Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Sony Xperia 1 IV: pure accessibility or comfort?
Sony has finally begun the global rollout of its Xperia 1 IV handset, adding an intriguing and distinctive flagship smartphone to the 2022 market.
We’ll cover the Sony Xperia 1 IV in full soon, but for now we’ve benchmarked it against some of the current big names based on its impressive spec list and our hands-on experience with the device. Now we compare it to a heavy camera phone, comparing the Google Pixel 6 Pro to the Sony Xperia 1 IV.
So how does Sony’s latest champ compare to the phone we’ve dubbed “the first top-tier Google Pixel phone”? It’s nothing short of a clash of smartphone philosophies.
Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Sony Xperia 1 IV price and availability
The Pixel 6 Pro has been available for purchase since October 28, 2021. Prices start from $899 / £849 / AU$1,299 for the 128GB model. You can also pick up a 256GB model for $999 / £949 / AU$1,449. Our Aussie pals can also pick up a 512GB model for AU$1,599.
The Sony Xperia 1 IV arrived in the UK and Europe on June 16 and won’t land in the US until September 1. model for £1,299 / €1,399.
There is no word yet on Australian availability. Given Sony’s apparent indifference to the market, we won’t be holding our breath.
While the capabilities don’t match across regions, the Xperia 1 IV clearly costs hundreds of dollars/pounds more than its counterpart. This is a significant advantage for Google.
Google Pixel 6 Pro vs. Sony Xperia 1 IV design
In terms of design, there couldn’t be two more different flagship Android phones than the Google Pixel 6 Pro and the Sony Xperia 1 IV.
The Pixel 6 Pro is as visible as it gets, with a bold two-tone rear section bisected by a width-spanning camera “visor”. Curved edges make it comfortable in the hand, and around the front you’ll find a subtly curved screen and minimal bezels, and a punch-hole selfie camera.
Sony’s phone is a complete contrast, with ultra-flat surfaces, a vertically stacked camera module, and chunky front and chin bezels. This front also houses the selfie camera, so the screen is entirely unobstructed. It looks a lot like the Sony Xperia 1 III before it, if we’re being honest, while the Pixel 6 Pro is a true original.
In terms of dimensions, the Pixel 6 Pro measures 163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9mm, while the Sony Xperia 1 IV measures 165 x 71 x 8.2mm. This illustrates how tall and slim the Sony is in comparison.
Sony’s new phone is also significantly lighter at 185g, compared to the Pixel 6 Pro’s somewhat hefty 210g. Fans of one-handed use might prefer the former.
The Xperia 1 IV is also distinguished by its characteristic physical camera button, as well as the presence of a 3.5mm headphone jack. It’s rare to see such features anywhere in the flagship phone space these days, but it reflects Sony’s enthusiastic leanings.
Google Pixel 6 Pro screen vs. Sony Xperia 1 IV
Both of these phones feature 120Hz OLED displays, but there are plenty of interesting differences to note.
The Pixel 6 Pro display is technically larger at 6.71 inches, while the Sony Xperia 1 IV is 6.5 inches. However, Sony’s phone is wider when held in landscape position, with a movie-friendly 21:9 aspect ratio rather than the more orthodox 19.5:9 of the Pixel 6 Pro.
Another difference here is that the Sony Xperia 1 IV screen supports a whopping 3840 x 1644 or 4K resolution in some apps. That’s a lot more pixels than the Pixel 6 Pro – or any other non-Sony phone, for that matter – with its 3120 x 1440 or QHD resolution.
We’ve never been entirely convinced of the need for 4K on previous Sony phones with such a small screen, and we doubt the Xperia 1 IV will change our minds. But it’s arguably the best phone display on the market for outputting native 4K video content, especially without a notch to get in the way.
Another difference here is that Google has squeezed the fingerprint sensor under its phone’s screen, while Sony positions it under the power button along the right edge. We’ve had our issues with Google’s solution, so it could be a win for Sony, if it proves to be as fast and reliable as its predecessor.
Google Pixel 6 Pro vs. Sony Xperia 1 IV cameras
When it comes to camera technology, this is a real clash of styles. Sony is the current king of standalone cameras, and it brings much of that expertise to its phones with features like a physical shutter release and the industry’s best autofocus system.
Rather than go big on pixel count, Sony has equipped its phones with three 12-megapixel sensors for wide, ultra-wide and telephoto, which aids in that fast laser autofocus system.
