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Home » Sony Xperia 1 IV Review & Unboxing

Sony Xperia 1 IV Review & Unboxing

Sony Xperia 1 IV Review & Unboxing

What’s up, guys? Saf here on SuperSaf TV, and here is the brand new Sony Xperia 1 IV. One of the first videos with this in the world so a thumbs up for your boy will be appreciated. This has some brand new features, some of which I’m very excited about so let’s go ahead, get this unboxed and see what it has to offer.


So the first thing you’ll notice is that the box is now quite slim and I’m sure you can guess why that is. So inside the box, you get the Sony Xperia 1 IV and that’s it, like there’s literally nothing else. (laughs) Now you might get some paperwork or something, depending on your region, but to most manufacturers that have stopped including the charger out of the box, still give you a USB type C cable or a lightning cable for Apple but Sony’s kind of been like, “Hey, Apple, hold my charger and my cable, we’re not including either of these.” Now, apparently, this is to reduce on carbon emissions which is what pretty much every other manufacturer says and the box size is now reduced by about 50%, although because it’s literally just the device itself, I mean, I think it could have been even smaller.


But anyway, let me know how you guys feel about Sony not including a charger or a cable. One of the first not to include a cable. Looks like they might start a trend. Anyway, let’s go ahead and remove the screen protector which is now paper instead of plastic. And here it is, the Sony Xperia 1 IV. It does look a lot like the Xperia 1 III with some subtle changes around the frame and the shutter button.


Now I don’t have the Xperia 1 III with me anymore so I can’t do a side by side comparison but as far as I’m aware, the dimensions are almost exactly the same as well as the weight. We’ve got Gorilla Glass Victus, both on the front and back. We do have water and dust resistance, and this is the black color which has this matte finish. It’s also available in a white as well as a purple. I do quite like this black, obviously, but having this matte finish just means that it’s not going to attract as many fingerprints. Now moving over onto the front, again, the design is pretty much the same as what we had on the Xperia 1 III.


So we do have a 6.5-inch display with small top and bottom bezels, so we don’t have any interruptions on the display like a punch out or a notch. This is a 4K HDR 120Hz display, but the biggest improvement that we’ve got this year is the fact that it’s now 50% brighter. The Sony Xperia 1 III had an excellent display with its 4K resolution and the high refresh rate. However, one of the things that I did complain about was the brightness, especially outdoors. And if you’re like me and wearing sunglasses, then it just wasn’t bright enough. The Xperia 1 IV now has 1,000 nits of peak brightness so although that’s not as high as some of the other competitors, that is still pretty high especially considering the fact that this has a 4K resolution with the 120Hz refresh rates. So you’re getting one of the sharpest displays if not the sharpest display in the market as well as that very smooth 120Hz refresh rate. And now it’s actually bright enough as well so thumbs up from me, Sony. The 21:9 aspect ratio also makes this quite narrow compared to lots of other devices, and that means you can easily reach to the other side.

Compare iPhone 13 Pro Max

And if we do compare it to, say, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which has kind of a similar height, you can, however, really see the difference in terms of the width. With the iPhone 13 Pro Max, it’s a lot harder to reach to the other side compared to the Xperia 1 IV.

Rear Camera

Now we can’t unbox a Sony smartphone without having a deeper dive into the camera so we do have a triple rear-facing camera set up like we had on the III last year but there’s some significant changes. So firstly, all three cameras are 12 megapixels in resolution, so we do have that consistency there. There’s an ultra-wide camera which has the equivalent focal length of around 16 millimeters like we had last year. And we also have a 24-millimeter equivalent primary camera, but the periscope zoom camera has been changed, and this is something that I’m really impressed with.

This is actually the world’s first true variable optical zoom camera on a smartphone. What does that mean? Well, you’ve actually got two focal lengths. You’ve got 85 millimeters all the way up to 125 millimeters. Now the Xperia 1 III had between 75 and 105 millimeters, but you could only select one of those two focal lengths for optical zoom. If you went anywhere in between, then that would be digital zoom. Other smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra have a three times zoom as well as a 10 times zoom but there’s nothing in between so if you are at say seven times or eight times, then it’s actually using digital zoom. With the Xperia 1 IV, you can actually zoom smoothly between those focal lengths and actually get optical zoom at say 100 millimeters as well. Now from a hardware perspective, this is a first, and it’s very, very impressive.

Now it doesn’t stop there because all of the cameras have real-time Eye AF. They have real-time tracking, but more importantly, all of the cameras can now shoot at 20 frames per second with a burst mode so you can just tap down on the shutter button and get 20 frames of images every second. And all of the cameras also have a 4K 120 frames per second readout, which means that you can get 120 frames per second at 4K from all the cameras, which I believe, again, is a first on any smartphone. Lots of other smartphones do shoot 4K 120 frames per second but that is normally just from the primary camera. On the Sony Xperia 1 IV, you can do it from all of the cameras.

