The Xperia 1 III is way too expensive at MSRP, but its price has since come down. It’s pretty much the only phone with a 120Hz 4K OLED display, which makes it fantastic for watching movies (as fantastic as a small phone screen gets). It has front-facing stereo speakers and a headphone jack for when you want to plug it in. Its camera system isn’t quite the best, but it encourages you to tweak the photo and video settings so you can have more control over the results. If you are a photo handyman, this is for you. You can find just about every feature available in a high-end phone here, including wireless charging.
However, 5G is limited to sub-6 5G (the slowest type), and it’s only available on Verizon and T-Mobile — sorry, AT&T subscribers, you’re stuck on 4G LTE. The 4,500 mAh battery is also unremarkable. It only lasts a day, sometimes less if you use it a lot. It will also only get one more year of updates.
And the Xperia 1 IV? Yes, Sony has a new version. Unfortunately, the Xperia 1 IV (6/10, WIRED Review) costs an absurd $1,598, though it often drops to $1,398. The 4K OLED display gets very bright, solving one of the issues I had with the Xperia 1 III, and the battery now easily lasts a full day. The cameras are better and share many of the same features, so they’re consistent, but the image quality still isn’t up to par with the competition. It doesn’t help that Sony still doesn’t commit to more than two years of software support.