- Preemium design and build
- Good camera
- Fast fingerprint scanner
- problematic chip
- lack of OIS
- Late to the market hardware wise
The Xperia Z5 is the last line up of the Xperia Z series of smartphones. The Xperia Z and Z1 were the phones that brought back Sony to life with its amazing design and features, especially the waterproofing. Since then the Z lineup has improved bi yearly, making successive releases not much of an upgrade over the previous phone. The Z5 can be considered as the direct successor to the Z3+ and it brings a lot of changes in a new phone the Z lineup after a long time.
Design and Build:
The Z5 dual maintains the same Sony design language, making it distinguishable as a Sony smartphone at first look. The size of the Z5 is actually identical to that of the Z3 and the weight is pretty much the same as well. Though when you take a closer look at the phone, there are changes which can help you spot that this is indeed an Z5 and not an Z3, like the placement of the stereo speakers on the front side. The phone is made of glass on both side and has a metal frame just like its predecessor, the only difference being the backside has now got a matte finish. With each passing model the number of flaps on the phone keeps reducing, the USB charging port has no flap, but it’s waterproof. The sim cards and SD card slots obviously need to be kept safe under a flap on the side. The new power button on the right side also has a fingerprint sensor. The sides of the phone are flat unlike the Z3 which had round sides, but the phone is still good to hold in the hands. The phone is really well built and has a premium feel, and that makes it the best Z series phone till now.
The Z5 sports a 23 MP rear camera, finally a change from the 20.7 MP camera sensors seen ever since the Z1. There is an LED flash as well, though dual LED would’ve been a welcome addition. The camera has 1/2.3 inch sensor with a maximum aperture of f/2.0 which means great low light photos. The autofocus is among the fastest among all smartphones thanks to phase detection autofocus system and the photos come with great natural colors. Although low light photos have noise in auto mode, the manual mode sort of addresses that. The front camera has finally received a bump in resolution, the 2.2 MP camera has now been replaced by a 5.1 MP camera.The letdown is that the front camera takes quite a bit of time to click a picture.The hardware shutter key has been a trademark among Z-series phones and it remains on the Z5 as well which is a delight.
The Z5 sports the same 5.2 inch 1080p IPS LCD panel as on the Z3. The X-reality engine and the Triluminos display means that the phone has a really good display. The display though has improved a lot in terms of brightness and sunlight readability. The contrasts have been improved as well thanks to deeper blacks. The screen is protected by scratch resistant glass with oleophobic coating which keeps fingerprints at bay.
The Z5 dual is powered by Snapdragon 810 octa core chipset and the Adreno 430 GPU. The phone has 32 gb internal storage of which 20 gigs is user available and the SD card slot supports expansion upto 200 GB. The phone comes with 3 gigs of RAM ensuring that the phone runs super smoothly in almost all cases. The SD 810 is dreaded for its heating issues, but the Z5 doesn’t really face much heating issues unless you’re using the camera for extended periods or recording 4K videos which is normal.
The Z5 dual comes loaded with Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) with Sony’s Ui on top. The UI isn’t so heavy and retains a lot of the stock features making it the best proprietary UI you can find in any smartphone. Thanks to this the phone runs smoothly without and lag and you can expect an upgrade to Android 6.0 in the near future.
The Z5 dual has a non-removable 2900 mAh battery, which is actually a step down from the Z3 which had 3100 mAh. The support for quick charging 2.0 is a bonus here though, helping charge to 60% in 30 minutes. The phone gives an average battery life, and will last a day and some on moderate usage. The Stamina mode and power saving modes give the phone good standby times as well. The overall battery life has taken a hit here due to lesser capacity battery.
The Z5 is an Xperia that brings quite a lot of change to an Z series phone in a long time. The camera is great and among the fastest in the market. The processor though is something of a gamble here though you can always drop it in a tub of water if you ever feel it’s overheating. The fingerprint scanner is placed pretty neatly on the power button on the side and the build and design of the Z5 is top notch.