Sony Xperia 1 IV Review: An Absurdly Priced Android Phone

Sony’s Xperia telephones aren’t like every other, which is an efficient factor. It has a tall 21:9 facet ratio with a 4K display screen, and Sony additionally has totally different priorities with its digicam system—it affords up extra guide controls so your pictures and movies look precisely how you want. The drawback? These units are among the most costly round, and the latest Sony Xperia 1 IV (pronounced “One Mark Four”) takes issues additional to an absurd $1,600 asking worth, or £1,299/€1,399 in the event you’re within the UK and Europe. 

For that type of money, this telephone better be foldable, or a minimum of be metaphysically excellent in each manner. But it’s neither. The key adjustments to the Xperia 1 IV from the earlier technology embody true optical zoom on a telephone digicam for the primary time, plus normal upgrades like a brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a boosted battery capability. Little else has been modified, which leaves you additional scratching your head concerning the unreasonable worth bounce.

Tall Order

Photograph: Sony

Sony has caught with the identical design as its previous few telephones, but it surely holds up. The Xperia line had flat edges on the edges nicely earlier than Apple and Samsung returned to the look, and the matte glass rear stays extraordinarily trendy. The slim bezels on the prime and backside date this telephone a smidge when in comparison with different new handsets, however you would possibly want that over notches or hole-punch selfie cameras. 

Arguably probably the most essential options that make this telephone stand out is the headphone jack. Yes, it is unhappy that this handy 3.5-mm jack is now relegated to budget phones, however this is likely one of the only a few high-end telephones that maintains it. The similar goes for the microSD card slot. The US variant comes with 512 GB of storage whereas the UK/Europe mannequin begins with 256 GB, however each characteristic the cardboard slot so you’ll be able to develop area at a second’s whim.   

The display screen is a prime deal with. It has a 4K decision, which is definitely overkill on the 6.67-inch AMOLED show, but it surely nonetheless seems great. The colours are extraordinarily true to life, not often over or undersaturated, and there’s loads of element. The 120-Hz screen refresh rate is the cherry on prime, guaranteeing that each animation on the telephone seems buttery clean. Next to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s screen, you are not getting as punchy colours, however that could be an excellent factor for coloration accuracy’s sake. The display screen does not get as vibrant both, but it surely’s greater than sufficient to see on sunny days. 

The distinctive, tall 21:9 facet ratio makes watching motion pictures really feel somewhat cinematic, but it surely does make the telephone somewhat awkward to deal with. You must stretch your fingers fairly a bit to achieve the highest of the display screen, although there is a one-handed mode to assist with this.

The efficiency of the Xperia 1 IV, backed up by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, is fairly good. Both the display screen and rear of the telephone do get uncomfortably heat while you push it with demanding video games like Genshin Impact. But you’ll discover few woes when searching day-to-day, past Sony’s barely clunky software program and notably when utilizing options like split-screen mode. Equally clunky is the side-mounted fingerprint scanner. It frequently recorded phantom touches and did not at all times settle for a faucet to unlock on the primary try. 

Thankfully, battery life makes up for this. Despite a demanding 4K, 120-Hz display screen, the 5,000-mAh cell comfortably lasts a full day plus a bit extra on a single cost. You can prime it up by way of the USB-C port or wi-fi charging, however you will want to provide your individual 30-watt charging adapter and cable as a result of Sony doesn’t include either

It’s the Optics

The images know-how you could get the very best out of the Xperia 1 IV’s cameras is past the simplicity you would possibly count on from a flagship smartphone. That’s largely the purpose—Sony expects you will need to tinker with the digicam settings as a substitute of simply urgent the shutter button (which you’ll be able to nonetheless do).

There are three 12-MP cameras right here, a foremost lens with optical picture stabilization (OIS), an ultrawide, and a telephoto sensor with OIS and true optical zoom. The latter characteristic is the large new addition this yr. Like zoom lenses made for DSLR and mirrorless cameras, this telephoto lens mechanically strikes between 3.5x and 5.2x zoom, that means in between these zoom ranges you are not getting crappy digital zoom high quality like most different telephones; you are still getting a crisp picture. However, it is such a small window to play with that it won’t matter a lot in any respect.

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