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Sony Xperia 10 III could be Sony’s first cheap 5G phone

Sony Xperia 10 II
(Image credit: TechRadar)

A new rumor suggests the Sony Xperia 10 III smartphone will sport a Snapdragon 690 chipset, which has powered other mid-range phones launching in 2020, likely making it Sony’s first 5G mid-range handset.

The Snapdragon 690 was mentioned (under the model number sm6350) in a chunk of code tweeted by code diver Nodar Sikharulidze that referred to upcoming phones. Given it's surfacing now, it’s likely referring to the Xperia 10 III, while the other chipset mentioned – the Snapdragon 875 – is likely meant for the flagship Sony Xperia 1 III

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It’s a little bit of hearsay, and take it with a grain of salt, but connecting the dots suggests these two phones could be coming soon. Sony released the Xperia 10 II earlier this year but evidently passed on making a Sony Xperia 10 II Plus, which would allegedly have packed a Snapdragon 720 chipset, in order to focus on a 5G model, theorizes GSM Arena

The Snapdragon 690 would enable the Xperia 10 III to connect to sub-6 5G (but not mmWave). The Xperia 10 III may have more than four cameras, Sikharulidze told GSM Arena, and along with an Xperia 1 III, Sony’s lineup next year could also include a Helio P35-packing affordable Sony Xperia L5. 

Sony’s 2021 lineup?

Flagship, mid-range, and cheap phones: that sounds like a healthy lineup for Sony to start the year off with. This lines up with Sony’s schedule last year, when the Xperia 1 II, Xperia 10 II, and Xperia L4 were all unveiled at an online conference during what would have been the suddenly-cancelled MWC 2020.

That means their successors could be revealed in the same time window. That leaves out the Xperia 5 III, but given that handset usually drops later in the year, we’ll still expect it subsequently down the line in 2021. 

Given the big phone events will probably be cancelled this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, companies are on their own about deciding whether to adhere to old timelines or strike out on their own to announce next year’s handset lineups according to their own whims.

David Lumb

David J Lumb is Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, covering phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made.