Sony's widescreen wonder is an interesting alternative to the other best budget phones

sony’s xperia 10 iv is a great all-rounder and a good budget buy, Tech, Sony’s Xperia 10 IV is a great all-rounder and a good budget buy
(Image credit: Sony)

Join our newsletter

All the best features, news, tips and great deals to help you live a better life through technology

Thank you for signing up to T3. You will receive a verification email shortly.

There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.

By submitting your information you agree to the Terms & Conditions (opens in new tab) and Privacy Policy (opens in new tab) and are aged 16 or over.

I’ve written before about my love of Sony phones, particularly the Xperia ones. But as much as the Sony Xperia 1 IV is a brilliant rival to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, it’s also very expensive. So it’s nice to see Sony offering a much more affordable Xperia that retains some of the flagship’s best features. If you want something a little different from the herd, it could be one of the best budget phones you can buy.

With its Xperia range, Sony numbers the phones in reverse – so an Xperia 1 is the flagship, a 5 is further down the range and a 10 is the more affordable option. But affordable doesn’t mean rubbish, and the Xperia 10 IV has some of the key features I think set Sony phones apart.

Is the Sony Xperia 10 IV worth buying?

Let’s start with the screen. Like other Xperias it’s a 21:9 OLED TriLuminos, much wider than many rivals and really great for watching movies, playing games or just scrolling through articles. It’s compact, well built and thanks to its 5,000mAh battery it runs for ages. It’s much lighter than similarly sized phones – Sony says “it’s the world’s lightest 5G smartphone with a large capacity 5,000mAh battery” – and if you’re into your music it supports both High-Resolution Audio and 360 Reality Audio.

One of the key ways in which the 10 differs from the most expensive Xperias is in its camera. Where the Xperia 1 IV has a camera setup designed for photo and video pros, this Xperia is for more casual photography: there’s a triple-lens setup with really good automatic settings to get the best picture based on light and distance. There’s optical image stabilisation and Night Mode for better low-light pics, and there’s Optical SteadyShot for video too. Last but not least there’s 2x optical zoom; many rivals in this price range have digital zoom instead. Optical is better.

So where has Sony cut corners to achieve the price tag of $519 / £429 / AU$685? The screen is 60Hz, not the smoother 120Hz you’ll find in more expensive models. The processor, a Snapdragon 695, isn’t as fast as the processors you’ll find in the best Android phones – although that does mean it doesn’t get hot like the Xperia 1 IV does. And the built-in speaker isn’t great. 

I like this phone: it’s unpretentious and the combination of light weight, long battery life and that very wide screen is going to tick a lot of potential buyers’ boxes. I wouldn’t recommend it for hardcore gamers or photo pros, but then I wouldn’t recommend any budget phone for those things: they’re specialist tasks that require specific hardware, particularly in the best gaming phones. But if you like the cut of Sony’s jib and don’t want to spend too much money, I think you’ll like this affordable Xperia a lot.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Review Voyage

Surreal adventure games are nothing new. These odd experiences are open to interpretation and can be wild and whacky. Occasionally, though, they are touching, memorable, and heartfelt. This is exactly what Voyage hopes to impart to its players. Subsequently, it is a very strange title that is confusing, unusual, ...

View more: Review Voyage

Sony pays ‘blocking rights’ to keep titles off Xbox Game Pass: Microsoft

Microsoft made the claim in response to Sony's argument that its rival's planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard would be anti-competitive

View more: Sony pays ‘blocking rights’ to keep titles off Xbox Game Pass: Microsoft

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Taskmaster challenges guide

With the PlayStation 5 release of Spider-Man: Miles Morales including a remastered version of the base game, which is also available on PC, there’s never been a better excuse to return to the open world of Marvel’s Spider-Man. If you’re looking to really test your spider skills, the toughest are ...

View more: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Taskmaster challenges guide

Microsoft Claims Sony Pays “Blocking Rights” to Prevent Certain Titles From Releasing on Game Pass

Microsoft says that its "ability to continue expanding Game Pass has been hampered by Sony’s desire to inhibit such growth."

View more: Microsoft Claims Sony Pays “Blocking Rights” to Prevent Certain Titles From Releasing on Game Pass

Microsoft Claims Sony Pays to Keep Games off Xbox Game Pass

In a mic drop moment in a recent CADE filing, Microsoft seems to accuse Sony of paying to keep games off Xbox Game Pass.

View more: Microsoft Claims Sony Pays to Keep Games off Xbox Game Pass

You can finally play Sony’s Spider-Man on PC—but it’s not all good news (yet)

Good news for ultrawide screens, ray tracing, and Steam Deck. Bad news for lesser PCs.

View more: You can finally play Sony’s Spider-Man on PC—but it’s not all good news (yet)

Microsoft Hits Back at Sony’s Concerns over Its Activision Blizzard Acquisition

Microsoft says its Activision Blizzard buyout is not anti-competition and that Sony is worried about losing its dominant position.

View more: Microsoft Hits Back at Sony’s Concerns over Its Activision Blizzard Acquisition

Microsoft Claims Sony Pays "Blocking Rights" To Stop Games Appearing On Game Pass

Microsoft alleges that Sony is looking to prevent developers from making Game Pass deals.

View more: Microsoft Claims Sony Pays "Blocking Rights" To Stop Games Appearing On Game Pass

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered PC Review – Swinging on to PC

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered PC Graphics Analysis – How Does it Stack up Against the PS5?

The Last of Us Part 1 Remake vs Original – 10 Differences You Need To Know

Sony has shipped over 117M PlayStation 4 systems, per final tally

PS5 Game Boost guide: What is Game Boost and how does it work?

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on PC makes me excited for Sony games again

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless vs. Sony WH-1000XM5

Microsoft Disputes Sony's Concerns About Call Of Duty Ownership

Microsoft claims Sony pays to stop devs from adding content to Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft defends Activision Blizzard deal after Sony expresses fears over Call of Duty

Microsoft accuses Sony of paying money to block titles from Game Pass

Microsoft Claims That Sony Pays for 'Blocking Rights' to Prevent Developers From Adding Games to the Xbox Game Pass

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News