Sony Xperia Z5 ReviewSony Xperia Z5 7
Unlike some of its competitors (cough-Samsung-cough-LG), Sony isn't used to flooding the market with products. It likes to take its time and come up with just a few handsets each year: one or two budget phones here, a couple of mid-rangers there, and, if it's a new James Bond movie kind of year – a heavy-hitting flagship for enthusiasts.
Well, what do you know! Agent 007 is back, and so is Sony with a brand new flagship: the Xperia Z5.
We've waited long enough for the Z5, and now, it's time to see if Sony really has something to serve that's not already on the table.
Timeless design with compromised execution.
Certain forms, certain shapes, cannot go out of fashion. And in that line of thought, the Sony Xperia Z5's rectangular shape continues to stand the test of time. It's strict, classy… and different. Very few are the handsets that dare go fully rectangular, and for that reason, the Xperia Z5's shape continues to be recognizable, unique even.
The proportions of the front are almost right, but the upper bezel is ever so slightly higher than the bottom one, so its look is not exactly perfectly balanced. And while that slight imperfection in the appearance may not prove to break the deal for most, the dangerously sharp edges of the Z5's frame probably will. As soon as you hold Sony's latest creation in hand, an unexpected and unprovoked sensation of a sharp object scratching against your skin will take you by surprise. Holding the Xperia Z5 is not a pleasant thing to do unless you put a case on it, so we can't help but wonder how Sony let such an obvious design flaw slip past.
The back panel is now made of what Sony calls “frosted glass”. It's basically glass with a matte finish to it, instead of the typical glossy one. It feels very similar to the glass track pad of a MacBook. Its advantage is that it picks up almost no fingerprints, so it always looks relatively clean. Unfortunately, it's also extremely slippery (unlike glossy glass), making us feel unsure if we prefer it that way.
The peculiarities never end with the Xperia Z5's design. If you take a closer look at the images, you'll notice the weird positioning of the volume keys, which are below (not above) the power key on the right hand side. This position doesn't make the buttons any easier to reach or use. In fact, it made them more inconvenient for us. One the plus side, Sony is keeping the two-step camera shutter key, and this one works very well.
And while we're on the topic of buttons – the power key is now also a fingerprint scanner. When it comes to speed and accuracy, it's pretty decent, but its positioning and impact on the seamlessness of the user experience are less than ideal. The button itself doesn't protrude from the surface, and doesn't click reassuringly enough, which is to say it could be designed better.
146 x 72 x 7.3 mm
5.43 oz (154 g)
143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
4.87 oz (138 g)
148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)
138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)
An extraordinarily bright display with so-so color balance.
5.2 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels, IPS LCD... Sony has to be congratulated for not playing the specs game and sticking with this resolution, because in no way is the Xperia Z5's screen harder to read, in comparison to the 1440 x 2560 screens out there.
Color balance and accuracy, on the other hand, are areas where Sony should have tried a bit harder. The screen has a significant blue tint, taking some of the life away from images. It's not too bad, though, plus Sony is kind enough to let us adjust display color balance from the settings, meaning there's a way to get a more natural-toned image.
Outdoor visibility is excellent with the Sony Xperia Z5. The handset achieves maximum brightness of about 670 nits, which is enough to outshine almost any other phone of that caliber. Meanwhile, the lowest brightness point is at 4 nits, which makes the screen comfortable for bedtime reading.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Sony Xperia Z5||672
|Samsung Galaxy S6||563
|Apple iPhone 6s||554
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Samsung Galaxy S6||56.1%
|Apple iPhone 6s||82.9%
|Sony Xperia Z5||83.9%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
1. SonyOwner (Posts: 87; Member since: 21 Aug 2015)
PA really dislike any phone released by Sony.
This phone deserve 9.5
The best design, very good display, excellent camera, very good battery life.
Anything you could ask for a smartphone is in the Xperia Z5.
5. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2454; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)
PA Has Been Crazy This Year. Cause They Liked Sony's Phones In The Past The Z3, Z3c, Z2, Z1, Z1c All Got Good Scores From PA. All 9+ Except For The Z3 That Scored 8.5.
131. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
The Z3 was an amazing phone, the Z5 chugs though. I blame the SD810. Seems like they throttled the crap out of it for the Z5 because of the Z3+ Backlash.
