The first leaked Sony Xperia 1 V image shows camera upgrades and downgrades

Sony Xperia 1 IV
The Sony Xperia 1 IV (Image credit: Future)

All has so far been quiet on the Sony Xperia 1 V front, despite the fact that it’s surely in the works. But the first leaks are now emerging, and they include an image seemingly showing the back of the phone.

This was shared by a poster on the Esato forums going by the name Speckles. It was then spotted by leaker ZackBuks on Weibo (via Android Authority), who notes that the main and ultra-wide cameras appear to have changed from the ones on the Sony Xperia 1 IV, but adds that they don’t know if this image is accurate or not – so take it with a pinch of salt.

Changes to these cameras – which look like they might have bigger lenses this year – are likely to be for the better, and those aren’t the only potentially positive changes. The camera block also contains all the sensors this time, rather than some sitting outside it, creating a neater look.

(Image credit: Speckles)

However, that’s been achieved by removing the RGB IR sensor and the ToF (time-of-flight) sensor found on the Sony Xperia 1 IV. The first of those is for accurate white balance adjustments and the second is for judging depth and distance.

ZackBuks notes that the phone’s AI focus tracking technology should be good enough for the ToF sensor not to be missed, but there are no such reassurances about the absent RGB IR sensor.

In any case, something seems to have been added too, as there’s what appears to be a microphone hole on the camera block. We’ve seen this before on the Sony Xperia Pro-I too, where it’s intended for clear speech recording.

That suggests if this really is the Sony Xperia 1 V it might have even more of a niche, professional creative focus than the Sony Xperia 1 IV.

Aside from the camera details, there’s not much else to say about this image, with the pictured phone looking a lot like the Sony Xperia 1 IV. There’s a plain black rear with a Sony logo in the middle and an NFC logo further up. Sadly we can’t see the front, but with any luck this is the first leaked image of many.

Analysis: what’s the new camera?

While this leak doesn’t tell us what camera sensors the Sony Xperia 1 V is using, there’s a fair chance it includes the Sony IMX989. This was unveiled by the company last year and it’s much larger than most smartphone sensors, at one inch.

A larger size means it can catch more light, which is particularly beneficial for low light shots. It can also potentially offer better dynamic range and produce less noisy images, so there are a lot of benefits to it.

The Sony Xperia 1 V won’t be the first phone to use this sensor if it does include it – that was the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, which impressed most reviewers with its camera quality. So if Sony does use this sensor, then the Sony Xperia 1 V has a good shot at being one of the very best camera phones.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.