The Sony Xperia 1 IV also brings a unique new telephoto lens to the party. This provides continuous zoom between 70mm and 125mm, which is roughly equivalent to a smooth zoom range of 3.5x to 5.2x.
Google, meanwhile, has long been one of the best smartphone camera makers, relying on its algorithmic excellence to produce incredibly sharp, well-exposed photos with minimal tinkering.
Led by a large 1/1.31-inch, 50-megapixel wide sensor, and accompanied by a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide sensor, this is an Android flagship camera setup more generally. equipped. There’s no continuous zoom, but its 48-megapixel telephoto sensor can deliver a fixed 4x optical zoom.
Google’s strength lies in its machine learning-based software tricks, aided by its new Tensor processor. Magic Eraser is most obviously magical, letting you tap to remove unwanted background elements from images. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s pretty special.
Sony’s colors tend to be the more subdued and natural of the two, begging you to work with the phone’s unmistakable manual controls and tweak the final image to a purer, cleaner initial image. Google’s colors tend to be cooler and more contrasty, with a more processed and finished look as standard.
Our initial instinct is that the Pixel will offer a superior point-and-shoot experience, and will therefore be the best camera for most people. The Sony will offer more manual control and will therefore be ideal for pros and enthusiasts. We’ll have to wait and see for sure, though.
Google Pixel 6 Pro specs and performance vs Sony Xperia 1 IV
The Pixel 6 Pro is the first phone (along with the Pixel 6) to run on Google’s new custom Tensor chip, while the Sony Xperia 1 IV runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
Google’s Tensor isn’t a particularly memorable performer in terms of traditional benchmarking tests, where it lags well behind the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 on most metrics. But Google’s improvements are more about the machine-learning potential of its chip, which enables some of the Pixel 6 Pro’s unique features (Magic Eraser being one example).
We all know how capable the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip in the Xperia 1 IV is now, based on our experience with phones like the OnePlus 10 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22, Xiaomi 12 Pro and many more phones. 2022. It’s second only to Apple’s A-series processor for raw power.
It remains to be seen how the performance of these two phones compare in the hand, but we’re confident that both will feel equally fast and smooth. Both should be more than capable of running the latest games on top.
With the Pixel 6 you also get Google’s increasingly distinctive flap of its own Android 13 operating system. We’re past the point where “stock” can be used in conjunction with Google’s UI because it’s actually quite personalized these days, especially with its bespoke Material You wallpapers.
Sony’s user interface is fairly stocked in the old fashioned way, with simple menus and icons that don’t disturb Google’s baseline too much. However, you do get custom Sony apps for its more enthusiastic leanings (particularly in the imaging department), which tend to be busy but powerful.
More importantly for some, the Xperia 1 IV will get two Android upgrades and three years of security patches, while the Pixel 6 Pro will get three full software updates. The Pixel 6 Pro has a clear advantage in the software stakes, we suggest.
Google Pixel 6 Pro battery life vs Sony Xperia 1 IV
Both of these phones come with a 5000mAh battery which is a much needed step up from both manufacturers.
We’ve only tested the endurance of one of these phones so far, and the Pixel 6 Pro’s battery life was “one of the weakest things” about the phone. We found it would last a day of typical use, but struggle a bit with heavier use.
Is the Sony likely to perform better? Given that the Xperia 1 III with its smaller battery always left us with around 10 per cent at the end of a long day (which is quite similar to the Pixel 6 Pro), we hope that will be the case. Watch this place.
In terms of charging, both of these phones support 30W charging which is not ideal for a flagship phone. You don’t get a magazine in both boxes, which is another shared downer.
You could argue Google wins on wireless charging, with 23W charging support compared to the Xperia 1 IV’s 15W. However, you’ll need to buy Google’s expensive Pixel Stand in order to take advantage of that extra speed potential.
Sony seems to have produced another flagship phone with impressive specs but definitely niche in the Xperia 1 IV. It bucks a number of mainstream trends in design, camera approach and display technology, not to mention price – all in the name of appealing to enthusiasts and consumers alike. “pro”.
Google, on the other hand, gave us one of the most accessible phones on the market. It’s got a bright and bold design, an effortless point-and-shoot camera, clean and colorful software with an extra year of updates promised, and a much lower price.
Of course, many of our reviews of the Xperia 1 IV were true of the Xperia 1 III before it, and we’ve always rated it the same as the Pixel 6 Pro in our review. If Sony managed to refine its formula further, we could have an interesting fall.