217. sgodsell (Posts: 3610; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)
What the hell are you talking about. The Z5 is fast and has no problems with any tasks. I found no slow downs what so ever on the Z5.
250. Busyboy (Posts: 553; Member since: 07 Jan 2015)
PA, I didn't swear nor did I insult anyone, so why was my comment deleted? Don't want the truth to go out perhaps?
Deleted comment: This is what happens when you're not paid to review a phone.
304. DSP96 (Posts: 19; Member since: 13 Oct 2015)
No. The z5 doesn't overheat, nor is it throttled down. Sony remedied the issue by adding bigger heatsinks to the processor, and it does the job of keeping the phone cool. That's the reason that the z5 is thicker than the z3+. But, I would still have the z3, because it is a solid device, and even though the z5 might have good battery life, the z3 still has the better battery life, and the 64 bit apps haven't dominated their 32 bit counterparts yet. By the time that day comes, we might as well have the xperia z6 or z7 maybe, which might raise the bar even higher
228. aBoss (Posts: 105; Member since: 15 Sep 2014)
Sony does it the best. Just look at how they did the finger print scanner. Perfect placement. Sony is the king of design, software, camera and battery life.
I just read these to laugh. I mean look at the cons "Sharp edges" lol the phone is the same design as the other xperia yet you only judging that now? clowns
254. cheetah2k (Posts: 1573; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)
The fingerprint scanner is perfect - until your phone is on the desk and you try to unlock it while its sitting on the desk... Sounds like king of fail to me LOL
262. whoami_amiu (Posts: 10; Member since: 22 Aug 2013)
And why would anybody want to use their phone not 'in their palms' and only on the desk?
You lazy azz! You so lazy you dont even wanna pick your phone up!
303. DSP96 (Posts: 19; Member since: 13 Oct 2015)
If they would want to use the phone on the desk and not in their palms, then they will run into a bigger problem with the nexus 5x and 6p, which keep the scanner on the back.
275. eliasxlfc (Posts: 3; Member since: 16 Nov 2015)
You can just Register your index finger and it will work perfectly fine, I was also worried about this first, but I have a Z5 and it is not a Problem. :)
10. hanabi (Posts: 177; Member since: 08 Oct 2015)
a lot of people dislike any pone released by sony that's why its sales is very low .. let's admit it
15. jellmoo (Posts: 1575; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
Orrrrr it could have more to do with terrible marketing, coupled with carrier exclusivity in most regions (if you are even able to pick one up in your region).
104. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
it's not called disliking. it's more of "can't afford."
128. Commentator (Posts: 3681; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Yet they can afford iPhones and Samsung flagships?
222. greyarea (Posts: 176; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)
I think the point is those phones can be subsidized vs paying full retail up front.
293. phichart (Posts: 275; Member since: 03 May 2014)
sony phone are not that expensive.. yes.. their services are super suck... and the sold water proof phone but that's not waterproof... I had Z2 and Z3 they both are not waterproof... I will never buy Sony Phone again..
253. cheetah2k (Posts: 1573; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)
"Unlike some of its competitors (cough-Samsung-cough-LG), Sony isn't used to flooding the market with products. It likes to take its time and come up with just a few handsets each year"
Wait? What? Sony do flood the market!!. They have a 6 month cycle and last time I looked they have released the Z5 Premium, Z5, Z5compact, Z3, Z3 compact, C5, C4, M4, E4 & E so far this year..
This alone just shows how out of touch Phone Arena is at the moment... get a grip guys
17. nightsoft (Posts: 6; Member since: 31 Mar 2013)
I don't know. Personally this phone has quite a few appealing aspects, but the camera needs some work and the speakers/heaphone power output is not impressive at all.
Points to the fact it has water/dust resistance and a 1920x1080 screen (smart IMO), decent battery life and an SD slot, but it has a few weaknesses that they should have addressed long ago.
So I would say, though the score IMO is a bit low, at best the phone deserves an 8.
74. hellbread (Posts: 309; Member since: 21 Nov 2014)
Camera need some work?
You know this is best camera atm on any phone acording to Dxo?
In Gsm arena blind test in beat s6 and 6s.
