Sony finally unveils the Xperia 5 IV, a small flagship with big camera ambitions

A man holding the green Xperia 5 IV
(Image credit: Sony)

What you need to know

  • Sony has unveiled its new Xperia 5 IV flagship smartphone.
  • The Xperia 5 IV sports a design similar to the Xperia 1 IV with many of the same specs and features.
  • The 12MP rear and front cameras are all capable of 4K HDR, with the rear cameras capable of 120fps for super-slow-mo.
  • The Xperia 5 IV is available for preorder starting today for $1000 and will ship at the end of October.

It's been a while since Sony unveiled the Xperia 1 IV and Xperia 10 IV, although, for months, we've been left without an Xperia 5 successor — until now, that is.

Sony's new Xperia 5 IV flagship was unveiled on Thursday, giving us many of the same features we saw announced alongside the Xperia 1 IV, but in a smaller package and ever-so-slightly watered down. Still, that doesn't make it sound any less impressive on its own.

The Xperia 5 IV sports a 6.1-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This is the same size as other "small" flagships like the Galaxy S22, although it sticks to Sony's cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio for properly enjoying movies. It also helps that the display is now 50% brighter than its predecessor, making it easier to see the action.

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony's signature bezels also remain on both the top and bottom of the display, housing the front-facing camera (more on that later) and stereo speakers. These are capable of some impressive audio, including 360 Reality Audio, DSEE Ultimate, and LDAC support. The phone is also equipped with Bluetooth LE Audio support. Sony says users can expect high-quality audio from the speakers, 35mm headphone jack, and wireless headphones.

The phone also supports high-quality audio recording, which Sony touts can produce studio-like samples for musicians.

A man and woman using the Xperia 5 IV to record a song

(Image credit: Sony)

But, with it being an Xperia phone, the big focus is the camera. The Xperia 5 IV features three 12MP cameras on the back, which are capable of 4K HDR at 120fps, meaning you can slow down the action at high resolution. The primary sensor is also larger than its predecessor, which can help with collecting more light for video and images.

Of course, you can access all of Sony's various camera apps aimed at creators. To show this off, Sony shot Cat Burns' "People Pleaser" music video using the device and the Videography Pro app.

The front-facing camera also gets an upgrade, bumped up to 12MP, and is also capable of shooting 4K HDR. Although, if you'd rather use the primary sensor to record yourself, the Xperia 5 IV is compatible with the Vlog Monitor announced alongside the Xperia Pro-I. Sony fans can also use the phone as a monitor for the company's line of Alpha cameras.

Powering all of this is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, although curiously, Sony did not opt for the newer 8+ Gen 1. It comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. The phone is also packed with a 5,000mAh battery with support for fast-charging, wireless charging, and wireless Battery Share. There's also IP68 water and dust resistance, plus Gorilla Glass Victus for added durability. The phone runs Android 12 out of the box but will likely get Android 13 sooner or later.

The black and green Sony Xperia 5 IV

(Image credit: Sony)

Unlike the Xperia 1 IV, which is still in preorder and won't ship until later this month, anyone looking to purchase the Xperia 5 IV won't have to wait too long. The phone is available for preorder now in black or green and will ship at the end of October, which will, unfortunately, give the Pixel 7 plenty of time to steal the spotlight when it launches in the fall.

The Xperia 5 IV retails for $1000, but Sony is sweetening the pot for anyone that preorders by including a free pair of the spectacular WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.