The Sony Xperia 10 III Mobile Tech Review may be a good demonstration of the ways Sony takes a rather different approach to another phone makers.
It’s a little phone, nothing like one among the relatively big affordable 5G phones like the Xiaomi Mi 10T. You don’t get a high refresh rate screen, but it does have a zero-filler camera array. The Sony Xperia 10 III Mobile Tech Review features a 2x telephoto lens, an ultra-wide and a typical 12MP camera.
Sony doesn’t use the absolute best budget 5G chipset around, but this one is decent enough and therefore the phone features a sharp OLED screen.
We just like the position the Sony Xperia 10 III Mobile Tech Review takes. You don’t get an excessive amount of show-off stuff, but it does seem to supply a couple of characteristics you’ll appreciate a day. However, most of those don’t really pan call at actual use.
The Sony Xperia 10 III Mobile Tech Review has possibly the worst camera we’ve tested at £400 (around $470, AU$740) for a few time, fueled not just by the utilization of uninspiring sensors but poor processing too. Other Sony divisions make the absolute best phone camera sensors, and lots of of the simplest mirrorless cameras money can purchase. But there’s no evidence of that expertise within the Xperia 10 III.
Its speaker also sounds relatively thin and doesn’t go as loud as many competing phones, and pricing isn’t particularly competitive either.
The Sony Xperia 10 III is disappointing and costlier than its Xperia 10 II predecessor. But it’s going to still be worth considering if you’re less curious about the nerdy tech than having an easy-to-handle phone that appears classy and offers solid battery life.
Sony Xperia 10 III Mobile Tech Review price and availability
The Sony Xperia 10 III is out now within the UK and costs £399. it had been announced in April 2021 and went on sale in June. it isn’t officially available within the US at the time of writing, but you’ll find international versions for around $470. In Australia meanwhile it’s hard to even find a world import currently.
If you would like a 5G phone and have that kind of cash to spend, you’ve got many Androids to think about. There’s the larger Xiaomi Mi 10T, the cheaper OnePlus Nord CE 5G. Or if only the classic electronics brands fit your tastes, you’ll buy the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G or Samsung Galaxy A32 5G instead.
That last Samsung is far cheaper, but features a lower-resolution screen and an all-plastic body.
- Refreshingly non-showy, easy to handle design
- Excellent water resistance
- Gorilla Glass 6 front and back: tougher than most at this level
The Sony Xperia 10 III may be a fairly plain-looking phone, but this is often the classic Sony style. It doesn’t rest on light-reactive finishes and color gradients. Xperia phones have had an equivalent basic ‘monolith’ design since the long time.
The Sony Xperia 10 III’s shape and appearance is crucial to the appeal here. This seems like alittle phone. At 68mm wide it’s only slightly wider than the iPhone SE (2020) and even tinier than the Samsung Galaxy S21.
If you’re uninterested in Android giants, the Sony Xperia 10 III Mobile Tech Reviw could also be what you would like. It’s easy to handle and use, and while the non-tapered back doesn’t make the foremost of these compact dimensions, you’ll appreciate the dimensions of this phone as soon as you choose it up.
Build quality is probably slightly better than what we’ve come to expect at this type of price. The Sony Xperia 10 III features a glass back and glass front, but the edges are plastic. Both panes of glass use Gorilla Glass 6, only one tier below Corning’s flagship Victus glass.
There’s more too. The phone has IP68/65 water resistance, which is superb for a lower-tier mid-range phone. It means the Xperia 10 III is meant to handle both immersion in water at a depth of 1.5 meters and water jets. Put a slim silicone case on this phone and it’s well-protected.
You don’t get a case within the box, though, and no plastic screen protector is applied as standard. Sony is rare in its inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack altogether its Android phones though. The Xperia 10 III has one, as do the higher-end Sony Xperia 5 III and Sony Xperia 1 III.
We noticed its sound output was on the low side, but this could only annoy if your wired earphones/headphones are quiet too.
This, unfortunately, applies to the interior speaker also. The Sony Xperia 10 III Mobile Tech Review features a single speaker, one that sits slightly below the display glass. It doesn’t have the mid-range substance of many of the larger phones during this price class and fails at two of the key tests of any phone speaker. It struggles to form podcasts audible while you’re within the shower and doesn’t have the quantity to compete with the sound of a boiling kettle.
It is no surprise alittle phone just like the Xperia 10 III has no room for a bass-improving speaker enclosure, but bear this in mind.
The Sony Xperia 10 III features a side-mounted fingerprint scanner for pin-free unlocking, and it’s solid. While it takes the simplest a part of a second to urge you to the house screen, its reliability is extremely good. There’s also a Google Assistant button below this scanner.