Here you come to read news, dont look reviews, especialy camera reviews.
81. SamsungEU (Posts: 147; Member since: 29 Dec 2014)
In the ip6vs s6 vs z5 "Monster Brawl" the z5 won only the 1080 video test , in all the other tests nearly scored last of the bunch
147. T-rex (unregistered)
did you even read that review? Z5 beat your beloved rotten fruit and S6 in four categories, fair and square. 6s won in two and s6 won in only one category
191. ogee4life (Posts: 105; Member since: 12 Apr 2014)
That's a gsmarena rating, samsung's no 1 fan. You expect them to rate anything Sony as tops? they have never rated a sony product as tops and they were very disappointed with the blind camera comparison they did that most people voted Sony as no 1. They couldn't even hide their displeasure by making a statement that it is clear how most people were able to pick the Sony with its wider field of view. How can a site that's supposed to stay neutral in a blind camera comparison make such a comment? They were very annoyed with the result and immediately released their monster brawl so as to wipe out what they don't like. So don't get carried away with a biased review, they took off the blind camera results fast from headlines but left the monster brawl up for weeks.
108. JoshuaDK (Posts: 16; Member since: 08 May 2014)
DxOMark might say it has the best camera, but they were probably on drugs or maybe there is a different software/firmware in the Z5 vs. Z5 Compact, because the pictures I take has blurred edges and in some cases my Samsung G6Edge+ takes better and sharper pictures. Though the Z5c takes amazing night-shots and if the light is right the pictures are sharp and perfect, but too often the edges are blurry.
109. Busyboy (Posts: 553; Member since: 07 Jan 2015)
The Z5c only has this issue, and only few devices are affected. Go on reddit, no one with the Z5 has the issues you mentioned, and DXOmark did review the Z5 only.
133. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
DXO mark just measures the sensor performance. Where Sony and Google usually fail is the firmware.
178. ogee4life (Posts: 105; Member since: 12 Apr 2014)
You don't have the phone, thanks for trolling attention seeker. We should trust your opinion instead of dxo mark right? Nobody knows you, nobody knows if you own a z5 or any other Sony phone for that matter but we should rate your opinion as top notch while dxo mark should be discarded cause they clearly were on drugs. Well done, you deserve a round of applause.
180. ogee4life (Posts: 105; Member since: 12 Apr 2014)
Watch this and and see what an unbiased review is, i have so many others i can send to you from all over the world.
207. mhixtian (Posts: 5; Member since: 03 Mar 2014)
oh ok.. DXOmark are lairs and are on drugs, and we should believe you because???
268. adrianeds (Posts: 14; Member since: 18 Oct 2014)
Funny you should say that about DxOMark, when they are the industry standard in camera technology. Our company will never take their advice on camera technologies again, you're the expert for us from now on.
176. Djz89 (Posts: 308; Member since: 25 Aug 2014)
I dont get it, I take nice photos with my z5c, gsmarenas blindtest z5 won, dox gave it the best score and a photo competition in my country the z5 gave some excellent results, but still some of the photos I've seen in some test is horrible. I noticed that the OTA improved the camera and over all preformence. I find this big gap in different test quit confusing tbh.
220. FYLegend (Posts: 18; Member since: 05 Sep 2013)
DxO only tests certain criteria in a studio setting. Canon fanboys hate it because they seem to give lower ratings to Canon cameras and higher ratings to Nikon and Sony cameras (Nikon uses Sony sensors as well).
149. T-rex (unregistered)
what's with this headphone power output? most people get it completely wrong. I had a 2012 XPeria T and it had lower volume than the Zs and still I would have to lower the volume levels because the full volume was simply unbearable. that's how loud it was. so don't go by these numbers. yes it has lower volume levels than other flagships but it's still more than enough for your pleasure.
226. mixedfish (Posts: 1176; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)
It's such a moot test 'power', I don't know why phonearena thinks power output is a good test, because as far as I know PA is only website ever to rank quality solely on volume, everyone else uses frequency curves LOL.
Literally like serving patrons at a bar wine when they asked for beer, but telling them it's the same thing since it's all alcohol.
