Sony Xperia 1 IV review: are you a professional?

Sony Xperia 1 IV review: are you a professional?



Sony Xperia 1 IV review

The new Xperia 1 IV, Sony’s top-of-the-range smartphone for 2022, arrives in May. Let’s find out what’s new in this super top of the photographic range.



Packaging

The recycled cardboard package contains only the manuals inside. The USB-C cable is also officially gone forever.



Construction and Ergonomics

Xperia 1 IV it is definitely a clearly Sony smartphone in its design. The opaque Gorilla Glass Victus back on the back is very pleasant to the touch, although together with the narrow and long format this Xperia 1 IV is also not among those with the easiest grip in everyday use. It is a clean and elegant smartphone. In perfect Sony style. In addition, it is not too heavy (185 grams) and is once again resistant to water and dust according to the standard IP68. The keys are still in place, even though there is no longer one for the Google assistant. Present the one for the camera.

Xperia 1 IV it mounts 12 GB of RAM, 256 GB of internal memory, eSIM support for a second SIM and physical support for memory expansion. Excellent connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, the aforementioned eSIM, video output via USB-C 3.2 and also the highly appreciated 3.5 mm audio jack.

The processor is the “penultimate” Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 octa core from 3 GHz with 4 nanometer production process and with Adreno 730 GPU. An excellent SoC that however has shown its limits, especially compared to the updated “8+” version. And this Xperia 1 IV is a pretty concrete example of it. Those who have had the opportunity to try it in the pre-launch version have complained about huge overheating problems. The updated version (in the software) we tested gets hot, but never to burn-like levels, as the warnings in the camera software suggest. The reason is probably to have limited the maximum CPU performance which from our tests drops to 65% already after 2 minutes of very intense use and about 50% after 10 minutes. A choice probably obligatory in order not to create too many “disservices” for the end user. Considering the almost 4 months since the announcement, we might have preferred to find the most recent processor inside, or a lower price.



Camera

Also for 2022 Sony has chosen a triple 12 megapixel camera system. The main one is one ƒ / 1.7 stabilized optically, we then have a ƒ / 2.2 wide angle and a new camera with variable zoom. Compared to last year, this model has a system that allows you to move the lens between a zoom of 3.5 and 5.2X and to stop it and use it in any intermediate position. Added to these is the usual 12 megapixel ƒ / 2.0 front.

Let’s start by saying that even this year this Sony smartphone remains one of the most interesting solutions for those who want photos as faithful to reality as possible, with an excellent balance of colors, light and in many cases the best focus, thanks also to a focusing system on the eye. We admit that there were, however, some photos out of focus, albeit in a very small percentage. All technology that professionals know well and that the company has refined in recent years also in the mobile sector. There are once again “buts”. Unfortunately. In fact, in a clash in automatic mode there are various smartphones that would probably produce more interesting results, also thanks to much more present processing and artificial intelligence systems. However, the professional can have fun with the manual settings of this Sony: even better if they already know the interface of Sony Alpha cameras.

The Sony system, however, begins to show a few years behind, with an image resolution that could have been higher, a not very punchy HDR, a rough portrait mode and no night mode. Plus as far as the innovation of the camera with variable zoom it is exciting in practice it is really difficult to appreciate the difference between the two zoom levels. And even on a tour of Berlin in search of faraway subjects to photograph we were unable to take full advantage of this solution, which we hope to see applied again in the future, but with a greater range of variability. We then add that the definition of the photos, perhaps also due to little image processing, is not perfect, especially at the higher zoom level.

Again only the front camera is enough. Discrete videos in 4Kwhich, however, can only be recorded at 30 in automatic modefps. You have to use the Pro version (or the Cinema version to create more complex projects) to get up to 120fps. The advantage of the 30 modefps however, it is that of being able to switch between the various photographic sensors during recording. Good stabilization during video recording. In Cinema Pro mode the biggest advantage is undoubtedly that of being able to choose manual focus points and switch between them with a touch (even if you will necessarily have to do them color grading).



Display

There is no news in the display data sheet of Sony Xperia 1 IV, although we find an increased maximum brightness. For the rest we have a 6.5-inch panel in 4K technology, with 120 Hz refresh rate, in 21: 9 format and with HDR10 technology. The screen is obviously an OLED panel. The display also supports the always-on display, the creation mode and the automatic switching between Full HD and 4K resolution based on the app used.



Software

Sony Xperia 1 IV arrives on the market with Android 12 updated with the May 2022 patches. We admit we would have liked some more news. The software is in fact practically identical to that of the previous models. Among the pre-installed apps, however, we find Music Pro for musicians who want to record their voice on the go (it can be magically cleaned up in a professional way thanks to a cloud subscription). Then we also have the Game Enhancer and a particular window management that should be aimed at simplifying the use of two apps at the same time, but which we find instead a bit cumbersome. Overall the system is quite fast, although after a period of “effort” you may also notice some slight slowdown.



Autonomy

The battery of this Xperia 1 IV is good 5,000 mAh. This battery can get you through the day with average use, but you may need to recharge around dinner time in case you use it a lot for photos and videos. Charging is at 30W and also wireless at 15W, on average with other top of the range, but far from the speeds offered by some “Chinese” exponents.



Price

Sony Xperia 1 IV arrives on the market once again a bit late and at the price premium from € 1,399. Too many. Without appeal. Even if contextualized in a very complex 2022 on prices, these € 100 more than last year are not irrelevant. Sony has only talked to fans for years, but in 2022 with so many alternatives out there, the asking price is way too high.

Photo

Final judgement

Sony Xperia 1 IV

Sony Xperia 1 IV has had to tame the processor inside and this can be seen when the phone is very stressed. Having overcome this aspect, the smartphone is not a big news compared to 2021. Despite the “mobile” zoom camera and the larger battery, the daily use experience does not change much. It is a smartphone for enthusiasts and professional photographers / videographers. At a price of luxury.

Summary

Packaging 4.5

Construction and Ergonomics 9.5

Hardware 8.5

Camera 8

Display 8.5

Software 7.5

Autonomy 7.5

Price 5.5

Final vote

Sony Xperia 1 IV

Pro

  • Beautiful and well built
  • Still waterproof and with audio jack
  • Good cameras
  • Nice display

Versus

  • “Limited” performance
  • The “mobile” zoom camera does not bring a real advantage
  • Improved software
  • Very high price

Emanuele Cisotti

Emanuele Cisotti He lives in the world of telephony from the Nokia 3210 and in the world of linux from Ubuntu 5.04. If he could he would also live in a world of Lego and one of electronic music.

Sony Xperia 1 IV

Sony Xperia 1 IV




  • Display
    6.5 “4K- / 1644 x 3840 PX



  • Camera
    12 MPX ƒ / 1.7



  • Front
    12 MPX ƒ / 2.0



  • CPU
    octa 3 GHz



  • RAM
    12 GB



  • Internal Memory
    256/512 GB Expandable



  • Battery
    5000 mAh



  • Android
    12

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