Do we need a true optical zoom lens on your phone? Who knows, but Sony will help us answer that question with its latest announcement: two new Xperia phones in the form of the 1 IV and the 10 IV.
In terms of hardware, the Xperia 1 IV is pretty stacked – a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, paired with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage – but Sony’s latest ‘flagship lite’ is effectively a phone designed around its camera and targeted at content creators and casual users who love their smartphone cameras.
Uncompromised camera features
Three lenses might seem like a pittance on a high-end smartphone but these are well-specced: a 16mm ultra-wide lens, a 24mm wide lens, and the true optical telephoto zoom 85–125mm lens, which gives you a nice telephoto range for portraiture.
All lenses are attached to a 12MP Exmor RS sensor for mobile. The Xperia 1V also has a 3D iToF sensor for depth information, which it uses for AF as well as tracking in low light. On top of that, the rear cameras feature ZEISS T coating on the lenses, which improves the contrast in your images.
The front camera has also been updated with a larger image sensor (12MP Exmor RS for mobile), enabling noise reduction as well as 4K HDR videos.
The system on the Xperia 1 UV is capable of 4K, 120fps video for all three lenses on the phone (up to 5x slow motion), with real-time eye AF and 20fps AF/AE burst shooting in HDR on all three lenses – rarely do you have all lenses able to do this.
Other camera features include Optical SteadyShot with FlawlessEye, real-time Eye AF, AI white balance, multi-frame shooting for video recording to widen dynamic range without losing resolution, and seamless zoom from its ultra-wide-angle to telephoto.
The camera-centric approach extends to its applications and the 1IV Videography Pro feature has been designed so that users can easily tweak settings such as focus, exposure, and white balance on the fly. On top of that, Cinematography Pro offers parameters and colour settings that are similar to what you would get on CineAlta, Sony’s professional range.
Sony has touted the Xperia 1 IV as ‘game-ready’ and it sports a 6.5” 21:9, 4K HDR OLED display with 120Hz refresh and 240Hz motion blur reduction and polling rate, Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming optimisation, heat suppression power control (reduced heat when charging your phone while gaming), game enhancer features and live-streaming optimisation.
Other game-centric features include L-y (low gamma) raiser to improve visibility in dark places, an audio equaliser, voice chat optimisation, 30-second pre-recording for gameplay (RT record).
Audio-wise, the Xperia 1 IV supports DSEE Ultimate and 360 Reality Audio (360RA) content, which you can find on TIDAL and nugs.net . A 360 Reality Audio Upmix converts stereo sound sources into multi-channel sound. Music Pro up-converts audio in the cloud by removing unwanted noise and replicating the frequency response of Sony’s pro-grade microphones and reverberation of a professional studio. However, these cloud processing features are subject to a monthly fee. They do have cool features like separating the vocal and guitar parts of a strum-along and allowing you to mix them at any balance.
Other quality-of-life features include Bluetooth LE Audio for reduced audio lag, a large 5,000 mAh quick charging battery, and IP65/68 water and dust resistance.
The Xperia 1 IV will be available in Black and Purple at selected retail shops and online stores from June 2022 at a retail price of $1,969. From now till 31 May, you will receive an SRS-RA3000 Premium Wireless Speaker with 360 Sound (worth S$449) if you pre-order.