Sony Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium hands-on: Sony at IFA 2015

Sony at IFA 2015

GSMArena team, 02 September, 2015.


Sony's back, and it's back with great aplomb. The company has brought us an entire Xperia Z5 family of smartphones ranging from the Xperia Z5 Compact for small pockets to the 5.5-inch Xperia Z5 Premium with the industry's first 4K display in a production smartphone.

We get it, a launch of that magnitude couldn't wait until IFA actually kicked off and Sony scheduled their own dedicated event today. Not that the insane 806ppi of the Premium wouldn't have been enough to pierce through all the clamor at the show and draw most of the attention, even more so now that Samsung's phablets have already been announced.

Sony did need the good publicity only a truly new feature could bring and now they have it. The company has been an easy target for critics with its twice-a-year flagship update cycle. It's been the ideal mix of few improvements over the previous generation on the one hand and buyers, disappointed that their brand new device becomes last generation in only a few months, on the other.

Sony Xperia Z5

In fact, the regular Sony Xperia Z5 may still suffer from the same stigma - after all, the Z3+ was announced in May and save for the new camera (which in itself may be worth the upgrade, we don't know yet) and fingerprint sensor, it's essentially the same smartphone.

The Compacts have had a more fortunate fate, largely because they only accompany the odd-numbered flagships (the Z3+ doesn't count). That, and the fact that there's really no other truly high-end big-name small-sized flagship in existence.

But the Z5 Premium is a whole new breed. Sony hadn't had a proper high-end phablet since the Xperia Z Ultra more than two years ago, but it's hard to call the Z5 Premium a successor. Next to the monstrous 6.4-inch Z Ultra, the Z5 Premium looks dwarfish.

It's not size Sony went for this time, it's resolution, and 2160p on a 5.5-inch diagonal is nothing short of astonishing. But why, you may ask, and you'd be right. Because we can, Sony would answer. We are, however, inclined to speculate that such a pixel density has some VR application planned for its near future.

Sony Xperia Z5 / Xperia Z5 Compact / Xperia Z5 Premium shared specs at a glance

  • Android 5.1 Lollipop with Xperia UI on top
  • IP65/IP68 certified - dust and water proof up to 1.5 meter and 30 minutes
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset with 2 GHz quad-core Cortex-A57 plus 1.5 GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, Adreno 430 GPU
  • 23MP camera, 24mm-equiv. f/2.0 lens, LED flash, dedicated hardware shutter key
  • 2160p video recording, SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode
  • 5MP, 25mm-equiv., front-facing camera with 1080p video recording, SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode
  • Up to 32GB of built-in storage, expandable via the microSD card slot by up to 200GB
  • Cat. 6 LTE (up to 300Mbps); Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; Wi-Fi Direct; Bluetooth 4.1 with apt-X and Sony LDAC wireless High-Res Audio codec, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou receiver, Stereo FM with RDS; USB On-The-Go
  • Active in-call noise cancellation with a secondary microphone
  • Digital music noise cancellation available with certain Sony headsets
  • Front-facing stereo speakers
  • STAMINA Power Saving Mode, up to two-day battery life promised for all three
  • Stylish dual glass-panel design
  • Qualcomm Quick charge certified, no wireless charging built-in
  • Capless USB port design in waterproof phones
  • Side-mounted fingerprint sensor in the power button

Sony Xperia Z5

  • 5.2" FullHD (1920 x 1080 pixels) IPS LCD display with 428ppi
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm, 154g
  • 2,900mAh battery
  • Also available as a Dual SIM version

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

  • 4.6" HD (1280 x 720 pixels) IPS LCD display with 323ppi
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 2,700mAh battery
  • 127 x 65 x 8.9 mm, 138g

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

  • 5.5" UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) IPS LCD display with 806ppi (!)
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 3,430mAh battery
  • 154.4 x 75.8 x 7.8 mm, 180g
  • Also available as a Dual SIM version

With nigh identical hardware, the three smartphones have the display size to set them apart and consequently physical dimensions, of course. We'd also expect them to perform rather differently in the graphics department as there's a 9 times abyss between the number of pixels that need to be rendered on the Premium, compared to the Compact. The Compact should also be the battery king by a long stretch, going solely by the numbers.

Being the lucky folks that we are, we got the chance to spend some time with the brand new Xperia Z5 bunch. It's way too early for conclusions, but we're ready to share some initial impressions, starting on the next page with the vanilla Xperia Z5.

Reader comments

  • john

When arrive to saudi?

  • Anonymous

I have a Z3 and it is amazing

  • AnonD-110047

Battery test score please.