HomeMobileAndroidRecensione Sony Xperia 5 IV: unico ma non per tutti

Recensione Sony Xperia 5 IV: unico ma non per tutti

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Looking at the specifications I had stared for a moment: ok size, ok battery, ok cameras, stereo audio, wireless charging, IP68, audio jack, notification LED (oh well): then there is the perfect smartphone ! I’m talking about Sony Xperia 5 IV , a smartphone that has a lot to offer from a technical point of view and a design that is different from the usual and very elegant.

Well, to tell the truth it is not exactly perfect, the list price is really high, the hardware is not exactly up to date, the OLED display is not LTPO and the software should be revised on many things. In short, it depends on what value you want to give to that “almost”.

INDEX

  • DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING QUALITY
  • DISPLAY
  • SOFTWARE
  • DATA SHEET
  • EXPERIENCE OF USE
  • CAMERAS
  • IN CONCLUSION
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DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING QUALITY

Tastes are tastes, of course, let me say, however, that this smartphone meets mine 100%. I cannot say that it is compact, but it is not huge either , it is a device that in everyday use is never too heavy (173 grams) or bulky, as well as being really very narrow, which greatly facilitates the handle.

sony xperia 5 iv pic
sony xperia 5 iv pic

samsung galaxy s22 pic
samsung galaxy s22 pic
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asus zenfone 9 pic
asus zenfone 9 pic

apple iphone 14 pro max pic
apple iphone 14 pro max pic
Sony Xperia 5 IV

67 x 156.1 x 8.2 mm
6.1 inches – 2520×1080 px

Samsung Galaxy S22

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70.6 x 146 x 7.6 mm
6.1 inches – 2340×1080 px

Asus Zenfone 9

68.1 x 146.5 x 9.1 mm
5.9 inches – 2400×1080 px

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

71.5 x 147.5 x 7.85 mm
6.1 inches – 2556×1179 px

Click here for the complete comparison »

The images above retain the right proportions, so if at first glance it seems larger (among the small ones), in reality, being the narrowest, it is the one that is slimmer in the hand. Of course you have to like that format in 21: 9 that makes the remote control effect a bit and then it is damn slippery , because this year they have rounded the edges even more, so much so that the smartphone seems almost “soft”, yes, like a bar of soap. A cover and the fear passes.

On an ergonomic level, I would like to point out that the fingerprint reader is not under the display but on the right side, together with the volume rocker and the button to take pictures and call up the camera. And I have to make some considerations that alas are the same ones I have been doing for the Sony Xperia for a few years.

The first is that a sensor on the right will be very comfortable for some, much less for left-handers like myself, even if the small size helps in being able to unlock with the index “wrapping” the body of the smartphone with the palm of the hand. The second is that the rocker of the volume so small is a torture, because it constantly goes down instead of up and vice versa, but what does it cost to make it a little bigger?

As already mentioned above there is the 3.5 mm audio jack, next to it there is a notification LED, the left side is completely clean while at the bottom there is the Type-C port and the SIM drawer that is still extracted with the fingernail, no need for the pin, thanks Sony.

Gorilla Glass Victus front and back , stereo speakers with front outputs divinely embedded between glass and frame. Obviously IP68 .

DISPLAY

The display is a 1 billion color OLED with 6.1-inch diagonal (21: 9) at 120 Hz, HDR10 support is present, the resolution is 1080×2520 pixels . The peak of brightness has grown considerably compared to last year and already at the sight there is a greater brightness, which materializes in a peak measured just above 1000 nits. At the hardware level, the real lack is the adaptive refresh rate , not being equipped with an LTPO panel.

Speaking of refresh rates, Sony allows the user to enable the “120 Hz” switch, nothing else. In reality, the management is partially dynamic between 60 and 120 Hz, in particular the 60 Hz are set when displaying the multimedia contents, while the whole UI remains fixed at 120 Hz.

