Sony has never really been a crowd favorite in the U.S., at least when it comes to smartphones. Recently however, Sony has struggled internationally as well, with the latest iteration of their flagship particularly coming under fire for being too similar to the Sony Xperia Z3, leading Sony to dub the phone the as the Xperia Z3+ in international markets, referring to it as the Xperia Z4 only in Japan. Thankfully, Sony is finally upping its game with the Xperia Z5, which is being offered in three unique flavors: the Xperia Z5, Z5 Premium, and Z5 Compact.
At their IFA 2015 press event Sony formally announced the Sony Xperia Z5, and on the outside it doesn’t seem a whole lot different from its predecessors, offering the iconic glass-and-metal stylings that we’ve come to expect from Sony. The power button on the side of the Z5 is a bit bigger this time around though, in order to make room for the integrated fingerprint scanner. If you’re a fan of Sony’s style, you’re certainly going to like the looks of Xperia Z5, even if they are still a bit too familiar for those that were hoping Sony would finally make a bigger and bolder change in design language.
Sony Xperia Z5 specs and features
|Display||5.2-inch 1080p display|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 810|
|Storage||32GB with microSD|
|Waterproofing||IP65 / IP68, capless USB|
|Network||LTE (4G), LTE Cat6, UMTS HSPA+ (3G), GSM GPRS/EDGE,|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, A-GPS / Glonass, USB 2.0|
|Camera||Main cam: 23MP cam with Exmor RS sensor, fast autofocus, 4K video capture and output, 23mm wide-angle G Lens, 5x clear image, HDR, ISO 12800 photo / 4000 vide, Steadyshot tech|
|Software||Android 5.1 Lollipop with Sony UI|
|Dimensions||146mm x 72mm x 7.3mm, 154 grams|
In many ways the specs here are quite similar to the Sony Xperia Z4 (aka Z3+), with the Sony Xperia Z5 featuring a Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB RAM, and 32GB storage. It is a bit disappointing to note that we are just seeing a Full HD display here, and not a more impressive QHD one, though fans of high-res can always turn their attention to the 4K-touting Z5 Premium instead. Where things differ from the Xperia Z3+ is in the extras like the new fingerprint scanner, and more importantly, in the redesigned camera.
The fingerprint scanner is of the “touch” variety, meaning it should work similarly to the iPhone, the newer Samsung Galaxy line, and Huawei’s Mate 7 and Honor 7. Aside from unlocking the phone, there doesn’t seem to be too many other fingerprint-yeilding features but it is still a nice extra.
The Xperia Z5 comes with a 23MP sensor with autofocus of just .03 seconds and F2.0 G Lens tech. There’s also a few other extras including 5x clear image zoom and advanced processing software. Sony also claims that advancements in low-light photography mean you can now capture clearer images even in less than ideal lighting. As you’d expect, Sony says this is one of the best on the market, though we’ll reserve judgment until we have some time to put the camera through its paces.
In addition to providing a better camera experience, Sony promises better battery life with the Xperia Z5. Sony claims its flagship will offer “up to two days usage from a single charge” thanks to its 2900 mAh non-removable battery.
On the software front, you’ll find some of the Sony goodies you’d expect like Playstation Remote Play for playing your PS4 games on your Xperia device. That said, the software experience is much tamer than in the past, ditching a lot of the Xperia skin elements in favor of a near-stock Android approach.
While the Xperia skin was already lighter than many of its competitors, it is great to see that Sony isn’t holding still here. Sure there are some changes to icons and other areas, but many of the menus and other elements are going to feel a lot more like stock Lollipop than every before. We imagine this should also provide for a smoother, faster experience but we can confirm until we get some hands-on time and really put the UI through its paces.
Sony Xperia price and availability
The Sony Xperia Z5 will arrive globally starting in October, though Sony has yet to clarify pricing just yet. We imagine it will cost similar to other high-end flagships though, so somewhere around $600 to $700, though that’s really just speculation at this point. For international markets, the Xperia Z5 will be offered in both single and dual-SIM variants.