While we haven’t pressed this accidentally much generally use, we did find it kept going off once we went running with the Sony Xperia 10 III sitting during a pocket. This disturbs your music/podcast/audiobook, and gets annoying quick. We couldn’t find how to disable this button.
- Standard 60Hz refresh rate
- Sharp Full HD OLED panel
- 21:9 ratio
Sony’s style shows through within the Xperia 10 III screen too. this is often an ultra-tall 21:9 display with no notch or punch-hole. The selfie camera sits within the screen surround, which makes the phone relatively long and allows for a 6-inch display during a truly narrow Android.
This is an OLED panel, one that delivers the standard unbeatable contrast and good color of this display type. However, it doesn’t have the obscene brightness levels of a top-end phone. Like other cheaper 5G Androids, the Xperia 10 III handles sunny days okay, but the display won’t seem anywhere near as bright because it does indoors.
You should also bear in mind the realities of a 6-inch 21:9 screen. It’s great for social media feeds and reading articles, but is on the tiny side for gaming and watching 16:9 aspect video (standard widescreen content).
And while the Sony Xperia 10 III supports HDR video, we don’t think this is often the simplest phone to urge if streaming Netflix or YouTube is one among your top daily activities. a much bigger screen is usually better for such stuff.
This display is additionally stuck at the quality 60Hz refresh rate. 90Hz and 120Hz screens are now quite common in Androids, even ones that cost just half the maximum amount because the Xperia 10 III. this suggests scrolling through Twitter, Chrome and your app drawer will look less smooth than it might otherwise.
- Very weak dynamic range processing
- 2x zoom is good, but beaten by some digital zoom alternatives
- Ultra-slow camera feel
The Sony Xperia 10 III’s camera is its most disappointing area, mostly because it sounds so promising on paper but doesn’t deliver. it’s a 12MP primary camera, an 8MP 2x optical zoom one and an 8MP ultra-wide.
There are not any filler lenses here, no useless 2MP macro cameras or 2MP depth sensors. And lately genuine zoom cameras are very rare in reasonably affordable Androids.
A quick comparison with the Realme 8 Pro shows us why. That phone doesn’t have a telephoto camera but its 3x digital mode can actually take more detailed images than the Xperia 10 III’s 2x optical zoom.
These 2x zoom pics are a touch more detailed than an easy crop of the 1x camera, but they’re soft, and therefore the phone’s other photos are nothing to urge too excited about either. Dynamic range is that the big issue.
First off, the Sony Xperia 10 III primary camera’s native dynamic range isn’t getting to be up to much anyway. It’s a comparatively small Sony IMX486 12MP sensor with 1.12-micron sensor pixels, significantly smaller than the category leader Google Pixel 4a’s 1.4-micron pixels.
Smaller sensor pixels mean lower light sensitivity. And this camera doesn’t use pixel binning to form up for this.
However, the Sony Xperia 10 III’s low dynamic range has more to try to to with software than the hardware. Most phones use dynamic range enhancement in almost every shot taken lately. This phone seems to use it only occasionally in its Auto HDR mode, even when the scene clearly involves masses of HDR tweaking.
You can switch HDR to ‘on’, and doing so isn’t a nasty idea. But even then, the Sony Xperia 10 III’s dynamic range is comparatively poor. you’ll fix this to an extent within the edit. We opened a bunch of images in Photoshop CC on a laptop to lift the shadows, and located loads more detail that appeared near-black as rendered by the Xperia 10 III. Phone apps can perform an equivalent technique if a touch less gracefully.
However, this won’t fix issues where low dynamic range exhibits not as a glum foreground but as a blown-out sky or cloud contours. Once parts of a picture are blown out, they stay that way.
Sony seems to possess worse dynamic range and contrast management than any of its rivals at this level, by an enormous margin. Most of the shots we took with the Sony Xperia 10 III were duds as a result.
There are more issues too. The Sony Xperia 10 III’s zoom camera suffers from focus seeking, where you’ll see the preview image repeatedly get sharper and blurrier because it looks for the purpose of focus. this will end in out-of-focus images if you don’t provide it time to settle.
And the most annoying issue of all doesn’t really even relate to image quality. there are masses of lag within the Sony Xperia 10 III’s camera. The thing pauses for 2-3 seconds at each press of the shutter button before the shot is really taken, allowing you to snap another.
A charitable view of this is often that the phone waits for the optimal moment of minimal motion in your hands and therefore the subject, to avoid a blurry image. But there’s no real excuse for lag this bad. It sucks all the fun out of phone photography. All of it.
