Smartphones and the cameras they house have come a long way over the last few years. We’ve seen sensors with large megapixel counts, advanced autofocus capabilities, and some spellbinding software trickery. However, the new Sony Xperia 1 IV features a new first; a true optical zoom.

Sony has been blurring the lines between smartphones and dedicated cameras for a while now. I own the Xperia 1 II, and it makes for a great companion camera, especially if you own Sony Alpha cameras. The new Sony Xperia 1 IV, while pricey at $1,600, wants to take smartphone photography to the next level. At this price, this is not a phone for the average consumer, but it might find favor among those who have content-creating hearts.

Sony Xperia 1 IV — Specs

Sony Xperia 1 IV

So, what makes the Sony Xperia IV a $1,600 smartphone? The phone, which will be released on Sept. 1, 2022, features a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, 5G and Wi-Fi 6E radios, 12GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and a micro SD card slot.

The display is a 4K HDR OLED with a 120Hz refresh rate, notch free, and HDR compatible. The Xperia 1 IV has IP65/68 water and dust resistance and uses Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back. Audiophiles will be pleased to know that the phone is capable of 360 Reality Audio, which plays nice with tunes from TIDAL and Nugs.

As for the Sony Xperia 1 IV camera specifications, Sony has gone to town here. There’s:

  • A 16mm ultra-wide lens, 24mm wide lens, and a new optical telephoto zoom 85-125mm lens (all feature 12-megapixel sensors)
  • 120fps high-speed readout image sensors
  • True 4K 120fps, up to 5x slow-motion video recording
  • Real-time Eye autofocus (AF), Real-Time Tracking and 20fps AF/AE burst shooting in HDR on all three lenses
  • 3D iToF sensor and AI-based subject detection for precise and accurate AF and tracking in low light
  • All lenses have a ZEISS T* coating, which contributes to accurate rendering and contrast
Sony Xperia 1 IV

The Sony Xperia IV can also live stream. In addition, the Xperia 1 IV enables Eye AF and Object Tracking when using Videography Pro while livestreaming to YouTube and other social platforms.

There’s no doubt this will be a pocket powerhouse for stills. However, we can’t help but feel that this camera is aimed more toward videographers and hybrid content creators rather than just stills-based photographers. This rings true even more when you factor in that this phone can be used as an external display when connected to supported cameras.

Will it replace point-and-shoot cameras?

While the Sony Xperia 1 IV is a powerful device, I don’t think it will be replacing the cameras of those it’s aimed toward. At $1,600, I can’t see the masses running out to buy this phone to become their dedicated camera. I can see it selling well among the Sony Alpha fan base, though.

The use of menus similar to those found in Sony cameras will appeal to creators who know the system. In addition, Real-Time Eye/Tracking autofocus will be a big selling point to those who like to create videos.

The Sony Xperia 1 IV is undoubtedly an interesting device, and it will appeal to some. Still, the steep price will put many people off picking up what could be one of the best mobile photography and videography devices yet. The phone is available for pre-order now and will ship this September.