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Sony announces Xperia 1 IV smartphone with true optical zoom, 4K/120p HDR video

Sony has announced its latest flagship Xperia smartphone, the Xperia 1 IV. It includes many new features and improvements, but its most noteworthy feature is its new true optical zoom lens.

The Xperia 1 IV has three rear cameras, each producing 12MP images using a Sony Exmor RS image sensor. While the sensor sizes vary, resolution and 4K/120p HDR video capabilities are available across all three. The 16mm F2.2 camera uses a 1/2.5-inch type image sensor. The main camera offers a 24mm equivalent lens with an F1.7 aperture and a large 1/1.7-inch type sensor with SteadyShot optical image stabilization. Rounding out the trio is the new, world’s first, 85-125mm optical zoom lens with a variable F2.3-2.8 aperture and 1/3.5-inch type OIS-equipped sensor. The zoom uses a periscope design to deliver true optical zoom across its range.

The Xperia 1 IV offers Real-time Eye AF and Real-time tracking for both still photo and video shooting. Subject detection and tracking are aided by a 3D iToF sensor located on the phone’s rear and Sony’s artificial intelligence technology. Each camera includes Zeiss optics with Zeiss T* coating to produce sharp, detailed images with minimized reflections and high contrast. Sony has incorporated AI technology with its automatic white balance system as well, promising improved color accuracy and rendering. The Xperia 1 IV shoots full-resolution images at up to 20 frames per second with full AF/AE across all three rear cameras.

The front-facing camera is improved as well, using a new 12MP Exmor RS image sensor that’s larger than in the previous model. The front-facing camera is no slouch and promises full 4K HDR video and improved low-light performance.

Regarding video, as mentioned, each camera can record native 4K video at up to 120 frames per second. Further, all cameras record HDR, including a multi-frame HDR mode that combines consecutive frames at different brightness levels to produce video with a wider dynamic range. Since the phone combines frames in real-time, it’s limited to 60p and slower.

A key new feature in the Xperia 1 IV is livestreaming through the Videography Pro app. You can stream to YouTube or other services without using additional accessories or equipment. Alternatively, you can use the Xperia 1 IV with a compatible Alpha camera as a 4K monitor and livestreaming device.

The smartphone has a 6.5-inch OLED display with 4K resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio. The 120Hz display has 240Hz motion blur reduction and a 240Hz touch-scanning rate. It’s Sony’s brightest 4K HDR OLED smartphone display yet and is about 50% brighter than its predecessor. The phone also promises good audio with Dolby Atmos technology and a 3.5mm headphone jack to go with its impressive display specs. The built-in speaker can play ‘360 Reality Audio’ and supports high-resolution audio technology.

The Xperia 1 IV features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Mobile platform with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, plus a microSD slot for expanded storage. It works on 5G sub6/mmWave and Wi-Fi 6E wireless networks and offers quick charging capabilities. The smartphone is IP65/68 certified and uses Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back.

The Xperia 1 IV will release in the US on September 1 for $1,600 in black and purple. It’s available to preorder now, and for a limited time, orders will include free Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless noise-canceling earbuds, a $280 value.