the highest and backside, and a few customers could discover it helpful. Huh.

The 8MP f/2.0 entrance digicam is unremarkable, although mugshots will be enhanced by a wide range of tweaks in portrait selfie mode. There are three cameras on the again: 12MP f/1.8 vast angle; 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle (120°); and 8MP f/2.4 telephoto (2x optical, 10x hybrid). Optical zoom is accessed by tapping an on-screen button; Digital zoom requires preliminary display screen pinching, then both additional pinching or utilizing the on-screen slider. The zoom course of feels a bit awkward, and digitally zoomed pictures lose constancy rapidly.

The Xperia 10 III works fantastic for point-and-shoot photos, however there’s nothing right here to draw critical images followers (no macro mode, for instance), and low-light capturing is especially lackluster . Just like the earlier mannequin, the Xperia 10 III shoots 4K video at 30fps.

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The Xperia 10 III is available in black, blue and white, with Gorilla Glass 6 safety on the back and front.

Pictures: Sony

The Sony Xperia 10 III packs a 4500mAh battery, which is a giant step up from the 3600mAh battery within the non-5G Xperia 10 II. From a full cost, the PCMark for Android Work 3.0 battery life check got here in at 14 hours 51 minutes – about 40 minutes shy of the 15 hours 30m we recorded for final yr’s Xperia 10 II and the top-end Xperia 1. III was far forward. 10h 27m

In my casual testing, taking part in three hours of YouTube video noticed the Xperia 10 III’s battery drop from 100% to 83%, which suggests over 17h on a linear extrapolation. Except you are a critical client of video content material, it is best to simply get a day’s use out of this telephone, and it will possibly typically take two days between fees underneath mild workloads.

My evaluate handset did not have a Sony energy adapter, so I used a primary charger for testing. It sadly rejected the fast-charging functionality listed on Sony’s spec sheet. On one event when battery life was slashed by 2%, a 15-minute interval of charging elevated the battery life by 17%; After half-hour the battery was at 31%; And after 45 minutes it had reached 44%. In the event you repeatedly run into demanding workloads and wish fast-charging, Sony’s 30W quick charger XQZ-UC1 is offered individually for £49.99 (inc. VAT).

conclusion

Like its stablemates, the Sony Xperia 10 III is basically outlined by its 21:9 display screen, the advantages of which can actually be felt solely whenever you’re watching movies shot with that vast side ratio. The construct high quality is stable and it is good to see 5G assist, however in different respects it seems like a telephone that prices rather a lot. The dearth of 60Hz display screen refresh price, an impeccable digicam setup, and quick charging out of the field would not assist.

If funds is a vital issue, it is best to take a look at the Moto G50, which for £199.99 roughly matches the efficiency of this £399 handset, whereas a comparator nearer to Sony’s asking value is the £359 Samsung Galaxy A52, which helps 120Hz Provides display screen refresh price to the combination.

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