Review Of The Sony Xperia 1 IV: A Fantastic Phone That You Probably Shouldn’t Purchase
For a select few, the complex and sophisticated creativity features of the Xperia 1 iV will be worth the high price of admission. Although features like the variable zoom telephoto camera and detailed display have a wider appeal, they aren’t sufficient on their own to make someone choose it over a Galaxy S22 Ultra, Google Pixel 6 Pro, or iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Xperia 1 IV Sony review: Pricing and accessibility
For potential British buyers, the Xperia 1 IV costs £1,299 ($1,599), which is £200 more than an iPhone 13 Pro Max and $150 more than a Galaxy S22 Ultra. Additionally, since the $1,599 price in the United States is the same as the top-tier 1TB iPhone 13 Pro Max or S22 Ultra, it appears even worse to American consumers. Additionally, the iPhone 14 series will almost certainly be here by the time it launches, and the iPhone 14 Pro models, which compete with the Xperia, are expected to receive significant upgrades.
The Xperia has 256GB of storage by default in the UK and 512GB in the US in exchange for its high price. You might have significantly less money as a result of purchasing this phone, but at least you’ll get a lot of storage for the money.
Review of the Sony Xperia 1 IV: Design
I’ve previously referred to phones as being monolithic, but I believe Sony’s Xperia 1 IV wins the award for looking the most like the imposing structures from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Odyssey in Space To better fit widescreen content, the phone is significantly taller and narrower than comparable 6.5-inch handsets. Even with its flat sides, the Xperi 1 IV is very comfortable to hold and use with one hand for extended periods of time because it is also significantly lighter.
For better or worse, the Xperia 1 IV has many features you might not have expected to find on a flagship phone again. There is a headphone jack, a notification light, and an easily accessible SIM/SD card tray. Additionally, you get a separate camera shutter button to make taking pictures while holding the phone horizontally easier.
If that wasn’t excessive enough, Sony was kind enough to have the Xperia 1 IV certified as both IP65 (against water jets) and IP68 for water/dust resistance (against immersion in water). Then there is no need to be concerned about using this phone in the pouring rain.
The power button also serves as your fingerprint unlocking mechanism, but for some reason I found it very challenging to use consistently. Normally, I enjoy this feature just as much as under-display scanners or facial recognition, but in this case, it frequently misses my thumbprint. I’m surprised Sony was able to mess up this relatively simple component given how much else this phone is capable of.
In contrast to earlier Xperia phones, Sony has been kind enough to offer three colors. You have three choices: purple, white, and black.
Review of Sony’s Xperia 1 IV’s screen and speakers
The 6.5-inch screen on the Xperia is enjoyable for watching movies and playing games once you get past the odd aspect ratio. You have everything you need to enjoy your content with a 4K resolution and a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate.
Both the darker dramatic scenes and the brighter action set-pieces of the Uncharted movie looked fantastic on the Xperia display, which rivals the sharpness of both the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max. It also offers a color temperature that is in the middle of those two ranges by default.
The screen feels hemmed in by the thick top and bottom bezels, which is the only drawback. Since there is no camera punch-hole or part of your hand in the way of the action, the phone appears to be a few years older than it actually is due to the design.
The Sony phone has balanced audio that outperforms many smartphones, which makes everything sound better when it is connected to the phone. The Only Thing I Know For Real from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was one of the songs I tested on the Xperia and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. While I still prefer the iPhone, Sony has moved up to second place in terms of smartphone sound quality.
Review of the Sony Xperia 1 IV: Cameras
Whether you like it or not, Sony’s Alpha camera series design influences the Xperia’s photography. I review many different phones and phone camera systems, but nothing compares to Sony’s selection.
But let’s begin with the hardware. The Xperia 1 IV has four sensors with a total resolution of 12MP, three on the back and one on the front. The rear camera array consists of a primary camera, an ultrawide angle lens, and perhaps the most important component, a variable zoom telephoto lens that can smoothly transition from 3.5x to 5.2x zoom as you take pictures or videos.
Let’s start off by contrasting a main camera image taken with the Xperia and an iPhone 13 Pro Max. The iPhone’s image pops more in this photograph of All Saints Church in Tufnell Park, making details like the pointing between the bricks much more noticeable. In terms of color richness, the Sony is comparable, but its image is much flatter.
Here is a second photo I took of Hawley Lock on the Regent’s Canal using the primary cameras on the Xperia and the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The Samsung image is a little bit brighter and cooler than the other, which helps bring out detail in the buildings on either side of the canal in these two images that are otherwise quite similar.
Staying with the Sony and Samsung, we have a picture of a railway arch in the middle of Camden Gardens park taken with an ultrawide camera. Again, the Xperia produces a much darker image and has a higher magnification than the Galaxy (0.7x vs. 0.6x). This works to the Xperia’s advantage because the tunnel appears more like it did on the actual day. However, I do value the additional detail in the graffiti and brickwork in the Galaxy S22 Ultra picture.
I once more used the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Xperia to test the telephoto camera by attempting to focus on an Egyptian goose that I had spotted perched on some stonework in the middle of Regent’s Canal. Even though the Samsung camera’s 3x basic zoom is less effective than the 3.5x lens in the Sony camera and uses a slightly lower 10MP resolution than Sony’s 12MP, there is still a lot more detail to be seen in the Samsung image.
Although I’ve given praise to Samsung’s Expert RAW app for the Galaxy S22, this is on a completely different level and will undoubtedly be more appealing to seasoned photographers and videographers. If you know what you’re doing, it might also help level the playing field with the iPhone 13 Pro Max, Galaxy S22 Ultra, and other top camera phones.
Review of the Sony Xperia 1 IV’s battery and charging
The 5,000 mAh battery inside the Xperia 1 IV is a good size, but after two hours of Wi-Fi YouTube viewing, the battery life had decreased by 22%. That uses more energy than the other phones I tested using this technique, such as the Honor Magic4 Pro, which lost only 10% of its charge after 2.5 hours.
The high display resolution of the Xperia 1 IV is probably to blame for battery drain. If you fully charged the phone that morning, I imagine you’ll easily make it home that night with power to spare if you’re using the phone for less power-hungry purposes throughout the day as well.
Since Sony doesn’t include a charger or a cable in the box, rating the Xperia’s charging is more difficult. According to estimates from the company, using a Sony 30W fast charger can provide a 50% charge in 30 minutes, which is acceptable for most users. Sadly, the charger will cost you an additional £50.
Review of the Sony Xperia 1 IV’s software
The majority of the Android 12 interface on the Xperia looks like stock Android, which should be suitable for most users. The additional apps that Sony added to the phone are something you’re less likely to enjoy.
While some of these additions, such as the Cinema Pro, Video Pro, and Music Pro apps for more in-depth video and audio recording, the PlayStation App, and Headphones App for connectivity with your PlayStation and Sony headphones/earbuds, are cool, others, such as the Netflix and Bravia Core streaming apps, a few Amazon apps, and social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, seem superfluous.
The ability to split two apps into separate windows or open popover windows for multitasking is one special feature Sony added to its version of Android. I enjoy using these windows on tablets, and having them available on a phone can be just as helpful if you need to cross-reference some information without using the typical app switcher to switch back and forth.