Since 2013, at least twice a year Sony introduces a new generation of its top-of-the-line smartphone . Keeping this tradition, the Xperia Z5 is the company’s new attempt to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace packed with options that combine great processing power and increasingly affordable prices .
To leave the competition behind, the company bets on one of the best photographic sensors on the market. Upgraded hardware is combined with software solutions that privilege battery life , a growing concern among consumers seeking a flagship device.
Other features of the handset are predictable but no less surprising, including the revised Snapdragon 810 chipset, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage capacity – specifications shared by many of Sony’s direct competitors.
Is this enough to justify the official price of R $ 4,299 charged by the company in Brazil? And will the improvements made by the manufacturer warrant an upgrade over the Xperia Z 3+? The answers to these and other questions you discover in another TecMundo superanalysis .
- Operational system
- Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop)
- IPS LCD of 5.2 inches
- Screen resolution
- 1920×1080 pixels (Full HD)
- Density of pixels
- 428 ppi
- Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810
- Quad-core Cortex A-53 1.5 Ghz & quad-core Cortex-A57 2 GHz
- Adreno 430
- RAM memory
- Internal storage
- External storage
- Micro SD up to 200 GB
- Rear camera
- 23 megapixels, with hybrid autofocus of 0.03 sec, LED flash, recording at 4K at 30 frames per second, face detection and paroname mode
- Front camera
- 5.1 megapixels with HDR mode and 1080p video recording
- 2,900 mAh
- WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / a, dual band, WiFi Direct, DLNA, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.1, A2DP and apt-X
- Fingerprint reader, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass and barometer
- IP68 certification for dust and water resistance, scratch resistant glass and oleophobic finish
- 146 x 72 mm
- 7.3 mm
- 154 grams
- Price of launch
- R $ 4,299
The Evolution of the Xperia Z line
Depending on the way you count, the Xperia Z5 can be considered the fifth or eighth model of the line of flagship devices launched by Sony since 2013. The new version of the smartphone maintains the Omnibalance design language, which has received numerous adjustments since its inception Without losing their identity.
The decision of the Japanese manufacturer makes it easy to confuse the new device with its predecessors in a more superficial look. Among the contributing factors is the speed of the company’s launch , a constant complaint even among those who are a fan of the brand.
In visual matter, the main difference of the Xperia Z5 is in its Power button, which stopped to stand out on the side. What justifies the change is the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor in this component – something unheard of for the line – whose goal is to improve authentication processes and increase device security.
The lateral location is good, but the reduced area of the button makes it necessary to have a certain custom until you can unlock the device with ease. When this happens, the process seems to too fast – especially when your only intention is only to turn on the screen phone to check the time, for example.
During our tests, the Sony solution proved to be competent, but a little less practical than the alternatives adopted by other manufacturers. At least as far as fingerprint readers are concerned, the Japanese company’s decision makes it clear why competitors prefer to adopt readers in central areas of their handsets – the larger area of contact resulting makes the interaction process much more pleasurable.
The overall lines of the Xperia Z5 are much more similar to those of Xperia Z 2 than those of Xperia Z 3 or Xperia Z 3+. Despite continuing to bet on rounded edges, a rather pronounced feature in the direct predecessors of the device, Sony opted for A more angular design in its top-of-the-line smartphone , which makes it look even slightly coarse in certain ways.
The decision results in a smartphone that does not slip so easily from the hands – common complaint of the owners of the Xperia Z 3+ – but that brings problems of their own. The main one is the unevenness between the side and the back surface, which bothers greatly and diminishes the feeling that we are dealing with a gadget that should represent the pinnacle of what Sony has to offer in terms of design.
The straight lines, coupled with the use of frosted glass on the back, give the impression that the Xperia Z5 is a product aimed at the corporate world and has little space for fun in its visual. Although this results in a product that is not uncomfortable, the novelty does not fit as well in the hand as the Galaxy S6, Moto X Force or LG G4, which opt for slightly rounded rear finishes.
The new top of the line is resistant to the action of water and dust, a feature that it shares with other models of the Z line. This time, Sony has opted for only one side cover (which protects SIM and micro SD cards), Leaving the micro USB connection and headphone jack unprotected – if your device gets wet, the manufacturer recommends that you wait a bit for these parts to dry before using it again.