260. T-rex (unregistered)
True. of all the phones I have tested so far for audio, Sony has the best sound with deep lows and a totally immersive experience. once you start listening to music on it, you just can't stop listening. I have seen iphone 5, Samsung phones, LG G2 and Chinese phones, and nothing comes close to Sony (I don't know about HTC though)
283. FYLegend (Posts: 18; Member since: 05 Sep 2013)
I'm considering getting the Z5 but what's holding me back is the low power output, even if the sound quality is good. I have the HTC Butterfly s which has the same headphone output voltage as the Z5. At the time the M7 had a much higher voltage. I bought into GSMArena's claim that the audio quality was excellent for the Butterfly s with very loud volume, but when I tried it, at the highest volume levels there is a distortion with bassy and clipped tracks. Audio quality is great at volume level 12/15 and below, but there is quite a bit of hiss with IEMs. HTC's other phones are said to be excellent and PhoneArena's tests show very high voltage outputs. The Z5 probably doesn't have the distortion problem but the volume will be lower and many users have reported hissing. GSMArena said the volume levels were only slightly above average and that there was some stereo crosstalk and distortion; nothing to severe though.
I would like a phone with good audio quality as well as stereo speakers an a good camera, but so far this year the Z5 is the only one I think is decent. I'm also concerned about the left lens blur problem many users have complained about.
26. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4830; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
Why does Sony make killer camera sensor yet they can't make a good camera on their flagship phones? To me that's just like a kick to the balls, no matter how you take it, it WILL bring you to your knees.
To me this is probably the only reason why I have never bought a Sony Xperia Z phone. Trust me design wise this phone is uber sexy but the camera, that camera is always the back breaker. It's like Bane comes every time a new Xperia Z phone comes out & breaks it's back.
Sony I secretly root for you, but you only deliver when it comes to your PlayStation.
39. Busyboy (Posts: 553; Member since: 07 Jan 2015)
I think you need to check out other reviews on different websites. I mean, GSMarena had a blind shootout between the S6, 6s and Z5, and the Z5 won. Pretty larger margin too.
59. maherk (Posts: 3705; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
DoXMark even said that it is the best camera phone they have ever tasted.
I would definitely take their word over any other website.
76. pooma (Posts: 59; Member since: 01 Oct 2015)
do u think droid turbo 2 camera is better than g4 as listed in DxOMark? DxOMark is not as reliable as u think
98. rsiders (Posts: 909; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)
They are a joke spewing out numbers and opinions that to some degree don't reflect in actual results. I put all the blame on Sony's camera division. Everyone else is outpacing them in image quality using their sensors.
129. Commentator (Posts: 3681; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
I haven't tried tasting a smartphone camera. What does the Z5 taste like?
28. maherk (Posts: 3705; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
Front facing stereo speakers, water resistant, buttery smooth UI, quick updates.
iPhoneArena has lost it. They used to camouflage their bias towards Apple, but they don't care anymore, plus they know such low ratings will bring on more clicks to their reviews.
54. dimas (Posts: 2122; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)
They gave it 7 because it doesn't have an apple logo on it. Place a silver fruit and it will rate 200 out of 10. 150 out of 10 if it's samsung.
83. enzo357 (Posts: 2; Member since: 10 Nov 2015)
exactly. they want Sony to pay them for review kike the two you mention
86. insyt (Posts: 49; Member since: 16 Sep 2015)
True. Own a Z5 compact and the only negative I can pick out is the durability of the glass. The frosted effect does look great tho and its holding up well so far with no screen protection. A USB type C would have being as well. All other aspects are great and work really well. The phone even heats less than a regular S6 with the latest based on real life tests.
29. zeeBomb (Posts: 2080; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)
Jesus Ray S....A 7 out of 10? "An eptiome of why camera specs don't matter much"??? I almost stopped reading, but I think I may need to sleep again!
I hope the Z5C doesnt score like this as well. John V or whoever better give it a 8.2 or and 8.5+
218. ibend (Posts: 4541; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)
no. Z5C will be 6.9 because Z5 still better than Z5C..
and Z5P will get 7.1 because its better than Z5..
all of it will get score lower than 7.5 because its sony and now is 4th (apple) quater, deal with it lol
and DxO is better place about camera quality review, while AA and GSMA is better place to get less biased android review
31. Odeira (Posts: 242; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
Its camera performs WORSE than a Galaxy S6 or an iPhone 6S for that matter.
