Home Technology Sony announces new Xperia phones with variable telephoto lenses

Sony announces new Xperia phones with variable telephoto lenses

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When it comes to big phone releases, people seem to be less interested in the specs and speed of the upgraded devices and more focused on how good the cameras are. Gone are the days when what you wanted to know how good a phone’s call quality was and how long its battery lasted, as manufacturers just want to cram as many lenses into a device as possible.

That appears to be exactly where Sony is focusing its efforts, as it revealed its Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III flagships. While both phones are targeted at high-end users by using the latest Snapdragon 888 processor and 5G support, Sony has placed an emphasis on its new triple-lens camera setup.

The company claims that these new devices are the “world’s first smartphone(s) with a variable telephoto lens paired with a Dual PD sensor” and that this technology improves its already fast and accurate autofocus system. Sony is using three 12-megapixel sensors on the back, and both the main and telephoto lenses support OIS with the Xperia 1 III also getting a time-of-flight sensor. According to Sony, the lenses are equivalent to 16mm (f/2.2 ultrawide), 24mm (f/1.7 wide), and 70mm (f/2.3 telephoto), but that the telephoto can also reach an f/2.8 105mm equivalent. That extra telephone zoom comes courtesy of a folded periscope lens design where the lens moves to get a different focal lens.

This certainly gives these new Xperia phones far more focal lengths than many of their counterparts which should appeal to budding phone photographers. These phones can take photos at up to 20fps with focus/exposure readings happening at 60fps while also supporting 120FPS 4K in HDR. All the other camera functions that were part of the previous version will also return with these new phones.

The difference between the two models comes largely in size and the resolution of the screens. The Xperia 1 III offering a 6.5-inch 21:9 4K OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, with dual speakers that Sony claims are 40 percent louder than previous phones. Why anyone would want to use these speakers when headphones and Bluetooth speakers exist is a mystery, but we’re looking at that one jerk on the bus. The Xperia 5 III will give you a smaller 6.1-inch 21:9 display with a 1080p resolution instead of 4K.

Powering the phones is a pretty standard 4,500mAh battery. If you’re into gaming and have the device plugged in, it can divert power from the battery to reduce heat, which is also quite handy. Sony has not revealed release dates or prices for these new Xperia phones yet, but they most certainly won’t come in cheap.

Last Updated: April 19, 2021

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