On the other hand, the possibilities offered with regard to calibration are excellent: you can choose between a standard mode which is the classic one with smartphone emphasized colors, or a creation mode that has been calibrated for the BT2020 color space, capable among other things of adapting to content, going from DCI-P3 to sRGB. Regardless of the chosen mode, it is then possible to set a white point manually, in addition to the RGB values. In standard mode you can enable dynamic image enhancement with X1 for mobile technology, and the same function unlocks a frame by frame HDR analysis (a sort of HDR10 +).

Beyond the numbers, this smartphone offers a truly level visual experience, especially in viewing multimedia content, comparable in quality and accuracy only to the iPhone world.

The brightness and proximity sensors work correctly, but I noticed a slight flickering of the image if you import the brightness to a minimum with the screen set at 60 Hz. Finally, a mention for the oleophobic treatment which is impeccable.

SOFTWARE

On board Sony Xperia 5 IV there is the classic Sony UI based on Android 12 and security patches updated in July 2022. Sony promises 2 major updates of the green robot and 3 years of security patches.

Joys and sorrows for this software, but overall the evaluation is not sufficient and perhaps represents the real weakness of the smartphone, for many reasons. From the first moment this device welcomes you with a very strange aesthetic mix, on the one hand Android 12 in a practically stock version with all its curves, huge buttons, colored icons and adaptive colors, on the other a suite of Sony applications with 80s designs that make everything look old and an inappropriate launcher for a 2022 smartphone.

Then the launcher changes, and that’s okay, but it is also the features such as floating windows or side-by-side windows that have a graphics that have long been outdated and not very intuitive, as well as also showing some bugs, such as the AOD clock that often marks the wrong time. Not to mention the proprietary apps, Music is almost identical to the app I was delighted with on Sony Xperia Arc S (2011), the “game enhancer” is feature-rich but with vintage graphics, News Suite, an aggregator of news that … and finally the many apps to record photos and videos, unnecessarily complex and confusing, which I will talk about in a dedicated paragraph.

The Headphones app deserves a mention, which allows you to control more finely any associated Sony headphones, both wireless and wired, the Bravia Core app to access the catalog of Sony movies in streaming (1 year included), the Imaging Edge app for connect cameras and Sony mirrorless cameras and use your smartphone as a monitor (through type-c) and Music Pro, which is a very complete tool for recording audio from your smartphone, complete with metronome, real time monitoring in headphones, track editing tool, functions audio editing (denoiser, studio or microphone audio simulation, reverb reduction, audio separation).

DATA SHEET

  • soc : Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • display : 6.1 “, 21: 9 FHD +, OLED, 120Hz, 240Hz motion blur reduction, 240 touch scanning rate
  • memory :
    • 8GB of RAM
    • 128GB of storage, expandable up to 1TB via microSDXC
  • camera :
    • triple rear:
      • 16mm, 12MP, 1 / 2.5 “, 120FPS, f / 2.2, AF
      • 24mm, 12MP, 1 / 1.7 “, 120FPS, f / 1.7 1.8um, AF OIS
      • 60mm, 12MP, 1 / 3.5 “, 120FPS, f / 2.4, AF OIS
    • front camera: 12MP, 1 / 2.9 “
  • connectivity : 5G
  • audio : 3.5mm audio jack, stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Audio, Hi-Res Audio Wireless LDAC, DSEE Ultimate, 360 Reality Audio
  • battery : 5,000 mAh, 30 min charging to restore 50% battery with 30W charger, support wireless charging
  • construction and resistance : IP68 certified, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
  • dimensions : 156 x 67 x 8.2mm
  • weight : 172 grams

EXPERIENCE OF USE

The user experience with Sony Xperia 5 IV is generally positive , the smartphone has a good management of all the telephone and connectivity part, the software is lean and in general you never get the feeling of a problematic product, such as instead it happened for the older brother Xperia 1 IV (which for the record we have in test after the many updates, we will tell you).

