Sony Xperia 5 IV REVIEW – Sony’s easiest phone to recommend

Today we are talking about the Sony Xperia 5 IV, this year’s compact flagship of the company. When it comes to Sony phones, I feel like I’ve been repeating myself for about three years now, but that’s not my fault, it’s Sony that keeps the same design rhetoric.

If Apple is experimenting with the notch and some Android manufacturers are trying to hide the front camera under the screen, Sony is sticking with the hidden camera at the top, with symmetrical black edges, top and bottom for the screen. It also retains the elongated design with a 6.1-inch display with a 21:9 aspect ratio. Things remain unchanged on the back as well, the cameras are arranged vertically and the module is discreet. As well as the Xperia brand. The edges are straight and the corners are rounded. We have the same fingerprint sensor on the side, volume buttons and headphone jack. It’s compact, quite manageable with one hand, but I wish it wasn’t so long. The phone in the pictures is green, says Sony, but to me it looks more like gray with an olive tint.

While Apple removes the physical SIM tray, Sony keeps the tray that can be easily removed with a finger. God, I love this. We have Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back, and the phone is IP 65/68 certified for water and dust. As I’ve said in the past, it’s a good design, nice, elegant, but a bit boring.

Screen Sony Xperia 5 IV

The Xperia 5 IV has a 6.1 FHD+ HDR OLED display, but this time it’s up to 50% brighter than the previous 5 series, and it shows, and I had no problems using the phone outside.

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The refresh rate is 120Hz and the tactical scan rate is 240Hz, meaning it’s very smooth and a pleasure to use for browsing or gaming. The problem is that the refresh rate can only vary between 120 and 60 Hz, there are no other values ​​in between.

In standard mode, the screen shows contrasting colors and quite saturated, but in creative mode, it has a natural display, and I used the phone in standard mode, but I chose that when I open YouTube or movie apps, it goes into creative mode. It’s a good screen for media consumption, but be aware that when you pinch to zoom, you’ll lose a lot of frame up and down. We have two stereo speakers and they sound good and have decent volume, but this time they don’t vibrate as aggressively as the 5 III when turned up. You still feel the vibrations on the back of the case, but it’s better than last year.

Performance

The processor is Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, so it is not Qualcomm’s most modern processor, i.e. 8+ Gen 1, and the RAM memory is 8 GB, while the memory space is 128 GB, but the phone also supports a microSD card. So, not the best phone at the moment, but good enough for flagship status, I say. Diablo Immortal runs at the highest graphics settings without problems, but not without heating up. As with other Xperia flagships, the 5 IV also gets hot, and Sony is quite aggressive with throttling the processor’s performance to keep temperatures in a decent range. With every Geekbench or 3DMark test, the phone’s performance drops, and if it gets too hot, the screen refresh rate drops to 60Hz, just like the Xperia 1 IV. When I tested the 1 IV last summer, the phone often dropped to 60Hz if I was shooting 4K HDR at 60fps or gaming more. 5 IV does not pass as often, but the ambient temperature is also much lower now.

If you play for more than 20-30 minutes, Sony will reduce the CPU performance, but it’s not a moment you’ll notice right away, it could be a problem in 2-3 years.

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There have been significant improvements to the battery, and this year’s model has a large 5000mAh battery that can be charged at 30 watts with a proper charger, which Sony doesn’t provide in the box (nor a cable, for that matter. what’s new is that the Series 5 this times it also has wireless charging. Wired charging from 0 to 100% is not super fast, but the battery is good this year. You can use it all day without worrying, and if you don’t press it all the time, you will be able to achieve an autonomy of one and a half or two days, with only one day of charging.

Cameras Xperia 5 IV

Sony has worked in the photo department and the Sony Xperia 5 IV is the first smartphone in the Xperia 5 series to feature real-time eye AF and real-time tracking on all lenses and can record videos in 4K HDR resolution and 120 FPS with all three cameras , just like the Xperia 1 IV.

The front camera has been changed to a bigger and brighter 12MP for better selfies. Like the Xperia 1 IV, this model also has professional video and photo modes and can be used with Sony Alpha cameras for easy live streaming.

