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From the flagship smartphone, they expect advanced stuffing and maximum usability (comfort in operation and simplicity). Well-known brands listen to the needs of the audience. Sony released the flagship Xperia 1 IV and boldly went the other way. This smartphone is a one-of-a-kind device for content creators, music recording fans and filmmakers with full manual settings. We found out why the Xperia 1 IV is not for everyone, what is unique about the filling of the device and in what cases it justifies its huge price.

The flagship from Sony is crammed with exclusive software that is not useful to everyone. Photo: androidplanet.nl

Specifications
Design and construction
Display
Sound
Operating system
Performance
autonomy
Camera
Competitors and analogues
Results

Specifications Sony Xperia 1 IV

Model Sony Xperia 1 IV
The size 165 x 71 x 8.2mm
The weight 185 g
CPU Snapdragon 8 Gen1
Memory 12 GB
Storage capacity 256/512 GB
Navigation and modules Wi-Fi 6E, 5G, Bluetooth 5.2
NFC there is
Display 6.5″, 4K HDR OLED, 120Hz, 21:9
Camera 12 MP, f/2.2, dual-PDAF, 124 degrees ultra wide
12 MP f/1.7, 82 degrees, OIS, dual-PDAF – primary
12 MP, f/2.3 (2.8), dual-PDAF, OIS – telephoto 12 MP, f/2.0 – selfie camera
Video recording up to 4K (HDR)
Moisture and dust protection IP65/68
SIM cards two Nano-SIMs

Design and construction

The body geometry of the Sony Xperia 1 IV is reminiscent of the space console form factor. Slim width elongated design makes viewing widescreen content exceptionally comfortable. Despite the large 6.5-inch display, holding the smartphone with one hand is very comfortable. Flat edges do not interfere with the grip and do not cut into the palm. At 185g, the Sony Xperia 1 IV feels lightweight.

Sony left a 3.5 mm jack for a wired headset to music lovers – this is rare in flagship smartphone lines. The notification indicator is also classic. The SIM/SD card tray can be removed with fingers without tools. On the side face, the engineers placed a separate shutter-release camera for easy shooting.

The camera block is concise and neat. Sony has put on stuffing rather than innovative design. Photo: amateurphotographer.co.uk


The appearance of the smartphone is strict, premium. The colors of the flagship (black, white or purple) are with a calm range, without catchy accents and overflows in the light. The front and back sides of the smartphone are protected from scratches by Gorilla Glass Victus.

A separate bonus is the IP65/68 certificate. Xperia 1 IV is completely dustproof. The smartphone can withstand the pressure of a jet of water and even immersion to a depth of 1 m. Among the flagship smartphones (excluding devices of special protected lines), the Xperia 1 IV has the highest water resistance.

Sony Xperia 1 IV display

Traditionally for the Xperia 1 series, the smartphone is equipped with a 4K screen. By default, the display works with QHD resolution. 4K is enabled when compatible content is launched. This decision is practical and sound. The battery charge will not be wasted when the screen displays something that does not make sense in 4K. The change of permission occurs automatically – the user will not be able to control the process.

The HDR-enabled widescreen display instantly immerses you in any content. Photo: www.gsmarena.com

The display diagonal is 6.5 inches, the aspect ratio is 21:9. Watching widescreen content is a delight. Arguments about the advisability of 4K on a 6.5-inch display are irrelevant. When a user watches a lot of 4K videos online or plays their own 4K content, it turns out that there are no alternatives to the Xperia 1 IV.

The refresh rate of the OLED display is 120 Hz, but without technology for its automatic adjustment (LTPO). The frequency will be fixed, there is no need to wait for additional battery savings. But the user can immediately set the desired parameters – and no longer return to this issue.

Sound

The smartphone supports high quality audio playback (FLAC, etc.). LDAC codecs are protected for clear and surround sound in wireless headphones and adaptive aptX – with it, via Bluetooth, the sound corresponds to the CD level (16 bit, 44.1 kHz). A great set for listening to music of any genre with any headset!

