Sony Xperia 10 IV evaluation: It is a exhausting move

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(Pocket-lint) – Sony’s smartphone lineup has slimmed down over latest years, leaving us with a flagship system – the Xperia 1 – a compact model of that flagship – the Xperia 5 – and this, the Xperia 10.

The Xperia 10 is designed as a mid-range system, carrying Sony Cell’s hallmark design with a 21:9 show, sombre construct and aiming to deliver that Sony expertise to these on a barely decrease finances.

Our fast take

The Sony Xperia 10 IV is discovered wanting within the mid-range with little to shout about. The waterproofing is nice, the addition of a telephoto lens does make it stand out and the show is mostly good – however there’s much more the place this Xperia merely cannot sustain.

It feels underpowered, the digicam is mostly poor, and we discovered the reception to be weak as nicely, leaving us questioning what the Xperia 10 IV is basically attempting to supply.

Sadly, at this worth, there are such a lot of higher choices – just like the Google Pixel 6a which is cheaper, sooner and has a greater digicam – making it exhausting to advocate the Sony Xperia 10 IV.

For

  • Waterproofing
  • Stellar battery life
  • It has a telephoto lens
  • LDAC help
In opposition to

  • The digicam is horrible
  • Lacks energy total
  • Poor sign reception

Design and construct

  • 153 x 67 x 8.3mm, 161g
  • Plastic again
  • IP65/68 safety
  • 3.5mm headphone socket

Sony has discovered a groove so far as design goes, which means that the Sony Xperia 10 IV would not look vastly totally different to the Xperia 10 III. The perimeters are barely flatter and there isn’t any longer a Google Assistant button, however that is about the one distinction.

There is a change to the supplies, with a plastic again this time round reasonably than glass, though you are unlikely to be anxious about that, as this cellphone is now just a little lighter than it was earlier than.

Importantly, it nonetheless carries an IP65/68 ranking, which means its nicely protected towards mud and water ingress, which is not at all times the case for a mid-range cellphone. Nonetheless, at this worth, you’d anticipate it to be.

Pocket-lintXperia 10 IV photo 5

As regular for Sony gadgets, there is a 21:9 show – which we’ll speak about in a bit – however that offers this cellphone a tall, slim, design. There is no notch because the entrance digicam sits within the slim bezel above the show, whereas the body of the cellphone carries a fingerprint scanner and a 3.5mm headphone socket alongside the traditional energy and quantity buttons.


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Sony additionally hasn’t gone overboard with the digicam, so it is just about flush to the rear of the cellphone, which means that this slim slab is extra compact than some that actually wish to showcase the digicam.

Pocket-lintXperia 10 IV photo 3

The audio system are constructed into the perimeters of the show, and look fairly slick — nonetheless, solely the underside speaker is used because the loudspeaker. Meaning there isn’t any stereo on supply right here and the audio suffers total because of this.

That’s, until you are utilizing headphones, as a result of there’s help for LDAC – Sony’s high-res wi-fi codec – that works with suitable headphones to present you increased high quality wi-fi music.

Show

  • 6in, 2520 x 1080 pixels, 456ppi
  • 60Hz refresh, OLED

For those who like consistency, you then may just like the Xperia 10 IV show because it hasn’t modified a lot because the earlier iteration. Once more, it is a compact system with that attention-grabbing facet, which makes it stand aside from the remainder of the market.

So too, do the pretty static specs. Sony has boosted this show, so it’s brighter than earlier than, however you might need to nudge it up and down a bit as a result of it is typically just a little sluggish to reply.

Pocket-lintXperia 10 IV photo 9

Talking of being sluggish, the refresh charge nonetheless sits at 60Hz, whereas most rivals are 90 or 120Hz. That is not an absolute deal breaker, since you’ll solely actually discover the advantages of a sooner refresh charge if you evaluate this system to one thing with a 90 or 120Hz show – but it surely’s now very a lot the norm and just a little disappointing at this worth level.

The show is in any other case nice. It is brilliant and vibrant, with nice colors, though there isn’t any signal of HDR help. On this dimension of show that most likely would not matter, because it will not make an enormous distinction to your total viewing expertise.

Pocket-lintXperia 10 IV photo 6

The 21:9 facet fits some film content material rather well, decreasing among the black bars, however does depart this compact cellphone just a little slender. Evaluate it to a extra typical facet compact system – just like the Zenfone 9 – and you’ve got just a little extra space for issues just like the keyboard.

For us, it is barely too cramped for quick textual content enter, leading to extra errors – however which may not be the case for all customers.

{Hardware} and efficiency

  • Snapdragon 695 5G, 6GB RAM
  • 128GB storage + microSD (1TB)
  • 5000mAh battery

On the {hardware} entrance, Sony hits a few attention-grabbing factors. There is a microSD card slot for enlargement of the inner storage, which is certainly value having.

However Sony has chosen to stay firmly to mid-range {hardware} with the Snapdragon 695 5G. Meaning you possibly can entry these 5G networks with the promise of sooner downloads, however we discovered the general connectivity to be poor. We discovered the Wi-Fi connection to be sluggish at instances – in places that different telephones don’t have any downside with – and we additionally discovered this cellphone to register weak sign energy on the cellular community too, out of character with different gadgets we have examined.

