These are the Best Sony Phones in May 2021 – Xperia 1 III, Xperia 5 III, Xperia PRO 5G, & more!
Although Sony is no longer a dominant player in the smartphone space, the company still has a loyal fan following. Its phones appeal to various niche audiences for their terrific camera chops, sleek design, and immaculate displays. They also pack some valuable features for creators, like the Camera Pro and Cinema Pro apps, which offer a Sony Alpha-like experience on a smartphone. If you value such features and you’re looking to pick up a brand new Sony Xperia phone, then you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best Sony phones you can buy in 2021 across various price points.
Navigate this guide:
- Best Sony phone overall: Xperia 1 III
- Best Sony phone for professionals: Xperia Pro 5G
- Best Sony phone for most people: Xperia 5 III
- Best affordable Sony phone: Xperia L4
- Best mid-range Sony phone: Xperia 10 III
- Best mid-range Sony phone with a big display: Xperia 10 Plus
Best Sony Phone Overall: Sony Xperia 1 III
Sony’s latest flagship smartphone, the Xperia 1 III, is inarguably the best Sony phone you can buy today. It builds upon the Xperia 1 II from last year and features a couple of significant improvements. The phone packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chip, a brilliant 6.5-inch 4K OLED display that supports a 120Hz refresh rate, a larger 4,500mAh battery with 30W fast charging support, and an impressive triple camera setup on the back with a 3D iToF sensor.
While these changes may not seem like much on paper, the Xperia 1 III is significantly more powerful than the Xperia 1 II. It’s the most feature-rich phone in Sony’s lineup this year and, as such, it’s our pick for the best Sony phone overall.
Also great: Sony Xperia 1 II
If you want a flagship experience, but you’re not willing to spend a crazy amount of money on your next phone, then last year’s Sony Xperia 1 II is still a decent pick for you. Much like the newer Xperia 1 III, it offers a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display with no notch, a 12MP + 12MP + 12MP triple camera system on the back, and most of the software features you’d find on the newer model. However, it has a smaller 4,000mAh battery with slower 18W charging support and a lower refresh rate display.
The Xperia 1 II also features the Snapdragon 865 chip from last year, coupled with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. While this means that it won’t be as great as the Xperia 1 III in terms of performance, it should still be more than sufficient for most users.
Best Sony Phone for Professionals: Sony Xperia Pro 5G
The Sony Xperia Pro 5G is an upgraded Xperia 1 II that offers some useful new features for professionals. Although its $2,499 price tag is a bit ludicrous, the additional features that it provides may justify the price tag for some buyers. These include features like mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G support, an additional micro-HDMI port, and the ability to use the phone as a 4K on-camera monitor.
While these additional features may not appeal to the average buyer, if you’re a professional photographer or a mobile content creator, these features can really come in handy for you. Before you go ahead and get the phone though, do note that it packs last-gen hardware on the inside, so you may want to consider getting the newer Xperia 1 III. Unless you really need the micro-HDMI port and on-camera monitor capabilities.
Best Sony Phone for Most People: Sony Xperia 5 III
The Sony Xperia 5 III is a smaller and more affordable version of the Xperia 1 III that easily keeps up with its flagship counterpart on the performance front. However, it lacks some of the premium features found on the Xperia 1 III. For instance, it has a smaller 6.1-inch FHD+ 120Hz OLED panel instead of a 4K panel, it comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and it doesn’t feature a 3D iToF sensor.
If you can live with these compromises, then the Xperia 5 III is the best Sony phone for you. It has Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 888 chip, the same rear-facing triple camera setup as the Xperia 1 III, and the same 4,500mAh battery with 30W fast charging support. And the best part is that it’s a few hundred dollars cheaper than the flagship model.
Also great: Sony Xperia 5 II
Just like the Sony Xperia 1 II, the Sony Xperia 5 II from last year is also a decent pick for most people. It’s a compact version of the Xperia 1 II that offers most of the features found on the flagship model, with a couple of exceptions. It has a slightly smaller, lower-resolution 6.1-inch FHD+ OLED panel, a smaller 4,000mAh battery, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chip.
On the camera front, the Xperia 5 II features the same rear-facing 12MP triple camera setup as the Xperia 1 II and the same 8MP selfie shooter. While some may think that its hardware is a bit dated, the phone is still a good pick in 2021, especially if you’re looking to buy a cheap Sony phone that offers an almost premium experience.
Best Affordable Sony Phone: Sony Xperia L4
Of course, not everyone wants to spend several hundred dollars on a smartphone; many people just want something affordable that’ll do the job. If you fit in this category, you’ll love the Sony Xperia L4.
The Xperia L4 is a budget smartphone from Sony, offering a 6.2-inch 1680 x 720 display, a triple camera setup, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, 3GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, up to 512GB of expandable storage, a 3580mAh battery, Android 9, and many other great features.
Best Mid-Range Sony Phone: Sony Xperia 10 III
Sony may have an impressive track record for offering some of the best flagship Android smartphones on the market, but the Xperia 10 III proves that it can also make great mid-range phones.
In terms of features, the Xperia 10 III has a 6-inch 21:9 OLED display with a resolution of 2520 x 1080 pixels, IP68 water resistance, a 12MP + 8MP + 8MP triple camera setup, a Snapdragon 690 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, up to 1TB of expandable storage, a 4,500mAh battery, Android 11, and lots more.
Best Mid-Range Sony Phone with a Big Display: Sony Xperia 10 Plus
Should you want a mid-range Sony phone with a large display, you’ll want to take a look at the Xperia 10 Plus. The first thing you’ll notice about this handset is its massive 6.5-inch FHD+ display. Besides being large, the display on the Xperia 10 Plus also offers a decent resolution of 2520 x 1080 pixels and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
In terms of other features, the Xperia 10 Plus provides a dual camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, 4K video recording, up to 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, up to 512GB of expandable memory, a Snapdragon 636 processor, a 3000mAh battery, Android 9, and so much more.
That wraps up our list of the best Sony phones you can buy in 2021. As you can see, Sony offers a fairly wide range of phones across various price points, so it should be easy for you to pick one based on your budget and use case. If you ask me, I’d probably go with the new Sony Xperia 5 III, simply because it offers most of the flagship features you get with the Xperia 1 III in a more compact form factor. And since it has an FHD+ display, it should offer better battery life than the flagship model.
In case you don’t like any of the phones mentioned in this list, check out our list of the best Android phones to buy in 2021 to see more options from other manufacturers.