Sony Xperia 10 IV mid-range smartphones with flair
Announced in May 2022, the yet to be launched Sony Xperia 10 IV, currently on pre-order is a mid-range smartphone with plenty of appeal. What can users expect in terms of specifications, camera quality and overall performance. Find out here.
Smartphone manufacturers have conventionally been very picky with smartphone launches for the European market. In the past, we have seen a lot of smartphones that have garnered accolades in the Asian, African and American markets not making its way to Europe.
With e-commerce penetrating the deepest corners of countries worldwide thanks to the Internet, e-commerce portals have started delivering unlocked versions of flagship devices to Europe. Brands have been quick to pick up the trend. Getting more flagships as well as powerful mid-range smartphones into Europe.
With around the same price as the new Apple iPhone SE 2022, it has a lot more on offer. Let’s find out.
Sony Xperia 10 IV – Performance in a Mid-Range Handset
Sony kept performing miserably with their smartphones (and their headless device naming scheme) for a quite a number of years now. It then decided to wrap their smartphone business out of the big Asian markets like the Indian subcontinent, Australia, Africa and a host of other countries to try and focus on Europe along with its parent country Japan and neighbouring Taiwan and Hong Kong.
This is Sony’s last-ditch attempt at turning profitable and they aim to do so through focused production and direct selling rather than relying on carriers. The Xperia 10 IV is a mid-range 5G capable device powered by the Snapdragon 695 5G mobile platform.
The highlight of the smartphone is its Triluminos Display, a tech it borrowed from its exquisite consumer TV range. Sony pits its Triluminos Display, now a regular with the Xperia 10 series smartphones as a direct competitor to Super AMOLED displays of Samsung with punchy colours and high contrast ratio.
The 6-inch display on the new Xperia is almost the same OLED panel seen on the last Xperia 10 III with the same FHD+ resolution, 1 billion colour support, HDR and 457 ppi on a 21:9 aspect ratio. The only differences you would notice here are the increased brightness and better screen protection in the form of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus in the new series-10 Xperia.
Once you take your eyes off the display and pick up the handset, the premium plastic frame and matt finish would catch your attention.
Sony has managed to deliver a better screen to body ratio than the Xperia 10 III and has managed to cram in a big 5000 mAh battery reducing the overall weight at the same time. The battery returns a chart-busting 163 Hrs endurance rating resulting in the Xperia 10 IV offering 32 hrs of continuous video playback, over 35 hours of talk time and 21 hours of web browsing according to gsmarena.
However, the phone does not support fast charging and is sold without a charger. Even 65-watt chargers can juice up a completely depleted Xperia 10 IV by just 28 per cent in 30 minutes which frankly is too slow for current standards.
In terms of performance, the new Xperia seems more of an incremental update over the Xperia 10 III with its Snapdragon 695 5G processor. The chip has two 2.2GHz Kryo 660 Gold cores and six 1.7GHz 660 Silver cores coupled with Adreno 619 graphics.
Performance wise, it is very similar to yet another mid-range processor from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 765G. In fact, the Snapdragon 695 performs about 5% better in AnTuTu 9 benchmark.
We see a similar story in GeekBench 5 benchmark. The Snapdragon 695 is 19% faster in the single core rating and 12% faster in the multi-core rating. While it does not really matter, it runs on a higher clock speed and is made using the 6nm manufacturing process instead of 7nm.
You can find out more on how the Snapdragon 695 compares to the Snapdragon 765G at nanoreview.net.
Memory and Storage
6GB/128GB is the only RAM/Storage combo available but the shared sim slot supports microSD cards. Performance is largely similar to last year’s Xperia 10 series albeit with a big downside on the imaging front. Heavy applications and games run smooth with snappy graphics support.
There is no lag whatsoever during multi-window tasking and you can rapidly switch between open applications without any hitch.
Next, in the imaging front, the new Xperia 10 retains almost the same specs but loses out on 4K recording thanks to an unsupported chipset. The main shooter has a 12MP OIS enabled sensor, an 8MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom and an 8MP ultra-wide lens.
Daylight photos come out well balanced with adequate sharpening and detailing. There is decent saturation and vividity in the colours captured and the dynamic range does a good enough job.
Optically zoomed photos from the telephoto lens have an extremely good dynamic range with adequate exposure and details. The ultra-wide lens is tuned for more colour saturation and looks livelier than the same images captured over the other lenses.
Low light performance is improved in the Xperia 10 IV over 10 III. There is a wider dynamic range with better sharpness and colour saturation. Dedicated night mode improves shadow and adds detail along with a bit of brightness and colour boost.
Overall performance in low light/night mode is vastly improved from last year’s model. The 8MP selfie camera has HDR without any stabilization but clarity is good and there is adequate object separation. Our advice would be to keep the AI processing Sharpen Faces feature off to avoid over-processing on portraits.
On the video recording front, we would advise sticking to the telephoto and ultra-wide lenses during daytime recording to avoid minor pixelation issues with the main camera.
The volume rocker and fingerprint sensors are on the right side while the left edge dons a cut out for the Hybrid Dual Sim slot. The noise cancellation microphone is placed on the top along with a 3.5mm high-resolution audio jack.
Speaking of audio, there are no speaker grills. Rather, the chin of the display houses front-firing speakers that frankly barely manage to get the job done. Over the headphones, however, the story is different with Sony using DSEE Ultimate audio enhancer and 360 Reality Audio engine for excellent local and online audio over both wired and wireless headphones.
The Xperia 10 IV is a decent smartphone that would offer good value to users but is bereft of any ground-breaking innovation. It even lacks in the camera performance but then again it is not a flagship. Still, it is way better value than the boring old iPhone SE 2022. Even though the iPhone SE 2022 has a more powerful chip, the Apple A15 Bionic, for the same money, the Xperia 10 IV has more going for it. For start, it has a 6.0-inch Full HD+ OLED display.
Then there is the high capacity 5000mAh battery, triple lens main camera with optical zoom and image stabilisation and an amazing selfie camera with AI technology. Plus, it is available in four exciting colours; mint, lavender, black or white. If an iPhone is still what you are after on a budget, consider the iPhone 11 in our comparison iPhone 11 vs iPhone SE 2022.
- CAMERA: Triple lens camera with ultra-wide-angle, wide-angle and telephoto
- DISPLAY: 6.0″ 21:9 Wide OLED display
- AUDIO: High quality sound with High-Resolution Audio and 3.5mm audio jack
- BATTERY: Powerful 5,000mAh battery in a hand-fit, lightweight body for comfortable use
- IP65/68 rating water resistance and Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus®
- DIMENSIONS: 153 x 67 x 8.3 mm
- WEIGHT: 161 g
- WATER RESISTANT: Water resistant (IPX5/IPX8), Dust proof (IP6X)
- NUMBER OF SIM: Dual SIM
- CAPACITY: 5000mAh