The Xperia Z5 has Snapdragon 810, the most powerful chipset in Qualcomm. Combined with 3 GB of RAM, this means that it is very difficult to find some application that the smartphone can not perform very well.
The Sony device is a complete option that serves both to check social networks and read email messages and to take advantage of the latest titles on the market. Even games considered heavier, such as Mortal Kombat X and Asphalt 8, run very well and rarely drop in frame rates per second.
Unfortunately, the Snapdragon 810 continues to get quite hot even with the revisions made by its manufacturer. This becomes clear after a few minutes of game play or after using the 4K resolution recording feature, which has driven the phone to almost 50 ° C.
Overheating did not cause the smartphone to crash during our tests, but it has raised a number of concerns about its safety. After a long gambling session, the central area of the device becomes very hot and takes some time until it returns to normal levels.
To evaluate the Xperia Z5 , we submitted the device to three benchmark tests: 3D Mark (Ice Storm Unlimited), AnTuTu 5 and Vellamo Mobile. In addition, we make comparisons with the Galaxy S6, Xperia Z 3+, Galaxy Note 5, Motorola Moto X Force and HTC One M9.
The presented values should not be interpreted in an absolute way, since benchmark programs do not always reflect the performance of a product in real situations. That way, the displayed score should be treated only as an indicator that gives a rough idea of what to expect from a gadget.
AnTuTu Benchmark 5
AnTuTu Benchmark tests interface, CPU, GPU and RAM. The results are summed up and generate a final score – the larger it is, the better the poppy-plant performance offered.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5: 64,385
Samsung Galaxy S6: 62,741
HTC One M9: 51.693
Xperia Z 3+: 51,022
Xperia Z5 : 50,331
Motorola Moto X Force: 44,030
Vellamo Mobile Benchmark
Vellamo Mobile Benchmark works with two tests: HTML5, which evaluates performance in direct internet access, and Metal, which focuses on the processor . The higher the score associated with a device, the better its performance in each of these categories.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5: 5.075
Samsung Galaxy S6: 5.034
Motorola Moto X Force: 4,600
Xperia Z5 : 4.557
Xperia Z 3+: 4,067
HTC One M9: 2,958
Samsung Galaxy S6: 2,663
Xperia Z5 : 2.264
Xperia Z 3+: 2.229
Samsung Galaxy Note 5: 1,897
Motorola Moto X Force: 1,804
HTC One M9: 1,805
3D Mark (Ice Storm Unlimited)
Highly regarded among gaming enthusiasts, the 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited test is used to make direct comparisons between CPUs and GPUSs. Among the factors that interfere in the result obtained is the display resolution of the device used. The higher the score, the better the performance.
Motorola Moto X Force: 25,755
Samsung Galaxy Note 5: 23.768
Xperia Z5 : 23,420
Xperia Z 3+: 22,693
HTC One M9: 21,847
Samsung Galaxy S6: 21.846
The launch of the Xperia Z5 coincided with the arrival of Android Mashmallow to compatible handsets, but Sony chose to use Android Lollipop on their top-of-the-line smartphone . An upgrade to the new version is guaranteed, but it is strange that the manufacturer has missed the opportunity to offer consumers a more up-to-date system than that used by competitors.
The company bets on small changes to Google’s operating system, evident in the size of icons and folders. The company also brings some proprietary applications, such as your music player and the PlayStation app. Fortunately, the amount of bloatwares is greatly reduced and they do not take up a sizable space of 32GB of storage.
What bothers in the software of the Xperia Z5 is the fact that it presents slowness that is not compatible with his hardware. Transition between screens does not always happen quickly, and some applications take a reasonable time to load.
The biggest problem is that this does not happen consistently. That is, an application that has always opened quickly may become slow without warning, even if the device has just been restarted. The opposite also happens without much warning: a task that was taking a long time to execute could start to work quickly without any indication of the reason that led to such a change.
This leaves the impression that Sony has focused heavily on hardware and left some details of its software aside. Fortunately, this is something that the company can improve in the future with the launch of new firmware and the arrival of the update for Android Marshmallow – however, this is a serious mistake, especially for a top-of-the-line phone .
