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

Maria J. Danford

Sony has prolonged ploughed its very own smartphone furrow, supporting a extensive 21:nine monitor that would make for taller handsets than standard and lends alone to movie usage. Xperia phones target 3 value bands: Xperia 1 is the flagship, Xperia 5 covers the mid-array, and Xperia 10 is the entry-degree product, vying with mid-array priced phones from other makers. I’ve previously seemed at the latest Xperia 1 III which turned out to be very well featured but costly. How does the £399 (inc. VAT) Xperia 10 III fare? (At the time of creating, the Xperia 10 III is not formally obtainable in the US.)

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The 6-inch Xperia 10 III is run by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 690 5G chipset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of inside storage (expandable through MicroSD at the expenditure of a 2nd SIM).


Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

By modern-day benchmarks this 6-inch cellphone is a tiny handset. It steps 68mm extensive by 154mm deep by 8.3mm deep, and slipped neatly into any of my pockets. Though I could reach across the monitor, that 21:nine factor ratio would make for a tall monitor, so I couldn’t do full-finger sweeps a person-handed. Several people today will, as a result, have to use the two palms to navigate the Xperia 10 III.  

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


Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

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

SEE: Smartphone profits are using out the worldwide chip lack

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Suitable aspect buttons (from prime): volume rocker power/fingerprint reader Google Assistant.


Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

Sony proceeds with its distinctive, squared-off, fairly monolithic design. My assessment unit’s black back fades to grey in some lighting (the Xperia 10 III is also obtainable in blue and white). Quickly out of the box it seemed wonderful, with its shiny Gorilla Glass 6 back. On the other hand, within just 5 minutes it was included in fingerprints and seemed considerably less wise. It truly is also really slippery and unsuccessful my ‘sofa test’ abysmally, falling off the arm seemingly at will with impressive frequency. 

Like its predecessor, the Xperia 10 III has a three.5mm headset slot on its prime edge. The left edge houses the SIM caddy with a fingernail slot for easy removal. You can set up two SIMs or a person SIM and a MicroSD card — the Xperia 10 III is a 5G cellphone, run by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 690 5G chipset. 

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The fingerprint reader is crafted into the power button on the handset’s right edge. Higher than this is a volume rocker, and down below it you can find a Google Assistant shortcut. Pressing the power button twice starts the camera, creating it easy to seize images swiftly when the cellphone is on. The Xperia 10 III has IP65/68 certification, which usually means it is ‘dust tight’, and can take care of ‘water jets’ and immersion in up to 1.5m of h2o for 30 minutes. 

The 6-inch OLED monitor sits in sizeable prime and base bezels, ensuing in a moderate screen-to-system ratio of eighty.three%. The prime bezel houses the front camera, minimising interference with the monitor. The monitor is sharp, with a resolution of 2,520 by 1,080 pixels (457ppi). On the other hand, brightness could be improved, creating outdoor viewing on sunny days a problem. 

Movie is a combined knowledge: when it is really shot in 21:nine, movie is a satisfaction to enjoy. But with other information, such as capture-up Television set, there are borders, at times annoyingly thick, about the picture. The screen’s 60Hz refresh charge feels a very little driving the moments much too, thinking about this is a handset in which movie is a key offering stage 90Hz or 120Hz, as on the Xperia 1 III, would be preferable, whilst the latter would enhance the charge. 

The Snapdragon 690 5G chipset, accompanied right here by 6GB of RAM, is far from a powerhouse by present-day benchmarks. Under Geekbench 5 the Xperia 10 III delivered CPU scores of 548 (single core) and 1601 (multi core). That is close to the success attained 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 Side Perception app lets you open an app in a floating resizable window.


Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Sony has slice down a good deal on apps that are pressured downloads on prime of Android 11, whilst the Xperia 10 III does consist of Amazon, Netflix, Linkedin, Fb, and its very own audio and PlayStation apps, amid many others. In all, 24GB of the pre-set up 128GB of storage is consumed out of the box, leaving 104GB totally free. As mentioned earlier, you can enhance the storage capacity with a MicroSD card, albeit at the expenditure of a 2nd SIM card. 

