September 3, 2015
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After weeks of leaks and speculation, a lot of which turned out to be true, Sony took the wraps off their latest flagships offerings. While the plus iteration, or “Premium” in the case of Sony’s smartphone, seems to be more enticing, the more standard flagship has to lot to offer as well. We go hands-on, and give you the first look at the Sony Xperia Z5!

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At first glance, the Xperia Z5 looks a lot like all the other Sony flagships that it follows, which isn’t entirely unexpected, but there are a few new aspects to the design language and features that should sweeten the pot a little, and hopefully, this device will be available in more markets that just in Europe and Asia. Noticeable changes to the design are seen on the side, with a much larger power button being featured now, which doesn’t look as iconic as the signature round button from before, but still has a very unique look.

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The reason for this change to a wider power button is the fingerprint scanner that is now integrated into the power button. It is ideally placed to allow the device to be unlocked easily by placing your right thumb on the button, which does seem to be the best way to go about it. In general, the Xperia Z5 feels really nice in the hand, as most Xperia devices do, with the symmetrical design making the phone very easy to grip, and its relatively standard footprint makes for a great handling experience.

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On the specifications front, the Xperia Z5 isn’t all that much of an upgrade when compared to its predecessor, the Xperia Z3+, with the latest Sony flagship retaining a 5.2-inch Full HD display, the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 3 GB of RAM, and the availability of expandable storage via microSD card. The Snapdragon 810 does a great job of keeping things smooth and snappy, helped along with the near-stock version of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop that the device is running, which doesn’t feature much extra, other than Sony staples like the Small Apps.

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What is obviously the most exciting part about the latest Xperia flagship is the new camera, with Sony introducing a major change in this department after a very long time, and we are really looking forward to putting this 23 MP ExmorRS sensor to the test. What is intriguing to us is that Sony put out there the fact that their imaging department has been one of the best, and Sony has released some great Alpha cameras, so hopefully, we’ll now see some of that quality make its way over to the smartphone segment as well. The Xperia Z5 also features on of the fastest auto-focus capabilities around, and the device did a great job in the short time we got to spend with it. The Xperia Z5 also packs a 5 MP front-facing camera.

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Looking at the camera application, Sony continues to pack the camera software with a slew of features, with everything from AR, panorama modes, slow motion, face in picture, and pretty much everything you can hope for to make your smartphone photography experience that much more fun. We have seen some fantastic flagship smartphone cameras this year, and we can’t wait to see whether this Sony camera can provide the quality to compete with the high standards that have been set so far.

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As mentioned, Sony also introduced a plus iteration of their current flagship, dubbed the Xperia Z5 Premium. No one was able to get their hands on this device at the press event, but we do have a meeting with Sony coming up soon where we will be able to bring you a much closer look at this phone.

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Of course, the big news with this smartphone is its 4K resolution display, which results in an absolutely mind-boggling pixel density of 801 ppi. This is obviously the highest resolution we’ve seen till date on a smartphone, but what Sony is doing with the Xperia Z5 Premium, as they have done with some of their TVs as well, is that the phone itself is going to upscale all of the media content, so it has a sharper look to it. A high resolution such as this does bring up concerns with regards to battery life, but the 3,430 mAh battery that the device packs, compared to the 2,900 mAh unit of the Xperia Z5 proper, should allow for at least average battery life, helped along with the slew of battery saving modes that Sony bakes in to their devices.

So there you have it for this first look at the Sony Xperia Z5! While the Xperia Z5 isn’t a major departure from the Sony standard, new elements like the fingerprint scanner and updated camera package does bring the device more in line with the current crop of smartphone flagships, and we can’t wait to put the Xperia Z5 through its paces as we give it the full review treatment. Stay tuned with Android Authority for more great coverage from Sony, and everything else that is on offer at IFA 2015!

Joshua Vergara
Writer, blogger, and videographer - Josh is a former support technician that learned much about technology by fixing everyone else's. On the side, he wrote and performed spoken word, maintained his own personal blogs, and began his own video podcast. Now, he's here at Android Authority looking to put it all together!
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