Sony's Xperia 5 IV Combines Big Cameras, A Smaller Screen And A Surprising Price

Sony has been a big proponent of compact smartphones, having pioneered the segment with the Sony Xperia X Compact in 2016. Starting in 2019, the company has been making compact smartphones under the Xperia 5 series. The first of these devices — the Xperia 5 — packed in flagship-grade hardware and excellent cameras within a relatively small frame. The "original" Xperia 5 has, since then, been succeeded by the Xperia 5 II (read as the Xperia 5 Mark 2), which launched in 2020, and the Xperia 5 III, which the company released last year.

For 2022, Sony has renewed its compact lineup with a new device called the Sony Xperia 5 IV (or the Xperia 5 Mark 4). The newest smartphone follows a familiar design language and form factor, while adding some features that lovers of Sony's compact smartphones have been asking for a long time. These updates include the addition of wireless charging, a larger battery capacity compared to the older models, and a brighter display.

Sony Xperia 5 IV: Key specifications and features

Sony's reluctance to experiment with the design language of its smartphones ensures that the Xperia 5 IV looks very similar to its predecessor. The newer phone is slightly smaller while weighing a few grams more — differences even the most discerning Sony fanboy will find hard to detect. What remains unchanged, though, is the size of the display — which continues to be a 6.1-inch, 120Hz, 21:9 OLED panel. The 2022 model does get an upgrade to Gorilla Glass Victus, however, and Sony says that the screen is also 50% brighter at its maximum. Arguably as useful is the addition of Real-Time HDR Drive, which can apparently better handle over- and under-exposed areas of the image on-screen.

The Xperia 5 lineup has been known for its interesting camera configurations, and Sony has continued the tradition with the Xperia 5 IV. The triple camera system on the rear panel of the device uses three 12MP sensors for the standard, ultra-wide, and telephoto cameras. All three rear-facing cameras get Sony's much acclaimed Eye AF and Object Tracking on all cameras. In addition, the front-facing camera sees a jump in resolution over last year's model, moving from an 8MP sensor to a larger 12MP version this time around.

The Xperia 5 IV is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip and is offered in a single 8GB/128GB configuration, with Sony continuing to support microSD expansion for those wanting more storage. The battery capacity has also been enhanced to 5,000 mAh, compared to 4,500 mAh on the outgoing model. Connectivity options include USB-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack, along with support for 4G and 5G networks, although mmWave support is still absent. Sony plans to ship the Xperia 5 IV beginning October 27, 2022, unlocked and SIM-free, for a somewhat eye-watering price tag of $999.