Best Sony phones 2022: find the right Xperia for you

A selection of the best Sony phones including Sony Xperia 1 III, Sony Xperia 5 III and Sony Xperia 5 II
(Image credit: Sony)

The best Sony phones are often fairly expensive but they tend to be worth it. Just look at the Sony Xperia 1 IV topping our list and you'll see why. It's a similar case for the likes of the Sony Xperia 5 IV which is a new addition to our list - so read on below to see how it ranks.

Fortunately, there are more affordable options amongst the best Sony phones too, so you don't have to spend a fortune to get a top a Sony handset - you'll find mid-rangers and older handsets in this list as well.

And to help make your choice all the easier, each entry below includes a full specs list along with the key pros and cons, and a summary of the phone. If nothing catches your eye though, take a look at our best phones and best Android phones guides, for some options not made by Sony.

Best Sony phones 2022

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Sony Xperia 1 IV

(Image credit: Future)
Sony's ultimate phone right now

Specifications

Release date: June 2022
Weight: 185g
Dimensions: 165 x 71 x 8.2mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.5-inch
Resolution: 1644 x 3840
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256/512GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP + 0.3MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Continuous optical zoom
+
Can shoot 4K 120fps footage

Reasons to avoid

-
Temperamental fingerprint scanner
-
Very expensive 

The Sony Xperia 1 IV is obscenely expensive but offers some unique features that mean it's perfect for professional content creators. One such feature is continuous optical zoom with the telephoto lens moving between 3.5x and 5.2x without the need to use digital zoom. 

There's also the rollout of 4K and 120fps video recording, functions for mobile games streaming, a better battery, and a gorgeous 6.5-inch display. 

It may have a picky fingerprint scanner but the Sony Xperia 1 IV is well-designed for creative types and those that want to consume media too, right down to its inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

Speedy too, the Sony Xperia 1 IV is expensive but a truly high-end device for the most part.

Read our full Sony Xperia 1 IV review

A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 IV

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
Sony's best compact phone

Specifications

Release date: September 2022
Weight: 172g
Dimensions: 156 x 67 x 8.2mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2520
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent quality display
+
Long-lasting battery

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey for a 128GB phone
-
No periscope zoom

With a lower price than the Sony Xperia 1 IV but similar specs in many areas, the Xperia 5 IV comes very close to being a better phone, especially as it packs in a 5,000mAh battery that offers superb life.

The screen is great too, Sony has finally added wireless charging to the mix for its smaller flagship line, and it looks and feels great, as well as packing plenty of power and generally slick software.

However, this still isn’t exactly a top value handset, and while its camera is packed full of pro-features, it’s less adept when you just point and shoot, especially as the Xperia 5 IV is limited to a 2.5x optical zoom.

These and other niggles hold it back a little, but as compact flagships go the Sony Xperia 5 IV is one of the best.

Read our full Sony Xperia 5 IV review

Sony Xperia 1 III

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Sony’s best older phone

Specifications

Release date: August 2021
Weight: 186g
Dimensions: 165 x 71 x 8.2mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.5-inch
Resolution: 1644 x 3840
CPU: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256GB/512GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP + 0.3MP
Front camera: 8MP

Reasons to buy

+
Great battery life
+
Incredible display

Reasons to avoid

-
Tricky to handle, for some
-
No in-screen fingerprint sensor

The Sony Xperia 1 III is still one of Sony's best phones, with the highlight being that it’s the world’s first smartphone with a 4K 120Hz display. That’s arguably overkill, but it’s certainly impressive, with its 6.5-inch OLED display remaining among the best screens you’ll find on a smartphone.

Other aspects of the Xperia 1 III also impress a lot, particularly its battery life, which in our review we found outperformed most flagships, despite the phone only having a middling 4,500mAh capacity.

This is that rare flagship phone that also has a 3.5mm headphone port, which will be a big selling point for some, and the Sony Xperia 1 III additionally has top-end power, and a capable camera setup, which along with main, ultra-wide and depth sensors also has a 12MP adaptive telephoto camera, which can shift between 2.9x and 4.4x optical zoom.

There’s no in-screen fingerprint scanner, and the long and narrow design won’t suit everyone, but those issues aside this remains up there with the best 2021 flagships from any brand – and it’s priced accordingly.

Read our in-depth review: Sony Xperia 1 III