It overheats like crazy and thus performance suffers.
It has absolutely AVERAGE specs, unimpressive battery longevity, and barren software.
If you think THIS average and unexemplary of a smartphone should get a 9.5, what then should the Galaxy S6? 18/10? iPhone 6S gets a 20? Like the Tesla that broke Consumer Reports testing scores? PLEASE be realistic with your expectations!
35. maherk (Posts: 3705; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
I wouldn't say it deserves 9.5, but definitely not a freaking 7!!
It is an 8.5 device, easily.
I am yet to see a review claiming that the Z5 overheats. And sure it's camera needs some tweaking, and the images are slightly behind those captured by the S6 and 6s, but calling it WORSE(with capital letters as well) make it sound as if the camera sucks.
Battery life is average, but that can be fixed with an OTA update, just like Samsung did with my old S6 Edge and now the Note 5.
It got 7 strictly because it isn't a Samsung or Apple.
Just don't forget all the love LG phones used to get when LG used to sponsor this website, and how harsh they have been on LG since they don't sponsor them anymore.
BiasArena should be their new name.
40. Odeira (Posts: 242; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
No offence here, but you are the biased one in this conversation.
First impressions count, and even sure OTA updates can fix SOME elements of the device that falters, the fact of the matter is the device was exceedingly average and unexemplary when it's first released, and that is what people will remember it for.
Also, the camera really IS inferior to the class leading cameras of Galaxy S6 and Note, iPhone, and even LG V10! And Sony has had THREE years to improve the software and image processing of the Z class with nearly similar hardware, and they DIDN'T. It still is behind Samsung, Apple, even LG. Combine that with the underwhelming performance and how Sony delivered overall with this device, and it's a surprise it even maintained that 7...
45. maherk (Posts: 3705; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
Man everyone on this site know that Sony phones aren't my thing, but giving the Z5 a 7 is beyond crazy.
219. ibend (Posts: 4541; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)
(OOT) but how did u always get 3 thumb up?
from 3 of your clones? :-/
247. ogee4life (Posts: 105; Member since: 12 Apr 2014)
You are entitled to your opinion no matter how baseless and irrelevant really.
266. mrcarbon (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Nov 2015)
I don't know what Z5 you've been looking at (probably not even looked at one!) but it's certainly not one anything similar to one I've got. I go through a lot of phones and love the Z5 - like most of the people here I find bizarre why so many review sites quite obviously play it down for no good reason - a couple of sites.even got some spec facts wrong which shows how closely they looked at it! I had a Samsung S6 - it's a beautiful phone looks wise but it constantly overheated, crashed or froze and the battery life in the real world was shocking. Needless to say it didn't last long before I sold it.
48. dimas (Posts: 2122; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)
Camera is great. Sharp and only having issues on low light which I really don't care. I prefer my z5's color reproduction than S6. Doesn't overheat at all and only gets warm when I play games. After the stage fright update, camera opens fast and multitasking is smooth. Battery lasts around 1.5 days on moderate use with wifi, skype and viber always open with two hours of asphalt 8. Z5 is 10 for me but that's my personal opinion.
82. insyt (Posts: 49; Member since: 16 Sep 2015)
Comparing a S6 to a Z5 compact using latest in real life, the S6 gets warmer. It also lacks water protection and an SD slot. The battery life will never be better than a Z5 no matter what PA says. The screens and camera are on par unless you looking at them really closely.
110. Odeira (Posts: 242; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
The camera is inferior (software processing ruins it, and Sony has for THREE YEARS,) for gaming the S6 CPU is still better and superior, and yes Samsung compromised with the 6 over the 5 badly, but Samsung actually DELIVERED with a true upgrade and what an "upgrade" actually means over the previous generation, Sony has not at ALL - there is essentially NO tangible reason to get this over the Z3 from last year, whereas there is a justifiable reason to get the S6 over the S5...
|Display||5.2 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (424 ppi) IPS LCD|
Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A57 and ARM Cortex-A53 processor
3 GB RAM
|Size||5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 inches|
(146 x 72 x 7.3 mm)
5.43 oz (154 g)
|Battery||2900 mAh, 13.16 hours talk time|