On the back we have a triple camera with 12 MP sensors. The main camera is based on an optically stabilized 24 mm Sony IMX 557 f/1.7 sensor. We have Dual Pixel PDAF for fast autofocus.

The ultra-wide camera is based on a 16 mm Sony IMX 563 f/2.2 sensor. This camera also supports Dual Pixel AF.

The telephoto camera appears to use the Sony IMX 650 sensor from the Xperia 1 IV, but it doesn’t have as long a focal length, with a 2.5x or 60mm zoom.

The Xperia 5 IV also supports wide dynamic range for videos, a feature that first appeared on the Xperia 1 IV, where the phone captures videos by combining multiple frames to increase the perceived dynamic range. Videos recorded in this way do not have stabilization. Therefore, this type of shooting is recommended for a tripod or gimbal.

On the Xperia 5 IV, you have basic recording and photography modes, but also advanced modes such as photo pro, videoography pro and cinema pro, where you have better control over exposure, focus and other elements.

The Xperia 5 IV’s main camera takes great photos with a balanced and natural look that many other phones can’t. The white balance is well done and the colors are vivid and realistic with good contrast, while the dynamic range is natural keeping the darker areas that should look that way. So without the over-processed HDR look that other phones achieve.

The ultra-wide camera performs similarly to the wide camera and takes just as good photos, with plenty of detail and a natural look. The telephoto camera is ok, but I noticed a lack of detail in photos, and the 2.5x optical zoom isn’t much, but better than nothing.

Portrait shots are also good and the subject is detailed and sharp with fairly good separation. I’m glad you can adjust the amount of blur, personally I’d only go for a little blur for a natural look.

On the night or low-light photography side, the phone doesn’t perform as well as others due to the fact that it doesn’t have a dedicated night mode. The Xperia 5 IV takes pretty good pictures in low light, but the phone sets a long exposure time, which can lead to missed shots if you don’t have steady hands. Basically, it works like a classic camera. It’s the same story with ultra-wide and telephoto cameras.

With the Sony Xperia 5 IV, you can shoot at 4K30 and 1080p/60fps with all four cameras via the standard app, and with the other two apps you can shoot 4K up to 120fps and also have different options for making video clips.

The recording retains the same naturalness we talked about earlier. Images are detailed, well exposed, with good color accuracy, no over-sharpening and low noise. We use Sony cameras for video production and I could integrate such a device into the workflow. On the other hand, I would not recommend this phone, or other Sony phones for night shots as they are quite dark and Sony needs to invest in night shooting and recording mode.

That being said, I think it’s time to discuss the pros and cons of the Xperia 5 IV

Pro Points

  • Headphone jack, notification LED or microSD card
  • Good cameras
  • A classic design, if that’s what you’re after
  • Good specs
  • Professional photo and video modes
  • Good autonomy

Cons points

  • Reduces performance when forced
  • No charger
  • It’s getting hot
  • There is no night mode

Back to the title, why is the Xperia 5 IV the easiest Sony phone to recommend? Because the price is not as high as the Xperia 1 IV. The Xperia 5 IV is currently available at a price of approximately 4,900 LEI. I’ve only seen it in Orange, but it’s possible that it appears elsewhere. The phone will be available in black and this very nice green.

At the same time, it’s much more versatile and performs better than Sony’s mid-range Xperia 10 IV. It has certain things you can’t find on other high-end phones like a headphone jack, notification LED or microSD card, things I don’t care about but I’m sure there’s an audience for them.

What I care about is the phone’s ability to take pictures and videos properly and beautifully. If you want a natural look then this is the phone for you, if you want HDR, super bright colors then go for Samsung, Xiaomi or anyone else.

At the same time, it annoys me that Sony continues with the same design and does not make a better cooling system: the Xperia 1 II, 1 IV, 5 III and 5 IV heat up after 20 minutes of gaming, and in the summer the problem becomes even worse.

If they change the design, make better cooling and keep or improve the photo/video quality then we are dealing with one of the best phones on the market. But until that happens, Sony remains in the shadows and with a very niche target audience.


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