Berlin, IFA, 2nd September 2015 – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today unveiled its next-generation Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact, and the world’s first 4K smartphone Xperia Z5 Premium – each engineered to make everyday experiences better.
“Smartphones are part of people’s lives” said Hiroki Totoki, President and CEO at Sony Mobile Communications. “Since users already create, share and enjoy most of their content on the go – we’ve set out to bring Sony’s latest innovations in camera, design and display to ensure the Xperia Z5 series is the best possible lifestyle and entertainment platform.”
A mobile camera experience unlike any other
Xperia Z5 features Sony’s brand new large 1/2.3 Exmor RSTM for mobile 23MP sensor and F2.0 G Lens – it’s Sony’s first completely re-imagined smartphone camera module since Xperia Z1, designed with Sony’s interchangeable lens camera αTM technology for clear, vivid imagery every time.
The camera is capable of the fastest autofocus in a smartphone, a powerful blend of speed and accuracy to capture split-second moments with ease. It delivers a ground-breaking speed of just 0.037 seconds – faster than the blink of a human eye (average 0.1 – 0.4 s), so whether you’re jumping for the frisbee in the park, diving into the pool or catching air on the vert ramp, you’ll have the power to preserve spontaneous action in real-time.
A combination of the large 23MP Exmor RSTM for mobile sensor and advanced processing software lets you get close to subjects; whether it be a landmark, architecture or other objects of interest, with 5x clear image zoom with minimum loss of quality. And, advancements in low-light photography mean you can capture clearer photos at night or in darker surroundings with less noise and blur – perfect for capturing a sunrise or night skyline.
With the continued popularity of content capture for social media, Xperia Z5 series brings significant advancements in the evolution of Sony’s SteadyShotTM with Intelligent Active Mode for video. Further improvements mean you’ll be able to continuously capture action smoothly, such as riding a bike or skateboard, free from jolts or shudders. It also features better low-light performance without blur.
Designed for life, with the same flagship experiences in a choice of form factor
Designed by leading creatives at Sony’s Creative Center studios in Sweden and Japan, Xperia Z5 presents a svelte continuous plate form, with a metal frame and frosted glass back. It’s striking, comfortable to hold and waterproof for everyday convenience. With a 5.2″ display, sleek looks and Fall 2015 fashion and interior design cues, colours range from elegant to expressive for any personal style or taste; White, Graphite Black, Gold and Green.
For those who prefer a compact smartphone, Xperia Z5 Compact brings the same great camera technology and features in a pocket-friendly compact device. It delivers uncompromised performance in a beautifully compact design with a 4.6″ display, perfect for one-handed use. And, Z5 Compact let’s you express personal style with fresh, vibrant colours including Yellow and Coral, in addition to White and Graphite Black.
Both devices represent iconic Sony craftsmanship with premium materials throughout, including frosted glass finishing to the rear and a subtly etched Xperia logo side engraving, as well as capless USB for quick efficient connection and charging.
To the side, a new integrated fingerprint sensor power button means each device is personal, protected and easily unlockable with a simple pick up and press in one natural movement. It will also support the FIDO standard; authentication via fingerprint for online payment services – with news on first partners shared closer to launch.
Powerful performance that meets demands
Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, featuring octa-core CPUs, 64 bit capabilities and ultra-fast 4G LTE speeds, letting you reach new levels of performance for video, photography and gaming. Whether you’re multi-tasking over Wi-Fi or the latest 4G network, both devices deliver the speed you need. Download email with attachments in seconds and enjoy video streaming with no delays or unwanted buffering. Powerful smartphone features demand smart power management, Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact are equipped with Sony’s incredible up to two-day8 battery stamina and innovative power-saving technology, which gives you superior long-lasting battery performance. With Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 2.0 enabled on the new devices, you can get 5.5 hours usage with just 10 minutes of charging with a certified Quick Charge™ 2.0 charger, such as the Quick Charger UCH10 (dependant on market variants)9.