Despite this handset’s reasonably tiny dimensions, Sony involves its 3 usability tools — Side Perception, Multi-window, and a a person-handed manner. You double-tap the screen’s right edge to connect with up Side Perception, which provides access to a person-handed manner (a shrunken monitor which is simpler to sweep simply because of its lesser dimensions), shortcut buttons to commonly applied apps, and the choice to open an app in a floating pop-out window that you can move about and resize. 

Multi-window provides a split monitor check out. Some pairs of apps are previously configured, but you can simply choose your very own apps. This function isn’t really as usable on the Xperia 10 III’s reasonably tiny 6-inch monitor as it is on some more substantial phones, but you can transform the relative dimensions of the upper and lower parts, and some consumers may possibly discover it useful. 

The 8MP f/2. front camera is unremarkable, whilst mugshots can be improved through a array of tweaks in Portrait Selfie manner. There are 3 cameras at the back: 12MP f/1.8 extensive angle 8MP f/2.2 extremely-extensive angle (120°) and 8MP f/2.4 telephoto (2x optical, 10x hybrid). The optical zoom is accessed by tapping an on-monitor button digital zoom demands an original monitor pinch, then possibly much more pinching or making use of an on-monitor slider. The zoom system feels a bit fiddly, and digitally zoomed pictures swiftly lose fidelity. 

The Xperia 10 III functions good for stage-and-shoot images, but you can find nothing right here to draw in critical photography admirers (no macro manner, for instance), and very low-gentle taking pictures is notably lacklustre. Like the earlier product, the Xperia 10 III shoots 4K movie at 30fps. 

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The Xperia 10 III arrives in black, blue and white, with Gorilla Glass 6 security front and back.


Illustrations or photos: Sony

The Sony Xperia 10 III has a 4500mAh battery, a massive stage up from the 3600mAh battery in the non-5G Xperia 10 II. From a full demand, the PCMark for Android Work three. battery life test arrived in at 14 several hours 51 minutes — about 40 minutes shy of the 15h 30m we recorded for final year’s Xperia 10 II and very well ahead of the prime-finish Xperia 1 III’s 10h 27m.  

In my casual take a look at, participating in 3 several hours of YouTube movie prompted the Xperia 10 III’s battery to drop from a hundred% to eighty three%, suggesting over 17h on a linear extrapolation. Except you’re a critical buyer of movie information, you should really simply get a day’s use from this cellphone, and may possibly often go two days concerning costs beneath gentle workloads. 

My assessment handset was missing a Sony power adapter, so I applied a essential charger I had to hand for tests. This however ruled out the quickly-charging capability stated on Sony’s spec sheet. On a person occasion when battery life had slipped to 2%, a fifteen-moment period of charging raised the battery to 17% after 30 minutes the battery was at 31% and after forty five minutes it had reached forty four%. If you often operate demanding workloads and are most likely to need the quickly-charging, Sony’s 30W Rapidly Charger XQZ-UC1 is sold independently for £49.ninety nine (inc. VAT). 

Conclusions 

Like its stablemates, the Sony Xperia 10 III is to a substantial extent outlined by its 21:nine monitor, whose rewards will only truly be felt when you’re looking at movie shot with that extensive factor ratio. The build top quality is solid and it is really nice to see 5G aid, but in other respects this feels like a cellphone whose value tag is much too large. The 60Hz monitor refresh charge, an unremarkable camera setup, and lack of quickly charging out of the box do it no favours. 

If spending plan is a crucial element, you should really glimpse at the Moto G50 which for £199.ninety nine virtually matches the general performance of this £399 handset, whilst a comparator closer to Sony’s asking value is the £359 Samsung Galaxy A52, which provides a 120Hz monitor refresh charge into the mix.

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