The Xperia Z5 maintains the 5.2-inch screen with 1080p resolution adopted by Sony since the launch of the Xperia Z 2. This combination works well, presenting content clearly and with a great viewing angle. If you are in an airplane, for example, the person next to you can see the same contents as you without having to force your eyes.
The biggest change made by the manufacturer is the brightness of the display, which now reaches 700 nits. This brings in counterpoint the fact that the device can display colors with a slightly bluish tones, something that should annoy more demanding consumers.
You can work around the problem through the machine’s settings, which allow you to adjust the white level used. This also allows you to decide whether you want to see images in a cooler or hot way, which has a direct impact on the weariness that the user feels in the eyes after long time with the device.
Even considered old by the standards of a rapidly evolving industry, Sony’s Triluminous technology continues to play its part in allowing comfortable viewing of content. At least on screen, the company was right to take a more conservative approach to their new smartphone – the resolution used is far from the largest on the market, but it brings a controlled battery consumption to the advantage .
The Xperia Z5 maintains Sony’s tradition of delivering great battery life with its top-of-the-line smartphone . Used moderately – sending messages, browsing social networks and watching a few videos – the device can spend two days away from the take-up without major problems.
However, the Snapdragon 810 chipset makes the device consume a considerable amount of power when its full potential is demanded. So if you’re used to playing hard or spend a reasonable amount of time watching YouTube content, for example, at least one daily recharge will be required.
The unit has the Stamina and Super Stamina modes, which turn off background processes and guarantee a prolonged use time. Software solutions do not make much difference to their previous incarnations, but they remain one of the best alternatives on the market for times when you need to make sure your battery will last long enough to reach a power source .
In our stress tests, we were able to play approximately 8 hours of online video with screen brightness set to half full. The brand is good and is very similar to what was achieved during our analysis s Xperia Z3+, which has had good results for a product category.
The camera of the Xperia Z5 is the item that most calls attention in the device. The new 23-megapixel Exmor sensor ensures high-quality image registration in any environment and is a competent choice for both the casual photographer and those who require a great deal of control over the way your device operates.
Among the highlights are the new focus system – capable of detecting objects in only 0.03 seconds, according to Sony – which works almost instantaneously and is great for recording moving objects. It is complemented by a sensor that captures the light of the environment very well, greatly reducing the number of situations in which it is necessary to appeal to the flash to illuminate a scene.
Sony also included a series of manual controls that allow discerning photographers to choose ISO, exposure time and even the white balance of a scene. Even in the standard configuration, which generates images of only 8 megapixels, it is difficult not to be surprised by the quality of the device.
Video recording is facilitated by an efficient stabilization system that compensates for the small natural movements made by a person. We should also praise the new application interface released by Sony during our review period , which allows you to switch between different types of recordings and access special effects in a simplified way.
As you can see in our gallery of images, the Xperia Z5 is a versatile solution for the most different types of situations and ambient lighting. While there is still some noise in low-light scenes, the overall performance of the photo sensor is excellent – which does not make surprising rumors that Samsung is interested in using it in the next generation Galaxy S.
However, the qualities of the camera are somewhat impaired by the software used by Sony, which is not always efficient in correctly sensing ambient light – which results in over-exposed captures. In addition, the processing of images takes a considerable time compared to that of devices such as Moto X Play, which makes it difficult to take photos simultaneously.
The Xperia Z5 has stereo sound outputs located on the front that have good audio quality. The unit does not reproduce sounds in an intense way, giving preference to a system that appreciates the clarity of the songs played, although a little bit by the low pronounced bass.
Overall, the device offers a good experience for anyone who wants to play, watch YouTube videos or listen to music indoors. Performance is even better when you use a headset, and the device is compatible with noise canceling solutions manufactured by Sony.
Part of the Xperia Z 2 and Xperia Z 3, SmartBand manufactured by Sony is no longer offered along its most powerful line. The device continues to be a good complement to the Xperia Z5 , but its individual price close to $ 400 is a bit scary – strangely, the company only sells the SWR10 model in Brazil.
The new product is also compatible with SmartWatch 3, a device based on Android Wear launched in 2014. At least for wearables, the manufacturer seems to be re-examining its position in the market and there is no indication that a new gadget of the type is Launched to accompany the top-of-the-line smartphone .
