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£893.96

Sony Xperia 5 III 5G Black 128GB

3GB Data Unlimited Minutes Unlimited Texts 1 month contract
£11.00 a month 1 month contract O2
Via O2
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5G
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£885.99

Sony Xperia 1 III 5G Purple 256GB

1GB Data Unlimited Minutes Unlimited Texts 24 month contract
£15.00 a month 24 month contract buymobiles.net
Via buymobiles.net
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£188.99

Sony Xperia 10 III 5G Blue 128GB

1GB Data Unlimited Minutes Unlimited Texts 24 month contract
£15.00 a month 24 month contract buymobiles.net
Via buymobiles.net
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£309.00

Sony Xperia 10 II Black 128GB

1GB Data Unlimited Minutes Unlimited Texts 1 month contract
£16.00 a month 1 month contract O2
Via O2
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£541.99

Sony Xperia 5 lI 5G Black 256GB

1GB Data Unlimited Minutes Unlimited Texts 24 month contract
£15.00 a month 24 month contract buymobiles.net
Via buymobiles.net
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£794.00

Sony Xperia 1 II 5G Black 256GB

1GB Data Unlimited Minutes Unlimited Texts 1 month contract
£11.00 a month 1 month contract O2
Via O2
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5G
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FREE

Sony Xperia L4 Black 64GB

1GB Data Unlimited Minutes Unlimited Texts 24 month contract
£14.99 a month 24 month contract Mobiles.co.uk
Via Mobiles.co.uk
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Data Rollover
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Sony is one of the world's largest technology companies, with a significant presence in a number of markets, from TVs to cameras to home audio equipment. It's also the leading supplier of camera sensors to other smartphone manufacturers.

When it comes to the smartphone market itself, though, Sony is something of a fringe player. While it can't compete with Samsung and Apple on sheer sales volume, however, it's more than a match for its rivals on sheer quality.

Sony's flagship Xperia phones feature some of the most outrageous specifications on the market, and appeal directly to audiophiles, cinephiles, and committed photographers in a way that no other manufacturer does. At the other end of the market, Sony produces a small selection of affordable yet classy handsets for those on a budget.

Sony phones with 5G

Sony wasn't the earliest adopter of 5G connectivity. Its first 5G phone, the Sony Xperia 1 II, launched in mid-2020. Since then, however, Sony has supported 5G connectivity right across its smartphone range:

 

4G

5G

Sony Xperia 1 III

Sony Xperia 5 III

Sony Xperia 10 III

Sony Xperia 1 II

Sony Xperia 5 II

Which Sony phone should I buy?

Sony's approach to smartphone releases tends to be a matter of quality over quantity. Even the Xperia II series listed above has technically been superseded by the Xperia III series.

This means that, unless you find a sizeable discount elsewhere, we'd recommend confining your choice to just four phones: the Xperia III series and the Xperia L4. As to which of these is right for you, it really comes down to your budget and your specific requirements.

Best Sony phone

The best phone that Sony makes is undoubtedly the Sony Xperia 1 III. It's extremely expensive, with a launch price of £1,200, but that's because it crams in a number of unique features. Besides being as fast as any other Android phone, its 120Hz AMOLED display sports a uncommonly sharp 4K resolution and an unusually wide 21:9 aspect ratio, making it ideal for movies.

Elsewhere, Sony's triple-12MP camera system has the fastest and most sophisticated autofocus system on the market, not to mention a unique dual-lens telephoto sensor. Indeed, the Xperia 1 III is the ideal smartphone for photography enthusiasts, with a dedicated two-stage shutter button and the most hands-on camera app around.

Cheapest Sony phone

The cheapest Sony phone you can buy right now is the Sony Xperia L4. With a SIM-free RRP of £170, you shouldn't expect the technical pyrotechnics of the Xperia III series, but it's a solid offering none-the-less.

Sony's squared-off design is typically classy despite that affordable price tag, and the camera and display - while far from eye-catching - are both quietly effective components. Factor in Sony's clean, crisp Android 11 UI, and you have a stealthily accomplished entry-level phone.

Best overall value Sony phone

You might balk at the suggestion that a £900 phone could be considered good value, but bear with us. The Sony Xperia 5 III has a similar design to the aforementioned Xperia 1 III, the exact same flagship performance, and more or less the same impressively rapid and flexible camera system.

It also packs in a similar 120Hz 21:9 AMOLED display, albeit without the 4K resolution. Thanks to a much more compact 6.1-inch form factor, though, you really don't need all those extra pixels. It's essentially a more compact Xperia 1 III, but it'll cost you hundreds of pounds less.

Recent Sony phones

As we've already mentioned, Sony doesn't release a lot of smartphones in a calendar year. What's more, the Sony Xperia III range rolled out a little later than usual this year, with individual releases spread between June and September.

Sony also announced and rolled out a new mid-range phone in May, but the Sony Xperia Ace II is only available in the Japanese brand's home market. We're not expecting a new Sony phone here in the UK until the successor to the Xperia L4 is announced, likely in early 2022.

Conclusions

Sony is unique in the smartphone market, in that it's a huge company with sweeping brand recognition that makes relatively niche devices. Its flagship Xperia handsets don't sell in anything like the same quantities as Samsung's, Apple's, or Xiaomi's, yet they always offer something special.

Whether it's a 4K 21:9 display that's uniquely suited to watching movies on the go, a freakishly locked-on camera system, or a stealthy design that puts practicality first, Sony tends to make phones for media enthusiasts of all stripes. If you're massively into film, music, or photography, you should seriously include Sony's Xperia line in your deliberations.

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