Front Camera

So Sony has really gone all out in terms of the camera hardware and it doesn’t stop there because one improvement that I’m personally very excited about is with the front-facing camera. This now has a much larger sensor size and it is now 12 megapixels and can finally shoot at 4K. If you’ve been watching any of my previous coverage of the Sony Xperia 1 series; the I, the II, or the III, my biggest complaint, one of the biggest complaint has been that the front-facing camera just shoots at 1080p. Now I’m sure that’s okay for most situations but if you are somebody who’s going to be streaming and especially at the price that these devices are at, you expect 4K from the front-facing camera. So I’m super happy that Sony has been listening to my feedback as well as others and included a 4K resolution for the front-facing camera.

Hardware the photography side

Now, as always, Sony’s focus seems to be on the hardware and the photography side of things using that hardware rather than relying on software. So, for example, you still don’t have a dedicated night mode and the portrait mode, there isn’t a dedicated portrait mode. Sony kind of wants you to use the zoom camera and then kind of step away to get that true portrait effect. Now, personally speaking, as always, I would like to have those software features as well as the hardware features, but hey, that’s me. We again also have all of the pro apps to be able to manually take advantage of all of the different settings on your cameras, such as Photography Pro, Video Pro as well as Cinema Pro. And I know a lot of people, especially Xperia fans, like to have all of these features built-in, straight from the get-go rather than having to get a third-party app. So lots of improvements here for the cameras. Now, if you do want me to do a SuperSaf style camera comparison of this versus the competition, do let me know. It really depends on how much demand there is. And if there is enough demand, I’ll try to squeeze it in. Although me is very, very busy.


Internally, this is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset with 12 gigabytes of RAM, so right up there with the competition and performance will not be an issue and it comes with 256 gigabytes of storage. This is the only storage version available. However, that’s not a problem because, guess what? We do have a micro SD card slot. I mean, you’re not really seeing micro SD card slots under the smartphones these days. This is included here at the bottom, and in traditional Sony fashion, you can just slot this out. You’re not going to need a SIM card tool or anything.


You also have space here for a SIM card. There’s a USB type C port here at the bottom. We’ve got nothing on the left-hand side. On the right-hand side, there’s the volume rocker. There’s a power button which doubles up as a fingerprint scanner. And then we’ve got that dedicated shutter button with a bit of a texture. I really do like this. You can just hold down and get that 20 frames per second burst. And on the top, we have something else which you’re not going to see on many of the smartphones and that is a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. I know there’s a lot of you guys out there who still appreciate a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, and you’ll be glad to see this here on the Xperia 1 IV.


And if you are on audio file, then you’ll be further impressed with the fact that we’ve got dual stereo front-firing speakers. Now these sound really good. We do have a new speaker driver, so they’re also improved. And one more thing that you’re not going to find on many of the devices that the Xperia 1 IV has is an LED notification light so this is still here, and I for one, absolutely love having an LED notification light. For software, we do have Android 12 out of the box and alongside some of the pro apps that do come built-in. We do have an emphasis on streaming now so on the Video Pro app, you will be able to live stream directly from there.

And with game enhancer, you’ll be able to live stream your games and both the voice as well as the in-game audio can be sent to a PC as well. Now, if you are streaming, you’re not going to be able to activate the front-facing camera like you have on dedicated gaming smartphones but it is nice to see some of these improvements here. There’s also going to be the Music Pro app which will allow you to record directly onto the Xperia 1 IV as well as a subscription-based cloud processing service which will be able to process your audio to make it sound like it’s from a condenser mic. I can’t test this right now because I don’t have access to those features as yet.

Pro-I features

Now, as well as that, the Xperia 1 IV does bring some of the Pro-I features, so you’re going to be able to use this as an external monitor for one of your Sony Alpha cameras. I’m currently shooting on a Sony Alpha camera here so you’ll be able to plug this in and then use this as a viewfinder which is going to be larger than the built-in display. And there’s also going to be a vlog monitor available which you’re going to be able to attach on the back of the Xperia 1 IV, and that way, you’ll be able to vlog using the rear-facing cameras and get that additional quality.


Right, battery, so this actually has a larger battery compared to the III. It’s a 5,000 mAh battery up from 4,500 mAhs. And this is quite impressive because the overall dimensions and weight of the device are roughly about the same so it’s nice to see that they’ve managed to include a larger battery size. We do have Qi wireless charging available as well as 30 watt fast charging which will give you around 50% charge in 30 minutes.

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