Dolby Atmos surround sound system turns your smartphone into a pocket cinema. Photo: gizmologi.id

Loud stereo speakers without wheezing at high and low frequencies will easily replace a headset. For fans of creating music on the go, Sony has prepared a surprise – the Music Pro app. The sound is recorded on the built-in or third-party wired microphone, tracks can be combined.

The application has artificial intelligence functions for working with audio, adjusting reverb and effects, and removing noise. A lot of filters and additional add-ons – for the exact “fitting” of the record. The length of the project is limited to ten minutes, but for a camping project this is enough.

Operating system Sony Xperia 1 IV

The software part of the Xperia 1 IV is based on the familiar Android 12. The software is almost clean, without embarrassing innovations and malicious pre-installed applications. On their own, Sony programmers added several relevant innovations: setting privacy and alerts, a split-screen option, a side touch panel with shortcuts. The default firmware comes with a trial version of Sony’s streaming service, Bravia Core. The catalog contains a variety of 4K content, new and classic films.

With Bravia Core, the latest in cinema in exclusive quality is always at hand. Photo: xperia.sony.jp

The manufacturer guarantees OS updates for two years – up to Android 13 and 14. Competitors offer at least three years of support along with their flagships. But Sony believes that few people will not change the smartphone (especially the flagship) after two years of operation.

Sony Xperia 1 IV performance

Inside the Xperia 1 IV is one of the advanced mobile chipsets. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 coupled with 12 GB of RAM runs smoothly and confidently in any applications. During normal use of the smartphone (surfing, social networks, creating music, watching movies, taking photos), the processor power is plenty. For at least two or three years, the user will not feel any freezes, slowdowns, etc.

When you try to play heavy titles at maximum settings, the situation changes. The flip side of Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 power is heat dissipation. Under heavy load, the processor heats up noticeably. This does not lead to throttling (voltage loss, errors, device freezes), but it causes discomfort.

In regular applications for music and photography, the browser, simple games, there are no problems with heating the case. Photo: phonearena.com

Manufacturers struggle with the hot temper of the chipset in different ways. In the flagship Realme GT 2 PRO, copper and large steel plates are responsible for cooling the chipset. The approach increased the thickness of the device. The Xperia 1 IV remains thin, light, blends into the hand and… hot in heavy gaming. But the smartphone has a large power reserve for any business projects, photo and sound recording. Sony still does not position its masterpiece as a gaming one.

In synthetic tests, the Xperia 1 IV is only slightly behind the Xiaomi 12 Pro, while the Google Pixel 6 Pro outperforms by about 20% in terms of scores.

Autonomy Sony Xperia 1 IV

The flagship is equipped with a battery with a capacity of 5000 mAh, which is classic for the leaders of the segment. The device does not have supernatural autonomy: on average, a smartphone works one day on a single charge. With a wire and a 30 W adapter, it is possible to bring the battery from a state of complete zero to 100% in 65–70 minutes. The time is not a record, but you still need to charge the Xperia 1 IV every night – before dawn, the smartphone will have time to make up for energy losses (the controller takes care of the health of the battery, which turns off the current supply at 100% charge). Wireless charging is supported, but with it, the standby time increases by at least 25%.

The Xperia 1 IV won’t break the habit of plugging in the charging cable before bed. Photo: sony-asia.com

Charging Xperia 1 IV slow – fact. Competing flagships are charged with adapters up to 120 W, making up for losses in a few minutes. Sony engineers explain that their decision is due to the desire to maintain battery capacity in the long term. The Xperia 1 IV battery really lasts a long time (on average, the claimed two years) and does not lose its performance over time.

Camera Sony Xperia 1 IV

Xperia 1 IV lenses are the door to amazing photography for advanced users. The flagship device does not profess the fashionable concept of simplicity such as “press a button in one of twenty modes – and artificial intelligence does everything itself.”

Xperia 1 IV – for the gurus of manual settings, connoisseurs of branded Alpha cameras from Sony. The end result of photos and videos (and it is amazingly good) directly depends on the user’s skills. Built-in applications – Photo Pro and Video Pro – to help. The flagship also has auto mode. But all the splendor of pictures and videos is revealed only with a manual format.

