Sony Xperia 1 IV review

World-first camera phone zoom tech helps the Xperia 1 IV make history, but is its high price still too punchy?

Photo taken on the Sony Xperia 1 IV
(Image: © Basil Kronfli / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Sony's color science and camera apps are a cut above the smartphone competition, and with its incredible new optically zooming lens, which adds the full 85-135mm range, the Sony Xperia 1 IV is a wonder. Despite being an incredibly compelling camera phone though, heat management issues and occasional UI gremlins hold this phone back from a five-star score, especially given its high price.


  • +

    Groundbreaking zoom technology

  • +

    Powerful camera apps

  • +

    Excellent design and screen

  • +

    Bravia Core adds value


  • -

    Overheats with prologued camera use

  • -

    Secondary cameras struggle in low light

  • -

    Occasional bugs in the UI

  • -

    Very expensive

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Sure, everyone can enjoy a phone like the Xperia 1 IV, but Sony makes camera phones for camera fans – it's that simple. Camera fans can dive into the detail – eke out the extra value hidden within the three (yes, three) camera apps pre-loaded on the phone. 

The Xperia 1 IV is particularly exciting given its world-first tech. This is the first phone to support 120fps video capture across all its rear cameras. Most impressive, though, is the inclusion of a true optical zoom. The phone's periscope camera can take you from 85mm to 125mm continuously, despite the fact the Xperia 1 IV is a slim, fine-looking slab of frosted glass and blasted metal.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

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.