Everything we know and what we want to see

Sony Xperia 5 III on the front

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

When we’re in the second quarter of 2022 (already!), We’re finishing the launch of the successor to Sony’s Xperia 1 III flagship – temporarily named Sony Xperia 1 IV.

A leaked render and specification has already been displayed, which gives us the first glimpse of what to expect. But there are many more unknowns. So let’s dive into everything we know and what we want to see from the upcoming Sony Xperia 1 IV.

Sony Xperia 1 IV: Name and release date

Following Sony’s recent naming convention, the Xperia 1 IV is a shoe-in for the next-generation Monica, without extensive rebranding of Sony’s mobile efforts. As such, the price of the phone will almost certainly land at the same 1,299 ballpark. We might even consider a smaller, slightly more affordable Xperia 5 IV model. Launched simultaneously with the more expensive siblings of the previous generation Xperia 5 III, so we expect more of the same.

Next up: Sony Xperia 1 III Review – Elegant, Pleasant, Expensive

Nothing has been confirmed yet about the launch date, but rumors point to a May unveiling this year. Earlier, Sony unveiled its latest flagships in early April. But that has been and is gone, indicating a small delay this time.

However, this may not necessarily be a bad thing. There is often a long way to go between Sony’s announcement and its Xperia smartphones hitting store shelves. Last year’s flagship did not reach customers until August. Hopefully, we’ll see a much smaller gap between the announcement and the release, so that customers can get their hands on the Xperia 1 IV as soon as possible.


Sony Xperia 1 IV

If the render above is correct, the design of the Xperia 1 IV will remain virtually unchanged from its predecessors. Sony’s Aesthetic offers a timeless beautiful look, but those who crave for something more exciting from the brand will be disappointed.

We’re still seeing a physical fingerprint sensor on the power button instead of the usual in-display biometrics with Sony’s competitors. The renders also highlight a 3.5mm headphone jack, still supporting the company with some of the wired headphones. However, Sony’s upcoming flagship will release the dedicated Google Assistant button. The leaks also point to the same 6.5-inch flat display, almost exactly the same 4K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate as the last-gen.

In terms of color, we saw matte green and black options in the renders, matching Sony’s historically conservative color. There will probably be other options as well. Sony usually offers its phone in gray and has recently been paired with purple. Overall, the design of the Sony Xperia 1 IV is very similar.

Specs and features

Close up Sony logo from the back of Xperia smartphone

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The unchanged design does not mean that it is the same old hardware onboard. The leaked specification offers 12GB to 256GB and 512GB storage options and 16GB RAM. The phone will almost certainly run but the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile processor. However, based on what we’ve seen, it doesn’t necessarily make for groundbreaking performance gains.

Charging specifications may also be in line for an upgrade, pointing to a larger 5,000mAh battery and 45W charging power, up from last year’s 4,500mAh and 30W. The Xperias has always had good battery life, but improved charging power will counteract a long-lasting bugbear of the previous generation.

The leaks indicate improved processing and charging capabilities for the Xperia 1 IV.

We know little about the camera’s specifications, but initial indications suggest three 12MP sensors and a periscope lens design for long range zoom. Sony’s novel switchable focal length periscope camera was a great addition to last year’s Xperia 1 III and 5 III. The setup enables 2.9x and 4.4x optical zoom levels from a single lens. Hopefully, we’ll see an improved second-generation version of the Xperia 1 IV.

Other Xperia staples include an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus, microSD card support, sub-6GHz 5G band support and wireless charging. While not yet sure, we’ll be surprised if Sony returns to any of these features.

What we want to see from Sony Xperia 1 IV

More compatible camera

Sony Xperia 1 III camera

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Sony’s latest flagship camera packages have been good but not great. The Xperia 1 III, for example, takes some nice snaps but not consistently like its closest rivals. Obviously, we really want the Xperia 1 IV to close the gap and jump into the competition if possible.

