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Sony Xperia 5 III release date, price, news, leaks and what we know so far

Sony Xperia 5 II
The Sony Xperia 5 II (Image credit: TechRadar)

The Sony Xperia 5 III is likely in the works, and will probably be one of the best and most exciting Sony phones of 2021 if its predecessors are anything to go by.

We’re expecting this to be a smaller, cheaper, and ever so slightly lower end alternative to the Sony Xperia 1 III – which itself is yet to launch, but is likely to be Sony’s main flagship of the year.

So far there’s not a whole lot of information about the Sony Xperia 5 III, but the first leaks are starting to trickle in, and there’s quite a lot that we can speculate about too. Below then you’ll find all the information so far on the release date, price, specs and features of the Sony Xperia 5 III.

Then below that we’ve also included a list of the key features that we want from the phone, to make it the best possible successor to the Sony Xperia 5 II.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next model in the Xperia 5 range
  • When is it out? Probably September but maybe earlier
  • How much will it cost? We're not sure yet

Sony Xperia 5 III release date and price

The Sony Xperia 5 II wasn’t announced until September 2020 – and it didn’t go on sale until October. So on that basis we might be waiting quite a while for the Sony Xperia 5 III, since phones tend to have a yearly release cycle. Indeed, the Xperia 5 II landed almost exactly a year after the Sony Xperia 5, so that pattern is in place for the range.

But on the other hand there are some rumors suggesting the Xperia 5 III could land earlier than that. That said, both of the current release date rumors should be taken with a serious helping of salt.

First up there’s a Reddit post spotted by AndroidNext, which suggests that Sony might release a flagship before the Sony Xperia 1 III, in the first half of the year.

This phone isn’t named, but other than the Xperia 1, the only flagship range Sony really has at the moment is the Xperia 5. Alternatively they might be talking about the Sony Xperia Pro, which has since been launched, but they describe it as a "regular" flagship, while the Pro is a rather niche device.

Then there’s also a comment spotted by Sumahodigest, which states that two Sony flagships are being developed in parallel, that they’re probably the Xperia 5 III and Xperia 1 III, and that they should be launching soon.

Sony Xperia 5 II

The Xperia 5 III could land less than a year after the Xperia 5 II (Image credit: TechRadar)

That could mean the Sony Xperia 5 III will be announced at the same time as the Xperia 1 III – a phone which might even be unveiled before the end of February. But these aren’t reputable sources, so again we’d take all of this with a pinch of salt.

Whenever we see the Xperia 5 III, it probably won’t land in Australia, as Sony doesn’t currently sell phones there. We do however expect to see it in the US, the UK, and many other countries.

As for the price of the Sony Xperia 5 III, there’s no news there, but the Xperia 5 II launched for $949 / £799 (around AU$1,350), so the Xperia 5 III might have a similar price.

News and leaks

We’ve heard very little about the Sony Xperia 5 III so far, though one leak spotted by AndroidNext (linked above) mentions it using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 – a chipset which has now launched as the Snapdragon 888 instead.

While we wouldn’t put much faith in the source, it’s very likely that the Sony Xperia 5 III will use the Snapdragon 888 chipset, as that’s the best Snapdragon chipset right now, and the Xperia 5 II used the best Snapdragon that was available when it launched.

For the rest of the specs we can only really guess, but we can make some fairly safe assumptions. For example, based on its predecessors the Xperia 5 III will probably have a 21:9 aspect ratio. It might also have a 6.1-inch 1080 x 2520 screen, as both previous models did, and its refresh rate is likely to be at least 120Hz.

5G support is all but guaranteed, and there will probably be at least 8GB of RAM (again, based on the previous model). We may also see a triple-lens 12MP camera, with wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses, as both previous models had that too, though equally this aspect might be due an upgrade.

Indeed, it’s rumored that the Sony Xperia 1 III might have a periscope zoom camera, which would have an increased zoom range, and there’s a good chance the Xperia 5 III will mirror the camera specs of that phone.

We’ve also heard that the Xperia 1 III might have a brighter screen and a wider aperture on its selfie camera, so those are two other upgrades that the Sony Xperia 5 III might share.

It’s worth noting that there are also rumors of a new Sony Xperia Compact in the works, which could end up being the Xperia 5 III in all but name. But sources so far suggest this will be a more mid-range phone, so for now we think this is something different.

Sony Xperia 5 II

The Xperia 5 II is a great phone but the Xperia 5 III could easily improve on it (Image credit: TechRadar)

What we want to see

The Sony Xperia 5 II is a great phone, but the suggestions below would make the Sony Xperia 5 III even better.

1. An in-screen fingerprint scanner

In-screen fingerprint scanners are a fairly standard feature of high-end phones now, yet the Sony Xperia 5 II doesn’t have one. Instead its scanner is on the right edge, and during our review process we found that we’d sometimes accidentally activate it when just holding the phone, which was annoying.

So moving the scanner into the screen would be a significant improvement, and one that we hope the Sony Xperia 5 III offers.

2. Wireless charging

Wireless charging is another standard high-end feature and another thing that the Sony Xperia 5 II doesn’t offer. Not everyone cares about wireless charging but for those who do, its absence could be a deal-breaker, so we really want to see it offered with the Sony Xperia 5 III.

3. A lower price

Sony charges a lot for its flagship phones, and while the Xperia 5 range isn’t quite the company’s priciest, it’s not far off.

That’s despite offering tech that’s some way short of cutting-edge in a number of areas, so we’d love to see the price lowered for the Sony Xperia 5 III. Either that or a major specs boost, with not just the suggestions above incorporated, but also a sharper screen.