The Xperia 1 IV is unfriendly to beginners, but completely open to those who like to take the perfect photo. Photo: chip.de

A neat camera block on the back cover contains:

  • Main lens 12 MP with OIS (electronic stabilization for smooth shooting in motion), aperture f/1.7.
  • 12 MP ultra wide-angle lens, f/2.2, 1/2.5-inch sensor.
  • 12 MP telephoto lens with PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus – fast and accurate) and 3.5x–5.2x continuous focal zoom, 1/3.5-inch optical matrix.

The third lens is unique. Movable elements allow it to move seamlessly between zoom levels (85-125mm equivalent focal length) for stunning zoom photos. The telephoto lens helps you line up your subject perfectly without cropping or digital zoom.

Photos on a telephoto lens are contrasting, bright, with a depth effect. Everything, as with a zoom lens on a good camera. Photo: techradar.com

Pictures on the main camera are not much inferior to shots from the iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung S22 Ultra. You can talk about volume, tone, warmth, but these are particulars. Rich color reproduction, clarity and sharpness, maximum detail – it is very difficult to find flaws in photos from the main lens.

The glare on the faceted glass is like a skillful touch on the main camera of the Xperia 1 IV. Photo: techradar.com

The ultra wide-angle camera with autofocus is not far behind: excellent dynamic range and impressive detail, flagship clarity and natural colors are striking. In some top smartphones, the ultrawide lens is 50%, 60%, 70% effective. In Xperia 1 IV, the ultra wide-angle module works without loss of quality. They want to use.

Cinematic photo with ultra-wide angle lens. F/2.2, ISO 64, 1/2000 c. Photo: www.gsmarena.com

Selfie shots on the 12 MP camera are also gaining maximum positive points. Photos are soft, with incredibly low noise levels and accurate color reproduction. In a special portrait selfie mode, the blur looks natural, and the sharpness is reference.

Compared to selfies from other flagships, the Xperia 1 IV’s footage is flawless. Photo: www.gsmarena.com

There are few additional modes familiar to the average user: slow motion, portrait, panorama. But in a manual format, none of this matters. So, the lack of a night mode is solved by accurate and competent settings. The result is true-to-life, colorful, crisp images in low-light conditions.

Main camera, f/1.7, ISO 1250, 1/4 sec. Magazine quality even without processing. Photo: gsmarena.

The video device regularly shoots in 4K 30FPS format with HDR from all cameras. In simple terms: the quality of the videos is amazing, the smoothness is good, the colors are transmitted brightly and saturated. Using the Video Pro application, you can unlock the 4K 120 FPS mode (smoothness and realism will increase four times). Bitrate – 55 Mb / s (high detail), stereo sound, high quality (156 kb / s). Highlights are not clipped, the contrast is high, and the sound is rich and deep. There are minor flaws: noise is noticeable in some scenes, clouds are not displayed in the best way. But the foliage on the recordings is as if alive, and the overall quality of the videos is close to premium.

Competitors and analogues Sony Xperia 1 IV

A phone with a standard approach to layout and concept has many “relatives”. The Sony Xperia 1 IV, with its unique features and approach, cannot be compared head-to-head with other flagships. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has an excellent camera and winning autonomy, recording semi-professional slow-mo videos. The iPhone 13 is thinner and lighter, with a bit more performance. There are top smartphones more adapted to users of any level, models with a futuristic cyberpunk design. There are many smartphones (powerful, beautiful, advanced). The Sony Xperia 1 IV is the only one.

Results

There are many reference smartphones in the world. There are full-fledged hybrids that can do everything at once: shoot, run games, amaze with design. They are always easy to handle and suitable for beginners. The original Sony Xperia 1 IV is not one of those. To appreciate its benefits, you need to be an enthusiast or a geek who cannot imagine life without completely “manual” photos, 4K content and technological innovations in his smartphone.

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