May 11th was all about Google I/O and the upcoming Pixel goodness coming our way in the months ahead but it was also when Sony chose to announce its newest flagship smartphone, the Xperia 1 IV. Pre-orders for the Xperia 1 IV are already live in Europe while the US will have to wait until September 1st for it to go on sale. The Xperia 1 IV features what Sony calls the “world’s first true optical 85-125mm zoom lens”, a trio of 12MP sensors, and is, of course, powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor.
Sony is heavily emphasizing the photographic capabilities of the Xperia 1 IV whose fancy telephoto zoom lens is of the periscopic variety and features both 16mm and 24mm lenses which let the user set the focal length anywhere between 85-125mm. The camera can be adjusted to zoom anywhere between 3.5-5.2x, which isn’t a huge range but Sony says it’s what is traditionally used when taking portrait images.
All three cameras use the Exmor RS sensor that has 12-megapixels, so clearly Sony isn’t trying to compete in the megapixel count battle. All three lenses feature a Zeiss T* coating which aims to improve contrast and sharpness levels whilst also reducing reflections, much like we’ve seen on the recent Vivo flagships.
With such an emphasis on photography, users will be able to manually adjust settings such as focus, exposure, and white balance during video capture, with 4K HDR multi-frame shooting, and the addition of the Cinematography Pro feature. It all sounds great, but consumers will be looking at rival flagships such as Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra, OPPO’s Find X5 Pro, ZTE’s new Axon 40 Ultra, as well as Google’s Pixel 6 Pro and wondering why Sony has skimped on the megapixels. Or perhaps how Sony, a smartphone brand that has consistently struggled to make the most of the camera sensors that it actually produces, can produce better images than Google did before moving on from the 12MP sensors found on the Pixel 4 series. Small sensors don’t capture as much light as larger sensors, so shooting in low-light conditions may prove to be a mixed bag. The selfie camera is housed in the top bezel (nope, no punch-hole cutouts here) and is also a 12MP Exmor RS sensor.
“Xperia 1 IV is an exciting continuation of our Xperia series,” said Nobuki Asahina, Head of Mobile Sales & Marketing’. “At Sony, we believe creativity has no limits and our new flagship model, the Xperia 1 IV, is born of that philosophy.” He continued: “Xperia inspires users to become creators, and every facet of content creation can be handled by Xperia 1 IV. Beyond this, it is fast! Every aspect of the device has been designed to maximise the speed of execution. Whether it’s the speed of the camera, or the speed of responsiveness when gaming, we firmly believe that this new device will delight our customers.”
Anyhow. Elsewhere you’ll find a 6.5-inch OLED display that has virtually a 4K resolution, Bravia HDR remaster technology, a 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling and motion blur, and the tall 21:9 aspect ratio that is common to Sony handsets. The 5,000mAh battery is said to be able to charge from 0-50% in 30 minutes when using Sony’s XQZ-UC1 wall charger which supports 30W charging and is unfortunately sold separately. Wireless charging and reverse wireless charging are supported although Sony hasn’t stated any figures on their respective charging speeds.
The Xperia 1 IV has IP68 certification with Gorilla Glass Victus protecting both the front and rear panels, and you’ll be pleased to learn that there is a 3.5mm audio jack present and that the phone also supports MicroSD cards.
The Xperia 1 IV is already up for pre-order in the UK priced from £1,299 for the 12/256GB variant with shipping scheduled to start on June 11th. The US has to wait until September 1st to gain access to the Xperia 1 IV for $1,600 from the likes of B&H Photo and Sony’s online store. Finally, the phone will be available in White, Black, and Purple colorways.
That $1,600 price is a little on the hefty side for me considering what that sum of money can get you in 2022, it will be interesting to see just how popular the Xperia 1 IV will be against rival flagships. Is it twice as good as a Pixel 6 Pro? Let us know in the comments below.