New Sony Xperia 5 V leaks suggests the phone will bizarrely lose its telephoto lens

A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 IV
(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

An official marketing video for Sony’s Xperia 5 V has recently surfaced, and the prognosis isn’t good as the upcoming smartphone might see a substantial downgrade.

The video was originally posted on the r/SonyXperia subreddit by user JB2unique before being uploaded to YouTube. The clip is your standard marketing fair: several models showing off the Xperia 5 V from different angles to hype up customers. What’s the most jarring about it is the fact there are only two cameras on the back of the device. Presumably, one is a wide-angle lens sitting above the ultra-wide option. There doesn’t appear to be a third camera for the telephoto lens, which is a very strange omission considering that previous models, like the Xperia 5 IV, have the three. 

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Cutting costs

It’s unknown why Sony is going down this route. A user on the original Reddit thread theorizes that maybe the company has somehow discovered a way to integrate the telephoto lens into the main lens to create a dual-lens smartphone camera. Or perhaps Sony is removing it completely in an effort to either keep the Xperia 5 V at the same price point as the Xperia 5 IV (normally retails at $999 / £949 / AU$1,399); possibly even lower. The latter seems to be the prevailing theory online.

It’s certainly a bold move on Sony’s part to remove the telephoto option from their next flagship mobile device. Xperia phones, such as the Pro-I, are well-known for their prowess in photography. 

Although, perhaps the signs were already there. One of the things we complained about in our review of the Xperia 5 IV was the camera. It sports “the weakest zoom range of any flagship Xperia phone since the original Xperia 1 and 5.” Sony might have seen removing the telephoto lens as the logical next step for the series.

Returning tech

Besides the camera array, the video does reveal some interesting tidbits. The front of the phone, as others have pointed out, looks similar to the Xperia 1 IV, complete with a selfie lens lodged in the top bezel. There will be a 3.5 audio jack on top – a surprisingly rare feature to have on smartphones these days. Around one of the cameras is a Zeiss T* logo indicating the anti-reflective coating is coming back. It may also launch in three different colors: black, white, and light blue.

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Not much else can be gleaned from the video, but the leaks don’t stop there. 

Back in February 2023, a listing appeared on Geekbench revealing that the Xperia 5 V will run on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC (system on a chip) plus 16GB of RAM. Another leak from April states that the same device will have 33W fast charging capability. Both of these hardware specs are direct upgrades to what is on the Xperia 5 IV. So the theory that Sony is trying to keep the retail price of its upcoming smartphone low may not be so farfetched.

Of course as with any leak, take all this information with a grain of salt. Things could change at the last minute.

Be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the top mobile devices for photography in 2023.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.