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You told us: This is the most underrated smartphone of 2021

It turns out that you think Sony's Xperia 1 III was the most underrated device of 2021.

Published onDecember 14, 2021

Sony Xperia 1 III software
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There were loads of great smartphones released in 2021, such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 series, iPhone 13 range, and Google Pixel 6 phones. But there were also a few great devices that flew under the radar this year.

We recently posted our list of the most underrated smartphones of 2021 but also asked readers to choose the most underrated device of the year. Here’s how you voted in this poll.

What was the most underrated smartphone of 2021?


We asked readers to either pick one of the phones on our list or choose “other” and leave a comment if their pick wasn’t listed. After just over 1,400 votes, it turns out that you think the Sony Xperia 1 III is the most underrated phone of 2021. Sony’s phone earned 35% of the votes, beating the next most popular pick by over 10%.

We can see why people would vote for Sony’s phone, as it stands out thanks to some Pro-style camera features, a variable telephoto camera, and a 4K 120Hz OLED panel. Toss in water resistance, a 3.5mm port, and microSD expansion and you’ve got a power user’s phone right here.

More reading: Sony has done something LG failed to do… make me a believer again

The second-most popular choice was the ASUS Zenfone 8, accruing 22.5% of the vote. ASUS decided to go against the grain with this $630 model, offering a compact design that’s much smaller and more ergonomic than many flagships out there. It even offered features like water resistance and a 3.5mm port.

Rounding out the top three is the vivo X70 Pro Plus, with 14.7% of the votes. vivo took most of what we liked about the X60 Pro Plus and added features that were missing from the early 2021 flagship, such as a QHD+ screen, wireless charging, and water resistance.

Otherwise, the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G (11.74%), POCO F3 GT (7.59%), and Lenovo Legion Duel 2 (4.08%) rounded out the list. But we also got just over 4% of respondents voting for “other,” with comments pointing to devices like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, Sony Xperia 5 III, and Xperia 10 III.


  • Beardednomad: Sony will always be on these lists (until they eventually go out of business) until they realize that most consumers arent going to pay those prices for a phone from Sony. They consistently price themselves out of competition. If they focused on making a really good $6-700 phone they would actually have a chance at rebuilding their brand.
  • Thomas Seiffert: Sony 5 iii, Sony 10 iii both rate some good press
  • Alex: These phones are not underrated, rather deliberately skipped for some glaring reason(s). For example, year after year Sony makes flagship phones were the screen doesn’t get bright enough in direct sunlight. Additionally, the camera overheats and needs to shutdown if you use it a lot
  • duckofdeath: The most underrated phone of the year was the one that was the class leader of ’21.I have never seen so much misinformation spam about a phone as what’s been out there about the S21 Ultra.
  • Street Tyga: Sony xperia 1 iii deserves not to be among the most underrated. It has all the features a high end smartphone could have, then come to the camera, it’s amazing.
  • Telespectador: If these are considered underrated by people, reviewrs here should have given higher score to all them.

Thanks for voting in our poll and for leaving a comment. Are there any other underrated phones you can think of in 2021?

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