Sony is back with a shiny new flagship smartphone. As we have come to expect, it continues to make use of Sony’s expertise in both TVs and DSLR cameras, which is how the Sony Xperia 1 series has made such a huge name for itself over the years.
Their slimline handsets have been no stranger to T3’s guide the best phones over the years offering something a little different to the rest in that their screens come with 21:9 aspect ratio (unlike the standard 20:9) which amongst other things, is very well suited to streaming widescreen movies.
On the 11th May 2022, the fourth iteration of the phone was announced, aptly named the Sony Xperia 1 IV and it's likely to be one of the best Android phones of the year.
Having further refined the camera’s photographic capabilities in the Sony Xperia 1 III with a 'world-first' unique dual optical telephoto lens and real-time eye autofocus, this new model focuses on improving its videography. But there have been a few other changes worth knowing about as well, even though the two phones look almost identical.
Let’s start off with the camera system because that’s the main focus of the new Sony Xperia 1 IV. While the main camera setup itself is largely the same with three 12MP lenses, the front camera has been boosted from 8MP to 12MP and a few new features have been added to the mix.
Last year’s Sony Xperia 1 III introduced the world's first periscope lens for a continuous optical zoom that shoots at 70-105mm, but the Sony Xperia 1 IV takes things a step further, extending its optical zoom lens to 85-125mm. Ultimately, the new moving lenses will mean better quality zoom that doesn't rely on digital cropping, a faster zoom, and overall more flexibility when shooting on the camera.
But as I mentioned before, the Sony Xperia 1 IV really hones in on video recording with a few improvements on certain features like more seamless zoom in video capture from its ultra-wide-angle to its telephoto viewpoints, as well as brand new features like 4K cinematic 5x slow-mo video, multi-frame shooting and a high 4K recording frame rate of 120fps. You’ll be able to use the enhanced real-time eye autofocus tracking across all three lenses for still images, but it'll even work when you're shooting video.
Videography Pro is also worth knowing about. Made for streamers, it lets you stream directly to your social media channels from the camera so you can still make use of all the camera system’s controls and settings - including the Eye AF and Object Tracking. You’ll be able to mix player voice and game sound into your footage before you share to social media as well, this wasn’t possible before without having to use a PC.
The new Sony Xperia 1 IV has kept the same dedicated shutter button and it will continue to offer a 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack as well, unlike the majority of flagship phones in 2022.
Like the Sony Xperia 1 III, the Sony Xperia 1 IV sports a 4K HDR screen with a 120Hz refresh rate so it’s bound to be fantastic for streaming widescreen video content in particular. 50% brighter and using BRAVIA HDR remaster technology, you should get a better view of the on-screen content than from any of their previous Xperia 1 devices.
To get even more from it, they've included the Sony Bravia Core high-end video streaming service ch has been adapted especially for Xperia. It gives you a huge library of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s latest releases, IMAX enhanced films and all-time classics. Before this service was only available to those who owned eligible Sony TVs.
Under the hood, there's an upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor so the Sony Xperia 1 IV looks set to be even more powerful than its predecessor and should match up to recent rivals like the OnePlus 10 Pro and the Oppo Find X5 Pro. The phone boasts a bigger 5,000mAh battery as well, up from 4,500mAh in the Sony Xperia 1 III, and it packs in faster charging too giving you 50% battery in only 30 minutes (although admittedly that's nowhere near as fast as some other phones this year).
Android 12 comes pre-loaded on the phone so you can expect to get 2 years of Android updates and 3 years of security updates on top of that.
You can buy the new Sony Xperia 1 IV from 16th June 2022 for approximately €1,399 which is about £1,299. Keep an eye out for T3's official review which will be coming a little further down the line.