Sony Xperia 1 IV review

GSMArena Team, 11 May 2022.

Introduction

Update, June 8: The Xperia 1 IV received a new firmware update that improved on the telephoto camera quality. We've updated our photo and video quality findings and samples.

Sony is back with its traditional Xperia cameraphone, and it's looking better than ever. The new Xperia 1 IV brings back the signature 4K display on top of the most powerful Snapdragon chipset and one of the most intriguing camera arrangements with one-of-a-kind continuous optical zoom. And, of course, all these goodies come wrapped into one of the sleekest designs money can buy you nowadays.

Sony has been consistent with its design, and the timeless Xperia shape lives on with the Xperia 1 IV. A water-resistant smartphone with an excellent grip for photography on the go. This has always been the case throughout the past few years. The 4K 120Hz HDR OLED is here to stay, while the chipset has been updated with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 version.

Other cool upgrades include louder speakers with more bass, a larger battery, and an improved rear panel - now using a Gorilla Glass Victus.

The camera has seen two major updates, and this is where most people will dig in first. It still uses the same arrangement as before - a 12MP primary, a 12MP telephoto, a 12MP ultrawide, and a ToF camera. But the zoom camera now supports stepless continuous optical zoom between 85mm and 125mm (3.5x - 5.2x over the main 24mm camera). Sure, this is not the first ever smartphone to use the continuous optical zoom (Nokia N93, Galaxy K Zoom), but let's say it's been quite a while.

All rear cameras now support 4K@120fps, SteadyShot with FlawlessEye, Eye AF and Realt Time Object Tracking. You can also enable a wide dynamic range for both SDR and HDR videos thanks to real-time multi-frame stacking.

Sony Xperia 1 IV review

One of the things that Sony wants to focus on with this Xperia 1 IV flagship this year is live streaming and unedited content. Sony has made an exclusive deal with YouTube, and every Xperia 1 IV owner will be able to livestream on YouTube even if they don't meet the required number of subscribers. You can even stream with a Sony Alpha camera if you have the appropriate cable to attach it to your Xperia smartphone.

One thing that may have gone under the radar but we find important is that Sony has finally updated its selfie camera. It now uses a 12MP Sony sensor capable of 4K HDR video capturing. It was about time!

Let's scroll through the specs now.

Sony Xperia 1 IV specs at a glance:

  • Body: 165.0x71.0x8.2mm, 185g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), aluminum frame; IP65/IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins).
  • Display: 6.50" OLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR BT.2020, 1644x3840px resolution, 21:9 aspect ratio, 643ppi; Runs at 1096 x 2560 pixels except for select use cases.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4 nm): Octa-core (1x3.00 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3x2.50 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4x1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 730.
  • Memory: 256GB 12GB RAM; UFS 3; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
  • OS/Software: Android 12.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 12 MP, f/1.7, 24mm, 1/1.7", 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Telephoto: 12 MP, f/2.3-f/2.8, 80-128mm, 1/3.5", Dual Pixel PDAF, 3.5x-5.2x optical continuous zoom, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 124˚, 16mm, 1/2.5", Dual Pixel PDAF; Depth: 0.3 MP, TOF 3D.
  • Front camera: 12 MP, f/2.0, 20mm (wide), 1/2.9", fixed focus.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@24/25/30/60/120fps HDR, WDR; 5-axis gyro-EIS, OIS; Front camera: 4K@30fps, 5-axis gyro-EIS.
  • Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 30W, 50% in 30 min (advertised), Fast wireless charging, Reverse wireless charging, USB Power Delivery.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; 3.5mm jack; Native Sony Alpha camera support.

There is little missing on the Sony Xperia 1 IV if anything. It has all fan-favorite features like a 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD slot, a hardware two-step shutter, and all sorts of Sony goodies. There are new gaming optimizations like 120Hz HRR support, 240Hz blur reduction, game streaming options are available, too.

Bravia Core has made it to the Xperia world, and if you are using it on a TV, you can now use it on this phone, too. There is also a new Music Pro paid service for capturing singing and/or instruments and processing them on the cloud for a studio-like quality.

Well, nothing is really perfect, and there is one obvious omission...

Unboxing the Sony Xperia 1 IV

...and that's a charger. And a cable! Sony has not only gone the Apple, sorry, eco-friendly way, it even went the extra mile and has removed both the charger and the cable from the box. The Xperia 1 IV arrives within an impressively thin paper box because of that.

The Sony Xperia 1 IV supports up to 30W USB-PD fast charging, and if you don't have a USB-PD charger, you will need to purchase Sony's 30W XQZ-UC1 charger bundle for €50 one on top of the €1400 you've paid for this Xperia.

Reader comments

Ask these questions apple and Samsung

"users were not able to record video for longer than half a minute" Completely false information

  • Otto
  • 01 Aug 2022
  • mDc

Multiple sources and reviews report overheating problems when using the camera, particularly during video recording. In quite a few cases, users were not able to record video for longer than half a minute. Sony seems to be using just tiny bit of he...