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Sony Xperia 1 IV could get this key camera upgrade

Sony Xperia 1 III
(Image credit: Sony)

Last week, Sony dropped a teaser video (opens in new tab) announcing that the “next ONE is coming.” The video showed the previous three Sony Xperia 1 handsets, and then pointed to an event on Wednesday May 11, so the lines aren’t especially hard to read inbetween: the Sony Xperia 1 IV is imminent.

As the unveiling approaches, we’re hearing a few more interesting tidbits. First, Notebookcheck (opens in new tab) reports that Sony will be following in the footsteps of Apple and Samsung by dropping the bundled phone charger. This has been an industry trend, ostensibly for environmental reasons, though undoubtedly also a welcome cost-saving measure. 

Notebookcheck’s second reveal is a promised upgrade to the selfie camera. While last year’s flagship packed an 8MP front-facing camera, it seems likely that Sony will be offering a bit more this time around with a rumored 12MP sensor. 

While megapixels never tell the whole story, Sony reportedly upping the selfie camera’s performance suggests that the company may be boosting photography performance across the board, which would certainly be welcome. Indeed, one rumor (opens in new tab) points to a possible quad camera setup featuring three 48MP sensors and an unknown periscope lens. 

Whatever happens with the camera setup, you can expect the standard year-on-year improvements elsewhere. Unsurprisingly, the phone is tipped to feature Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, but this will reportedly be backed by 12/16GB RAM and 256/512GB storage. The 5,000mAh battery will apparently support 45W charging, too.

All very promising, but the problem, as ever for Sony handsets, will likely be price. For a company that’s struggling to stay relevant in the world of Android smartphones, Sony has been stubbornly sticking to a premium price point that makes it a tough sell against more popular brands. 

Early rumors suggest that Sony hasn’t adapted this time around, with TheGalox_ (opens in new tab) — a leaker with a solid track record — hinting a possible $1,400 to $1,600 price point. If correct, that would be a tough sell, approaching the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3’s $1,799 starting price, and $300 to $500 more than Apple’s flagship iPhone 13 Pro Max.

We don’t have long to wait until the big reveal. You can watch Sony’s event here (opens in new tab) on May 11, although the time zone difference between the US and Japan means you may not want to tune in live, given it translates to midnight PDT or 03:00 EDT.

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.