Sony Xperia 1 IV is out now – at least in some places, and for a huge price

If you’ve been eyeing up the Sony Xperia 1 IV then today (June 16) is the day you’ve been waiting for, as the phone has finally shipped. Or at least, it has for buyers in the UK and Europe – those in the US will have to wait until September 1, while Australian Sony fans aren’t getting it at all.

That means if you’ve pre-ordered the phone in the UK then it will hopefully be turning up on your doorstep today. Maybe it’s already there. Maybe you’re even reading this article on it. If you haven’t pre-ordered, then you can just wander into a shop and get it – assuming they have stock.

Just be aware that the Sony Xperia 1 IV is a very, very expensive phone, coming in at £1,299.99 in the UK and $1,599.99 in the US. Those are for different storage capacities – 256GB in the UK and 512GB in the US – but these are the only versions landing in each region.

In any case, that’s more than the Sony Xperia 1 III cost at launch, more than the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or iPhone 13 Pro Max costs, and more than just about any other phone that doesn’t fold costs.

For certain users though – primarily creative professionals - the Sony Xperia 1 IV could really justify its price tag, as it offers features such as a continuous optical zoom on its camera, tools for game streamers, a pro-focused video recording mode, audio recording tools, and more. It goes above and beyond on these fronts, but these are arguably also niche features.

The rest of the Sony Xperia 1 IV is a fairly standard – if impressive-sounding – flagship, complete with a top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, 12GB of RAM, a 6.5-inch 1644 x 3840 OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 5,000mAh battery with 30W charging, and a quad-lens camera.

That camera consists of a 12MP primary sensor, a 12MP ultrawide one, a 12MP telephoto one that can shift between 3.5x and 5.2x optical zoom (and every stage in-between), and a depth sensor.


A Sony Xperia 1 IV from the back, lying on a stone surface

(Image credit: Future)

Analysis: a standout phone that’s not for everyone

While the top Samsung handsets and iPhones could arguably appeal to just about anyone and everyone, the Sony Xperia 1 IV seems to have narrowed its sights towards the creatively inclined, and particularly photographers, videographers, streamers, musicians, and podcasters.

While the phone as a whole looks accomplished enough to be good for anyone, it’s those areas where it looks to stand out and excel, and those areas where it aims to justify the high price.

If you’re not interested in those things then you can get a handset that largely matches the Sony Xperia 1 IV in terms of specs for less money, and from a bigger name. So be sure you know what you’re buying before you shell out on this – and maybe wait for our full review.

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