It introduces upgrades including an expanded battery, the capacity for faster charging and an improved chipset to enable 5G connectivity.
The main draw of the Xperia 10 III for many customers will be the 21:9 aspect ratio that gives the device a unique look.
However, while the Xperia 10 III is a decent phone for the price, it doesn't have any standout features that encourage customers to choose this device over another.
The Sony Xperia 10 III is a good mid-range smartphone that offers a decent user experience, but it's missing a defining feature that stands out. It does a lot of things well yet doesn't wow users in any area - except for the now-familiar 21:9 aspect ratio that makes the Xperia range stand out in a crowd.
|What we like||What we don't like|
|21:9 aspect ratio display||60Hz refresh rate|
|Good 4500mAh battery||Camera remains okay|
|128GB + expandable storage||Limited software and security updates|
|Great Android experience||No fast charging cable included|
Best Sony Xperia 10 III deals
Several UK mobile operators stock the Sony Xperia 10 III with different data packages of offer. Here are some examples of current deals:
|Provider||Minutes||Data||Initial price||Monthly price|
|Sony Xperia 10 III (128GB)||O2||Unlimited||50GB on 5G||£20||£29
36 month term
|Sony Xperia 10 III (128GB)||Virgin Media||Unlimited||50GB on 5G||Free||£34.50 24 month term|
|Sony Xperia 10 III (128GB)||EE||Unlimited||40GB on 5G||£10||£41 24 month term|
What does the Sony Xperia 10 III offer?
The Sony Xperia 10 III doesn't look very different to the Sony Xperia 10 II released in 2020, but it does have some notable changes on the inside.
- Display supports HDR for extra clarity
- Snapdragon 890 5G chipset is an upgrade
- Improved CPU and GPU
- Larger battery (4500mAh compared to 3600mAh)
- Improved fast charging available
There is also an upgrade to the minimum storage option available - that's now 128GB instead of 64GB and there is a 256GB option on the international market, UK retailers are only stocking the 128GB version.
The camera on the Sony Xperia 10 III is much the same with a couple of slight tweaks, while the handset weighs slightly more than last time out (169g to 151g) and includes Android 11 out of the box.
|Sony Xperia 10 III|
|Dimensions||6.06 x 2.68 x 0.33 inches|
|Resolution||1080 x 2520 (457 ppi)|
|Chip||Snapdragon 690 5G|
|Rear camera||12MP + 8MP + 8MP|
|Colours||Black, White, Blue|
The Sony Xperia 10 III is a mid-range phone that retailed at £399 on release. This is less than a third of the price of the latest flagship, the Sony Xperia PRO-I, making its target audience customers who want a smartphone with decent specs but can't afford the latest flagships from Sony, Apple or Samsung.
For customers looking at contract deals, most options come with little or no upfront fees and comparatively low monthly costs.
Here are some unlimited data deals on 24-month contracts as examples:
|Provider||Minutes||Data||Initial price||Monthly price|
|Sony Xperia 10 III (128GB)||Virgin Mobile||Unlimited||Unlimited on 5G||Free||£42.50
36 month term
|Sony Xperia 10 III (128GB)||O2||Unlimited||Unlimited on 5G||£30||£44.59
24 month term
|Sony Xperia 10 III (128GB)||EE||Unlimited||Unlimited on 5G||£10||£59
24 month term
In comparison to other mid-range handsets, the price of the Sony Xperia 10 III is in line with expectations.
The rear camera on the Sony Xperia 10 III hasn't undergone any major changes. It works well in optimal conditions, but it struggles in low light settings. Meanwhile, the selfie camera works well when there's a good amount of light, but the images can get noisy when there isn't enough light around.
|Type||27mm Wide||54mm Ultrawide||16mm Telephoto||24mm Wide|
Although Sony tweaked the apertures on the wide and telephoto lenses (boosting them from 26mm and 52mm respectively), the rear camera on the Xperia 10 111 offers broadly the same experience as its predecessor.
The camera comes with Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) to help reduce blurriness, although it doesn't have optical image stabilisation (OIS) as some similarly priced handsets like the Samsung Galaxy A52s do.
Unlike some mid-range devices, the Xperia 10 III hasn't swapped out the telephoto lens for a macro lens or depth sensor. This can be a pro or con depending on the type of photography users do.
On the front of the handset, there is an 8MP wide lens. It isn't an amazing selfie camera, but it does the job at this price point.
Video recording using the rear camera is limited to 30fps for 4K and 1080p. This is line with the Samsung Galaxy A52s for 4K filming but some other mid-range devices allow 60fps.
The Sony Xperia 10 III brings HDR support to the range for the first time and maintains the familiar 21:9 aspect ratio. However, the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz unlike many similar handsets.
With a 6-inch display, the screen size is the same as the previous Xperia but it's the 21:9 aspect ratio remains the element that marks the Sony range from its rivals.
Some customers will enjoy the experience of viewing on a wide screen (when held horizontally) and it can make watching films on a smartphone completely different. That said, some people may find the change difficult to deal with.
The OLED display is the same as the previous model, meaning it doesn't bring a high refresh rate to the market. The screen refreshes at 60Hz rather than the 90Hz we're seeing on other mid-range smartphones and far away from the 120Hz seen on the highest spec phones like the Apple iPhone 13.
This is disappointing, although it's more likely to matter to customers coming from a 90Hz or 120Hz device - the refresh rate is usually something users notice when it slows down.
