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

Sony has once again chosen a quadruple photo module with Zeiss optics. We thus find a wide angle of 12 megapixels, whose lens opens at f / 1.7, an ultra wide angle of 12 megapixels (f / 2.2), a 3D depth sensor (ToF), but also and above all a 12 megapixel telephoto lens provides allows you to go from a focal length of 85 mm to 125 mm (opens 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 dual 50-megapixel Sony IM766 sensor (wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle). The latter captures standard 12.5 megapixel images thanks to pixel binding.

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



Oppo Find X5 Pro (12.5 MP, f / 1.7, ISO 254, 1 / 500s)


Sony Xperia 1 IV (12MP, f / 1.7, ISO 64, 1 / 160s)

Under good lighting conditions, Sony and Oppo offer a balanced confrontation, although the Chinese company offers a much better result in the periphery. The Find X5 Pro image benefits from good exposure and shows a higher level of detail while staying sharp. Xperia chooses a more natural rendering, especially thanks to better controlled colors. It works well on certain parts of the image, such as the mountain map or ticket at the top right. The software choice made by Oppo will flatter the retina of the largest number, but Sony is defending well.



Oppo Find X5 Pro (12.5 MP, f / 1.7, ISO 6848, 1 / 20s)


Sony Xperia 1 IV (12MP, f / 1.7, ISO 1250, 1 / 4s)

In the dark, the Sony Xperia 1 IV regains control. Find X5 Pro delivers a shot of good quality, but that from Sony turns out to be sharper and above all more detailed. It can be seen on the treatment of the book’s cover, which brings out the roughness better, or on the two faces at the top left. It should be noted, however, that the pause time for Xperia on night photos is significantly longer than for the Oppo smartphone, which can more easily “punish” a scene.

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



Oppo Find X5 Pro (12.5MP, f / 2.2, ISO 253, 1 / 250s, eq.16mm)


Sony Xperia 1 IV (12MP, f / 2.2, ISO 64, 1 / 100s)

During the day, the two units again participate in a good duel. In either case, the scene is well transcribed and quite usable. If the Xperia 1 IV shows a more accurate general colorimetry where the opponent has a slight tendency to overexpose, the color patterns turn out to be a little less clear. Oppo’s smartphone actually delivers a more contrasting and clear image, while the Xperia 1 IV is certainly closer to what we see in real life.



Oppo Find X5 Pro (12.5 Mpx, f / 2.2, ISO 7744, 1 / 8s, eq.16mm)


Sony Xperia 1 IV (12MP, f / 2.2, ISO 1600, 1 / 13s)

In the night picture, we see that the two smartphones have a different approach. The low exposure lowers the level of detail of the Xperia 1 IV image. For example, we see that Sony’s algorithm struggles to perfectly transcribe the entries in the book. However, the result remains readable and above all more natural.

Thanks to pixel binding, Find the X5 Pro’s 50-megapixel sensor manages to harvest far more light, which greatly improves sharpness. Digital smoothing, however, remains very pronounced and does not restore much more detail. A glance at the mountain range on the cartography makes it possible to become convinced of this.

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

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

Note here that we have installed the latest update implemented by Sony on its Xperia 1 IV, but that we have not discovered any significant difference in terms of autofocus control using zoom.

Front and video module

A 13-megapixel sensor replaces the 8-megapixel sensor on the Xperia 1 III. It is also much more efficient. Selfies are of good quality and the colors have a natural reproduction. We enjoy a much better level of detail than last year, and we 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 several options (including 4K / 120 fps) by using the Video Pro application. The rendering is very well done and will appeal to videographers. Again, the colorimetry may look a little bland if you are used to the saturated treatment of competitors, but it is actually very realistic. It is possible to add an audio wind filter, which is particularly effective outdoors. It is therefore very comfortable to film with this model.

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