Sony Xperia Z5 Review After 4 Weeks

There is a reason why James Bond won't seem out of place using a Sony Xperia smartphone. The Xperia Z5 has a classic design, is waterproof and the integrated finger print sensor on the side button is straight from the future. Having said that, the Sony Xperia Z5 is a good smartphone that doesn't live up to the Xperia name in terms of battery life and using the camera at night.
by Nicole on October 5, 2015
Positives
  • Classic Sony Xperia Design 
  • Waterproof 
  • High performance 
  • Good sound
  • Matte gorilla glass back feels premium in hand
  • Bright Display
  • Good Camera, fast auto focus for photo taking and video making
Negatives
  • Big Bezels midrange display to body ratio
  • Indented Xperia Logo catches dirt
  • Average Battery Life
  • Gets Hot Quickly
  • Poor Viewing Angles, average panel
  • High Price Tag

There isn’t a Sony handset that I haven’t loved. If you’ve got a Sony & maybe you’ve lost a flap or need an upgrade and your still in love with your phone you’ll love the Z5, but there are a few things that might disappoint will let you down on.

As a fan of the Xperia line, I get that they stuck with the same design language, they fixed the glossy back giving the glass a frosty more refined look and feel leaving the Sony logo shiny. Unfortunately, that’s where my love of their banding ends, the indented Xperia logo doesn’t serve a purpose and since it is recessed it going to get dirty. I’ve actually been calling it the ebola zone. But I guess since it is waterproof I can just wash it. The bezel is still big. If you’re going to keep the same look you need to keep up with the Jones. Curved display’s and super thin bezels are all the rage, if Sony is just going to refine the handset, the screen to body ratio should be better. (69.6% edge+ 76.62 % ) It also creeks a bit which doesn’t really make me feel good.

Sony-Xperia-Z5-Front

They kept a 1080p display, which I approve of and it’s even nice and bright, but it has shitty viewing angles that aren’t even that wide. The brightness and coating make are fine for outdoor viewing, but the panel quality could have been better.

The battery life just isn’t where it used to be, the Z2 & 3 were shocking beasts. As a heavy user I could go almost 2 days. That’s what I loved most about Sony handsets but the Z5 just isn’t living up to the Xperia name. I don’t feel confident going out for a late one without topping up my phone. It feels like it will just get me through the most days but not all days. Having said that, this seems to be the trend with a lot of phones right now, they come with fast charge instead of banging battery life. Personally i’ll take battery life over quick charge..but actually, I don’t know why I can’t have both. Maybe next year.

DSC_0274

Another thing that could improve is the camera and heat sync. Xperia’s have always run hot, so I don’t think this is going to get much better especially since they’ve gone with the Snapdragon 810. The camera is good actually it’s great. They could use a bit of tuning in low light because the noise reduction technology needs some work, but overall the performance is good enough. The 0.03 second autofocus is fast and it’s most noticeable when taking video, that visible pulse isn’t an issue like it is on other devices like the Galaxy series which it also feels faster than. So if you’re big on video, this is a phone that would creep to the top of my list even though it does have Optical Image Stabilization it feels fast like it does.

The Xperia Z5 can take an amazing photo no doubt about it, manual mode helps a lot if you want to take night time shots, the street shot right above is in auto and the water shot to the left is taken with manual. Still not great, nothing like Huawei with their night time mode (but the much more usable than auto).

Sony-Xperia-Z5-Fingerabdrucksensor

Adding on a fast and accurate finger print sensor was a great call, and I like that’s it’s on the side. But it is easier if you have small or mid size hands, people with bigger hands have complained that it’s not as easy to manage. You also have to get used to the fact that you have to push the button to scan your finger, some others you just press your finger on it and it recognizes it to unlock.

Adding to the fact that it’s waterproof has a Micro SD card slot and has DSEE HX technology which helps to upscale low rez audio there are some nice high end surprises tucked away in this 5.2 inch handset. That’s another thing I should praise the Z5 on, they haven’t made the phone too big and avoided the 5.5 inch size that everyone is switching too.

Rating
Design / 8.8
Camera / 7.2
Sound / 9
Performance / 9
Battery Life / 6.5
Software / 8.4
Price / 6
Editor's Choice / 8.5
Hardware / 9.5
Display / 7.5
Sony Xperia Z5

If iteration is the name of the game, Sony fell short, but that doesn't mean that this isn't a decent smartphone. The design is beautiful, it's waterproof and the finger print sensor on the side feels like you're holding Jame Bonds phone. The performance is high end which unfortunately comes at the expense of the battery life. If you're ok with quick changing your device once and a while the camera is competitive and the performance is fast.

8.0
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