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Sony Flagship XPERIA Z5 Review

Veteran

I have been an admirer of Sony Xperia products, although I cannot call myself a fan yet, as frankly, I never own any Xperia product before. I still remembered the great design of very early smartphones by Sony, Xperia X1 and X2. They were one of the most stylish Windows Mobile that time. Sony has kept its great design for Xperia model. So, when Starhub offers me to review the latest flagship from Sony, Sony XPERIA Z5, I directly accept the offer, like a small kid gets a candy offer Smiley Happy.

 

I will not bore you with the technical specification. You can find full specifications at Sony XPERIA Z5 official page.

 

Design

20151121_132647.jpg

 

This is another well-built, well-design, classy flagship device from Sony. The unit I review has gorgeous gold color with all metal frame and rounded corner. It has unique Sony design which you can tell just by looking at phone. It is waterproof which charging port is now uncovered (IP65 and IP68 rating), so you should not worry to use this under rain etc, but I do not think we can use this for swimming or under shower (hmm, I wonder who will use smartphone for swimming or showering).

 

It has minimalist design with only power, volume and camera buttons at the right, audio jack at the top, charging/usb port and strap hook at bottom and sim and micro SD card slot at left. I personally like the phone with dedicated camera button.

 

However, there are few areas I do not really like:

  • The back is too slippery. During first few days, I almost drop the phone while holding and texting with one hand. This will not be a problem if you use cover, which usually the case for such flagship device.
  • No capacitive navigation buttons. This is subjective, but I actually prefer dedicated navigation button like in Galaxy S6 or Note 5.
  • Wide screen bezels. I do not understand why there is a need for such a big space at bottom of the phone, as there are no capacitive navigation buttons anyway.

 

20151121_134639.jpgDisplay

Xperia Z5 has 5.2" FHD 1080p (1920 x 1080) display with pixel density of 423 ppi, X Reality for Mobile, Triluminos technology and Dynamic Contrast Enhancer (frankly, I have no idea what those area x_x). The screen is also scratch resistant with gorilla glass. Overall, it has a beautiful display with sharp color, as usually found in typical flagship devices. Auto brightness also works well.

 

Battery

Sony mentions Xperia Z5 should have two days battery life with quick charge capability. The later is true as the phone charges quickly, but I cannot see how the phone can survive two days, as I usually end the day with only 20-30% power left under normal usage (not even with heavy game). I also find the phone gets hot sometimes, especially with location/gps turned on. The battery is also not removable.

 

It still uses the normal micro usb, not USB-C type yet, so you can still keep your typical USB cable. There is still no wireless charging yet (I am bit confused, my Lumia Wireless Charging pad light actually blinks when I put Z5 on top, but it does not get charged). 

 

Fingerprint Scan

Most of recent flagship smartphone has fingerprint sensor feature, which is usually placed at home button (e.g. iPhone or Samsung Galaxy). Sony puts it at power button, which I actually personally prefer. As the button is on the side, it is natural to hold the phone, press power, and scan your finger at the same time.  It is fast to recognize your finger and unlock the device, although it still has same problem as most other fingerprint  scanner in the market, e.g. sweat, water, or slighly dirty finger will not be recognized. However, I do not usually get my finger scanned successfully at first time.

 

Camera

Sony has always highlights great features of their camera. Yes, Xperia Z5 camera is still amazing, with 23 MP camera 2160p at 30fps for back camera, and 5 MP for front camera. The auto focus now have been improved and might be one of the best in the market. What it means is that picture should be taken at its best as fast as you press the camera button (on screen or physical button). The front camera should be enough for you to take nice selfies.

 

Some of the pictures I have taken with only default settings:

 

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DSC_0042.JPG

 

Unique to Xperia

Similar to other Android devices, Sony has its own Android customization to differentiate its phone from other Android phones. I personally find the skin is OK with elements unique to Xperia phones, although there is nothing amazing or extraordinary.

 

 

Below are some screenshots of Sony own Android skin.

 

Screenshot_2015-11-21-14-21-43.pngScreenshot_2015-11-21-14-21-36.pngScreenshot_2015-11-21-14-22-00.png

 

There are few apps for Xperia user only, e.g. Xperia Lounge, which is Sony own curated apps for offers (similar to Galaxy Life), news, music, movies, apps & games, etc. Sony gives 3 credit to watch free movies with Privilege Plus App.

 

Screenshot_2015-11-21-14-33-23.pngScreenshot_2015-11-21-14-39-21.png

 

For Sony Playstation users, there is also dedicated app. As I am not PS user, I cannot say much about this app. And, fortunately, Sony is not so strict, you can remove most bundled apps that you do not like or use.

 

Verdict

As Android users, there are so many great choice of smartphones with variety of prices, size, design, and manufacturers. If you have been using Sony smartphones or plan to get one, Xperia Z5 is great smartphone to choose from. It has well built design, beautiful display, and great camera, although the price is ... on the higher side.