The Sony Xperia 5 IV is an easily lovable phone for its compact shape and timeless classic design. While this new Xperia looks a lot like the previous models, it offers a few improvements like a flat matt frame and tougher Gorilla Glass Victus panels.
But while the Xperia 5 IV may be similar to other Xperia phones, it does stand out among any Android crowd for its notch-less display at the front and the ZEISS T* logo at the back. Let's not forget the 3.5mm audio jack, something that's been retired even on budget phones nowadays.
The Xperia 5 IV uses two flat Gorilla Glass Victus panels - one keeps the screen safe, and the rear one has a cool frosted finish and makes for an even classier look together with the frosted aluminum frame.
Waterproofing is a tradition of sorts for the Xperia phones, and the 5 IV model is no different - it is IP68-rated for dust and water submersion in up to 1.5m of clean water and IP65-rated for water jet resistance. And considering the Xperia 5 IV features and an audio jack and a microSD port, we cannot but applaud Sony for not taking the easy way out.
The Xperia 5 IV is 1mm shorter and 1mm narrower than the Xperia 5 III, and it has a flat frosted frame in contrast with the glossy and rounded aluminum chassis of the 5 III. And despite the body having shrunk a tiny bit, Sony has packed a 10% larger battery inside. Nice!
The Xperia 5 IV is available for purchase in Black, Green and Ecru White colors, all of them with matt framing and rear panel.
Let's take a closer look at our black model now.
Most of the front is occupied by the 6.1-inch OLED - same size as on the Xperia 5 III with similar specs - 120Hz refresh, 1B colors, HDR10. Sony claims it has improved on its brightness, with up to 50% increase. We put that to the test on the next page of this review.
The 21:9 tall screen has no cutouts whatsoever, there are thicker top and bottom bezels instead. And we might say we do like it better this way - no eyesores and more grip for when you hold the phone in landscape orientation.
Within the top bezel, you can see the new 12MP selfie camera, a long-awaited improvement over the previous generation. It is the same camera as on the Xperia 1 IV. The top speaker is also here, which also acts as an earpiece. And what you cannot see at first are a bunch of sensors and a RGBW notification LED light - something that's even rarer than the audio jack and a feature that only Sony is keen on keeping alive.
The bottom bezel houses the other stereo speaker, positioned symmetrically to the top one - another configuration that's seen mostly on Sony phones.
The back has this cool frosted finish that's incredibly easy on the eyes. Its grip is hardy ideal though; usually, matt panels are more slippery than glossy ones.
The triple camera setup is jutting out of the back, and it packs the same 12MP primary and ultrawide cameras as seen on the Xperia 1 IV plus a 12MP telephoto with 2.5x zoom over the main camera. Outside of the camera island is the LED flash and the RGB color sensor for accurate white balance.Xperia 5 IV (left) next to the Xperia 1 IV (right)
The Xperia 5 IV wobbles just a little bit when used on a flat desk, but nowhere near the iPhones of the Galaxies.
We loved the new flat frosted frame on the Xperia 5 IV. It offers a good enough grip and improves on the stylish look the Xperia has established so far.
On the right side of the device, you can spot the volume rocker and the power/lock key, which also houses the fingerprint scanner. The sensor offers superb speed and accuracy, and it's always-on as usual.
The two-step shutter key is also on the right, near the bottom. It is smaller than on the Xperia 1 IV and has no texture.
The top side of the Xperia 5 IV has the audio jack and one of the mics.
The primary mic is at the bottom, together with the USB-C port and the card tray. The Xperia 5 IV can take one nanoSIM and one microSD cards. You can use a second SIM, but it needs to be eSIM only.
The Sony Xperia 5 IV is an incredibly compact smartphone with an iconic no-nonsense design that just doesn't get old. It has one of the toughest build possible for a glass smartphone these days and offers the highest possible water-resistance for a non-rugged device.
The new Xperia is as thin as the previous model, and it even packs more battery and newer hardware with a slightly shorter body.
As far as grip is concerned - it's alright. The frosted rear panel is slippery, while the matt frame adds some grip and a sense of security. It's hardly ideal, but we've seen worse, too. We think many people will be happy with the Xperia 5 IV handling experience as the compact size makes up for the slippery panels. If not, a case is always an option.