Sony’s 4K leadership now in a mobile device – Xperia Z5 Premium, the world’s first 4K smartphone
Xperia Z5 Premium is the world’s first 4K smartphone with a sharp, vivid 5.5″ 4K TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile and IPS, where breathtaking detail is depicted with pinpoint accuracy for the most natural images, at four times the resolution of Full HD.
Xperia Z5 Premium will upscale your favourite content to 4K, enhancing any native or third party videos or photos so you can view Netflix, YouTube or your holiday shots in rich, vibrant 4K detail. And, Xperia Z5 Premium is built to allow you to get creative by capturing in 4K and immediately enjoying the content on Z5 Premium, with the option of preserving any moment as an 8MP quality image.
And, why not port the memory card from Sony’s 4K Action Cam FDR-X1000V to Xperia Z5 Premium to enjoy your footage immediately – or simply connect to the big screen either wirelessly via DLNA or with MHL 3.0 to enjoy your content on a 4K TV.
Xperia Z5 Premium is designed from the ground up as a high-performance mobile device, also powered by the Snapdragon 810 processor. A high capacity 3430 mAh battery lasting for up to two days, with quick charge capability eliminates the need for regular charging.
Xperia Z5 Premium features a large 32GB internal memory, with the capability to take a 200GB external microSD card, which offers extra room for 4K videos and movies, and images too. Xperia Z5 Premium also features Sony’s innovative memory on display feature – the data transfer between processor and device is optimized so Xperia Z5’s display memory technology remembers the display of images seen on your smartphone and caches the image or video so that you don’t need to reload the full image each time you view it – preserving battery power in the process.
A flagship series powered by an entertainment and content ecosystem
Across the Xperia Z5 series, Sony’s rich expertise in audio technologies lets you enjoy sound in incredible detail and clarity. High-Res Audio reproduces high frequency sound for a studio quality experience. DSEE HXTM upscales the audio fidelity of your existing MP3, AAC or Spotify tracks to near High-Res Audio quality. And for high quality wireless music listening, Sony’s LDAC™ codec transmits data three times more efficiently than legacy codec over Bluetooth.
And now for the first time, Sony’s new High-Resolution Audio Headset MDR-NC750 allows you to enjoy combined Hi-Res Audio music with Digital Noise Cancelling – your tunes as they were intended to be heard, with ambient background noise reduced by up to 98%.
Keep playing your favourite PlayStation®4 (PS4™) games wherever you are in the home with PS4 Remote Play10. Simply connect your Xperia Z5 series device to your PS4 via home Wi-Fi and use the DUALSHOCK®4 Wireless Controller to ensure you never miss a minute of the action – whatever room you are in.
And to ensure you continue to enjoy the best experiences that Sony has to offer, all Xperia Z5 series users will benefit from access to Xperia Lounge Gold – delivering the world of Sony entertainment at your fingertips. Get access to exclusive competitions and offers; be among the first to try out new apps; and enjoy the latest movies, TV episodes and music included with your device.
Smart style, with new accessories
A range of stylish and protective Style Cover Window cases will be available for each Xperia Z5 series model at launch, in respective corresponding device colours – each will let you access your favourite smartphone widgets through a smart window.
Stereo Bluetooth® Headset SBH54 is versatile headset with a doubling handset function, designed for users who want a convenient companion device to a large screen smartphone, allowing you to take and make calls, see messages, play music and enjoy FM radio.
Availability and specifications
Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact will launch globally from October 2015, and Xperia Z5 Premium from November 2015 – Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium will be available in both Single SIM and Dual SIM variants11.
What’s your take?
So, are you impressed with the Xperia Z5 series or are you disappointed? What do you love about the new phones, and what do you hate? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.