Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Sony announced the Xperia 1 IV and the Xperia 10 IV during an event in May, succeeding the Xperia 1 III in the flagship smartphone sector, and the Xperia 10 III in the mid-range sector.

There was no mention of the Xperia 5 IV at the event, so we would expect this device to appear later in the year. We've covered how the Xperia 1 IV compares to the Xperia 1 III in a separate feature, as well as how the Xperia 10 IV compares to the Xperia 10 III in another feature.

Here we are looking at how the Xperia 1 IV compares to the Xperia 10 IV and what you compromise opting for mid-range instead of flagship when it comes to Sony's offering.

squirrel_widget_6957625

Design

  • Xperia 1 IV: 165 x 71 x 8.2mm, 185g
  • Xperia 10 IV: 153 x 67 x 8.3mm, 161g

The Sony Xperia 1 IV and the Sony Xperia 10 IV share a similar design language but they aren't identical. The Xperia 1 IV is the more premium of the two devices - which of course comes with the price - and it offers flat edges rather than rounded, making for a more modern look. 

Both have flat-slab designs - something we've come to expect from Xperia devices - and they are both tall and narrow - another feature that distinguishes Xperia handsets. They also both have bezels at the top and bottom of their displays, feature side-mounted fingerprint sensors and they come with an IP65/68 water and dust resistance.

The camera housings on their rears differ - the Xperia 1 IV has more about it both in terms of design and capabilities - and the Xperia 1 IV also has a dedicated camera shutter button on the right edge - something the Xperia 10 IV doesn't have.

Overall, while there are similarities between the Xperia 1 IV and the Xperia 10 IV, as there are between the Samsung Galaxy S and the Galaxy A lines, it's clear the Xperia 1 IV is the flagship handset. It's also larger and it comes in a more serious colour palette, while the Xperia 10 IV could be considered more "fun".

Display

  • Xperia 1 IV: 6.5-inch, OLED, 4K, HDR, 120Hz, 21:9
  • Xperia 10 IV: 6-inch, OLED, Full HD+, 60Hz, 21:9

The Sony Xperia 1 IV features a 6.5-inch OLED display, while the Xperia 10 IV has a 6-inch OLED display so you're getting more screen on that flagship handset. They both have the signature 21:9 aspect ratio, but there are quite a few differences between the two that will contribute to your viewing experience.

The Xperia 1 IV has a 4K resolution for starters, compared to the Xperia 10 IV's Full HD+ resolution. This means that everything will be sharper and crisper on the Xperia 1 IV, but it is especially prominent when watching Ultra HD movies, videos, or shows.

The Xperia 1 IV also has a 120Hz refresh rate compared to the Xperia 10 IV's 60Hz refresh rate - though this may only be noticeable when side-by-side, or when gaming for example. 

There's HDR on board the Xperia 1 IV too though, and the display is brighter so overall, you're getting a much more superior display on the Xperia 1 IV.

Hardware and specs

  • Xperia 1 IV: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 12GB RAM, 256GB, 5000mAh
  • Xperia 10 IV: Snapdragon 695 5G, 6GB RAM, 128GB, 5000mAh

Hardware is superior on the Sony Xperia 1 IV too, though this is likely expected and that's not to say the Xperia 10 IV isn't capable on paper. Both offer 5G capabilities, but the Xperia 1 IV has the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform on board, while the Xperia 10 IV has the Snapdragon 695 5G platform. 

The Xperia 1 IV has 12GB of RAM support too, compared to the Xperia 10 IV's 6GB, and there's double the base storage on the Xperia 1 IV at 256GB compared to 128GB on the Xperia 10 IV. Both have microSD support for storage expansion up to 1TB though.

They have the same battery capacity too at 5000mAh, though the Xperia 1 IV has 30W fast charging support on board, as well as wireless charging.

It's worth remembering though that the Xperia 1 IV has a larger, brighter and higher resolution display to power with that battery so you might find the Xperia 10 IV performs better, even if you can charge the Xperia 1 IV faster. It's also worth noting here that neither device comes with a charger or a charging cable in the box.

Both devices have a 3.5mm headphone jack and they both offer features like DSEE Ultimate, 360 Reality Audio and 360 Reality Audio Upmix. The Xperia 1 IV has a few extras though, with a feature called Music Pro - designed for recording artists - and full-stage stereo speakers.

Camera

  • Xperia 1 IV: Triple rear (12MP+12MP+12MP+ToF), 12MP front
  • Xperia 10 IV: Triple rear (12MP+8MP+8MP), 8MP front

It's the camera department where you are likely to notice the biggest differences between the Xperia 1 IV and the Xperia 10 IV. The Xperia 1 IV has a triple rear camera made up of a 12-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel Optical Zoom sensor capable of 85mm to 125mm equivalent and a 12-megapixel sensor. There's a 3D ToF sensor too.

All three lenses offer 120fps and they all offer real-time Eye AF, real-time tracking and 20fps AF/AE burst with HDR. All lenses also offer 4K 120fps slow motion and high frame rate. The main sensor and Optical Zoom sensor also both offer optical image stabilisation and autofocus.

The Xperia 1 IV also offers object tracking for video, Eye AF for video, a wider dynamic mode and live streaming so there are plenty of features on board.

The Xperia 10 IV also offers a triple rear camera, though it's not quite as capable as the Xperia 1 IV. You'll find a 12-megapixel main sensor and two 8-megapixel sensors.

Optical image stabilisation is on board and there are improvements to low light shooting and night mode shooting compared to the previous Xperia 10 model, as well as a feature called super resolution zoom, but this isn't as capable a system as you'll find on the flagship device.

On the front, the Xperia 1 IV has a 12-megapixel sensor, while the Xperia 10 IV has an 8-megapixel sensor.

Conclusion 

The Sony Xperia 1 IV is clearly the more capable device on paper, but it also the more expensive of the two so that's to be expected. 

You get a more premium device with the Xperia 1 IV, a larger display, more powerful processor, more RAM, a faster refresh rate and a much more capable camera.

Let's not forget that the Xperia 10 IV offers 5G connectivity, waterproofing, a compact and lightweight body, and though it doesn't run on the flagship Snapdragon processor, it's still a powerful chipset under the hood. It also has a big battery and some fun colours to choose from.

The Xperia 1 IV is the more compelling device on paper for a number of reasons, but that doesn't mean it's the best for everyone, especially not if you consider the difference in price and how much you save opting for the Xperia 10 IV.

More about this story

When we write versus features, we are analysing the differences between the devices in the feature but we don't just compare the spec sheets. We take into account our experience and the current market in order to evaluate the differences and similarities between the devices and what that means.

We haven't reviewed either the Sony Xperia 1 IV or the Xperia 10 IV in full, but we have reviewed both of their predecessors and we have a great understanding of Sony phones.

The aim of the feature is to not only highlight the differences between the two models being compared, but to add some evaluation to those differences and what they mean in real life, with the hope to help you make an informed decision.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.