Sony has not given up on the mobile phone business as rumored. Just recently, Sony released the latest technological flagship model of the Xperia series —— Sony Xperia 1 IV. It is equipped with Sony’s first 85-125mm continuous optical zoom telephoto, high-speed stack sensor, which has also improved in terms of screen, performance, and battery life.
So what is the experience of using such a product? Have those persistence on the previous Xperia series changed? Below is my one week experience.
Sony Xperia 1 IV specs and features:
- 6.5″ OLED Screen, 21:9, 4K resolution, 120Hz
- Snapdragon 8, 12GB+256GB/512GB
- IP65/68 dustproof and waterproof
- Support 30W USB PD fast charge
- 5000mAh battery
- $989 – Check latest price on: Amazon US (256GB), Amazon US (512GB), Amazon UK, Amazon Germany or other Amazon countries
01/ Appearance: Polished again on the classic design
For the Sony Xperia 1 IV, the first impression of most users may be “how does it still look like this”. Indeed, since the birth of Sony Xperia 1, the overall design has always adhered to the classic design of straight screen + right-angle middle frame. But in fact, each generation of products has been polished in appearance details.
On the front design of the mobile phone, the Sony Xperia 1 IV still adopts the design scheme of non-hole true full screen, and does not follow the design trend of full screen of other manufacturers. The advantage of this design is that users can get a complete screen without the display area being occupied by bangs or digging holes. With the high-quality screen of the Xperia 1 IV, it can be seen that Sony hopes to allow users to have an excellent visual experience whether they are consuming content or creating content.
Another advantage of the non-perforated full-screen design is that the speakers can also be placed on the front of the fuselage. Compared with other manufacturers opening holes in the middle frame, this design will undoubtedly make the sound more three-dimensional and bring users a better listening experience.
Although the design of the back of the phone does not seem to have changed much, if you wear the protective case of the Xperia 1 IV, you can find that the rear camera module is closer to the edge of the phone. The rear camera module itself has not changed, from top to bottom are the ultra-wide-angle lens, the main camera and the telephoto lens. The word T* in the middle indicates that it uses Zeiss T* lens coating, and the side shows the positioning of its professional photography flagship. As for the specific performance, I will test it below.
The back cover glass is made of frosted material, which is more delicate in touch than the previous generation of mobile phones. The middle “SONY” brand logo is treated with bright glass effect, which is very prominent and adds some recognition to the back of the fuselage. The middle frame is made of metal. Compared with the previous generation, a chamfer transition is added to the edges on both sides, making the phone visually thinner and lighter. Coupled with the 21:9 slender body ratio, 185g weight and 8.2mm thickness, it is very comfortable to hold with one hand.
It is worth mentioning that this time, the battery capacity of the Sony Xperia 1 IV has been further increased to 5000mAh under the premise of almost no change in the size and thickness of the body.
The right side of the fuselage still collects all the buttons of the mobile phone, and the voice assistant buttons that were not frequently used in the previous generation have been removed to make the fuselage more tidy. The side fingerprint recognition still adopts an integrated solution combined with the power button, and the recognition speed is excellent. Among them, the camera physical key is still a two-stage key. In camera mode, half-press is to focus, and full-press is to shutter, which is exactly the same as the shutter on the camera. In daily use, long press can directly call out the camera, which is also very convenient.
The iconic quick release card slot of Sony mobile phones has been moved to the bottom of the fuselage this time. It adopts a 2-in-1 design with microSD storage expansion capability, which is rare in flagship phones. In addition, the Type-C charging interface and microphone are also integrated at the bottom of the fuselage. The top of the fuselage retains the 3.5mm headphone jack, which is compatible with wired headphones.
In terms of color, the Sony Xperia 1 IV is available in three colors: black, white and purple. In addition, Sony Xperia 1 IV also supports IP65/68 dustproof and waterproof design. The display uses Corning Gorilla Glass Victus™, which is further enhanced in terms of drop and scratch protection, and the overall durability of the phone is excellent.
From the design point of view, the Sony Xperia 1 IV still maintains Sony’s consistent unique design and exquisite workmanship. At a time when mobile phones are still deep in homogeneity, the Sony Xperia 1 IV has a different charm. While catering to the user’s aesthetic, it also retains the iconic design language. This design is attractive for both Sony fans and new users.
02/ Photography: Sony’s first optical zoom telephoto, taking photography to a new level
As a “mirrorless” mobile phone, the Xperia 1 IV’s photography capabilities are naturally the most concerned by users. Sony is also very aware of this, and with the Xperia 1 IV, Sony has come up with a lot of new technology.
The Sony Xperia 1 IV is equipped with a triple-camera quad-focus photography system. The three cameras are all 12MP, of which the main camera is an equivalent 24mm focal length with an aperture of F1.7. The ultra-wide-angle lens is an equivalent 16mm focal length with an aperture of F2.2. The telephoto lens supports continuous optical zoom, supports an equivalent 85-125mm focal length, and has an aperture of F2.3-F2.8.
