Sony Xperia 5 hands-on review

IFA 2019

GSMArena team, 05 Sept 2019.


In loving memory of the good old Sony Xperia Z Compact phones, the company is now releasing the Xperia 5 - a reasonably-sized flagship device with Xperia 1 hardware. However, the Xperia 5's display size doesn't really come across as a compact smartphone. Last year's Xperia XZ2 Compact featured a 5-inch screen while this year's Xperia 5 carries a 6.1-inch OLED panel with extra tall 21:9 resolution.

Sony Xperia 5 Handson review

Then again, in today's era of behemoths, the Xperia 5 6.1-inch screen is in fact smaller than most smartphones released in 2019. More importantly, as previous Xperia Compact devices, this one doesn't make any compromises compared to its bigger sibling, hardware-wise, that is.

Essentially, it's an Xperia 1 in a much smaller footprint. The flagship Snapdragon 855 chipset is still in charge of things but this time around it's paired with 128GB of internal storage as a base configuration instead of 64GB while RAM is still 6GB. The most notable change in the small Xperia is the display - it shrinks not only in size but in resolution too. The 21:9 cinematic screen is now 1080 x 2520px (FHD+), which is a considerable downgrade over the Xperia 1 that has a 1644 x 3840px resolution. But that might not be such a bad thing after all.

Sony Xperia 5 specs

  • Body:Gorilla Glass 6 front and back panel, aluminum side frame
  • Screen: 6.1" FHD+ (1080x2520px) OLED; 21:9 aspect ratio.
  • Camera: Primary: Motion Eye 12MP (1/2.6" Exmor RS), f/1.6 aperture (ISO 3200), 26mm lens, Dual Photo Diode; 12MP (1/3.4") telephoto, f/2.4, 52mm lens; 12MP (1/3.4") wide, f/2.4, 16mm.
  • Selfie cam: 8MP (1/4" sensor), f/2.0 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 storage; microSD slot.
  • OS: Android 9.0 Pie.
  • Battery: 3,140 mAh 18W USB Power Delivery 2.0 charging support.
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM; USB-C (USB 3.1), Wi-Fi, Buetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC.
  • Misc:Side-mounted fingerprint reader; IP65/IP68 dust/water proof; Hybrid stereo speaker setup, Dolby Atmos, DSEE HX, LDAC, Qualcomm aptX HD.

As you can see, there's little difference between the two, even design-wise, which is exactly what Sony was aiming for in the first place. Join us on the next pages as we check it out.

Reader comments

  • r

I owned 2 sony xperia phones, now I am owner of samsung galaxy s10e because of size. Sony- I no need showel !

  • Danny

Fixed focus on a flagship like this? In 2019? Are you kidding me? 😂. My xz2 6gb version is just like this one (I see not a realy upgrade)... Battery downgrade... Why buying this?. And I'm a big sony (ericsson) fan! I have tons of mint ph...

I don't like the massive curved screen on S8 it is tacky and cut off the view field. Even the new S10 is tacky too because the punch hole doesn't make it looks great. If you love that design go ahead, but I won't, I know what is ugly.