Xperia 5 IV review: Solid upgrade but at an affordable price

Xperia 5 IV review: Solid upgrade but at an affordable price

Sony Xperia 5 IV review

Sony Xperia 5 IV review (Image: SONY)

The Xperia 5 IV won’t let you down, but the price is too high

what we love

  • impressive screen
  • Solid battery life
  • Much power
  • wireless charging
  • Good camera for professionals.

what we don’t do

  • Too expensive
  • Heats up under pressure
  • The camera is complicated to use
  • Design needs a refresh

There’s no doubt that the new Xperia 5 IV offers plenty of upgrades over its predecessor, including more important wireless charging and a much faster Qualcomm processor. Out of the box it looks really smart with a matte finish and unique tall design that really makes it stand out from the Android crowd.

The 6.1-inch screen with that famous 21:9 aspect ratio looks amazing, and the addition of real-time HDR support makes content appear richer and more detailed than ever.

Battery life is good thanks to a whopping 5000mAh power supply inside and there are some cool features for gamers like PS Remote Play and a Game Enhancer mode.

It’s a solid upgrade from Sony, but definitely not a home run for this device. The camera can be really fiddly to use, and unless you’re a professional photographer who wants to delve into endless settings, it’s all a bit over the top.

When shooting 4K video, the phone can get very hot, and during our time with the device, we received numerous on-screen warnings saying things needed to cool down or they would turn off on their own.

Then there’s the price, as this phone costs £949 – that’s more than the iPhone 14, Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy S22.

If you love the Xperia brand, the 5 IV is a solid Sony phone… We think there are plenty of other options at much cheaper prices.

Sony Xperia 5 IV review

The Sony Xperia 5 IV feels good in the hand and is comfortable to hold (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Sony Xperia 5 IV: full review

The new Xperia 5 IV (that’s the 4 mark if you were wondering) was unveiled at the IFA tech show in Berlin back in September and it comes packed with shiny new upgrades and improvements that make it faster, more durable and a lot more enjoyable to use. use. watching a blockbuster movie.

The big question is… is it worth that whopping £949 asking price? Here’s our full Sony Xperia 5 IV review

Sony Xperia 5 IV review

The Xperia 5 IV features an impressive display (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

display and design

Sony makes some of the best TVs on the planet, so you’d expect pictures to be just as good on their phones, and the Xperia 5 IV doesn’t disappoint. The 6.1-inch OLED display now features real-time HDR (high dynamic range) support that makes compatible content look rich and detailed.

There’s also that unique 21:9 aspect ratio that’s been included to deliver the perfect viewing experience for a Hollywood movie binge.

Rather than an annoying notch or punch-hole camera, Sony’s design simply features a paper-thin chin and forehead that certainly prevent anything from interfering with what you see on the panel.

Like most devices in this premium price range, you also get 120Hz technology that makes browsing through websites and opening apps feel silky smooth and stutter-free. This is an excellent screen and it’s packed into a design that feels good in the hand.

We received the black model which features a stunning matte finish that wouldn’t look out of place in a Batman movie. The Gorilla Glass Victus finish should also mean it survives being stuffed into this superhero’s pocket.

The slim design makes it really easy to hold, although it’s quite tall, which, despite a smart reach mode, can make one-handed use a bit difficult. We don’t even mind the side-mounted fingerprint, which is very easy and intuitive to use.

Overall, the Xperia 5 IV’s design and display are excellent, although it looks a lot like all of its predecessors and it’s definitely time for Sony to consider changing things up a bit.

Qualcomm Snapdragon

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is hidden inside (Image: QUALCOMM)

speed and battery

Hidden under the casing of the Xperia 5 IV is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. This is a really good processor that is incredibly capable and there is nothing this device can’t cope with.

However, that chip has already been superseded by the 8+ Gen 1 and Qualcomm is launching its Gen 2 next month, which makes the new Xperia 5 IV look a bit underpowered.

If battery life is your biggest concern, then you can breathe a sigh of relief as this device will easily see you through a day and more.

It now also has wireless charging, something we criticized Sony for not including in last year’s model.

One thing definitely worth noting is that Sony is following some of its rivals by ditching the plug out of the box. However, the Japanese firm is taking things a notch higher by also removing the USB-C cable. We understand that the plug goes away because it means less electronic waste and the packaging can be made smaller. However, the missing cable feels like a step too far and we hope that Sony will change this decision in the future.

