Sony Xperia

Sony Xperia Z5 Review – Still the strong one

2015 has proved to be unlucky for Sony till now. The Xperia Z3+ was symbolized to be the respond from Sony’s side to Samsung’s ground-breaker, Galaxy S6. However, this supposed major comeback of Sony, in form of Xperia Z3+, collapsed because of its internal overheating issues. A couple of months later Sony came up with another masterpiece, Xperia Z5 in order to regain its former glory, which proved to be quite successful. The Sony Xperia Z5 is one good-looking phone and the fastest one yet. Let’s dig down deep in to this new invention of Sony through this review.

Sony Xperia Z5 release date and price

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The release date for Xperia Z5 for the United States is not yet confirmed. Xperia Z4v, Sony’s preceding device, was expected to launch as Verizon network restrictive in October, however on the 5th of October, it was declared that Verizon won’t range this particular smartphone. We are really looking forward for Sony and Verizon, Sony’s partners, to launch the device for the holiday time.

The cost of Xperia Z5 is ambiguous in US, at the moment, but currently in Europe it is marked at 699 Euro and £599 in the UK which implies that this phone of Sony is an expensive one.

Sony Xperia Z5 design and build quality

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By the look of it, the backside of Xperia Z5 seems like metal, but in reality, it is made up of frosted matte glass. Due to the texture of the glass the phone is slippery therefore, risky to handle, but appearance wise it looks good. Now for the raised edges, they are very clear-cut and prominent, enhancing the overall look of the phone and giving a better grip of the phone. However, at times it can be annoying if gets stuck into things like, hair or if dust gets gathered into them.

Even though there are these strange design choices taken by Sony, it still is one of the good-looking devices. It remains valid and sticks to Sony’s Omnibalance design but consists of some major modifications. This device has been combined and put up together with perfection and style, including Gorilla Glass 4 on the front and back, an aluminum frame and rubber bumpers on the edges to aid in absorbing shock when a phone falls.

Moreover, The Xperia Z5 is dustproof and waterproof. However, you should follow Sony’s suggestions regarding water-resistance.

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Despite, Xperia Z5’s proportions being 146 x 72 x 7.5 mm it can easily fit into your hand. Toward the right-hand side of the device are situated the buttons for volume, camera shutter and power. The power button has come up with a few changes that are, its shape has changed from being circular to pill-shaped and also contains fingerprint scanner.

And the left side of the phone has imprinted Xperia logo at the bottom and a flap located at the top, under which you’ll see the nano-SIM card slot, which provides a path for microSD card extension (max 200 GB).

The top part of the phone consists of a headphone port and a pinhole mic. Towards the bottom are uncovered USB 2.0 port and a small loop for attaching a lanyard. There is only a single water-resistant flap, which is surprising considering the Z5’s waterproof rating, but Sony applies water-resistant coating to its ports in order to prevent short circuits, that are the reason for uncovered headphone and charging ports.

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On the frontal side of the Xperia Z5, is located an exquisite Sony logo, along with a proximity sensor and the front-facing camera on either side of it. The upper edge of the display glass characterizes an observable speaker cut-out. The Z5 has another speaker grill at the bottom of the display, providing stereo sound.

The backside of the device is just like the older versions, containing 23 MP primary camera on the top left hand side and an LED flash underneath.

Sony Xperia Z5 display

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Display of this device is a Full HD 5.2-inch IPS LCD with a pixel density of 428 pixels per inch. One specialty of Z5 is that it manages dark colors quite efficiently with decent angles.

The brightness of the phone is adjustable and good enough to let you use your phone in natural environment. Even the low brightness level allows you to read or view in dark without blinding yourself plus, screen can be stopped from turning itself automatically.

Z5’s display comes through best in color representation and sharpness. It is great for full HD resolution which looks clean-cut. There is also an option for managing the background light and prevent the phone from going off when it’s held by you.

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X-Reality and Super-vivid mode also exist in Xperia Z5 which is basically options for image enhancement. These help alter sharpness and saturation when you are viewing photos or videos. There is also revival of the Glove mode plus, you have the chance to ‘double tap to wake’ function.

Sony Xperia Z5 special features

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Sony has also followed the footprints of the leaders and finally successfully introduced the fingerprint scanner that is incorporated in the power button that is, the most likely of places for it to be in.

The scanner is very efficient and can sign up to 10 fingerprints and plus, there is the added option of always using a backup PIN or password to unlock your device.

There is a tiny issue, though. Due to the Xperia Z5’s water-resistance you need to be sure that your fingers are dry in order to make it work because then the scanner won’t work.

Sony has not linked its authentication to other accounts for now it’s only use is to unlock the device using power button. However, there are chances of linking accounts through Google by android marshmallow update.

Sony Xperia Z5 software

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The Xperia Z5 software is a new-look Xperia UI based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. This look has been awaited since long and the UI now appears similar to stock Android specifically, in the notifications area and Quick Settings, however the main Settings area Sony specific.

