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.
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.