Sony Xperia 1 IV cuts a poor figure in underwhelming battery life results
Just over two months have passed since we reviewed the Xperia 1 IV, which we praised for its excellent display, impressive camera software and fast chipset, among other features. One area we less pleased with was our review unit's battery life. Not only did the Xperia 1 IV fall short of its predecessors in this regard, but also its competitors.
Subsequently, DxOMark appears to have confirmed our findings in its extensive battery analysis. Sadly for Sony, the Xperia 1 IV sits 91/96 of smartphones tested with a score of 87 points. Incidentally, DxOMark notes that the Xperia 1 IV charges comparatively slow too, with 30 W achieved via USB Type-C. However, the greatest criticism levelled concerns high power consumption, which yields particularly short runtimes.
According to DxOMark, its review unit checked out 11:05 hours after streaming videos, 8:03 hours of scrolling through social media apps and just 7:35 hours with its GPS module active. By contrast, the iPhone 13 Pro Max lasts between 4:30-10:30 hours longer during the same tests, despite its 13.5% smaller battery capacity. Worse still, the Xperia 1 IV consumes way too much power in light tasks, such as playing music. For example, the Xperia 1 IV needed recharging 25:07 hours into this test, approximately twice as quickly as some of its competitors.
Seemingly, the culprit here is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a chipset that has proven itself to be notoriously inefficient. Such are its inefficiencies that many Android OEMs have switched to the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, but not Sony. Historically, Qualcomm increased clock speeds for 'Plus' SoCs, evidenced by the likes of Samsung sticking with the Snapdragon 888 for the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3. Qualcomm moved from Samsung to TSMC nodes between the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 though, a change that allows the latter to consume less power than the former while maintaining higher clock speeds.
Arguably, the Xperia 1 IV's 4K display (3,840 x 1,644) does not help things either, nor does the lack of support for variable refresh rates. With more smartphone manufacturers using LTPO backplanes to enable this functionality and reduce power consumption, it is surprising to see Sony persist with fixed refresh rates on its smartphones. You can read more about the Xperia 1 IV in our in-depth review.