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The new Sony Xperia 1 IV smartphone is dedicated to cameras

As Sony rebranded its smartphone division in 2020, cameras have become a top priority. This continues today with the launch of the new Xperia 1 IV and Xperia 10 IV. Many of the key upgrades from last year’s models are aimed at making the phones even better at photography, but that comes at a price.

Let’s start with the Xperia 1 IV, Sony’s latest flagship consumer phone. The main feature here is the new 12-megapixel rear zoom lens. Moving between 85-125mm equates to 3.5x-5.2x optical zoom, which Sony says is “the world’s first true optical zoom lens.”

The optical zoom advertised on other smartphones has a fixed focal length, which often results in poor image quality. It also means that the Xperia 1 IV is less dependent on digital zoom, making many photos unusable at high magnifications. However, it remains to be seen how well this feature works in practice.

This 12MP telephoto lens is joined by a 12MP primary, 24mm main camera and a 12MP 124° ultra wide-angle camera. The other two sensors appear to be unchanged from the Xperia 1 IV, but there are a few other features worth talking about.

Image: Sony

All three cameras now support Sony’s Eye AF and Object Tracking technology and can shoot up to 4K HDR at 120 fps. Both the main and telephoto lenses also support optical image stabilization (OIS) for stable shooting on the move.

However, the front camera has undergone a hardware upgrade. It’s now a larger 12MP 1/2.9 sensor, which should improve low-light performance.

As you’d expect from Sony’s flagship phone, there are plenty of premium specs elsewhere. The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip under the hood is paired with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage (expandable microSD) in the only configuration available.

This helps power a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, to which is now added a 240Hz touch sampling rate. As a result, the gaming experience should be excellent, especially with the 3.5mm headphone jack retained.

You’ll also find a larger battery than last year’s model. It’s now a 5,000mAh battery, though Sony doesn’t specify how long it will last. The 30W fast charge is supposed to provide a 50% charge in 30 minutes, but the box doesn’t include a USB-C adapter or cable.

This is disappointing, especially considering the price. The Xperia 1 IV will cost £1,299 / $1,599.99 when it goes on sale June 16th. However, if you pre-order, you will receive a free pair of WH-1000XM4 headphones.

Xperia 10 IV

At £429 / $499, the Xperia 10 IV is barely a third the price of a flagship model. This is reflected in the specs here, which are a significant downgrade.

This is especially noticeable in cameras with a 12MP main sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide angle, and an 8MP telephoto lens with a fixed focal length of 54mm.

Instead of 8 Gen 1, you’ll have to settle for the mid-range Snapdragon 695. This chip still supports 5G, but is paired with just 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage.

Sony Xperia 10 IV

The Xperia 10 IV is available in four different colors. Image: Sony

The 6-inch OLED display will appeal to those looking for a compact phone, but the resolution drops to 1080×2520. While many phones in this price range offer high refresh rates, the Xperia 10 IV still runs at 60Hz.

You get the same 5,000mAh battery here, which should last longer than the more energy-hungry 1 IV. It still supports 30W fast charging, but you’ll still have to buy charging hardware separately or use your own.

Sony says the Xperia 10 IV will be available in mid-June but hasn’t given an exact date. However, pre-orders are also available in the UK.

However, there was no mention of the Xperia 5 IV at the event. Sony may decide to release it later this year, as they did with the first generation model.

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