Sony Xperia 5 IV review

This device has a triple rear camera (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Camera

Sony is, once again, making a lot of noise about the camera in its new smartphone and it’s right to be proud of this triple-lens snapper.

The three 12-megapixel sensors, including a main, ultra-wide and telephoto option, are highly capable and packed with useful features such as Real-time Eye AF, which ensures people and pets are always in perfect focus.

During our time with the new Xperia 5, we managed to take some very nice pictures that are easily as good as this phone’s rivals.

For the best shots, however, you’ll need to use Sony’s Pro setting, which is great if you like to fiddle with ISO and shutter speed, but not so great for anyone who just wants to point and shoot.

If you really like complete camera control, the Xperia 5 IV is a great option as it works like a real DSLR.

But those who just take weird photos of the family dog ​​and a few selfies with friends should definitely look elsewhere, as devices like the iPhone and Pixel are so much better when they just hit the shutter button.

SEE BELOW FOR SAMPLE IMAGES

Sony Xperia 5 IV review

Sony Xperia 5 IV camera samples (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Sony Xperia 5 IV review

Sony Xperia 5 IV review: Camera samples (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Sony Xperia 5 IV review

Unless you dig into the pro settings, some images may look dark (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

It’s also worth noting that the Xperia 5 doesn’t have a dedicated night mode, which seems odd considering it’s now a key feature of all its rivals. Yes, you can manually start opening the shutter longer and start adjusting the ISO, but that’s not as easy as letting the device do all the hard work for you.

If you get the hang of it, you’ll get some very nice still images and things don’t stop there. The Xperia 5 IV can also shoot silky-smooth video in full 4K. The results are truly impressive thanks to excellent image stabilization and impressive autofocus.

However, there is a big caveat. Sony really needs to fix a bug that means the device starts to burn in and then shuts down when making sharp home movies. During our time with this device, we received numerous on-screen warnings that things were getting hot quickly and not turning it off could lead to burns. That is clearly a concern and something that urgently needs to be addressed.

Sony Xperia 5 IV review

The Sony Xperia 5 IV can get hot with warnings on the screen (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Sony likes to pack a lot of extras into its Xperia phones and the 5 IV is no exception. Owners now get wireless charging, impressive Hi-Res Audio music playback, and even a headphone port for plugging in wired cans.

For those who want to give the screen a try, Sony is offering the bonus of 5 free Hollywood movies and 12 months of unlimited streaming through its BRAVIA CORE for XPERIA service.

There are also impressive gaming features offering 240Hz motion blur reduction along with easy access to PS Remote Play mode and Game Enhancer. The side-mounted fingerprint scanner is also fast and accurate, plus impressive 360 ​​Reality Audio for more immersive sound.

The only extra we don’t like that much is the pre-installed bloatware with apps like Facebook already taking up space on the device even before you turn it on for the first time.

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Price

There is no hiding the fact that this is a very expensive smartphone. Sony wants customers to part with £949 to buy this device, making it much more expensive than other flagships like Google’s new Pixel 7, Apple’s iPhone 14 and Samsung’s Galaxy S22.

The Xperia 5IV is a solid smartphone that’s packed with features, but there are also plenty of other Android devices that offer similar specs for a lot less money.

To help soften the blow, there’s the option to buy the device via monthly installments and Sony is currently offering a free pair of wireless Linkbuds S worth £149.

Sony Xperia 5 IV review

Sony Xperia 5 IV Review (Image: SONY)

Sony Xperia 5 IV: final verdict

The Xperia 5 IV is a good phone. It looks stylish, has a fabulous screen and a fast processor and even a headphone jack.

The camera offers plenty of manual features budding photographers will love and there are now added extras like wireless charging; you even get free access to blockbuster movies.

If you buy one, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed with what this device has to offer, but it’s not all good news.

The price is definitely too high, the processor is already out of date, and it will seem even slower when Qualcomm reveals all about its next chip next month, and the fact that it sometimes gets so hot is a concern.

We’re also not sure this is the best device for anyone who just wants to take photos simply by pointing and shooting.

If you love the Xperia brand, this is a solid smartphone, but Sony may have a hard time convincing the masses to make the switch with so much competition available at cheaper prices.

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