For the most part, the boat needs to be pushed out of the hardware section. Larger sensors are required to compete in low light, yet Sony still traditionally sticks to smaller mobile sensors. The outrageously expensive Xperia Pro I supports this trend, but Sony has also compromised on its promise of a 1-inch sensor here. A 1-inch sensor isn’t necessary to compete, but something in the 1 / 1.3-inch range will help, such as a widely developed selfie camera. Similarly, a second-generation variable focal length zoom camera and a larger ultraviolet angle camera will increase the flexibility of the camera package.

Mega shootout: The best camera smartphones of 2021 have been tested

Equally important half of the photography equation is software. Sony’s smartphones do not support the same HDR, multi-frame night mode, high-quality portrait and other computational photography smartphones as Google’s Pixel 6 and Samsung’s Galaxy S22 series. While this may be appropriate for photography purists, it makes it harder for the more casual photographer to take a great snap every time. These are now standard features, and the Xperia 1 IV matches the camera experience offered by other flagship handsets.

Matching Samsung’s promise of updates

Sony Xperia system update complete on display

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Honestly, the two-year OS update won’t cut it in 2022. Not especially with a price tag of around $ 1,299. Sony’s promise of an update in 2021 was not good enough, and with Google and Samsung now supporting their products for five years, Sony needs to do better.

Sony needs to update more than two major OS.

Samsung is currently the defeated company, with four years of OS and five years of security updates promised for its Galaxy S22 lineup. This is quite a gap from Sony’s commitment to the past two years. But matching Google’s three OS upgrades, including security support, by 2027 will also be a significant step in the right direction.

A more integrated software experience

Sony Xperia 1 III Android 12 Quick Settings

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

When it comes to software, there is room for improvement. Sony’s Android 12 update is a bit of a mess, with half of Google’s Materials UK being applied while Android has left most of its in-house software unchanged for 11 days. It feels like a missed opportunity to create a more integrated and consistent software experience. Its Alpha and FS movie-inspired apps are fun and weird but not exactly mobile-friendly. Similarly, the pre-installed Call of Duty Mobile and Facebook Blot does not scream the premium user experience.

That said, Sony’s software has had power for years. It is lightweight and unobtrusive, and has an array of powerhouse features for gamers, photographers and videographers. All of this is the core of Sony’s mobile identity and sets its phones apart from the competition. However, the apps are all inconsistent, each with its own theme and layout. We would like to see a more integrated approach to Sony’s software with the Xperia 1 IV, showing off its best features in a somewhat well-thought-out way.

Read more: Sony Xperia 1 III Review Revisited – Good And Bad Six Months Later

Display a variable refresh rate

Handy Sony Xperia 1 III display

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Sony’s display technology is among the best in the business – its existing 120Hz 4K OLED mobile display looks great. However, earlier models lacked a key feature – a variable refresh rate.

Locked at 60Hz, scrolling through apps seems slower than the battery-smooth 120Hz panel on rival phones. But there’s a reason Sony has historically set the phone to 60Hz by default; Toggling the display to 120Hz drains the battery very quickly. A variable refresh rate provides the best of both worlds – silky smooth scrolling without battery drain.

More competitive price

Sony Xperia 1 III as well as Kinda Coral Google Pixel 6

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Sony must know how to charge premium. At $ 1,299, the Xperia 1 III was Sony’s most expensive smartphone at the time – দাম 100 more than its predecessor. This makes it even more steep than the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, despite failing to offer a package.

Read more: The best Android phone you can buy

We would all like a lower price, but because of the fierce competition this year and the higher prices, Sony really has to get it this time. While the Xperia 1 IV isn’t quite the exception, if it costs more than the $ 1,199 Galaxy S22 Ultra, it will fight for attention. We expect stiffer competition from lower priced models. The $ 999 S22 Plus and $ 899 Pixel 6 Pro offer exceptional value for money which is hard to cut for the ultra-premium flagship.

A price is reduced, but will Sony feel the heat to compete?

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