A smartphone with a true optical zoom at last! Why Sony Xperia 1 IV is the real deal

Sony Xperia 1 IV
Sony Xperia 1 IV (Image credit: Sony)

It might seem brazen for Sony to call its new flagship, the Xperia 1 IV “the world’s first optical zoom* 85mm-125mm on a smartphone”, but it isn’t as brazen as it sounds. There are hardly any real zoom lenses on camera phones.

For years, we’ve been battling our better nature as camera enthusiasts when using the term ‘optical zoom’ in reference to smartphones. From flagships like the iPhone 13 Pro Max and its humble ‘three times optical zoom’, to Samsung’s hyperbolic ‘Space Zoom’ on the Galaxy S22 Ultra – there’s actually no optical zooming taking place. After all, optical zoom and digital zoom are different things. 

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Basil Kronfli

Basil Kronfli is a freelance technology journalist, consultant, and content creator. He trained in graphic design and started his career at Canon Europe before moving into journalism. Basil is also experienced in video production, independently running the YouTube channel TechEdit, and during his time at Future, he worked alongside the Digital Camera World team as a senior video producer.