Sony Xperia Z5 Review

BUY AT LAZADAWith Sony’s mobile future uncertain, it seems that tth to hit a home run if they want to join the three-way battle with Apple and Samsung. With this goal in mind, the brand recently unveiled three new members of the Sony Xperia family — the Xperia Z5 Compact, the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, and the standard Xperia Z5.

We recently get our hands on the Sony Xperia Z5 and spent a great deal of time getting familiar with it. How does this new smartphone compare to its predecessors? Is this the one that we’ve all been waiting for? We find out in this comprehensive review of the Sony Xperia Z5.


The design of the Sony Xperia Z5 is somewhat similar to its predecessor. It seems that the brand is keeping the iconic Omni-Balance language, albeit with a few updates that help further refine its looks. To be honest, it’s not my favorite smartphone when it comes to design, but it has this premium feel to it, more so than most other smartphones on the market right now.

Around the Z5, there’s a smooth metal frame with frosted glass on the back. In the top left corner of the rear, you’ll find its 23-megapixel camera with it’s LED flash underneath. The phone is slim though it is a little bigger than the Z3+ (aka Z4) at 7.33mm all around though it is pretty lightweight at 154 grams.

The front of the phone sports the 5.2 inch HD display that comes with some decently sized bezels on the top and bottom. Just above it, you will find the front facing camera and a little notification light. There’s also front-facing stereo speakers on the top and bottom, almost hidden to keep the front of the smartphone looking very sleek.

On the right spine, you will see the camera shutter button, the volume rocker, and the power button. Moving to the bottom of the Z5, you will see the micro USB charging point.

On the left spine is where we can find sim card slot and the micro SD card slot. The problem here is that it’s hard to access them — you need to use your nail to undo the flap and then continue using your nail to pull out the thin plastic housing.


These days, flagship devices are moving to QHD, or even 4K in the case of the Xperia Z5 Premium, the Z5 though opts to stick to 1080p. It has a 5.2-inch IPS display that can render 1080 by 1920 resolution, which results in a 428 PPI pixel density. It’s a pretty nice display, and regarding colors, it’s fantastic. Yeah, its display is not bad and outperforms a lot of displays out there in the market when it comes to color representation. But in the some areas, it falls a bit behind.

Performance and Hardware

Just like the Sony Xperia Z3+, the Xperia Z5 is powered bt a Snapdragon 810, backed by the Adreno 430 GPU and 3GB RAM. Other salient features include 32GB internal storage and microSD for further expansion.Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, Bluetooth 4.1, 4G LTE, and NFC. It also offers up a fingerprint scanner, waterproofing, and high-quality front-facing speakers.

Performance wise, it’s ok. However, just like other smartphones powered by Snapdragon processors, it gets a bit hot, even with normal use. When doing more CPU intensive stuff like gaming, it get noticeably hot but no more so than just about any other smartphone we’ve used.

The user interface is smooth, though. It’s lag-free, and I must say that I had a great experience using it for gaming and general performance. One thing I don’t like about this phone is its battery size. It only has a 2900 mAh battery actually being 30 mAh smaller than the Z3+. It’s a good thing that it can last least 4 1/2 to 5 hours of screen on time and that’s with spending a lot of time browsing the web, sending lots of text messages, and taking some pictures all throughout the day.

Overall, the Xperia Z5’s battery is still reliable, and the addition of Quick Charge 2.0, it will allow you to top off the battery quickly for those days when you need an extra oomph to make it through your day.


The Xperia Z5’s camera has been updated as it now comes with 23 MP sensor. Along with this improvement, you’ll find autofocus and LED Flash. However, there is no optical image stabilization onboard. The Z5 is capable of shooting in 23 MP, but for some reason, the camera software seems to be not optimized for it. When comparing a 23 MP shot to an 8 MP shot, the 8 MP shots often times look undoubtedly better. But there are times where 23 MP shots look better, so it just makes things a bit confusing. If you don’t want to mess around with these settings, just stick to 8MP settings. In normal lighting conditions, pictures look awesome! However, the quality of the photos will begin to take a dip in medium-low light conditions. They still look OK, but you will notice some purple creeping into the darker areas of the pictures. The video quality is awesome on the Z5. All are exposed correctly, and 4k is available too! However, when shooting for long periods of time, the phone gets hot. There’s also a lot of camera features and effects like the AR effects, multicamera, face in picture, and many more.


Probably the best thing about Sony’s Xperia Z5 is the software. The Z5 is running Android Lollipop 5.1.1 that actually looks fairly close to the Stock Android. There are lots of new additions here, but not so much as to make stock Android’s designs unrecognizable. For example, you can easily change the clock style on the lock-screen to some different options, and you can rearrange the icons in the notification pull down. Cool eh? You can also choose which icons do you want to appear on the status bar — You can hide the battery percentage or time, just like what you’re capable of doing with Android Marshmallow.

Sony has also added Movie Creator for making movies from your photos, TrackID, Lifelog, Wisepilot, and three Playstation apps — PlayStation, PSN, and PS Video.


Display 5.2-inch 1080p display Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 RAM 3 GB 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

Front: 5MP

Software Android 5.1 Lollipop with Sony UI Battery 2900 mAh Dimensions 146mm x 72mm x 7.3mm, 154 grams

Pricing and Final Thoughts

Here in the Philippines, you can buy the Z5 through retailers or resellers like Lazada, Kimstore, Hot Gadgets, Mr. Dynamic, or E2 Gadgets.

But the question here is.. Is the Sony Xperia Z5 worth buying over it’s predecessor, the Z3+? Well, I must say that there’s not much new here. Yeah, It’s a great smartphone, but it’s still just an incremental update.

There is a fingerprint scanner, front-facing speakers, a new and bigger camera sensor, but it doesn’t make much of a difference. The internal hardware is practically identical. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth upgrading if you already have the Z3+.

That being said, if you are upgrading from an older Xperia or are someone who is looking for a reliable, premium looking smart phone with an enhanced near-stock Android experience, then this Sony Xperia Z5 could be the one for you if you can look past a few shortcomings. ₱ 31,999.


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