Supports continuous optical zoom, allowing the Xperia 1 IV’s telephoto lens to achieve full-range optical imaging in the 85mm to 125mm focal length. Allows users to freely switch the focal length without worrying about image quality loss when shooting distant objects. At the same time, the triple-camera of the Sony Xperia 1 IV uses a high-speed stacked sensor, which also allows the Xperia 1 IV to support continuous shooting of 20 HDR photos per second. 60 automatic exposure/focus detections per second, which further improves the image quality of continuous shooting.
The rear triple-camera of the Sony Xperia 1 IV supports real-time eye focus and object tracking. When in use, you only need to tap the screen and select the subject to achieve fast focus tracking. It is not difficult to find from the screenshots that the real-time tracking function is very stable. Although the camera keeps moving, the “little green frame” is always locked on to the target.
There is no doubt that the addition of this function gives the telephoto lens stronger shooting capabilities. Facing distant moving objects can also be easily captured, greatly improving the filming rate.
From the real shooting experience, the 24mm wide-angle lens and 16mm ultra-wide-angle lens of Sony Xperia 1 IV have very good imaging performance. It can be clearly seen that Sony is more faithful to restore the true color of the scene. The sample chromatic aberration is small, the white balance is well controlled, and the dynamic range is closer to the style of your own camera, and the transition between dark parts and bright parts is also very natural and accurate.
Ultra wide-angle lens proofs
Main photo sample
In terms of telephoto, judging from the proofs, it is still very comfortable to use the Sony Xperia 1 IV to shoot distant scenes. Composition is easy, and the image quality is good, with text on distant buildings clearly visible. The restoration of details is very good, the details of buildings and leaves are well preserved, and the overall look and feel of the picture is also very good.
Telephoto proofs (85mm)
Telephoto proofs (100mm)
Telephoto proofs (105mm)
Telephoto proofs (110mm)
In terms of night scenes, how to balance brightness and details is a big problem. Judging from the actual shooting effect, what Sony pursues is true restoration. While suppressing the highlights and brightening the dark parts, it will not make the picture look very flat, and the overall look is real and natural.
In terms of video, all three cameras of the Sony Xperia 1 IV support shooting 4K 120-frame HDR video. Such a specification is the first time on a mobile phone, and the biggest advantage is that it can easily achieve slow-motion effects in the later stage. The Xperia 1 IV can also achieve smooth zoom between the three cameras during shooting, allowing video creators to have a full focal length shooting experience of 16mm-375mm.
The Video Master APP, which was previously launched on the Sony Xperia PRO-I, has also come to the Xperia 1 IV to help users easily obtain a professional shooting experience. If you have live broadcast needs, you can also connect to mainstream live broadcast platforms through the Video Master App to obtain better live broadcast quality.
Video Master APP
In the actual shooting process, the Sony Xperia 1 IV continues its excellent imaging characteristics in photography, which can achieve smooth, clear and accurate video recording effects. Even in environments with complex light sources, the Sony Xperia 1 IV’s video images did not suffer from overexposure.
Overall, on the basis of the excellent photography performance of the previous generation, the Sony Xperia 1 IV has further improved its shooting capabilities through a series of Sony’s self-developed black technologies. At the same time, the addition of the Video Master App allows users to use the Xperia 1 IV to make live broadcasts better and easier to operate. For photography enthusiasts and live bloggers, the Xperia 1 IV can be said to be a very suitable choice.
03/ Experience: From the screen to the chip, bringing an excellent user experience
After talking about the main photography function, let’s talk about the experience of using the Sony Xperia 1 IV. In this part, we will take a look at how the Xperia 1 IV performs according to the most common usage scenarios of users.
4K 120Hz high refresh screen + front dual speakers, excellent audio and video experience
Speaking of the user experience, we must talk about this screen. Although the current digging full screen is not used in the design, the parameters of this screen can definitely be regarded as the first echelon in the current market. 6.5″ OLED screen, 21:9 ratio, 4K resolution, 120Hz high refresh rate, all aspects are excellent. On this basis, the Xperia 1 IV further improves the screen brightness, and the global maximum brightness reaches 1000nits, which is about 50% higher than the previous generation. And unlike other mobile phones that require automatic brightness adjustment to activate the highest brightness, the Xperia 1 IV can use manual adjustment to achieve peak brightness, which is convenient for users to use outdoors.
The front dual speakers of the Sony Xperia 1 IV have been redesigned to further increase maximum volume. At the same time, in the context of the rise of the wireless trend, the Xperia 1 IV still insists on retaining the 3.5mm headphone jack, which is a good thing for the majority of music lovers.