Although this is a peculiar combination, it’s good to have a moderated look and feel of Sony.

Sony keeps updating android for its Xperia devices. It is clear which devices need update and when does it need it. Also, it regulates security on daily basis individually of android updates.

You’ll get Sony’s suite of Google alternatives for messaging, calling, contacts storage, camera, e-mail, calendar, but you’ll score Sony’s amazing collection of entertainment apps.

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With Z5 the major benefit is of its PlayStation connectivity besides, Sony’s regular Music, Album and Video apps. Games can be casually played on your PS4 from your Z5 and even purchase games. PlayStation Network also enables you to download music and video of its own and everything is synced automatically.

Sony is becoming increasingly integrated into everything. Starting from your phone to your TV set, linking whole house making the whole environment synced into each other.

In case, you do not want to use an app you can only disable them because it’s not possible to uninstall the apps.

Sony Xperia Z5 performance

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Xperia Z5 is not the best and especially when compared to S6 it has some problems such as, occasional stuttering on daily basis, mostly when launching apps, but nothing that will really affect its functionality for you.

Xperia Z5 has an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (MSM8994) CPU with four low power cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and four high-performance cores clocked at 2 GHz. The 810 is a 64-bit chip with the Adreno 430 GPU built in alongside 3 GB of RAM.

Currently, Xperia Z5 is only available in a 32 GB version, microSD card slot shows that you can increase you memory in very less money.

First solution to avoid overheating was to underclock the CPU. The second solution is physical, Sony now consists of heat dissipating copper pipes in the Xperia Z5 to help distribute and reduce heat.

The Xperia Z5 benchmarks at around seven percent below the scores of Galaxy S6, presently the fastest Android smartphone.

You don’t need to adjust when gaming. It is highly unlikely you’ll come across a game in the Play Store that will stutter or lag on the Xperia Z5.

Sony Xperia Z5 audio

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Sound quality of the Xperia Z5 has mixed comments from my end. On one hand, it consists of perfect pair of headphones along with audio tuning settings while on the other hand; the built-in stereo speakers have some problems.

I was disappointed to hear the not-so-good audio quality. With the volume being at 70 percent, the vibration starts to compromise the sound and play a major part. Although volume has increased from the previous versions, the quality has dropped.

The quality of microphones and handset has increased, however.

Sony Xperia Z5 camera

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The latest camera of Sony’s phone is of 23 MP primary camera. Sony’s new Exmor RS sensor has a super fast auto-focus speed of just 0.03 seconds. Still images have a resolution of 5,520 x 4,140 pixels and you can record 2,160-pixel video at 30 frames per second (fps). Slow motion video capture is 720p at 120 fps.

The camera can easy compete with top listed smartphone cameras. The auto-focus is just great and pictures can be auto-focused automatically. Image stabilization also helps in focusing so that, hand movements don’t have much effect.

Default setting of camera is that still photos are taken at 8 MP resolutions. Settings can of course later be altered.

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We questioned Sony about why it chose to use 8 MP as default. The answer was ““you can permanently switch to 23 MP, but the default setting is 8 MP to enable lossless zoom – which in most cases is more important to the customer than full resolution”.

It should also be let known to you that camera is not user-friendly for shooting video. If you want to shoot video at full resolution you’ll have to switch to 4K Video.

Sony Xperia Z5 battery

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Sony generally has a good battery performance but talking particularly battery life of the Xperia Z5 is above average and can easily last an entire day with normal use.

AnTuTu combines intensive tasks, web-based content handling, 3D and multimedia to provide you with standardized battery test. With full Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth and NFC enabled (but no SIM card inserted), scored a decent 7,189 points, nearly identical to the Xperia Z3+.

STAMINA Mode and Ultra-STAMINA Mode, come under the energy-saving this is where you may easily restrict some areas of performance to extend battery life.

With the help of STAMINA modes Xperia Z5 you will be able to control background processes, which can cause time lags in the delivery of notifications, instant messages and email. STAMINA Mode has an uncertain future. Sony has worked to moderate the main features of Android, so chances are STAMINA will extend the battery benefits of Marshmallow even more.

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Final verdict

In conclusion, The Xperia Z5 gives an overall great experience to the user with almost every respect although there is room for further improvements and modifications. All in all, the phone has a great body and physical experience, better than average battery life, fantastic camera and competitive performance.

However, the main problem is that this phone has not yet been stocked in the US which keeps us highly doubted. And there has been too much time since the release of S6 so Z being an answer for it does not really seem like a good idea and prices will also be lowered. Moreover, the device is being marked at a very high rate which makes it very expensive. There is also an added benefit of it being water-resistant.

Whenever it get socked in the markets it will sure be an eye-catcher and a must-try but even so, you should always have a back-up option that might be your alternate phone. Think wisely!