With a real zoom lens, the Sony Xperia 1 IV aims to compete with the iPhone

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The Xperia 1 IV is the world’s first phone with a true optical zoom lens — and yet, most people would be surprised to learn that Sony still makes phones. If you’re a creative type, photographer, filmmaker, gamer or audiophile, Sony and its Xperia line of phones are after your heart, creativity and wallet. After all, the Sony Xperia 1 IV costs $1,600 (which converts roughly to £1,300, AU$2,300) and makes the new phone one of the most expensive models sold today.

Sony’s latest phone defies expectations in terms of capabilities, features, and pricing. A telephoto camera lens with microscopic components that can easily move back and forth to zoom in and out is housed inside the slim, minimalist chassis of the new Sony Xperia 1 IV. This is something that no other phone can accomplish. The Xperia 1 III featured a comparable lens last year, but the microscopic lens elements were only allowed to be in one of two locations. And, as inventive as the Xperia 1 III’s dual-telephoto lens was, it didn’t provide any substantial advantages over rivals like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which achieves identical results with two distinct telephoto cameras.

Highlights

  • For most people, including me, the Xperia 1 IV will be too expensive. At $1,600, I’d be more inclined to buy a dedicated camera. But if you can afford it and you want a cutting-edge phone that’s steeped in the intricate processes of photography and filmmaking, the Xperia 1 IV is waiting for you. I got to use the Xperia 1 IV for a week and a half and I was impressed with the new cameras. Take a look below at some of my favorite photos that I took with the Sony Xperia 1 IV.

  • The Xperia 1 IV represents an ideal that Sony’s chased since 2019. The Tokyo-based company isn’t looking to compete with mainstream phones such as the iPhone 13, Samsung Galaxy S22 or Google Pixel 6 Pro. Instead, with the Xperia 1 IV, Sony has carved out its own corner of the sandbox and it’s building some impressive castles. Let’s go back to that $1,600 price tag. Sticker shock aside, you get a phone that not only has a cutting edge zoom lens, but one with a 4K high-refresh rate display (which no other phone has aside from Sony), a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, a 5,000-mAh battery, Gorilla Glass Victus as well as Android features of yesteryear you won’t find on most flagship phones. These include a headphone jack, a slot for expandable storage and an LED notification light on the front.

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