Unlike previous line phones, Sony no longer offers support adapted to the Xperia Z5 . Apparently aware of the low demand for this type of accessory among consumers, it removed from the model the small recess present in predecessors designed to provide a firmer fit with this type of base.
To complete, you can purchase a series of headphone versions produced by the manufacturer that are compatible with your smartphone . However, the company is still not officially making available its noise canceling solution in Brazil, which operates exclusively on Xperia line devices .
The Xperia Z5 is one of the most complete options in the market today for those looking for a device with an excellent camera . Sony’s new Exmor sensor draws attention to flexibility, delivering high-quality images regardless of the lighting currently available.
The device also stands out for its battery . Although the processor Snapdragon 810 consume enough energy, the manufacturer of software solutions make it possible to spend up to two days without a recharge – as long as you do not overdo it when playing electronic games and videos.
The Omnibalance design language continues to be functional, but it may be time for the manufacturer to risk new ideas. The bet on an uneven side edge with the back compromises comfort in the use of the device, even making it less slippery than the Xperia Z 3+.
The software, however, does not always present the expected performance of the powerful hardware, showing slowness at some moments for no apparent reason. Nor does it contribute to the fact that, even acting discreetly, Sony continues to use modifications that do not do much to enhance the basic Android experience.
However, it is the price that should prevent the Xperia Z5 from gaining the prominence it deserves. For the suggested R $ 4,299, you can buy two units of the Xperia Z 3+ and still have the money to invest in some accessories – or to buy a top of the line product from the competition.
Not even the excellent camera and good hardware justify this value, which is simply too high for any smartphone – not even Apple, known for the high prices sprayed, reaches such a point. For comparison purposes, it is possible to purchase an iPhone 6s with 64 GB of storage by what is charged by the new smartphone of the Japanese manufacturer.
While the trend is likely to slow down over time, Sony’s bet on more moneyed consumers should turn against it, which again seems to have lost the opportunity to win new fans with this great release .
FAQ – Questions and Answers
1. Is battery management as good as previous generations?
Yes, the Xperia Z5 maintains the same Stamina and Ultra Stamina features present in previous generations of the line produced by Sony. They turn off some non-essential features in order to extend batteryusage time , which usually only needs to be recharged after two days of moderate use.
2. Is the waterproof feature really good?
The manufacturer decided to be a bit more clear about this feature than in the past, stating that the device is water resistant but that it is not recommended to intentionally submerge it. In addition, the company also states that it is necessary to wait until the smartphone dry before using it again to avoid problems.
3. Has the audio quality of the speaker improved or deteriorated compared to the previous model? Have the bass been strengthened?
The quality of audio playback remains similar to that of the Xperia Z 3+. Sony tends to opt for systems that operate more evenly, which means that bass tones, though slightly emphasized, do not come out very prominently.
4. In relation to the camera , does it really deserve to be in the top spot in the DoXMark ranking?
Although our test methods are slightly different from those used by DoXMark, we must agree with them that the camera of the Xperia Z5 is excellent. However, as we pointed out in our analysis , the software used by the manufacturer has some limitations that do not match very well with the good hardware used.
5. I have the Xperia Z 2 and wanted to know the Xperia Z5 is as slippery as it?
No, Sony solved this problem by adopting a side edge that was generally uneven compared to the glass back panel. In this way, the device no longer tends to slip easily from different surfaces.
6. Is the biometric reader well accessible?
Yes, the lateral positioning makes it easy to access the fingerprint reader. However, Sony’s decision makes the data reading area a bit small and may take a while until you get used to the finger placement needed to unlock your smartphone .
7. Has the Snapdragon 810 been domesticated or is it still hot?
The revised Snapdragon 810 present in the Xperia Z5 does not have the overheating problems of the initial model, but can also be considered a processor that runs at high temperatures. During our tests, the heating did not cause blockages, but temperatures above 40 ° C scared.
8. With the announcement that Sony made about launching new smartphone s in early 2016, is it still worth investing in the Z5?
As we concluded in our analysis , the fairly high price charged by the smartphone in Brazil and the relative lack of evolution compared to previous models greatly hurt the Xperia Z5 . At the moment, investing in Xperia Z 3+ or Xperia Z 3 still results in better value for money.