Sony have upgraded the chip within the Xperia 10 III which allows the device to support 5G for the first time. However, the processor upgrade doesn't necessarily improve the user experience hugely.
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 5G|
The chipset used in the Sony Xperia 10 III is the Snapdragon 690 5G, an upgrade on the Snapdragon 665 seen in its predecessor.
This upgrade primarily allows the device to support 5G, so it's a worthwhile improvement for customers who want a mid-range 5G handset. It's also complemented by improvements to the CPU and GPU.
However, the Snapdragon 690 isn't a leading chipset and there are many mid-range devices that use better Snapdragon and Dimensity chips to greater effect.
As for gaming, the Sony Xperia 10 III can handle casual gaming with high graphics settings, but more demanding games must be played with less detail for a decent effect.
The performance of the Sony Xperia 10 III should be sufficient for most users, although it isn't going to win any awards on that score.
The Sony Xperia 10 III comes with an expanded battery and an upgrade to faster charging than its predecessor.
|Charging rate||Up to 30W|
With a battery size of 4500mAh, the Sony Xperia 10 III is comparable to many similar mid-range devices including the Samsung A52s and the OnePlus Nord 2.
This is one area where having a comparatively low refresh rate and lower display specs comes into its own - the battery on the Xperia 10 III will last longer than rival devices because it's expending less power.
On the charging side of things, Sony promote the fact that the Xperia 10 III can support up to 35W charging. However, it's important to note this is with an adaptor that must be purchased separately, and users will find the more modest 7.5W charger inside the box.
So, on the flip side, the bigger battery will take longer to charge with the included charger, plus there is no wireless charging available (although this isn't necessarily unusual on a mid-range device).
UK customers will only find the 128GB version of the Sony Xperia 10 III in stock with mobile networks.
|MicroSD||Yes (up to 1TD)|
The good news for the Xperia 10 III is that Sony have upped the storage from 64GB to 128GB, making the handset more suitable for the demands of modern usage.
This puts it in line with other mid-range devices, plus it has the benefit of expanded storage options up to 1TB in the MicroSD slot.
With many higher-end devices getting rid of their expandable storage options, this is one area where the mid-range seems to have an advantage.
Learn more about mobile phone storage and how much you need.
OS and security
The Sony Xperia 10 III comes pre-installed with Android 11, with an update to Android 12 expected in the future.
|OS updates||2 years|
|Security updates||2 years|
Sony use a very simple interface on the version of Android used by the Xperia 10 III.
It's pared back and doesn't come with much bloatware to waste storage space, although there is a feature called Side sense that allows easy access to predicted apps by tapping on the side of the screen. This can be disabled if users don't like the experience.
Sony pre-installs the Xperia 10 III with Android 11 and it's expected that a further software update will follow. However, it's important to note the OS and security updates promised by Sony are lower than the promises from, for example, Samsung.
|Screen to body ratio||80.3%|
|Colours||Black, White, Blue|
The design of the Sony Xperia 10 III is familiar with a tall and narrow display protected by Gorilla Glass 6.
For customers unused to this shape, the device can be difficult to hold and can be especially difficult for one-handed use, although most users will grow accustomed to the way it feels in the hand.
The Xperia 10 III comes with a thin bezel around the edge of the screen but no notch, so there's no interrupted display when watching movies or playing games. Plus, in another nod to the device's entertainment credentials, there are front-facing speakers on the bottom of the handset that will project quality sound directly at a user rather than down or away.
There's another feature of the Xperia 10 III design that may appeal to many potential customers - the presence of a 3.5m headphone jack in an age where all but a few devices have got rid of theirs.
|Protection||Gorilla Glass 6|
The Xperia 10 III has an IP rating of IP65/68 for water resistance and protection against dust.
This means the handset has been tested at 1.5m for 30 minutes in tap water, so it's the same controlled testing that other water resistant handsets undergo, and we explain more about that in our guide to the best waterproof smartphones for 2021.
The type of water resistance we seen on the Xperia 10 III is typical of many mid-range phones, although it's worth noting the OnePlus Nord 2 doesn't even have an IP rating, putting the Xperia ahead there.
Finally, the Gorilla Glass 6 on the Xperia 10 III covers both the front and back of the device, even if the body it made from plastic. This isn't the top Gorilla Glass available, but it's better than comparable devices like the Nord 2 and should limit damage from accidents.
The Sony Xperia 10 III is a good mid-range smartphone that nevertheless trips up in some key areas.
While the 21:9 aspect ratio is now part of the phone's DNA, the failure to improve the display and to speed up the refresh rate means this excellent screen falls behind its rivals.
Similarly, an upgrade in processor has produced a device that is 5G-ready but without too many other upgrades that everyday users will notice.
Yet there are definitely some things to like about the Xperia 10 III in comparison to its predecessor.
Bumping the internal memory from 64GB to 128GB while still allowing expandable storage up to 1TB is an excellent option that many other manufacturers have dispensed with, as too is the useful 3.5m headphone.
In addition, increasing the size of the battery is a welcome move, although it would have been nice to have a faster charger included with the phone.
Overall, the Sony Xperia 10 III is a good handset that lacks the wow factor. The 21:9 aspect ratio remains the element that sets the Xperia apart from its competitors, but it's familiar now and Sony need something a little special to set them apart in the mid-range market.