Sony Xperia Z5 review: Finely tuned

Finely tuned

GSMArena team, 19 October, 2015.


With the Xperia Z5 family, Sony has definitely piqued the interest of the public, delivering not one, but three flagship devices. The Z5 Premium is the world first 4K screen phone, while the Xperia Z5 compact is a powerhouse device with a small footprint.

This, however, puts the regular Z5 in somewhat of an odd spot. For the first time ever, the standard "Z" model is not the "latest and greatest" Sony has to offer. It also almost identical to the Z3+, while being quite a bit more expensive.

But reading the specs on paper really doesn't reveal the extent in which To really see the Z5 for what it is and understand all the work Sony has put into making it a familiar, yet refined device, we have to dig deeper. That is just what we intend to do in the following pages - to see just how different the Z5 is from the Z3+, what has changed and what has been preserved. To discover if the Z5 is Sony's flagship savior, or just a fixed-up Z3+, bound to stay underappreciated amidst its superstar siblings.

Key features

  • 5.2" 16M-color 1080 x 1920 IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with X Reality for Mobile, Triluminos technology and Dynamic Contrast Enhancer; scratch-resistant glass, oleophobic coating
  • Android OS v5.1.1 Lollipop with Xperia launcher
  • Octa-core Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810, feat. a quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 and quad-core 2 GHz Cortex-A57 and an Adreno 430 GPU and 3GB RAM
  • 23 MP camera with 2160p@30fps video recording; 5.1 MP front-facing camera with 1080p@30fps video
  • 32GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot
  • LTE Cat.4 (150Mbps)/Cat.6 (300Mbps), depending on the region; Dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; A-GPS/GLONASS receiver, Bluetooth v4.1, FM radio with RDS
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • 2,900mAh non-removable battery
  • IP68 certified - dust and water proof up to 1.5 meter and 30 minutes
  • Fingerprint sensor

Main disadvantages

  • Screen bezels are wider than the Xperia Z3+
  • Non-removable battery
  • Heavier and thicker than the Xperia Z3+

It is quite obvious that specs-wise the Sony Xperia Z5 does not disappoint. The handset is powered by Qualcomm's top-of-the-line Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810 chip, along with an Adreno 430 GPU, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. That also happens to be the case with the Z3+. Similarities extend even further to the 5.2-inch FullHD display that also seems to be shared between the two models. In fact, the only significant hardware differences between the pair are the fingerprint reader and the camera.

Sony is betting big on its new multi-aspect 23MP sensor, which is being marketed as the Z5's major feature. However, the same shooter is actually present in the Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium as well, so it is not quite as exclusive to the model as Sony would have you believe. It's nonetheless an excellent camera and we can't wait to put it to use.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The most important thing is that the Z5 Compact promises to learn from the Z3+ and its mistakes and excel where it failed. That's alone is enough to warrant a full length review. So jump on.

Reader comments

  • Mickey
  • 03 Feb 2023
  • mFd

The phone heat too much why

  • N41
  • 04 Jan 2020
  • n41

Correction: but when the DXOMARK shows xperias got worst scores in the test results, vV5 doesn't believe it. LMAO

  • Amen King
  • 03 Dec 2019
  • CGH