The Japanese company continues to improve its mid-range line by launching Sony Xperia 10 IV, but it is doing it too slowly.
Sony Xperia 10 IV Review:
Sony has released another update to the Xperia 10 series, it’s a very popular mid-range smartphone around the world. However, as before, the manufacturer did not make any drastic changes – Sony management clearly likes what the Sony Xperia 10 IV is at the moment. definitely liked the army of fans. And maybe not only them.
Sony Xperia 10 IV Specifications
- Processor: Qualcomm SM6350 Snapdragon 695 5G, 8 cores (2×2.2GHz Kryo 660 Gold, 6×1.7GHz Cortex-A710, 4×1.8GHz Cortex-A510), Adreno 619.
- Memory: 6/128 GB.
- Display: 6 inches, OLED, HDR, 1080×2520 pixels, 21:9 aspect ratio, 457 PPI.
- Primary camera: 12 MP (f/1.8, 27 mm, 1/1.2.8″), 8 MP (f/2.2, 16 mm, 1/4.0″, 120˚), 8 MP (f/2.2, 54 mm) , 1/4.4″, zoom 2×).
- Front camera: 8 MP (f/2.0, 1/4.0″, 27 mm).
- 5000 mAh battery, fast charging, Quick Charge, Power Delivery.
- OS: Android 12.
- Dimensions: 153×67×8.3 mm, 161 grams.
Sony Xperia 10 IV Unboxing
The current trend towards stingy kits, which are (supposedly) driven by concern for the environment, has reached the middle-class segment as well. The Xperia 10 IV smartphone comes in a thin cardboard box without any accessories inside – there is only the device itself and waste paper. It is worth recalling that last year we were disappointed that the Xperia 10 III came with a 7.5W charger, although the smartphone could receive much more power via Power Delivery. Well, Sony has fixed this problem – no one will complain about weak charging if it is simply not included in the kit.
Sony Xperia 10 IV Design
The Xperia 10 II and Xperia 10 III smartphones were so slightly different from each other that even with a visual comparison, it was problematic to notice the difference. Xperia 10 IV boldly continues the same stylistic touches, almost not standing out from previous models. The only notable change is the back panel, which in this incarnation is no longer glossy but matte. Due to this, leaving your fingerprints or just getting your smartphone dirty is almost impossible.
In addition, this time the company has ditched a dedicated button to call the “Google Assistant” – we are not particularly concerned about its absence, but if the user often accessed the voice assistant, then now you can press and hold the power key. The same button houses a fingerprint sensor, which, unfortunately, cannot be configured to be triggered only by pressing – it works exclusively by touch. Because of this, random triggers sometimes occur, but not more often than on other smartphones.
Of the interesting details of the case – there is a 3.5 mm headphone jack, which is very, very rare. In addition, the smartphone has a full-fledged front camera, but it is implemented without a cutout – the manufacturer simply made the frame above the screen a little thicker than usual. In the same frame, there are sensors and an RGB indicator for the notification of various events.
The manufacturer did not change the display itself, its shape, and parameters – thanks to the aspect ratio of 21: 9, the device turned out to be quite narrow and elongated, due to which it is very convenient to scroll through the content with one hand.
Sony Xperia 10 IV Display
The Xperia 10 IV smartphone received the same display as the previous model in the line, and this solution has both pluses and obvious minuses. On the one hand, it’s a pretty good 1080p OLED display that’s great for content consumption, and it doesn’t have any notches. On the other hand, Sony once again abandoned the high refresh rate, settling on standard characteristics. Even last year, 60 Hz looked barely acceptable, but in 2022 the situation has not improved.
Yes, the new model turned out to be a little brighter than the previous one (632 nits), but when the smartphone is in direct sunlight, it is problematic to notice the difference. At the same time, you need to understand that smartphones with a brightness of about 800 nits and higher at a frequency of 120 Hz are available in this price category.
Sony Xperia 10 IV Battery
After Sony increased the battery last year (from 3600 mAh in the Xperia 10 II to 4500 mAh in the Xperia 10 III), no one thought that the manufacturer would do it again, but the Xperia 10 IV has an even larger battery – 5000 mAh. This is a real record for a smartphone that will compete with devices that have a display diagonal of at least 25% larger. Accordingly, this year the battery life of the device has grown from excellent to amazing – Xperia 10 IV is a real champion in this matter.
We averaged a whopping 32 hours of offline video playback, while the battery lasted 31 hours when browsing the web over Wi-Fi, a truly impressive result. The smartphone also allows you to communicate by voice call for 35 hours, and in the overall endurance rating (standby time), the device has collected as many as 163 hours.
Sony Xperia 10 IV Charging speed
However, for all its endurance, the Xperia 10 IV does not charge too quickly. Since there is no charging adapter included with the smartphone, we tried to charge the device with several of our own Power Delivery modules – 3 out of 4 gadgets peaked at only 18 watts in the very early stages, after which it dropped to 10 watts and remained at this level until the very end. Only one charger briefly showed 21W of power, but most of the time it delivered 11W of power, so charging is naturally far from fast. From 0 to 100%, the smartphone charges in about two and a half hours, while the user will receive 30% in about half an hour.
Sony Xperia 10 IV benchmarks and performance
The smartphone was equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor – a mid-range chip with 5G support. Compared to the Snapdragon 690 in the Xperia 10 III, the newer processor is able to achieve higher power efficiency thanks to the 6nm process (Snapdragon 690 uses 8nm). What’s more, while the processor is largely unchanged from its predecessor, performance cores now hit 2.2 GHz versus 2.0 GHz on the predecessor.