The Sony Xperia 10 III’s ultra-wide camera isn’t great either, using the standard selfie-grade sensor of a phone half the worth. All the phone’s sensors are oddly dated too. OmniVision announced the 2x telephoto’s sensor in 2015. The others were utilized in a bunch of cheap Chinese phones in 2018, and in few other models since. it is also a really similar array to last year’s Sony Xperia 10 II.
There’s nothing wrong with using older sensors if they fit the bill, of course. The Google Pixel 5 has an equivalent Sony IMX363 as 2018’s Pixel 3. But we will find nothing about the Sony IMX486 to justify its use in 2021.
The Sony Xperia 10 III can a minimum of shoot 4K video at 30fps. It’s stabilized too, and appears very solid in good lighting. The selfie camera is suitable also, and appears to use an equivalent sensor because the ultra-wide camera on the rear.
Its pictures rush in good lighting, but turn soft indoors or within the dark, partially because the sensor is small.
The Sony Xperia 10 III also features a dedicated night mode, which may be used with all three rear cameras. it’s going to improve the brightness and clarity of low-light images, but night photography here remains bad. There’s zero fine detail, photos look splotchy and vague.
Software and performance
- Relatively weak, slightly dated chipset
- Okay general performance but below average for gaming
- Tasteful combat Android
The Sony Xperia 10 III features a Snapdragon 690 chipset, one among Qualcomm’s mid-tier budget 5G CPUs. It’s worse than the Snapdragon 750G of the OnePlus Nord CE 5G or the Snapdragon 765G of the Realme X50 5G.
And, surprisingly enough, it’s actually slightly worse for gaming than the Moto G50’s Snapdragon 480 chipset. The Snapdragon 690 has an Adreno 619L graphics chipset, one somewhat less powerful than the Adreno 619 utilized in the ‘budget’ Snapdragon 480.
A tough game like Fortnite runs just-about-passably, but there are quite frequent drops from the target 30fps into the teenagers, which you’ll notice. and therefore the maximum graphics setting is ‘Medium’, which doesn’t boast the visuals at their best. A phone half the worth, the Moto G50, can run the sport marginally better, although the particular experience of play is far the same: compromised visuals and frame rate in both cases.
That said, we do just like the Sony Xperia 10 III’s 21:9 ratio screen for virtual gamepad controls. While those that spend hours playing games on their phones might want a bigger screen, this one offers many room for virtual controls without the sense your thumbs are becoming within the way of the action.
The Sony Xperia 10 III’s general performance is sweet enough for the foremost part. A processor just like the Snapdragon 690 doesn’t introduce major lag in Android, particularly when paired with a solid 6GB of RAM and 128GB of reasonably fast storage.
It’s the type of performance you see during a lot of entry-level 5G phones, where any performance deficit is seen in app load times and games, not grating day-to-day lag. We noticed Chrome wasn’t always super responsive and a few menus do take a fraction of a beat to seem. There’s nothing too annoying here, but there’s a minimum of a light performance compromise.
The Xperia 10 III’s problem is it’s one among the costlier phones with this type of performance. Xiaomi’s Poco F3, for instance, is cheaper and during a completely different league because of its Snapdragon 870 chipset.
We did encounter a couple of bugs too. the foremost notable: the Sony Xperia 10 III fired out ‘not responding’ type messages a bunch of times when the screen was set to auto-rotate, counting on the orientation of the phone.
The phone’s software is predicated around Android 11, and therefore the Sony interface layer pasted on top doesn’t do anything too ambitious or off-putting. Its app menu is that the most blatant point of departure from vanilla Android.
It’s still a vertical scroll but you’ll arrange the app icons in your own order, and make folders within the app drawer, instead of just laying them out alphabetically.
- Awful charging speed
- Good battery life, particularly for a smaller phone
The Sony Xperia 10 III features a 4,500mAh battery. While 5,000mAh has become something of a default size for Androids, this is often good capacity for a little phone. It’s 500mAh quite the Samsung Galaxy S21.
Sure enough, the phone’s stamina is significantly better than that step-up Samsung, going by our experience of the Exynos CPU version of the Galaxy S21 sold outside the US. The Sony Xperia 10 III is one among the longer-lasting small Android phones, also beating the Pixel 4a and, on the opposite side of the fence, the iPhone SE (2020).
However, it didn’t get on the brink of lasting two days of our usual moderate to somewhat heavy use. We found the Moto G50 lasts significantly longer, for instance. And while we’re proud of the Sony Xperia 10 III’s stamina, we were never left with 40-50% charge left by the top of the day. We’ve seen that with a number of the larger Androids within the 250-400 dollar/pound range.