Sony Xperia 5 IV vs Apple iPhone 14 standing

Sorry Apple, I still prefer Sony’s compact flagship

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There are many options to consider when it comes to smaller flagship phones, although few of them are truly what anyone would consider compact. You can pick up the early 2022 Galaxy S22, the more affordable Pixel 7, or the latest iPhone 14, as just three rock-solid examples that would serve most people very well indeed.

But at 6.3 inches and 197g, Google’s latest little phone is still a bit too bulky for those looking for something small and light. The Galaxy S22 and iPhone 14 are better suited to this role, but they’re still quite chunky and wide and therefore not always very useful in one hand. They don’t necessarily fit in your pocket either, although they are much more pocketable than their larger siblings.

If you’re looking for a really compact phone, look no further than Sony’s Xperia 5 IV.

However, there is a solution – get a Sony Xperia 5 IV instead. With a comparatively slim 67mm wide body but a taller 21:9 6.1-inch screen, this is a phone built for one-handed use. It’s also light enough, but, perhaps most importantly, remains incredibly well built. You’ll have to pay for it though, priced as it is at $999 rather than the $799 of its smaller competitors.

Read more: Sony Xperia 5 IV review — Pocket photography powerhouse

Uncompromising design

Sony Xperia 5 IV vs Google Pixel 7 in hand

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

After spending time with all of these latest phones, it comes down to the iPhone 14 and Xperia 5 IV when it comes to which phone is the most beautifully engineered. Both metal-framed designs wrap bodies with timeless good looks that are more universally appealing than the quirky (more unique?) designs from Google and Samsung. Still, Apple’s completely flat edges make the phone feel bulkier than Sony’s ever-so-slightly tapered edge.

It’s also the little details, whether it’s Apple’s wonderfully tactile silent controls or Sony’s fast and unobtrusive embedded fingerprint reader, that set these phones apart. Sony’s phone steals a few more wins, though: I love the dedicated camera shutter that settles for a quick snap. Meanwhile, Apple’s obsession with Face ID, while undoubtedly convenient, is an ugly blight on a phone that already offers limited screen real estate

Apple’s commitment to Face ID convenience eats up valuable small-screen real estate.

Then there are the cameras. Sony has managed to pack a robust triple camera setup into a phone that’s much slimmer than the competition, albeit at the cost of a little extra thickness. Samsung provides a similar setup, giving users far greater portrait and zoom capabilities than the iPhone 14 and Pixel 7 – two small phones that stick with the less flexible main and ultrawide dual camera setup.

Read more: Apple iPhone 14 review — The old ways

In our reviews, we noted that the iPhone 14 is usable at about 3x at best, while the Xperia 5 IV is functional at about 4x-5x, thanks to its telephoto camera. I could go on about cameras a lot more, but suffice it to say that Sony’s eye tracking and color science make the Xperia a more fun shooter too. Sure, you’d expect a particularly robust camera setup for the extra money Sony charges, but it’s managed to squeeze it into a phone that’s even more compact than its competition.

Can we have uncompromising specifications too?

Sony Xperia 5 IV vs iPhone 14 vs Pixel 7 cameras

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

As fawning as this article may sound, the Xperia 5 IV is not a perfect phone. It misses out on Sony’s innovative variable focal length camera hardware and doesn’t nail everything we’d like to see in the processing or software departments either. It could be a little better, and that’s a bit of a problem because there really aren’t any other compact flagship smartphones that like it to serve as an option.

Unfortunately, small phones are too often compromised compared to their larger siblings.

Whether it’s Apple, Samsung or others, their smaller flagships are also their entry-level models. Unfortunately, you still have to go big to get their best tech. Compact phones with most of the bells and whistles are a rarity that only Sony dares to tackle. While internal size limitations are an issue, the Xperia 5 IV’s massive battery and triple camera prove it’s a tech problem that can be solved.

Our latest research on the subject reveals a decent consumer base out there that likes phones with smaller 6.5-inch screens. Sales figures for entry-level flagships reflect the reality that bigger is not always better. Big phones are still popular, at least among enthusiasts. I’m even sticking with the giant Galaxy S22 Ultra for my daily driver, for now. But that’s mostly because I’m keen on the raw specs.

But recently, using some of the latest smaller phones has convinced me that I don’t really need as much screen real estate as I thought. I’d happily trade some of that for a discreet design, improved portability and one-handed friendliness.

I’d be happy to trade some screen real estate to stop hooking my phone to my pocket.

I’ll leave you with one last anecdote that sums up what I really liked about the Xperia 5 IV compared to every other phone I’ve used this year: effortlessly pulling it out of my pocket for a quick snap or to glance at a message. No snagging it in the pocket corner and no oversized case digging into my thigh.

Small phones are light and I really like them.

Sony Xperia 5 IV

Sony Xperia 5 IV

3.5mm jack • Amazing speakers • Reverse wireless charging

A compact smartphone with speaker.

The Sony Xperia 5 IV is a compact smartphone with a brighter 6.1-inch OLED screen than its predecessor and a large 5,000 mAh battery that can wirelessly charge headphones.

#Apple #prefer #Sonys #compact #flagship

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