Sony Xperia 5 IV review: Solid upgrade but at a price that's hot to handle


    Sony Xperia 5 IV review

    Sony Xperia 5 IV review (Image: SONY)

    The Xperia 5 IV won’t let you down but the price is just way too high

    What we love

    • Stunning screen
    • Solid battery life
    • Plenty of power
    • Wireless charging
    • Good camera for pros

    What we don’t

    • Far too expensive
    • Gets hot under pressure
    • Camera is complicated to use
    • Design needs refreshing

    There’s no question that the new Xperia 5 IV offers plenty of upgrades over its predecessor including all-important wireless charging and a much faster Qualcomm processor. Out of the box, it looks really smart with a matt finish and unique tall design really making it stand out from the Android crowd.

    The 6.1-inch screen with that famous 21:9 aspect ratio looks gorgeously good and the addition of real-time HDR support makes content appear richer and packed with more detail than ever before.

    Battery life is good thanks to a huge 5,000mAh power pack inside and there are some nice features for gamers including PS Remote Play and a Game Enhancer mode.

    It’s a solid update from Sony but it’s definitely not a home run for this device. The camera can be really complicated to use and unless you are a pro photographer who wants to dig into endless settings it’s all a bit over the top.

    When shooting 4K video, the phone can get really hot and, during our time with the device, we got numerous warnings flashing up on the screen saying things needed to cool down or it would switch itself off.

    Then there’s the price as this phone costs a whopping £949 – that’s more than the iPhone 14, Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy S22.

    If you love the Xperia brand, the 5 IV is a solid Sony phone… we just feel there are plenty of other options at much cheaper prices.

    Sony Xperia 5 IV review

    The Sony Xperia 5 IV feel good in the hand and is comfy to hold (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

    Sony Xperia 5 IV: Full review

    The new Xperia 5 IV (that’s mark 4 if you were wondering) was revealed at the IFA technology showcase in Berlin back in September and comes packed with plenty of updates and shiny new upgrades which make it faster, last longer and way more enjoyable to use when watching a blockbuster movie.

    The big question is… is it worth that whopping £949 asking price? Here’s our full Sony Xperia 5 IV review

    Sony Xperia 5 IV review

    The Xperia 5 IV features an impressive display (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

    Display and design

    Sony makes some of the best TVs on the planet so you’d expect the visuals to be just as good on their phones and the Xperia 5 IV does not disappoint. The 6.1-inch OLED display now features real-time HDR (High Dynamic Range) support which makes compatible content look rich and packed with detail.

    There’s also that unique 21:9 aspect ratio which has been included to offer the perfect viewing experience for a Hollywood movie binge.

    Instead of an annoying notch or hole-punched camera, Sony’s design simply features a paper-thin chin and forehead which certainly stops anything interfering with what’s being viewed on the panel.

    Like most devices in this premium price bracket, you also get 120Hz technology which makes whizzing through websites and launching apps feel silky smooth and stutter-free. This is a superb screen and it’s packed inside a design that feels good in the hand.

    We took delivery of the black model which features a stunning matt finish that wouldn’t look out of place in a Batman movie. The Gorilla Glass Victus finish should also mean it survives being popped into this superhero’s pocket.

    The slimline design makes it really easy to hold although it is quite tall which, despite a clever reach mode, can make it a little tough to use one-handed. We don’t even mind the side-mounted fingerprint which is very easy and intuitive to use.

    All in all, the Xperia 5 IV’s design and screen are great although it does look very similar to all of its predecessors and it’s definitely time Sony considered switching things up a little.

    Qualcomm's Snapdragon

    Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is tucked inside (Image: QUALCOMM)

    Speed and battery

    Tucked under the shell of the Xperia 5 IV is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 from Qualcomm. This is a seriously good processor that’s incredibly capable and there’s nothing that this device won’t cope with.

    However, that chip has already been superseded by the 8+ Gen 1 and Qualcomm will release its Gen 2 next month which both make the all-new Xperia 5 IV look a little underpowered.

    If battery life is your biggest worry then you can breathe a sigh of relief as this device will easily see you through a day and beyond.

    It also now features wireless charging which is something we criticised Sony for not including on last year’s model.

    One thing that’s definitely worth noting is that Sony is following some of its rivals by ditching the plug from the box. However, the Japanese firm is taking things up a level by also removing the USB-C cable as well. We understand the plug disappearing as it means less electronic waste and the packaging can be made smaller. However, the missing cable feels like one step too far and we hope Sony changes this decision in the future.

