Sony Xperia 5 review

GSMArena team, 18 Sept 2019.

Introduction

Long live the Sony Xperia Compact - only it's no longer called a Compact but goes by the much less revealing Xperia 5. Historically the only maker to put out full-fledged pocketable flagships is back at it with the 5 that's essentially a scaled-down 1.

Going from 1 to 5, Sony's shrunk the screen down from 6.5 to 6.1 inches in diagonal in the same tall 21:9 aspect ratio. The sortof 4K resolution would have been too much for the smaller display (possibly excessive on the Xperia 1 too, but that's a different story), so the Xperia 5 gets a more reasonable 1080p. Alongside the display, the battery capacity has been decreased by a few percent - nothing too dramatic.

And that's about it.

It's still the same 3x12MP camera configuration on the back that you'd find on the Xperia 1 - the de facto standard for a high-end phone trio of regular wide, ultra wide, and short (2x) telephoto. The Xperia 5 is also powered by the same Snapdragon 855 chipset as the full-sized version - no midrange SoCs just because you're going smaller.

Sony Xperia 5 review

On top of these, the compact Xperia checks all of the other hardware features you'd get on the bigger model. You'd be getting the stereo speakers, microSD slot, side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and dedicated hardware camera key - a staple of Sony smartphone design. The point is, the 5 isn't missing something the 1 has, just for the sake of segmentation - and yes, we're looking at you, Galaxy Note10.

Sony Xperia 5 specs

  • Body: Aluminum frame; Gorilla Glass 6 on back and front; 158x68x8.2mm, 164g; IP65/68 ingress protection rating; Color options: Blue, Red, Black, Grey.
  • Screen: 6.1" OLED; 21:9 aspect ratio; 4K (1080x2520px); 449ppi; HDR BT.2020; DCI-P3 color space.
  • Rear cameras: Primary: 12MP (1/2.6" Exmor RS), f/1.6 aperture (ISO 3200), 26mm lens, Dual Photo Diode. Telephoto: 12MP (1/3.4"), f/2.4, 52mm lens. Ultra wide: 12MP (1/3.4"), f/2.4, 16mm.
  • Additional camera features: Predictive Capture (Motion/Smile), Autofocus burst with up to 10 fps AE/AF tracking; Eye Autofocus; Predictive Hybrid Autofocus; Anti-distortion shutter; Optical SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode (5-axis EIS + OIS); RAW noise reduction.
  • Front camera: 8MP (1/4" sensor), f/2.0, 24mm lens, fixed-focus.
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 855 chipset, octa-core processor (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 485), Adreno 640 GPU.
  • Memory: 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage; up to 512GB microSD card support.
  • OS: Android 9.0 Pie
  • Battery: 3,140mAh Li-Ion; USB Power Delivery fast charging; Smart STAMINA, Battery Care, Xperia Adaptive Charging.
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM/Single-SIM options available (market dependent); 5CA LTE 4x4 MIMO, Cat.19 LTE (Up to 1.6Gbps download speed); USB 3.1 Type-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS + GLONASS; Bluetooth 5.0; NFC.
  • Audio: Hybrid stereo speaker setup, Dolby Atmos, DSEE HX, LDAC, Qualcomm aptX HD.
  • Misc: Side-mounted fingerprint reader, X1 for mobile engine, TRILUMINOS display, BIONZ X for mobile (Eye autofocus); Cinema Pro app for cinematic video recording.

Let's have a look inside the box for the stuff that doesn't go in the specsheet.

Sony Xperia 5 unboxing

The Xperia 5's box is similar to the 1's, only narrower (logical) and taller (what?!). Inside it, you'll find the same set of accessories that ship with the Xperia 1. That means the several months between the two phones' releases haven't made Sony switch to USB-C headphones - you're still getting a pair of earbuds ending in a 3.5mm connector which you then plug into the included USB-C-to-3.5mm dongle and then into the phone.

Sony Xperia 5 review

The package also contains a reasonably powerful 18W USB Power Delivery 3.0 adapter and a USB-C-to-C cable to complete the link.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Me too

  • Slayer

Jeez, you people are always whinging and whining. How many premium phones have a headphone jack? 18W fast charging is plentiful and is less likely to harm your battery life. No one is forcing anyone to buy the phone, make your choice and be happ...

I've never heard Bluetooth sound good. I can tolerate it in a moving car but not for headphones and home listening. Even in a car it's a miracle if there aren't periodic drop-outs that drive me mad. I've also given up on 256Kbps AAC or 320Kbps...