Sony Xperia 1 IV leaks cover price, fast charging, and a possible rebranding

We've got a better idea of what we can expect from the Sony Xperia 1 IV this year thanks to a handful of new leaks – leaks covering the pricing of the handset, the charging speed it might offer, and a potential name change as well.

As gathered together at Notebookcheck.net, the list of rumors actually starts with a tip from Caybule on Chinese social network Weibo, suggesting that one of the 2022 Xperia models has been canceled. The model that's been cut is unlikely to be the flagship Xperia 1 IV, but it could be the Xperia 5 IV or the Xperia 10 IV.

Next up is a hint from the same source that the Xperia 1 IV might not be called that at all. Sony's recent naming strategy for its phones has tended to be a little confusing, so we're hoping that if there is a rebranding it will be towards a simpler nomenclature.

Charging rates and pricing

There's also word from a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory filing in the US (via Reddit) that the new phone will support 30W fast charging just like the Xperia 1 III. However, the battery capacity is said to be increasing from 4,500mAh to 5,000mAh.

Finally, we also have some fresh speculation on pricing: @TheGalox_ says we're looking at figures of $1,400 to $1,600 (£1,075 / AU$1,900 to £1,225 / AU$2,170), although it seems that this will partly be dependent on the region. The starting price of the Xperia 1 III was $1,299.99 (about AU$1,765) in the US and £1,199 in the UK.

As always, treat these rumors with a pinch of salt until we get official word from Sony. The Xperia 1 III was launched in April 2021, so we might not have to wait much longer to see what the successor has in store for us.


Analysis: Sony is still waiting for a smartphone hit

We were quite taken with the Sony Xperia 1 III, which we described as "Sony's best phone for quite some time" in our review. Xperia handsets can usually be relied upon to combine top-quality hardware (especially the camera modules) with Android software that's clean and tidy and free from bloatware.

This year we've already heard that the Sony Xperia 1 IV will get internal spec upgrades and better cameras. In fact, just about every part of the 2022 handset will apparently be improved compared to its predecessor – though the rumor is that the design won't change much.

However, despite all the top-tier hardware on offer in Sony's recent Xperia phones, they're yet to make a significant impression in terms of sales. On paper, they look like some of the best phones in the business, but Sony needs to work out a way of getting that potential and promise in front of potential customers to shift more units.

Part of the problem is the pricing. The flagship Xperia handsets have traditionally been very expensive, and if the above rumors are true, that's going to continue again this year. Sony may have to make more of a compromise with future handsets when it comes to specs and build quality versus retail price.

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