Pocket-lintXperia 10 IV photo 12

That places one thing of a dampener on proceedings and with quite a few telephones on this phase utilizing Snapdragon 700 Collection {hardware} as an alternative, the Xperia 10 IV feels a step behind.

That may not hassle you in case your curiosity is in fundamental duties, but it surely’s a poor alternative for players (it is too small and too underpowered) and even with Sony’s leaning in the direction of wanting to supply a fantastic digicam expertise, the digicam is fairly sluggish too. With all that stated, you possibly can fireplace up most video games and get entangled, however on a display screen this small and with no correct gaming mode, you may end up regularly swiping out of video games as there isn’t any technique to block navigation touches.

Pocket-lintXperia 10 IV photo 2

There is a flipside to having a lower-power cellphone and that is battery life. The 5000mAh capability is fairly capacious for a cellphone this small and the result’s that the Xperia 10 IV will fortunately final for two days with conservative use.

It is uncommon to finish the day with it needing to cost, so it’d enchantment to these wanting a tool extra centered on communication.

Digicam efficiency

  • Triple rear digicam:
    • Primary: 12MP, 1/2.8in Exmor R, f/1.8, 27mm
    • Ultrawide: 8MP, 1/4in, f/2.2, 16mm
    • Telephoto: 8MP, 1/4.4in, f/2.2, 54mm
  • Entrance: 8MP, 1/4in, f/2.0

There is a triple digicam on the rear of the Xperia 10 IV and there is one thing pretty uncommon right here – the inclusion of a 2x optical telephoto lens. Most mid-range telephones forego this lens, in choice of an inexpensive macro lens.

However glancing throughout the specs reveals loads in regards to the make-up of this digicam. You will word that Sony is utilizing quite a lot of small sensors right here, whereas rivals – just like the Oppo Reno 8, which is offered for a similar cash – affords a a lot bigger sensor.

We have talked about the marginally sluggish efficiency of the digicam within the {hardware} part, however that is one other Sony cellphone that does not like warmth: attempt to shoot video in sunny circumstances and also you may discover it shortly reduces itself to a stuttering mess, with a notification that the cellphone is simply too sizzling.

The principle digicam works okay in good mild, but it surely would not cope nicely with HDR scenes and would not do justice to any type of spotlight, regularly over-exposing. Transfer indoors or into decrease mild circumstances and issues fall off a cliff, leading to mushy pictures that lack distinction, poor white steadiness and loads of noise. There’s a night time mode that is barely higher than the traditional digicam, taking longer exposures and it is positively value utilizing in these circumstances.

The ultrawide would not honest significantly better and is horrible in low mild, whereas the telephoto manages to avoid wasting just a little element you’d lose if it was digital however nonetheless suffers from the identical limitations as the remainder of the digicam. There’s additionally a unique color tone between the lenses, getting progressively hotter as you progress by means of them.

The benefit that the 2x telephoto affords is that if you use the 10x digital zoom, it is coming from that lens, so it is solely actually a 5x magnification – and higher than rival digital zooms taken from the primary digicam.

The entrance digicam provides low distinction, washed-out, photographs, and the portrait mode is just horrible. Sony hasn’t fairly nailed this on its flagship gadgets, and the identical downside exists right here, with exceptionally poor edge detection leading to portrait photographs having a type of halo across the topic earlier than attending to the blurred background.

Total, it is exhausting to endorse this as a digicam cellphone – the inclusion of the telephoto lens on this place is a rarity, however the expertise total is poor, particularly at this asking worth.

Software program

  • Android 12, two OS updates
  • 3 years of safety updates

The Xperia 10 IV launches on Android 12 and can obtain two Android OS model updates throughout its lifetime, ending on Android 14 in 2024. That is joined by 3 years of safety updates that can see it by means of to 2025.

These help ranges are just about the naked minimal you’d anticipate, with an organization like Samsung now providing just about double that, making its mid-range cellphone the Galaxy A53 5G a stable various.

Pocket-lintSony Xperia 10 IV review photo 1

Sony has cleaned up its software program providing over the previous few years and the Xperia 10 IV advantages from that, providing you with the choice of avoiding a lot of the pre-installed bloatware that Sony would love you to make use of. You will nonetheless be left with issues like Sony’s Music app, LinkedIn and Fb although, none of which will be uninstalled.

However typically talking the expertise is fairly good, whereas there is a lack of energy to ship a smoother expertise, we did not discover some other issues with the software program itself.

It is also value mentioning that there is nothing within the field besides the cellphone – not even a charging cable.

To recap

The Sony Xperia 10 IV is a compact system with the benefit of waterproofing and with some high-end options like a telephoto digicam and help for high-res music due to LDAC – but it surely lacks energy, the digicam is poor and the expertise suffers because of this. At this worth, there are many higher choices.

Writing by Chris Corridor. Modifying by Verity Burns.

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