The Sony Xperia 1 IV has been unveiled and depending on how you look at it, the phone is either very early or slightly late, as the Sony Xperia 1 III was unveiled 13 months ago, but only went on sale nine months ago.
In any case, the new model is here now, and this is Sony’s first and likely only flagship phone for 2022, as there’s no Sony Xperia 5 IV – though the mid-range Sony Xperia 10 IV has been announced.
Highlights of the Xperia 1 IV include seamless optical zoom and better tools for both audio and video recording, but we’ll get into all that below, along with key details like the release date and price.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Sony’s new flagship phone
- When is it out? June 16 in the UK and September 1 in the US
- How much does it cost? £ 1,299 / $ 1,599 (roughly AU $ 2,300)
Sony Xperia 1 IV release date and price
The Sony Xperia 1 IV is up for pre-order now in the UK and the rest of Europe, with the phone shipping to the UK on June 16.
That’s a surprise coming from Sony, since the Xperia 1 III was announced months before it went on sale, and lots of the company’s other phones followed a similar pattern. This is definitely a change for the better though – but it’s only a change in Europe, as those in the US won’t get it until September 1.
There’s no word Australian availability just yet, and that region probably won’t get the phone, as Sony doesn’t tend to sell its phones in Australia.
As for the price, it will set you back £ 1,299 / $ 1,599 (roughly AU $ 2,300).
If you were hoping for a new design from the Sony Xperia 1 IV, you’re out of luck, as it looks almost identical to the Xperia 1 III. That means a tall, narrow design with a flat screen, and bigger bezels both above and below it than you might be used to on top-end handsets, with the upper bezel being used to house the front-facing camera.
The back – which comes in a choice of black, white, or purple shades – is a flat glass sheet with a quad-lens camera jutting out from the top left corner.
So it’s got a fairly conventional look from the rear and less so from the front – though arguably the front doesn’t look super modern either.
The Sony Xperia 1 IV also has an IP65 / 68 rating, which means it’s passed both certifications, whereas most flagship phones are just IP68. So it’s water-resistant in a wider variety of circumstances than most. This again is the same as the Xperia 1 III.
Its protection doesn’t end at water resistance either, as there’s tough Gorilla Glass Victus on both the front and back.
There’s a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate on the Sony Xperia 1 IV, and it supports HDR, and has a wide 21: 9 aspect ratio. Those are the same specs as the Sony Xperia 1 III, but that’s not surprising or a problem, since Sony equips its flagship phones with higher resolution displays than just about any other smartphone.
The aspect ratio – while not new either – is another notable point, as it makes for a taller, narrower display than most phones, which is definitely a love it or hate it design, but one which helps Sony’s phones stand out.
Where the screen does differ from its predecessor is in terms of brightness, as the Sony Xperia 1 IV is 50% brighter than the Xperia 1 III. So it should be able to pump up the brightness enough to remain very visible even in direct sunlight.
Camera and battery
The Sony Xperia 1 IV has a quad-lens camera, the highlight of which is likely to be its 12MP telephoto lens, offering a seamless zoom range of between 85mm and 125mm.
For reference, the Xperia 1 III could switch between 70mm and 105mm, but it only supported those two zoom levels – nothing in between, whereas here you can optically zoom to any distance between 70mm and 125mm. That’s a feature you won’t find on any other smartphone – most of which limit you to a single optical zoom distance.
For what it’s worth, the Xperia 1 IV’s zoom range equates to roughly 3.5x – 5.2x optical zoom.
The other cameras include a 12MP 24mm wide lens, a 12MP 16mm ultrawide one, and a 3D time-of-flight sensor for judging depth.
The Sony Xperia 1 IV also has a 12MP camera on the front, which is an upgrade from its predecessor’s 8MP one. This new snapper additionally has a larger sensor, which should improve low light shots, and it can record video in up to 4K quality.
The phone’s rear cameras are packed full of modes and other upgrades too, like 4K 120fps slow-mo recording, wider dynamic range than before when shooting video, a Videography Pro mode for live streaming, and more.
As for the battery, that’s a 5,000mAh one (up from 4,500mAh on the Xperia 1 III), and Sony claims it can charge to 50% in just 30 minutes.
Specs and features
Like most 2022 flagship phones, the Sony Xperia 1 IV has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. This is a top-end chipset delivering plenty of power.
Beyond that, Sony has really worked on the gaming and audio features of this phone. On the gaming front it includes features like a 240Hz touch sampling rate, motion blur reduction, an audio equalizer, and voice chat optimization. Plus there are tools for game streaming, like 120Hz recording, an audio mixer and a voice changer.
As for audio, the Sony Xperia 1 IV has full-stage stereo speakers with the promise of superior sound, plus Sony Music Entertainment audio tuning, a 3.5mm headphone port, and hi-res audio.
If you’re more into audio recording then the Sony Xperia 1 IV has you covered there too, with a Music Pro app for both recording and mixing audio.