The Sony Xperia 5 IV became widely available in September and comes after the Xperia 1 IV
It’s been a while since we have done a phone review, and even longer since we reviewed a Sony product.
Our last Sony product review was on the Sony Xperia 1 II back in 2020, and since then, ten phones in the Xperia range have been released.
The Sony Xperia 5 IV is the latest in the line up and comes in cheaper than its predecessor, with the Xperia 5 IV priced at £949 compared to £1299.99 for the Xperia 1 IV.
Will this premium smartphone be worth nearly a grand?
OS: Android 12
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Screen: 6.1 inches
Resolution: 2520 x 1080
Memory: 8GB RAM
Internal storage: 128GB
Rear Camera: Triple camera 12MP
Front Camera: 12MP
Charging: USB fast charging
Dimensions: 156 x 67 x 8.2mm
The first thing I noticed when unboxing the device was how tall, sleek and slim the phone is. At first, I found the phone to be too narrow but once I started to use it, I found that the size wasn’t an issue due to the 6.1 inch screen.
Volume and camera buttons are located on the right hand side of the device, with a small camera lens in the top left corner. The triple rear camera was vertically shaped and its size was suitable for the slim phone as it didn’t take up too much space on the back of the phone. The 3.5mm headphone jack sat on top of the phone on the left hand side, and I was pleased to see that this premium device included a headphone jack.
The glass front, glass back and aluminium frame make for a great look and feel, as the device is smooth in your hand. The matt finish means no fingerprints are left behind which makes the phone seem somewhat cleaner than other phones that feel greasy when you use them extensively.
When unboxing, I noticed that there was nothing in the box except for the phone itself. This is part of Sony’s mission to be eco friendly as the box was 50 per cent smaller than before, and there was zero plastic in the packaging. I was disappointed not to have a charger (even just a lead would have been nice) as I had to scramble to try and find a suitable one as I am an Apple user. However, I will suffer this inconvenience for the sake of the planet.
As for the camera, I found the quality of the 12MP triple rear cameras to be great, and I managed to capture a few great pictures that showed off the colours, intensity, and even when the sun was setting- this didn’t compromise the images.
The zoom only went to 2.5x and offers a 60mm telephoto lens which I found a little lacklustre as it differs from some of the other Xperia’s that offer a periscope variable zoom lens.
Even the selfie camera held up well- even though I find that some smartphones fall short on their front cameras. I didn’t take too many selfies, but again, it captured the colours and the vividness of my dyed hair and I was pleased with the outcome of the pictures.
One thing that was different was the camera tricks that Sony offers on the Xperia 5 IV. The three apps; Photo Pro, Video Pro and Cinema Pro are great additions to the device, but some consumers may find it difficult to navigate as there are different modes such as manual mode which feels like you’re using an actual professional camera. If you are into photography and videography or want to test out your creativity, then this could be useful. But for the everyday user, these apps will probably not get used.
At a price point of nearly a thousand pound, I expected the device to have excellent qualities. I found that the device ran really smoothly for the most part, as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset was used, although after some research, I found that a newer Snapdragon chipset could have been used instead.
This didn’t have much impact on the device, as the processor did its job of ensuring an excellent performance- but I did find that when I was gaming, the phone got quite hot and there were a couple of glitches on a couple of gaming apps.
With that being said, I found that when watching YouTube or Netflix, the audio and video was fantastic. The audio was clear and there were no distortions or vibrations- and my music sounded even better with some earphones in.
The 21:9 wide HDR OLED display is now 50 per cent brighter which is a great addition to the device as I could actually see what I was looking at in the dark.
What impressed me the most was the extensive 5,000mAh battery life, as I found I didn’t run out of juice despite a full day’s use. I really did try to run the battery but I was struggling despite gaming, messaging and watching Netflix and YouTube.
The fast charging could have been slightly faster, but I still managed to top up the battery over an hour rather than overnight. My charger may have been to blame for a slightly-less-than-fast charging experience as I did just pick out any old charger.
The hero of the device was definitely the battery life, as I could use the phone for a full day and still have around 20 per cent of battery left.
This is something that certain smartphones lack, as many phones require a top up throughout the day as well as an overnight charge.
I also enjoyed the camera as it was simple to use and worked well during the evening despite the lack of brightness. Although, the 2.5x zoom was disappointing and the three camera apps will only be enjoyed by photographers and those who enjoy playing around with tech.
Despite a couple of glitches and some overheating, the rest of the phone worked smoothly and I was impressed with the design, performance and display of the Xperia 5 IV.
The tall, slim look may take a bit of getting used to, but you cannot fault the way the phone feels in your hand and the fact that there is no smudging on the glass.
It would take a lot for me to spend £949 on a phone, but I do think this would appeal to many customers and it does seem to be good value for money.
Colours: Green, White, Black