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Sony announces the Xperia 5 IV: A little less phone for a lot less cash

Sony has announced the Xperia 5 IV, a phone that takes aim at content creation.
By
September 1, 2022
Sony Xperia 5 IV Hero Shot of all three colors
Sony
TL;DR
  • Sony is releasing a new iteration of the Xperia 5 series.
  • The Xperia 5 IV will have multiple improvements from the previous generation, like a bigger battery and brighter screen.
  • The new phone will lose the variable telephoto lens found in its predecessor.

For those who love the Xperia 1 series, but shy away because of the price tag, there’s always been the Xperia 5 line. Acting as a slightly more affordable, compact alternative to Sony’s flagship device, the Xperia 5 is still a premium phone that manages to pack many of the same features as its big brother. Today, Sony has announced its latest iteration in the Xperia 5 series — the Xperia 5 IV — and here’s what you can expect to find in it.

Design

Starting with the design, you won’t find anything drastically different with this model. The phone maintains its usual thin rectangular body and rounded edges. It will come with a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is a pleasant surprise given the current trend of other companies phasing out headphone jacks.

As for durability, the hardware will use Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, an improvement upon the Gorilla Glass 6 used in last year’s device. It will also have a dust and water protection rating of IP65/IP68. When asked why the phone has two ratings, Sony claimed other brands only test for IP68; it tests for both. If you’re not familiar with IP ratings, we’ve explained everything you need to know right here.

Display

Unchanged from the previous generation, the Xperia 5 IV will have a 6.1-inch display with a 21:9 aspect ratio. The display will also feature an OLED screen and 120Hz refresh rate, similar to the Xperia 5 III. However, unlike last year’s model, Sony claims the display will be 50% brighter, have an FHD+ resolution, and have image quality optimization with a real-time HDR drive.

Cameras

Despite competing with the likes of the iPhone and Google’s Pixel phones, the Xperia 5 series always managed to hold its own. This year, its camera array features 16mm, 24mm, and 60mm 12MP rear cameras. The front of the phone will get a 12MP selfie camera, capable of shooting 4K HDR video. That’s a 4MP bump up from the Xperia 5 III’s 8MP selfie camera.

In addition to this, the cameras will feature specs such as:

  • 120fps readout
  • Zeiss coating
  • High-speed eye autofocus (all lenses)
  • Object tracking (photo and video)
  • 60fps autofocus and autoexposure (all lenses)
  • 20fps burst photos in HDR
  • A shutter button
  • 4K 120fps with up to 5x slow-mo (all lenses)
  • Wide dynamic range for video
  • Hybrid image stabilization

Sony Xperia 5 IV specs

A surprising absence from the Xperia 5 IV’s list of specs is the lack of a variable telephoto lens. Present in the Xperia 5 III, Sony seems to have taken this lens out of its new phone. Sony states its reasoning behind the choice is that users favored battery and compactness over having a telephoto lens with a longer zoom.

Sony Xperia 5 IV
Display
6.1-inch HDR OLED FHD+
120Hz display
21:9 aspect ratio

Processor
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM
8GB
Storage
128GB
microSDXC support (up to 1TB)

Power
5,000mAh battery
30W wired charging (30 min 50% charge)
Wireless charging
Battery share
Cameras
Rear:
- 16mm, 12MP, 1/.25-inch, ƒ/2.2
- 24mm, 12MP, 1/1.7-inch, ƒ/1.7, 1.8um OIS
- 60mm, 12MP, 1/3.5-inch, ƒ/2.4, OIS

120fps readout
high-speed eye AF on all lenses
Object tracking in photo and video
60fps AF/AE calculations on all lenses
20fps burst photos in HDR
4K 120fps (up to 5x slow mo)
Wide dynamic range for video

Front:
- 12MP, 1.29-inch

4K HDR video from front cam
Audio
3.5mm headphone jack
Full-stage stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos
Hi-Res audio
DSEE Ultimate
LDAC support
360 Reality Audio Upmix
Connectivity
Bluetooth LE Audio
5G support
Dimensions
156 x 67 x 8.2mm, 172g
Software
Android 12

Colors
Black, Green, and Ecru White
Durability
IP65/IP68, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus

Audio

Moving on to the device’s audio capabilities, Sony developed new speakers housed in a special enclosure that dampens unwanted vibration and provides clearer sound. There will be two of these speakers facing the front, creating a full-stage stereo system. And to enhance the audio, the handset will use Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio Upmix to provide high-quality sound and an immersive 3D audio experience.

Additionally, you can expect high-resolution sound through wired or wireless connections. For wireless, the Xperia 5 IV will use LDAC, DSEE, and Bluetooth LE Audio.

Internals

Powering the Xperia 5 IV will be a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Sony believes this chipset will be more than enough to run the features in the device. However, this puts the phone behind other devices that use Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. This model will also be launching with Android 12, receiving three years of security updates and two operating system updates. The SIM setup will be the same as the Xperia 1 IV with a tray for a physical SIM and microSD and an eSIM for the second SIM slot.

See also: Should you buy a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 phone?

It will also be given a 5,000mAh battery with adaptive charging, up from last year’s 4,500mAh battery. Sony claims that the adaptive charging will extend the battery’s life by three years. With a 30W charger, the battery can fast charge up to 50% in just 30 minutes. The phone will also support wireless charging and a battery share function.

Features

The Xperia 5 IV will have a variety of entertainment features that come with the device. One such feature will be the Music Pro app which will come with one month of free cloud processing up to 100MB.

You’ll also get Bravia Core for Xperia with five movies to redeem and 12 months of unlimited streaming of older shows included. Through Videography Pro and the External monitor app, users will have the ability to livestream their content, similar to the Xperia 1 IV.

Finally, gamers will have game streaming capabilities and be able to record their gameplay through Sony’s Game Enhancer app. To help with the gaming experience, the device offers 240Hz motion blur reduction and allows users to customize picture and sound settings.

Release date and pricing

Sony Xperia 5 IV All three colors plus front
Sony

While the device doesn’t have a specific release date as of yet, it does have a launch window of the end of September in most countries. In the US, its launch window is sometime in October.

Available in black, green, and Ecru White, the handset will launch at £949 (~$1,103) in the UK with pricing in the US “for approximately $1,000” (Sony’s exact words). Pre-ordering the phone will get you a pair of Sony’s new LinkBuds S or WF-1000XM4 earbuds, depending on your location/retailer.

Sony Xperia 5 IV
Sony Xperia 5 IV
Compact • Headphone jack • microSD card slot
Sony's less-expensive phone for 2022 has almost all the same goodness of the more expensive Xperia 1
The Sony Xperia 5 IV is for the folks who like the Xperia 1 IV but can't stomach the price. Coming in at hundreds of dollars less, the Xperia 5 IV has a similar build, similar internals, and even carries over the headphone jack and microSD card slot. The cameras and display have been cut down, but the average user will still find a lot to love here.

Based on this information, it seems Sony has addressed a lot of the problems that plagued the previous model. In our Xperia 5 III review, our biggest complaints were no wireless charging, slow charging time, a lacking selfie camera, preinstalled bloatware, and no software update promises. On paper, the Xperia could prove to be one heck of a device with those issues taken care of.