Sony Xperia 5 IV Review: The Sony Xperia lineup has expensive smartphones. For example, the Sony Xperia 1 IV is sold for $1599, and for a non-foldable smartphone, this is pretty expensive. However, the Sony Xperia 5 IV is usually where the company saves money and also gives you top-end features. This year, the Sony Xperia 5 IV is about $600 cheaper than the Xperia 1 IV.

The Sony Xperia 5 IV was released a few days and after going through the smartphone, I figured it is still a good phone that offers vital features but is also more affordable than the Sony Xperia 1 IV. In fact, the price of the Sony Xperia 5 IV makes it easy to sit alongside other 2022 premium flagship phones. So, in this Sony Xperia 5 IV review, I’ll be sharing with you the good and bad sides of this smartphone.

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Sony Xperia 5 IV Review

To explain everything about the Sony Xperia 5 IV, I’ll have to break it down and explain each of the important parts of this phone. I’ll start with its display, design, and durability.

Sony Xperia 5 IV Review: Display, Design, and Durability

The Sony Xperia 5 IV has a tall 6.1-inches OLED display. It has a 1080p panel that supports a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR BT.2020. It weighs about 172g (6.07 oz) and if you put it in your pocket you’ll feel its weight but you can still go out with it. Sony Xperia 5 IV is made of a Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), and aluminum frame. It is also IP65/IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins) and the Xperia 5 IV was thrown inside the water to confirm and it survived.

Sony Xperia 5 IV display
Sony Xperia 5 IV display

The bezels on the sides of the Sony Xperia 5 IV are small but it has big bezels/chin on the top and bottom sides of the screen. The smartphone is tall and narrow and you can easily hold it in your palm. But, because it is tall, it’s a little bit difficult to reach the top screen with one hand. On the rear, Xperia 5 IV has a simple rear camera module that houses three camera sensors.

Sony Xperia 5 IV water test
Sony Xperia 5 IV water test

The overall design of the Sony Xperia 5 IV is simple but premium. The materials used in making this phone are top quality and durable. The 1080p screen of the phone is also very fast, smooth, and colorful. Note that the more expensive Sony Xperia 1 IV has a 4K display which I personally think is too much for a 6.1-inches screen.

So, the display resolution is one area that Sony has saved money on the Xperia 5 IV. Instead of using a 4K display, the company used a 1080p display which also looks nice and bright. If you’re using the Sony Xperia 5 IV side by side with the Xperia 1 IV, you won’t miss the 4K display resolution as the 1080p screen of the Xperia 5 IV is just very good.

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Sony Xperia 5 IV Review: Chipset and Performance

The chipset inside the Sony Xperia 5 IV is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. For those who don’t know, this chipset is a high-performing chipset that has support for 5G and is built on Samsung’s 4nm process technology. This chipset has one prime Cortex-X2 core with a speed clocked at 3.00GHz. It also has three big Cortex-A710 cores and four small Cortex-A510 cores with speeds clocked at 2.40GHz and 1.70GHz respectively. This CPU is paired with the Adreno 730 GPU.

Now, the CPU and GPU in this phone are very powerful. The CPU is fast and processes data very fast, Switching between apps is smooth, and playing graphics-intensive games has little to no lags at all. But, the phone gets hot and stops working very quickly.

Sony Xperia 5 IV Review
Sony Xperia 5 IV overheating notification

When playing games or using the cameras of the phone to record in 4K, I noticed that notification comes up very quickly about the hotness of the phone. The maximum I’ve used the Sony Xperia 5 IV intensively without getting this notification is about 15 minutes. And if you’re like me, you’ll probably want to use your phone for more than 15 minutes.

Why does the Sony Xperia 5 IV get hot easily? That I don’t know for sure. But I do know that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has a history of getting hot and has not been a good power-efficient chipset. Another reason could also be that Sony did not use a good proper cooling system for the chipset inside the phone. It could be either of these reasons or both. However, whatever the case, it does not make sense that a phone with such a powerful chipset gets hot very quickly.

