Sony's latest flagship smartphone sports true optical zoom camera
For its latest flagship handset, the Xperia 1 IV, Sony is again focusing on content creation with a triple camera array around back that includes the world's first "true optical 85-125-mm zoom lens." Other highlights include immersive audio and enhanced gaming.
The stars of this particular flagship show are undoubtedly the cameras. There are three modules in the rear array, all built around 12-megapixel Exmor RS "for mobile" image sensors and Zeiss optics with each of the lenses treated to a Zeiss T* coating to reduce reflections for picture accuracy.
That glass shapes up as a F2.2 ultra-wide lens with a 16-mm equivalent focal length, a F1.7 wide with a focal length of 24 mm and a F2.3 - F2.8 telephoto that's billed as the world's first true optical 85 - 125-mm zoom lens.
The Xperia 1 IV comes with real-time AF and subject tracking with AI-based object detection and depth sensing from the 3D time-of-flight unit, is capable of 20 fps continuous HDR shooting with autofocus and auto exposure for all three cameras, and offers up to 4K UHD video recording at frame rates right up to 120 fps for 5x slow-mo at full resolution.
Sony has gathered all of the important video settings together under a Videography Pro feature for easy adjustment while recording. Subject tracking and Eye AF tech are included – and can be used while livestreaming content to social media – and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization should help capture smooth run-and-gun footage. And multi-frame video recording is also featured to allow for full resolution recording at wide dynamic ranges.
Moving around to the front of the flagship smartphone, the Xperia 1 IV sports a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display at 21:9 aspect that's topped by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus for durability. It boasts a refresh rate of 120 Hz for smooth onscreen action and responsive 240-Hz touch scanning.
The company applies remastering technology from its Bravia televisions to viewable content for improved contrast, color and clarity, and there's a Game Enhancer mode that tweaks image and audio settings for improved visuals and optimized voice chat. The display also features 240-Hz motion compensation technology to reduce blur in action scenes, and livestreaming of content straight to YouTube is also supported for those who like to share their skills with the world.
The selfiecam in the top bezel is also equipped with a 12-MP Exmor RS for mobile sensor, which is reported larger than the previous model and capable of 4K HDR video chats.
As you might expect for a flagship Android handset, the Xperia 1 IV is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile platform with cooked-in sub6/mmWave 5G and Wi-Fi 6E, supported by 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, with microSD expansion.
Users have high expectations of Sony for quality audio delivery, and it looks like the company has delivered with front-firing dual speakers rocking a new driver and enclosure design for the promise of more powerful audio with improved low end performance.
An immersive listening experience can be had thanks to 360 Reality Audio support, and the setup can even convert standard stereo sound to multi-channel output. Dolby Atmos immersive audio is supported too.
For creators, a cloud-based feature called Music Pro is reckoned capable of giving recorded audio a studio-level sheen, removing unwanted noise and reproducing the kind of frequency response found on Sony' high-end condenser mics. Simple recording and editing using the feature is reported to be free of charge, but users will need to stump up a monthly fee for access to cloud processing of high-quality sound.
Elsewhere, the smartphone can serve as an external monitor for compatible Sony Alpha cameras, it has IP65/68 water- and dust-resistance, and its 5,000-mAh battery supports fast charging.
The Xperia 1 VI premium smartphone goes on sale from September 1 for US$1,599.99, but is up for pre-order now. A free pair of WF-1000XM4 true wireless earphones is being dangled as a carrot for those who jump in early.
Product page: Xperia 1 VI