The Sony Xperia 1 IV also introduces DSEE Ultimate audio technology. AI technology is used to improve the quality of digital audio in real time to a level close to high resolution, bringing a richer and fuller listening experience. This feature supports both wired or wireless headphones to play built-in or streaming music.
In actual experience, the Xperia 1 IV has a very good viewing experience. Compared with a 16:9 screen, the Xperia 1 IV can carry more display content, and there will be no black bars on the upper and lower sides of the image, allowing the picture to fill the entire screen. And because there are no bangs and water droplets to block the line of sight, the immersion of the movie is also stronger. Thanks to the layout of the front dual speakers, the sound of the Xperia 1 IV is more three-dimensional, making it feel more immersive.
And if you have higher requirements for graphic color accuracy, you can also manually select “Master Mode” in the settings options. This feature is powered by CineAlta, and users can get more professional color accuracy in “Master Mode”. Not only does it help enhance the video viewing experience, you can even use it as a Sony mirrorless monitor. It also has the ability to provide extremely professional display support for creating scenes.
Overall, the Xperia 1 IV is an uncompromising audio and video entertainment mobile phone, whether it is the screen display effect or the sound quality experience. If you are a user who is very picky about high-quality audio and video equipment, then the Xperia 1 IV with 4K HDR OLED 120Hz display, Hi-Res high-resolution audio, LDAC and DSEE Ultimate AI audio optimization technology will be a very suitable choose.
Of course, for professionals, the strong “creator attribute” of Xperia 1 IV will also provide us with the most accurate and professional assistance to help creators better express the intent of their works.
Snapdragon 8 processor, the game is equally good
In terms of performance, Sony Xperia 1 IV is equipped with a new generation of Snapdragon 8 mobile platform. The whole system comes standard with 12GB of memory, and there are two storage specifications of 256GB and 512GB. It is definitely the flagship level in terms of hardware. In order to test the actual performance of the Xperia 1 IV, we selected two games “Game For Peace” and “Genshin Impact” as the test objects, and recorded the frame rate curve of the Sony Xperia 1 IV during the game through PerfDog. Before starting the test, I turned on the performance mode of the phone and set the game image quality to the highest level + limit frame rate.
In the “Game For Peace” test, the Xperia 1 IV averaged 58.9 fps. Although the frame rate graph fluctuates slightly, the overall gaming experience is relatively smooth.
“Game For Peace” frame rate performance
In the “Genshin Impact” test session, the Xperia 1 IV also performed very well, with an average frame rate of 55.1 fps. The overall game fluency is relatively high, at the upper-middle level among Snapdragon 8 mobile phones.
“Genshin Impact” frame rate performance
The Sony Xperia 1 IV also supports “Game Mode,” which Sony calls a “Game Enhancer.” After entering the “Game Enhancer”, you can find the same cross key symbol in the upper left corner of the game, click it to switch the game mode. In the menu, players can adjust the game performance mode, realize quick search, screenshot recording and other quick operations, which is very convenient and user-friendly.
It can be seen from the game performance test session that the Sony Xperia 1 IV can fully meet the needs of popular mobile games, and the performance is guaranteed for ordinary users.
Increased battery capacity, battery life is enough for a day of use
In terms of battery life, the Sony Xperia 1 IV is equipped with a 5000mAh battery and supports “energy saving”, which can optimize the battery life of specific apps to avoid a large number of apps consuming power in the background. Judging from the actual test, the Sony Xperia 1 IV has a remaining battery of 37% after a 5-hour heavy battery life test, which can meet the needs of a day’s battery life for daily use.
In terms of charging, the Sony Xperia 1 IV supports 30W USB PD fast charging. Here we conduct a 30-minute fast charge test on the Sony Xperia 1 IV, using a 30W PD charging head. In the actual test, the Sony Xperia 1 IV was charged to 27% in 15 minutes and to 53% in 30 minutes, which can also meet the basic needs of users.
The Xperia 1 IV also supports wireless charging and reverse charging, with high charging flexibility. It is worth mentioning that the Sony Xperia 1 IV also supports the battery maintenance function, which can intelligently reduce the time when the battery is nearly full and prolong the battery life by learning the user’s charging habits.
Has the Sony Xperia 1 IV changed? From a general perspective, it is still the original Xperia. Insist on using a complete screen, insist on retaining the 3.5mm headphone jack, insist on symmetrical design, etc. But if you start using this phone, you can feel the polishing and changes in the details. The telephoto lens adds optical zoom, the battery capacity is increased, the body is still light and thin, and the audio and video experience is further improved. Every improvement is practical enough.
Overall, the Sony Xperia 1 IV is still unique in the mobile phone market, but unique does not mean bad. Its classic appearance design, professional audio and video performance, and photography system with great creative desire can bring you a good experience. The Sony Xperia 1 IV is a solid choice if you’re looking for a phone that’s different but good enough to use.