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Sony Xperia 10 IV: Sony’s mid-range handset returns

Sony is back with the Xperia 10 IV, but can it right the wrongs of its predecessor?

Sony’s mobile division might be best known for its high-end flagships, but its annual launches often include more affordable options. One of those is the Xperia 10 IV, which has just been announced alongside the firm’s new frontrunner, the Xperia 1 IV.

Unveiling both phones in great detail, the Xperia 10 IV costs £429 and launches in the UK in “mid June”. Last year’s Xperia 10 III launched for £399, so you’ll have to pay an extra £30 to get your hands on the next one. Still, at least it’s not a £200 increase as we’ve seen with the Xperia 1 IV.

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Sony is calling this “the world’s lightest 5G smartphone with a 5,000mAh battery”, which is a bit of a weird point to make. Stipulation aside, however, the Xperia 10 IV is exactly that: it weighs just 161g, which for reference is 13% lighter than its flagship counterpart.

It achieves this with a cheaper plastic construction, of course, but its weight and overall dimensions are also slightly less than the Xperia 10 III, which used a smaller 4,500mAh battery. The packaging is reduced in size, too, following Sony’s decision to remove both the charging brick and previously supplied USB-C cable from the box.

The Xperia 10 IV has received an upgrade to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695, which we last saw inside Xiaomi’s £319 Poco X4 Pro 5G. This has a slightly higher clock speed than the Snapdragon 690 it replaces (2.2GHz vs 2GHz) and it’s built on a slightly more efficient 6nm fabrication process – so both performance and stamina should be improved.

This new chipset works alongside 6GB of RAM, with 128GB of expandable storage. The phone benefits from an IP65/68 waterproof rating, with a protective layer of Gorilla Glass Victus on top of the screen, and it also has a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Xperia 10 IV comes in either Black, White, Mint or Lavender.

The display is another 21:9 aspect OLED affair, and yet again it measures 6in across the diagonal with a 1080p resolution. Like the Xperia 1 IV, Sony says that the screen’s brightness has been improved, although the refresh rate is still limited to 60Hz. Phones such as the Galaxy A53 5G, for instance, offer higher refresh rates for the same money.

The Xperia 10 IV’s triple camera array consists of a 16mm ultrawide, 27mm main and 54mm telephoto unit. Optical image stabilisation (OIS) is only available on the primary lens, although all three cameras benefit from improved low-light capture with reduced visual noise. The 8MP selfie camera also uses an enhanced face sharpening algorithm, which should help lift details on your subject.

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