The problem is that the Xperia 10 III was noticeably weaker than its direct competitors at one time, and with virtually unchanged performance, the Xperia 10 IV will not look more powerful than other representatives of the segment today. In addition, the new processor does not support 4K video recording – it might have been wiser to install a more productive system on a chip here, but now it makes no sense to discuss this.
As a result, in GeekBench, the Xperia 10 IV outperforms its predecessor in both single-core and multi-core tests – the result is quite expected. The graphics benchmarks further demonstrate that the performance of this smartphone is below average.
On the other hand, although the performance of the device is clearly poor, the smartphone shows stable power even during long and difficult tests. In the throttling test, the device performed very well, as well as in real heat tests.
Sony Xperia 10 IV Photo quality
We can safely say that the quality of images on the main camera of a smartphone in daylight remains at the level that you expect from this segment. Dynamic range is reasonably good, although relatively average contrast can rob you of some detail, especially with auto HDR. The level of detail is also quite high, and the transfer of textures is organic, without excessive sharpness of objects. Noise, in most scenarios, remains at an adequate level, and colors retain a good level of saturation, plus we had no problems with white balance.
The ultra-wide camera
The ultra-wide camera got us a little more excited about the saturation of the color palette, the dynamic range is also good, especially for a mid-range ultra-wide camera. The detail is decent, although the frame softens a little towards the edge – which is normal for this kind of lens.
The telephoto lens takes pleasantly sharp and detailed shots, we even consider calling them impressive. The camera demonstrates the excellent dynamic range, and decent exposure, which could not be said about the previous model in the line. However, there are no strange color casts or other problems, as with the Xperia 10 III.
Sony Xperia 10 IV Image quality in low light
The Xperia 10 IV also takes better pictures at night than its predecessor. We see a better dynamic range, especially in the bright areas of the frame, although sometimes the picture may depend on the automatic activation of the HDR mode. It might be wiser to just leave the switch in forced activation mode and not think about it. We also did not notice any problems with the white balance, and the colors turned out to be quite realistic.
The only problem we encountered was the poor focus in dark scenes – the smartphone often lost sharpness and set the wrong focus. Of course, you can wait for the right focus, but this can be frustrating in certain situations.
Night mode improves
Night mode improves some shadow detail in most scenes and preserves highlights when HDR technology can’t do the job. Yes, the shots in night mode are softer than without it, but the picture is still quite sharp.
The quality of Xperia 10 IV telephoto photos in the dark was noticeably better than that of the Xperia 10 III. The results are quite decent, and illuminated building facades can look very attractive, with crisp detail and adequate noise. But, the truth is, here, too, you have to hunt for focus.
When the night mode is activated, the camera works out the shadows better, highlighting sharp details, but you have to pay a little sharpness for this.
The ultra-wide-angle camera doesn’t handle low-light shooting as well, either in normal or night mode. Pictures are not sharp enough regardless of the selected mode, plus the image is too noisy (night mode saves a little, but not completely).
Sony Xperia 10 IV Portrait mode
Portrait mode is accessed via a dedicated switch at the far end of the viewfinder – it’s not on the mode panel. The results look more than adequate in terms of object separation from the background, although sometimes, of course, failures occur. But don’t expect great backlit results when the smartphone simply can’t capture the full dynamic range of the scene due to the focus on the user’s face and the lack of HDR processing.
Sony Xperia 10 IV Selfie Camera
The Xperia 10 IV’s front-facing camera shots are reasonably good, plus there’s a toggle in the settings for Face Sharpening, which, according to promotional material, uses artificial intelligence to sharply reproduce facial details and reduce noise. We noticed that with and without the activation of the mode, frames have their own specific disadvantages.
For example, if the function is activated, the images look slightly processed, and if it is turned off, the picture is too soft with smooth facial features.
Neither in the first nor in the second case, the photographs do not seem surprising. And if there were some intermediate modes with average processing, we would not have to explain why both modes are bad. And if you do not take into account the detail, the photos turned out to be quite decent – the colors are a little muted and not entirely accurate, but the dynamic range is quite wide.
Portrait mode is accessed from the Modes panel – now the front camera has received a full 8 megapixels, and the level of blur has become better. Sometimes, however, the system is wrong, and there is also no HDR support.
Sony Xperia 10 IV Video recording
The Xperia 10 IV records video at 1080p at 60fps on the main camera and at the same resolution but only at 30fps on all others. Recording in 4K mode, as mentioned earlier, is not here. Unfortunately, you should not expect something incredible from the video – there is no optical stabilization, but a good dynamic range, and colors are more or less pleasant.
Sony Xperia 10 IV Review Final Verdict
Once again, we’re not quite sure what to do with the Xperia 10 smartphone. It’s too expensive for these specs, and the contents of the box won’t let you know what you paid so much money for. It lacks a 4K recording, but it does have weird 5G support that could well be dropped in favor of a more powerful processor. Moreover, the display of the smartphone only supports a frequency of 60 Hz, which is inexcusable today.
On the other hand, the Xperia 10 IV has its strengths too. The smartphone has an unrivaled battery life, and the stylish body with a matte panel is protected from moisture and dust. Yes, and finding a smartphone outside the flagship segment with a telephoto lens is still difficult, while here it is. So it’s not a bad smartphone and it has a lot of outstanding features, but we’re not thrilled with it.
- Tempered glass Gorilla Glass Victus, water, and dust protection according to IP65/IP68 certification.
- Lightweight and compact body.
- Impressive battery life.
- High-quality photography in daylight.
- There is no charger in the box, not even a USB cable.
- The display is only 60 Hz.
- Very slow charging speed.
- No stereo speakers.
- Relatively weak processor.
- No 4K video recording, weak selfies.