The new Xperia 5 mark IV (abbreviated to Xperia 5 IV) is Sony’s latest iteration in its series 5 smartphone lineup, and it has an attractive spec sheet comparable to other high-end smartphones.

The device features a 6.1-inch FHD+ HDR OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, a 5,000mAh battery, and fast charging capable of 50% in under 30 minutes. While the display technology lags behind rivals that are already deploying 4K HDR OLED displays with 120Hz and above, the Xperia 5 IV is an improvement over the previous model owing to the screen being 50% brighter. The Xperia 5 IV also improves on the previous model’s 4,500mAh battery size and adds wireless charging capabilities. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile processor found in the Xperia 5 IV, while a big improvement over last year’s processor, is not on par with high-end rival smartphones that include Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile processor. 

Xperia 5 IV camera and gaming features

However, the Xperia 5 IV’s spec sheet looks more impressive when the camera and gaming features of the device are considered especially as some of these features are not found in rival smartphones. For example, the Xperia 5 IV offers eye and object tracking auto focus (AF) and recording in 4K HDR at 120fps across all rear cameras. The Xperia 5 IV also has a built-in game-enhancing control center that lets users customize certain settings in-game, such as audio, display, and touch settings.

Sony has marketed the Xperia 5 IV at content creators and gamers, hence the unique camera and gaming features. These features are designed to help content creators and gamers share their content in a more efficient way. For example, users can share gameplay moments or live stream their gameplay across their social media accounts while interacting with their viewers in real time. Users also have the ability to live stream a selfie video directly to video streaming services via the Videography Pro app.

Lack of carrier support and high price

While Sony’s high-end and unique features packed into the Xperia 5 IV make it a competitive device, particularly among content creators and gamers, the company will not have strong sales off the back of this device, and Sony’s market share across the US and Europe will continue to remain negligible. This is primarily due to lack of carrier support and a high price point.

Big three carriers’ support for major OEMs across the US

As the table above illustrates, consumers in the US are offered significant amounts of money off on a regular basis to purchase smartphones from major OEMs. Sony’s Xperia smartphones are not present at any of the three major carriers, placing the devices at a huge competitive disadvantage. Carrier promotions further exacerbate the high price point of the Xperia 5 IV smartphone.

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By GlobalData

For a price tag of $999, most consumers will opt for a flagship smartphone from Apple or Samsung because of brand name, loyalty, and buy-in to their respective ecosystems. Pairing this with the discounts offered by the major carriers, consumers will not think twice before disregarding the Xperia 5 IV.