Sony Xperia 1 IV review: A premium smartphone in the shadow of its predecessor

Sony Xperia 1 IV review: A premium smartphone in the shadow of its predecessor

Sony has once again chosen a quad photo module with Zeiss optics. We thus find ourselves with a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens whose lens opens at f/1.7, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle (f/2.2), and a 3D depth sensor (ToF), but also and above all a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. megapixels allow you to go from a focal length of 85mm to 125mm (aperture from f/2.3 to f/2.8).

We decided to compare it with the Oppo Find X5 Pro, which proved to be very effective in this exercise thanks to its 50-megapixel Sony IM766 dual-sensor (wide and ultra-wide). The latter captures standard shots at 12.5 megapixels thanks to the pixel bonding.

Main module: 12 Mpx, f/1.7, eq. 24mm

In good light conditions, Sony and Oppo offer a balanced matchup, although the Chinese firm offers a much better result on the periphery. The Find X5 Pro’s shot benefits from good exposure and shows a higher level of detail while remaining sharp. The Xperia opts for a more natural rendering, in particular thanks to better-controlled colors. It works well on certain parts of the image, like the mountain map or the ticket in the top right. Oppo’s choice of software will flatter the retina of most, but Sony is defending itself well.

In the dark, the Sony Xperia 1 IV takes back control. The Find X5 Pro delivers a good quality shot, but the Sony one turns out to be sharper and above all more detailed. This can be seen in the treatment of the book cover, which better highlights the roughness, or in the two faces at the top left. However, it should be noted that the pause time of the Xperia in night shots is significantly longer than that of the Oppo smartphone, which can more easily “jam” a scene.

Ultra wide-angle module: 12 Mpx, f/2.2, eq. 16mm

During the day, the two devices engage in a good duel again. In both cases, the scene is well transcribed and quite usable. If the Xperia 1 IV shows a more accurate overall colorimetry, its opponent has a slight tendency to overexpose, the color patterns turn out a bit less clear. Oppo’s smartphone offers a clearer, more contrasty shot, while the Xperia 1 IV is certainly closer to what we see in reality.

In the night shot, we see that the two smartphones have a different approaches. Low exposure reduces the level of detail in the shot provided by the Xperia 1 IV. For example, we see that Sony’s algorithm has trouble perfectly transcribing the book’s entries. However, the result is still legible and, above all, more natural.

Thanks to pixel bonding, the Find X5 Pro’s 50-megapixel sensor manages to collect much more light, which greatly improves sharpness. However, the digital smoothing is still very pronounced and does not recover much more detail. A look at the mountain range in the cartography allows one to be convinced of this.

Optical zoom: 3.5x to 5.2x: 12 Mpx, f/2.3, eq. 85mm to 125mm

While the previous model was equipped with a varifocal telephoto lens (70-105mm equivalent), Sony has this time opted for a continuous 85-125mm zoom to see even further. An interesting idea, which however seems limited by the choice of a smaller sensor.

Please note here that we have installed the latest update implemented by Sony on your Xperia 1 IV, but we have not detected any significant difference in terms of autofocus management when using zoom.

Front and video module

A 13-megapixel sensor replaces the 8-megapixel sensor in the Xperia 1 III. It is also much more efficient. The selfies are of good quality and the colors have a natural representation. We benefit from a much better level of detail than last year and appreciate that Sony has taken the issue seriously.

In Basic mode, the mobile is capable of filming in 4K at 30 fps and in Full HD at 60 fps on all its sensors. However, it is possible to unlock more options (including 4K/120fps) using the Video Pro app. The rendering is very well done and will appeal to videographers. Again, the colorimetry may seem a bit bland if you’re used to the saturated treatment of competitors, but it’s very real. It is possible to add an audio wind filter which is particularly effective outdoors. Therefore, it is very pleasant to shoot with this model.

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