Sony’s new Xperia 5 III flagship outdoes the iPhone 12 in some respects, but Apple’s smartphone triumphs in others and will remain far more popular.
Sony’s newly unveiled Xperia 5 III smartphone comes with features that just might give Apple’s flagship iPhone 12 a run for its money. Despite the impressive showing of the Xperia 5 III, though, there are still some things that the iPhone does better. Sony took quite an understated approach to revealing its latest series.
As with the company’s previous premium handsets, Sony has released a more compact version of its flagship phone bearing the Xperia 5 name, alongside a larger Xperia 1 model. Its last iteration, the Xperia 5 II, not only came with a smaller footprint, but it also sported fewer lenses and memory options as well, while still maintaining most of its full-sized counterpart’s standout features. Past leaks of Sony’s flagship suggest that there won’t be much changes to this formula, and that seems to be the case with the Xperia 5 III, at least, on the surface.
The Xperia 5 III’s OLED display still comes in at 6.1-inches with about the same 120Hz refresh rate as its predecessor and is still reinforced with Corning Gorilla Glass 6. It also utilizes a similar 12-megapixel triple-rear camera, and 8-megapixel selfie lens set-ups as well. The biggest hardware differences lie in its updated Snapdragon 888 processor and heftier 4,500mAh battery. On the software side, the Xperia 5 III offers something for gamers, audiophiles, and power users. Features include gameplay recording, an in-game web browser, multi-window app viewing, and support for Dolby Atmos sound and 360 spatial audio.
How Does Sony’s Xperia 5 III Stack Up Against The iPhone 12?
For starters, the iPhone 12’s A14 processor is known to outperform the Snapdragon 888 in some tasks. When it comes to durability, Apple’s offering also utilizes Ceramic Shield, which is on the level of toughness as Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus, while Sony’s flagship still uses the same one as its predecessor. Furthermore, the iPhone 12 still comes with all the advantages and optimizations brought by its iOS operating system and Apple’s diverse ecosystem. Display-wise, both units have a 6.1-inch screen, but the iPhone 12’s has a higher 2,532 x 1,170 resolution and 460-pixel density with a lower 60Hz refresh rate, while Sony’s handset comes with the benefit of a near-bezel-less CinemaWide display, with smoother refresh rates.
Other than that, both handsets have IP68-rated water and dust resistance and triple 12-megapixel rear cameras> The iPhone 12 has a higher 12-megapixel selfie camera, while the Xperia 5 III’s lenses have the technological edge of Sony’s Alpha cameras and Zeiss optics. It also has a headphone jack for wired Hi-Fi audio. Despite having a bigger battery, Sony surprisingly managed to make the Xperia 5 III even lighter than before, weighing in at just 2.4 ounces. The iPhone 12 not only weighs more at 5.7 ounces, but it comes with less battery capacity too, at under 3,000 mAh.
Despite typically being good pieces of kit, Sony smartphones have a reputation of being snubbed by consumers so, if the Xperia 5 III wants to be competitive it may be best for Sony to price it close, or even lower, than the iPhone 12’s $799 price tag. Overall, the Xperia 5 III’s lightweight chassis and thinner design make it the easier to handle of the two, but that alone might not be enough to disregard the iPhone 12’s blazing A14 processor and iOS ecosystem, especially when the defining new features of Sony’s latest flagship can be deemed as incremental at best.
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