    Sony Xperia 5 IV review

    This device gets a triple rear camera (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)


    Sony is, once again making big noises about the camera on its new smartphone and it’s right to be proud of this triple-lens snapper.

    The three 12-megapixel sensors, which include a main, ultra-wide, and telephoto option, are all very capable and get useful features such as Real-time Eye AF which makes sure people and pets are always kept perfectly in focus.

    During our time with the new Xperia 5, we managed to snap some very nice images that are easily as good as this phone’s rivals.

    However, for the very best snaps, you’ll need to use Sony’s Pro settings which are great if like tinkering with the ISO and shutter speed but not so good for anyone who simply wants to point and shoot.

    If you really like having complete camera control then the Xperia 5 IV is a great option as it works just like a real DSLR.

    But those who just take the odd snap of the family dog and a few selfies with friends should definitely look elsewhere as devices such as the iPhone and Pixel are much better when simply hitting the shutter button.


    Sony Xperia 5 IV review

    Sony Xperia 5 IV camera samples (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

    Sony Xperia 5 IV review

    Sony Xperia 5 IV review: Camera samples (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

    Sony Xperia 5 IV review

    Unless you dig into the pro settings some images can look dark (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

    It’s also worth noting that the Xperia 5 doesn’t have a dedicated Night Mode which seems strange considering this is now such a key feature of all of its rivals. Yes, you can start manually opening the shutter longer and start tweaking the ISO but that’s nowhere near as easily as letting the device do all the hard work for you.

    If you get the hang of it you’ll get some very nice still images and things don’t stop there. The Xperia 5 IV can also shoot silky smooth video in full 4K. The results are seriously impressive thanks to excellent image stabilisation and impressive autofocus.

    There is one big caveat though. Sony really needs to iron out a bug that means the device starts to burn up and then shut down when making pin-sharp home movies. During our time with this device, we got numerous warnings on the screen sayings things were warming up fast and not switching it off could result in burns! That’s clearly a worry and something that needs fixing urgently.

    Sony Xperia 5 IV review

    The Sony Xperia 5 IV can get hot with warnings on the screen (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

    Sony likes to pack plenty of extras into its Xperia phones and the 5 IV is no exception. Owners now get wireless charging, stunning Hi-Res Audio music playback and even a headphone port for plugging in wired cans.

    For those wanting to test out the display, Sony offers the bonus of 5 free Hollywood films and 12 months of unlimited streaming via its BRAVIA CORE for XPERIA service.

    There are also impressive gaming features which offer 240Hz motion blur reduction along with easy access to PS Remote Play and Game Enhancer mode. The side-mounted fingerprint scanner is also fast and accurate plus there’s impressive 360 Reality Audio for more immersive sound.

    The only extra we’re not so keen on is the pre-installed bloatware with apps such as Facebook already filling up space on the device before you’ve even turned it on for the first time.



    There’s no hiding the fact that this is a very expensive smartphone. Sony wants customers to part with £949 to buy this device which makes it way more expensive than other flagships such as the new Pixel 7 from Google, Apple’s iPhone 14 and Samsung’s Galaxy S22.

    The Xperia 5IV is a solid smartphone that’s packed with features but there are also plenty of other Android devices that offer similar specs for a lot less money.

    To help soften the blow there is the option to buy the device via monthly instalments and Sony is currently throwing in a free pair of wireless Linkbuds S which are worth £149.

    Sony Xperia 5 IV review

    Sony Xperia 5 IV review (Image: SONY)

    Sony Xperia 5 IV: Final verdict

    The Xperia 5 IV is a good phone. It looks slick, has a fabulous display and fast processor and even a headphone socket.

    The camera offers plenty of manual features which budding photographers will love and there are now bonus extras such as wireless charging – you even get that free access to blockbuster movies.

    If you buy one, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed with what this device offers but it’s not all good news.

    The price is definitely way too high, the processor is already outdated – and will seem even slower when Qualcomm reveals all about its upcoming chip next month – and the fact it gets so hot sometimes is a concern.

    We’re also not sure this is the best device for anyone who simply wants to take photos by simply pointing and shooting.

    If you love the Xperia brand this is a solid smartphone but Sony may find it hard to convince the masses to make the switch with so much competition available at cheaper prices.


    Previous articleITV wants to change the way you watch TV with a blockbuster upgrade coming soon
    Next articleRaising Kanan fans gobsmacked by major season 2 finale exits: ‘Deserved better!’


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here