The performance is not excellent, it happens to see frame drops in common use, this is because the 120 Hz refresh rate is cut as soon as the temperatures rise slightly, even the processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, seems sedated compared to what we have seen. on Xperia 1 . Certainly Sony has run for cover but the result is a less brilliant smartphone than it could give, a price still more than acceptable to keep temperatures low and improve autonomy. I add that the “bottleneck” to the SoC came after a substantial software update , at the exit, just like the big brother, it was tending to overheat.

Let’s be clear, Xperia 5 IV is not a slow smartphone, but trying other top-of-the-range products immediately perceives a little more brilliance. A big regret is the non-use of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 , which has repeatedly confirmed itself as an overall better processor than the standard version 8.

GAMING AND MULTIMEDIA

Some care has been reserved for the gaming sector, with a suite of advanced features including simulation by interpolating a frame rate of 240 Hz or direct streaming of game sessions. There are also various image enhancement modes and the ability to set different color profiles for different games. It is all very nice, but the performance is not up to the situation, there is never too much overheating but the fluidity of the game is far from what other smartphones can offer.

Well all the audio part , the two front speakers are not very powerful but the sound is well balanced between the two channels and balanced on all frequencies. In addition, each speaker is encapsulated in a container that absorbs vibrations to prevent them from propagating to the body causing distortions. As mentioned there is the audio jack with the possibility of connecting Sony headphones and getting a customization based on the model.

AUTONOMY AND RECHARGE

The 5,000 mAh battery is a great thing if we think that it has been inserted in a relatively compact body, the autonomy that follows is convincing managing to easily cover a full day of use, even two in reality if you do not use it. immoderate and do not take advantage of the 120 Hz of the display. With all the functions active, including AOD and 120 Hz, I managed to cover almost 6 hours of active display, an excellent result.

The recharge takes place with a cable up to 30 Watt (power supply not supplied in the package) and takes almost 2 hours, slowing down significantly in the final part of the recharge. Also present is wireless charging at 15 Watts and reverse at 5 Watts.

CAMERAS

On Sony Xperia 5 IV there is a more classic photo compartment than the older brother Xperia I IV, actually almost identical to what offered the third generation Xperia 5. The main cam is a 12 MP with Sony IMX557 1 / 1.7 “sensor and standard lens optically stabilized F / 1.7 and PDAF; then we find a 12 MP ultrawide with Sony IMX563 with AF, and a telephoto lens with 2.5x magnification and optical stabilization , the sensor is a 12 MP Sony IMX650 and F / 2.4 aperture.

Finally, the selfie cam has been updated compared to the previous model, now with a fixed focus 12 MP Sony IMX663 sensor .

PHOTOGRAPHIC SOFTWARE

As in the past, Sony offers a solution that winks at more experienced users, made up of multiple applications for both photos and videos. Personally, I do not find myself aligned with the idea of ​​the Japanese brand, which in my opinion creates a lot of confusion but without real advantages for the user, who would just need a simple pro mode inserted within the photographic app.

The Camera Pro app has a BASIC mode that corresponds to classic smartphone cameras, the user can act on some limited parameters such as white balance, exposure compensation, flash, burst shooting and self-timer , as well as being able to select the format and clearly the objective with which to shoot.

AUTO mode activates a completely different interface, designed for horizontal use. Here the modifiable parameters are the same as in the BASIC mode, but the AF control (single or continuous) is added, the choice of the focus area and the possibility to activate / deactivate automatic AF on the face / eyes. On the other hand, however, you lose control over the WB and that over exposure compensation.

Then we have the “P” mode , which stands for automatic program. Here everything is like in AUTO but we can also act on the EV compensation, on the WB, on the ISO and on the choice of HDR / auto / ON / OFF.

The “S” mode allows you to act on the shutter speed, you lose control over the ISO but you get back on the exposure compensation.

