Xperia 1 III (Mark 3) renders break cover; highlights periscope camera and shortcut key

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The Sony Xperia 1 II (Mark 2) was a pretty wonderful phone in many areas. It marked a return to form in many areas – reintroducing a boxier design that many fans were used to, as well as a number of features (headphone jack, wireless charging, stereo speakers) that made it a well-rounded flagship.

Well it looks like the first CAD renders of its successor, the Xperia 1 III (Mark 3) have just been unveiled by Steve Hemmerstoffer (@OnLeaks) through Voice. Steve had already provided a couple of other 2021 Xperia leaks, and we’re not even into February yet! While the new phone might look very similar to last year’s model, it appears that there will be a few crucial upgrades.

One of the biggest ones, is with the rear camera array. While Sony will continue to use a triple camera array, with 3D ToF sensor and LED flash, there will be one key change. Sony will be utilizing a periscope camera in one of its lenses, which will enable significant zoom opportunities, bringing it in line with a number of other flagship devices in the market right now. We’re excited to see how Sony plans to deploy this camera system, and it’s a very welcome addition.

Other changes include the use of a dedicated app button (in between the fingerprint sensor power button and dedicated camera shutter) that will allow users to quickly access Google Assistant. This button first appeared on the Xperia 5 II (Mark 2), but unfortunately there is no way to remap it to quick launch an app of your choice – it is fixed to Google Assistant. We imagine the same will be the case with the Xperia 1 II.

The Xperia 1 III Mark 3 has dimensions of 161.6 x 67.3 x 8.4mm, which makes it slightly narrower and thicker compared to the Xperia 1 II Mark 2 (166 × 72 × 7.9 mm). Sony looks to have shaved the bezels a little too, although we had no issues with those on the Xperia 1 II. We’re glad to see a clean design once again from Sony, with no notches or hole punch cameras in its 6.5-inch 21:9 CinemaWide 4K HDR OLED display.

While the images can’t show this, we expect another major change for the Xperia 1 III over the Xperia 1 II, will be the use of a faster refresh display. The 1 II Mark 2 had a standard 60Hz display, but we would expect the 1 III Mark 3 to use something similar to the 5 II Mark 2 i.e. a 120Hz display.

Apart from the above, design-wise, the phone looks very similar to last year’s model. We’re glad to see the 3.5mm headphone jack once again make a return, Sony is one of the few manufacturers now providing the jack on flagship devices. We hope the microSD card will also be there, which has been brought into focus since Samsung dropped SD card support in its latest Galaxy S21 devices.

We also expect the Xperia 1 III to support 5G and feature stereo speakers. All in all, it’s looking like a great upgrade, and we can’t wait to hear more. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear further details. In the meantime, please let us know what you think of the device in the comments below.

Thanks Diogo and Moses!

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