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Sony Xperia 1 III Display test: Pleasant color and gaming experience

OTHER AVAILABLE TESTS FOR THIS DEVICE

The Sony Xperia 1 III was introduced to the market in August 2021. As Sony’s latest flagship device, it comes packed with high-end goodies, including a multi-cam module with Zeiss optics. Let’s see how well it did in our comprehensive Display protocol testing.

Key display specifications:

  • 6.5-inch OLED display
  • 165 x 71 x 8.2 mm (6.50 x 2.80 x 0.32 inches)
  • Resolution: 1644 x 3840 (643 ppi)
  • Aspect ratio: 21:9
  • Refresh rate: 120 Hz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chipset

About DXOMARK Display tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone and other display reviews, DXOMARK engineers perform a variety of objective and perceptual tests under controlled lab and real-life conditions. This article highlights the most important results of our testing. Note that we evaluate display attributes using only the device’s built-in display hardware and its still image (gallery) and video apps at their default settings. (For in-depth information about how we evaluate smartphone and other displays, check out our articles, “How DXOMARK tests display quality” and “A closer look at DXOMARK Display testing.”)

Test summary

Sony Xperia 1 III
86
display
61

76

87

91

80

91

72

87

76

85

82

86

Pros

  • Colors are accurate, especially in low light and indoors.
  • Gaming experience is quite pleasant.
  • The device is very uniform over the whole screen.

Cons

  • The device is not very readable under sunlight.
  • The device has a strong greenish shift when viewed at angle.
  • The video experience is impacted by a slight green cast, imprecise tone mapping, and frequent frame drops.
While it has no truly standout display attributes, the Sony Xperia 1 III display achieves solid results across the board, with few weak points.
Brightness vs Contrast comparison (0 Lux)
Brightness vs Contrast comparison (30 000 Lux)
Readability is too bright in low light (see the first graph above), but as shown in the second graph above, readability under sunlight is quite low, with dark details lost. However, the Xperia 1 III has good readability indoors (see the illustration below). Transitions are smooth overall, but the device can be slow to react when moving from bright to dark environments. The Sony device has good uniformity across the screen, albeit with a slight brightness gradient from top to bottom.
Readability indoors, from left to right: Sony Xperia 1 III, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Snapdragon), Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
(Photo credit: DXOMARK; for illustration only)
For color, a very slight orange cast is visible on most content indoors; outdoors, there is a greenish cast. But colors are quite faithful overall despite slightly low saturation, as shown below: 
Color rendering indoors, clockwise from top left: Sony Xperia 1 III, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Snapdragon), Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
(Photo credit: DXOMARK; for illustration only)
The Sony device has good color reproduction fidelity, as shown in the left-hand chart of measurements taken at 0 lux in the sRGB color space. The center of each circle is the target color; the further the tip of the arrow is outside of the circle, the more users will notice the difference between the color on the display and the original color of the source material.
The scatter chart on the right, which illustrates the white point color shift when holding the Sony Xperia 1 III at different angles, clearly shows its strong tendency towards green.
Sony Xperia 1 III, color fidelity at 0 lux in the sRGB color space
Sony Xperia 1 III, scatter graph of white point on angle

The photos below illustrate the measured results, with the Sony device showing a strong shift to green when viewed at an angle:

Color when held on axis (top) and when held at a 45° angle (bottom), from left to right: Sony Xperia 1 III, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Snapdragon), Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
(Photo credit: DXOMARK; for illustration only)

The Xperia 1 III’s brightness is acceptable when watching video content. Mid-tone contrast is also acceptable, but dark details are lost when watching HDR10 content. While colors are generally accurate, they are slightly desaturated, and a slight greenish cast is noticeable on skin tones, but especially in the sky.

Video contrast, clockwise from left: Sony Xperia 1 III, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Snapdragon), Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.
(Photo credit: DXOMARK; for illustration only)

Per the illustration below, the Sony device shows frequent frame drops at 30 and 60 fps; nevertheless, it is quite smooth when playing video games, and content appears sharp. When jumping forward or backward in a video, the Xperia 1 III sometimes pauses before resuming playback.

Sony Xperia 1 III, frame drops at 30 fps
Sony Xperia 1 III, frame drops at 60 fps

Touch on the Sony Xperia 1 III is quite accurate. When gaming, every area of the screen is responsive, and the general accuracy is good. It is quite smooth in all use cases such as browsing the web, scrolling in the gallery app, and playing video games.

The device manages ghost touches well in both portrait and landscape modes. Judder is noticeable at 24 fps; but while no judder is noticeable at 30 and 60 fps, frame drops and stutters are visible at all frame rates. Despite some aliasing, the Sony Xperia 1 III nonetheless provides a pleasant gaming experience.

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