Want a truly PRO phone? Sony’s Xperia series is the best bet!
Sony is terrible at naming anything consistently, aside from the Playstation series. The Sony Xperia 1 Mk IV is one of those. Putting the weird naming scheme aside, the phone is as “pro” as it can get. The cameras are developed from the professional Sony Alpha series of cameras and with help from Zeiss and professional photographers, you can take cinematic video as if you’re a big shot.
The phone is a videographer’s dream. Everything you need to ask for in a camera phone is present in this flagship. Sony even made a deal with YouTube that allows you to stream after creating a new channel. It is a headstart since you normally need 1000 subs and a verified account to do it.
Let’s go to the technical specs first.
In terms of appearance, it is a notchless 21:9 phone like other Sony phones, but this one is made with the best viewing experience in mind, so having the phone free of notches is a splendid idea. The Sony Xperia 1 IV is equipped with a 6.5in. 4K (3840x1440px) HDR OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The tall 21:9 ratio allows you to watch movies immersively as if it’s on the big screen. You can really feel the crisp, vibrant colour reproduction with every video you make and every movie you want to see. The screen has the so-called “Creator Mode” powered by “CineAlta” that allows this amazing immersive experience. Even on flagships, a 4K screen is quite rare to see.
Before we get to camera technicalities, let’s start with the basics. All three cameras are 12MP in resolution and are coated with Zeiss T* coating and could record up to 4K@120fps, has Eye autofocus, and object tracking. The front camera also is 12MP. The main camera uses a 1/1.7″ Exmor RS sensor with a 24mm focal length and 82° FOV. This one has OIS.
The second camera is retractable and is the renowned telephoto camera that only Sony can pull off successfully. This camera has an aperture between f/2.3 (85mm focal length) and f/2.8 (125mm focal length) in addition to a field of view angle between 20°-28°. The sensor size is 1/3.5″. This sensor also has OIS
The ultrawide camera has an f/2.2 aperture, a very wide 124° field of view, 16mm focal length, and a sensor size of 1/2.5″, also with OIS. When Sony adds cameras to their phones, it’s meant for the Pros. This was the philosophy behind the Pro and Pro-I, and it continues here.
The selfie camera has been upgraded from 8MP to 12MP from the 1 III to the 1 IV. This front camera also features the Steadyshot feature seen with the rear cameras, and has a 5-axis stabilization, in addition to HDR shots. This makes vlogging a breeze because the cameras are not shaky. This has a field of view of 83-degrees and a sensor size of 1/2.9″ that’s also based on a Sony Exmor RS sensor.
As expected for a flagship, the phone helms the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset with 12GB RAM and either 256GB or 512GB storage, depending on the market. To keep your memories and videos intact, being a photography and cinema-centric phone, it has a MicroSDXC slot of up to 1TB. It also supports PS Remote Play, DualShock 4/Dualsense compatibility, and a dedicated game booster. It runs Android 12 fresh from the box.
The battery has been amplified from 4500 to 5000mAh and also has 30W fast charging. Sony has decided not to include a charger in the box (big surprise) as part of its “Road to Zero” initiative. This initiative allowed for retailing a smaller box and keeping plastics out of the phone as much as possible. About 36% of Carbon Dioxide Emissions have been reduced in effect.
While there is a lack of a charger, Sony has surprised us once again by including the 3.5mm jack which is endangered among phones, from luxury midrangers to flagships. It also has Bluetooth LE for immersive wireless sound in addition to Hi-Res Audio and 360 Reality Audio, a technology from Sony that makes the sound feel as if it’s around you. With the already impressive display, watching with this phone feels like a cinema inside your pocket.
As expected with phones at this calibre, it has an IP68/IPX5 water/dust resistance rating. While it does not contain a charger, Sony does provide its users with camera gear for their next videography and photography sessions, professional, elegant, and ready. This includes the Vlog Monitor which now has been updated to include a false colour view and waveform colour view. The shooting grip now has an Endurance mode for lengthened streaming.
If you’re a video game streamer, the phone has the capability to mix your voice with the game’s audio. It makes it convenient as you don’t need to set up several apps and devices to make this work.
If you’re more of a music person, then a subscription to Sony’s Music Pro may be for you. This allows you to record your voice and instruments, studio-quality comparable to that of a condenser mic. You could upload your masterpiece to the cloud if desired.
With all these features mentioned: the pro-level photography and videography, OIS for all lenses, and a high-quality 4K OLED screen, a very high price is expected. It starts at EUR 1400 (~Php 76.4K) for the 12/256 configuration and, at the highest, about EUR 1,500 (~Php 81.8K) for the 12/512 configuration. This is slightly more expensive than the 1 III but the prices aren’t that far off.
The phone is ready for pre-orders but deliveries won’t commence until June. In the US, it will be available starting September and is not carrier-locked. It will have mmWave connectivity.