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

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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

The Sony Xperia 10 IV in black face up on a tiled floor

(Image credit: Future)
Surprisingly affordable for what it offers

Specifications

Weight: 161g
Dimensions: 153 x 67 x 8.3mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.0-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2520
CPU: Snapdragon 695 5G
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 12MP+8MP+8MP
Front camera: 8MP

Reasons to buy

+
Advanced camera features
+
Great battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Average performance
-
60Hz display

The Sony Xperia 10 IV is the cheapest of the Xperia range for 2022 but offers some great features. It has typical Xperia 10 looks meaning the build quality is great. The display is just as good too with a 6-inch OLED screen that looks pretty good despite its average 60Hz refresh rate. 

You also get a triple-lens rear camera that can take some very good shots. With a 2x optical zoom, there's a 12MP wide, 8MP telephoto, and 8MP ultrawide rear setup that provides great results barring some issues with color correction. 

Performance is a little on the average side at times, but the Sony Xperia 10 IV is a mostly stylish and classy handset to own.

Read our in-depth review: Sony Xperia 10 IV

A Sony Xperia 5 III leaning against a wall

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Great performance in a compact form

Specifications

Release date: April 2021
Weight: 168g
Dimensions: 157 x 68 x 8.2mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2520
CPU: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP
Front camera: 8MP

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Excellent triple-camera system
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No wireless charging
-
Expensive for what it offers

With an elongated design that prioritizes landscape media content, the Sony Xperia 5 III is a great option for those that love to stream on the move. Alongside that, it also offers excellent performance for its size and a fantastic triple-camera system that's highly flexible. 

It lacks a few finer points such as wireless charging and its screen isn't quite as sharp as other Sony phones, but with a focus on media right down to strong audio performance, it's still appealing if you can afford the price tag. 

Look out for a feature-packed photography experience in particular. Speed and precision is everything with Sony's camera system and it makes a big difference.

Read our in-depth review: Sony Xperia 5 III

Sony Xperia 5 II

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Like an Xperia 1 II, but smaller and cheaper

Specifications

Release date: October 2020
Weight: 163g
Dimensions: 158 x 68 x 8mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2520
CPU: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP
Front camera: 8MP

Reasons to buy

+
Great cameras
+
120Hz screen looks great

Reasons to avoid

-
Still quite a high price
-
Antiquated unlock button

The Sony Xperia 5 II is basically a smaller, cheaper version of the Xperia 1 II. Sure, there are some differences beyond the screen size to get the price down, but the essence remains intact, and this phone arguably strikes a better balance between price and specs.

It has an excellent 6.1-inch 1080 x 2520 OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, ensuring it feels smooth to use. Even the Xperia 1 II doesn’t have a refresh rate that high, so in at least one way the Sony Xperia 5 II has the specs edge.

It also has a great triple-lens camera, with 12MP main, ultra-wide and telephoto lenses, plus a high-end Snapdragon 865 chipset, and a decent build – which, thanks to the smaller size, is much easier to hold than the Xperia 1 II.

Read our in-depth review: Sony Xperia 5 II

Sony Xperia 1 II

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Still one of the best Sony phones

Specifications

Release date: May 2020
Weight: 181.4g
Dimensions: 165.1 x 71.1 x 7.6 mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.5-inch
Resolution: 1644 x 3840
CPU: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP
Front camera: 8MP

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning display
+
Return of the 3.5mm jack

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult to hold
-
Very high price

The Sony Xperia 1 II shows the company listens to feedback, as it fixes some of the biggest issues of its predecessors while bringing a lot more to the table.

The Xperia 1 II - that's 'One Mark Two', as Sony seems to have taken naming inspiration from its Alpha range of cameras - has an impressive 4K display in a 21:9 resolution, three rear cameras that take great photographs, and a long-lasting battery that fixes one of the biggest problems with older Xperia phones.

Sure, the price is definitely on the high side, and the phone is too big for people with small hands (an issue the Xperia 5 II fixes), but if these aren't problems you'll mind, the Sony Xperia 1 II is one of the best Sony phones around.

Read our in-depth review: Sony Xperia 1 II