“M” is the same as “S” but with the added ISO control . Finally, the “MR” program , that is a global preset with the values ​​chosen by the user that are stored and not returned to the default setup when the app is closed.

Here, do you understand why I believe that all this only creates confusion? Also because all these parameters are exactly the same that can be controlled with the “pro” modes of the photographic apps, except perhaps the focus metering. Why not just do a standard and a pro mode with everything unlocked?

Then let’s move on to the Video Pro app , here, in my opinion this already makes more sense because it offers an infinite series of video controls that are usually not found. In addition to times, ISO, AF / MF, WB, we can activate an ISO limit, ISO limit in HDR, input volume, output volume, wind filter and the ability to manage a streaming in RTPM (professional protocol used by broadcasters) or on YouTube.

Among the features of this app is the ability to record in 4K at 120 fps , which is not available with the normal photo app. Strangely, however, using the Camera Pro app (which in BASIC mode has a switch to switch to video recording) you do not get beyond 4K at 30 fps and the setting is blocked.

Finally, there is also the Cinema Pro app, which offers all the controls of the Video Pro app and adds looks, or pre-packaged LUTs that facilitate color correction in post production. Here there are not all the aids for AF, above all the focus tracking, on the other hand by putting it in manual you can activate the automatic shift between a focal distance A and a B, a purely cinematic function. In addition, all the settings for managing video streaming are missing.

Globally, the images have an excellent quality during the day , the post-process is not invasive as on other smartphones, therefore the natural colors are maintained without giving up good detail. There is good consistency between the three lenses with only a tendency to overexpose the telephoto lens, certainly the weakest of the three, in both quality and versatility. The image cleaning is clearly better with the main sensor but overall we are on the level of the best top of the range. Too bad only for the ultrawide which, automatically, is not used for macro shots despite the autofocus, nothing prevents you from using it in manual mode.

Also interesting are the portraits that are very well and can be controlled with a special switch that activates the simulated bokeh with a nice result on the cropping and the naturalness of the de-focus.

At night the quality of the shots drops a lot , or rather, the quality of the freehand shots drops, because using a tripod we are fine. Sony perseveres in a “mirrorless” approach, whereby it makes little use of computational photography and relies instead on the common sense of the user. The smartphone automatically lowers the shutter speed a lot, which leads to almost always blurred photos if you do not use a tripod, just like with a camera. By now, however, the user is used to the tip and shoot at night with the magic of the software and personally I think it is the right solution since we are on an Xperia 5 IV, in fact, not on an A7 IV.

On the videos you can not complain , the options chosen by the user are many and you get to 4K 120 fps in Pro mode. The image quality is more than good, even if I noticed some problems in the management of times with so much light . Excellent audio captured by directional and environmental microphones.

IN CONCLUSION

Sony Xperia 5 IV is offered at 1,049 euros in the price list , in the only memory size 8 + 128 GB. Sony has once again created a smartphone that makes a story in itself, difficult to evaluate as a whole, with some very positive elements and others that are penalized by anachronistic choices. It is different from the crowd, both aesthetically and in its operating logic, and this makes it attractive on the one hand for a specific target of users, on the other hand not very user friendly and consequently less suitable for a general user.

7.2
Hardware1664354642 63 shimSony Xperia 5 IV 
1082  

It’s a shame because there would be all the potential to please everyone, instead the Japanese brand loses itself on marginal aspects such as the countless shooting modes, forgetting the freehand night photos; puts a very complete hardware and then does not use the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1; equips a 120 Hz display but without adequate software control; it uses excellent speakers and the audio jack and then leaves a music app with 10 years on its shoulders. In short, the usual Sony, which already from my first smartphone made me exalt and angry in equal measure.

1664354642 63 shimHuman size 1664354642 63 shimExcellent autonomy 1664354642 63 shimAudio compartment

1664354642 63 shimSoftware to improve 1664354642 63 shimSlow reload 1664354642 63 shimPhoto at night undertone

FINAL VOTE: 8.0

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