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Sony Xperia 5 IV Review: Camera

Sony is very popular for making cameras and you should already know what to expect from the cameras of a phone made by a company that makes some of the best cameras. The Sony Xperia 5 IV has a total of 4 cameras. It has three rear cameras and a single front camera. On the rear, it has a 12MP primary camera, 12MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultra-wide lens. All 12MP rear camera has Dual Pixel PDAF but only the primary camera and telephoto lens have OIS. The front camera is also a 12MP camera sensor.

Sony Xperia 5 IV rear camera
Sony Xperia 5 IV rear camera (images: MrMobile [Michael Fisher])

The quality of photos and videos from the cameras of the Sony Xperia 5 IV is really good. The cameras of the smartphone also have insane stability when taking photos and recording videos. All four cameras can record videos in 4K resolution and are equipped with 5-axis gyro-EIS and OIS stability features.

Night photography and low light shots are also good especially using the 12MP primary camera. The HDR is good, the portrait mode is very nice, and the white balancing is also good. Truth is, there is very little or nothing for you to complain about when it comes to the quality of photos and videos you’ll get from the cameras of the Sony Xperia 5 IV.

Sony Xperia 5 IV Review
Sony Xperia 5 IV camera app settings

Some of the impressive camera features are Zeiss optics, Zeiss T* lens coating, LED flash, panorama, HDR, and eye tracking. The camera app of the Sony Xperia 5 IV is a little extra. It gives access to tons of camera settings that require some level of professional education to use. Of course, it is perfect for people who already know how to use these camera settings but it’ll take some time for average users to get to know and use these settings.

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Sony Xperia 5 IV Review: RAM, Storage, and Software

Sony X Peria 5 IV comes with a single RAM of 8GB. This RAM is paired with 128GB or 256GB of internal storage. It also has space for storage expansion via a MicroSD card slot. The MicroSD card uses a shared SIM card slot. This means you can either have one SIM card and a MicroSD card or two SIM cards without a MicroSD card.

Sony Xperia 5 IV Review
Sony Xperia 5 IV clean software

Sony Xperia 5 IV boots Android 12 out of the box and will be getting up to three years of major software updates and four years of monthly security patches. So the phone will be upgraded to Android 15. You can download and install apps from the Google Play Store as the phone has support for Google Mobile Services. The software experience of the phone is neat and smooth and feels more like stock Android 12. There are also annoying pre-installed apps and the interface looks really clean.

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Sony Xperia 5 IV Review: Battery and Charging

Powering the Sony Xperia 5 IV is a 5,000mAh battery. You can charge the battery from 0 to 100% in about 65 minutes. The phone also has support for wireless charging, Reverse wireless charging, and USB Power Delivery 3.0. A single charge of the battery can last you for the whole day but if you’re playing games frequently and always on your phone, you can get about 7 to 8 hours of use.

Other features available in the Sony Xperia 5 IV are a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, a 3.5mm headphone jack port, Native Sony Alpha camera support, Yes, stereo speakers (24-bit/192kHz audio), a Dynamic vibration system, etc.

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Sony Xperia 5 IV Review: Price

The price of the Sony Xperia 5 IV starts at $999 for the base model with 8GB RAM + 128GB of storage. This price is about $600 less than what the Sony Xperia 1 IV is sold for. But, even at this price, the Sony Xperia 5 IV is still a relatively expensive smartphone. There are other premium phones in the market that are sold for less but offer better chipsets and better performance. However, there are a few reasons why you might want to pick the Sony Xperia 5 IV over those other phones. See the conclusion of the Sony Xperia 5 IV Review below.

Buy Sony Xperia 5 IV

Sony Xperia 5 IVPrice
Buy on Amazon$999

Sony Xperia 5 IV Review: Conclusion

Sony Xperia 5 IV headphone support
Sony Xperia 5 IV headphone support

I can think of at least ten smartphones that have better chipsets, offer better performance, and are cheaper than the Sony Xperia 5 IV. But none of these phones have space for a 3.5mm headphone jack and space to expand storage via a microSD card.

The Sony Xperia 5 IV has good cameras, a nice display, a 3.5mm headphone jack port, a MicroSD card slot, a long-lasting battery, water/dust resistance, good audio quality, and a neat software experience. But, it gets hot easily, is kind of heavy (most phones are these days), and is relatively expensive. For less than $999, you can buy a 256GB premium phone but you won’t get a 3.5mm headphone jack and MicroSD card slot.

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