Here's the Xperia 5, a more compact flagship bundled with Sony's AirPods alternative

With the unique 21:9 Xperia 1, and its 4K screen, Sony started a new naming scheme for its flagships, marking a watershed moment for its Android phone efforts. At the IFA expo today, it just introduced to us the next effort in the new line, jumping straight to an Xperia 5 notation.

If you are wondering why, one look at the size would tell you. With the Xperia 5, Sony is possibly trying to resurrect its popular Compact line of flagship handsets of yesteryear. Well, we wouldn't call a 6.1-incher exactly small, but these are the times, and thanks to the elongated aspect ratio, it really fits in the palm of your hand as Sony promises.

Sony Xperia 5 design and display

The 6.1" FHD+ Xperia 5 screen is not what one would have considered compact in the days of the 5" or even 4.6" Xperia Compact phones of yesteryear but we are in the era of loving memory when it comes to small-screen phones anyway. 

The 5 has the same unorthodox 21:9 CinemaWide display aspect as the Xperia 1, meaning that it is quite the tall and narrow handset considering the screen diagonal. This also makes it very easy to grasp and operate with one hand due to the narrower footprint, so with these preconditions the phone could be called a compact flagship indeed, and those are few and far between in 2019.

Despite the high IP68 level of water-resistance certification, Sony still managed to equip the Xperia 5 with Dolby Atmos-laden stereo speakers (cough, P30 Pro, cough) for a true cinematic experience on the large 21:9 display. Sony also gave a few easy ways to enter split screen functionality so you can take better advantage of that tall and narrow panel.

Sony Xperia 5 specs

Now off to the specs that make the Xperia 5 a true flagship phone no matter even if you take into account the 1080p display resolution. We are actually happy that Sony didn't go all out with a Quad HD or 4K display on the 5, as its last few Xperias suffered badly in battery life due to the very high pixel count coupled with batteries of average size. '

The Xperia 5 rights those wrongs and still comes equipped with the latest high-end Snapdragon 855 processor and decent 6GB of  RAM plus 128GB storage and a memory card slot. The 3140 mAh battery should suffice for a day out of the handset given the FHD+ resolution of the screen, so we have little to complain about in the specs department.

In addition, Sony has a nice surprise for us in the form of a full DualShock 4 gamepad support, exclusive for the Xperia 1 and 5. While you can connect to your PlayStation 4 controller via Bluetooth on any modern Android, mapping the controller to stroll the interface or play games will be a thing of the future once Android 10 lands for your device. Sony's flagship Xperia can use DualShock 4 controllers out of the box, sweet!

Sony Xperia 5 camera features

This flagship-grade phone has a triple camera set again, just like on the Xperia 1, just tucked in the upper left corner instead of the middle. The three options you are provided with are again super-wide-angle, regular, and telephoto lens for your various shooting needs. Sony boasts about its new BIONZ X algorithm, which allows the Xperia 1's Eye camera to focus super-accurately, super-fast, and even keep said focus as you take a burst photo of 10 frames per second.

All three sensors have a 12 MP resolution, with its main camera having large 1.4 micron pixels and a wide lens aperture of F1.6. On paper, this all allows for more light to enter the sensor, making for better low-light photography.

Aspiring cinematographers can also have some fun with the new Cinema Pro feature, which sports color management presets and allows you to shoot in 4K HDR at FPS in the wide 21:9 format. The shot is steadied through a hybrid system of optical and digital stabilization. We were pleasantly surprised by the image quality when we reviewed the Xperia 1, so we expect no less from the 5.

Sony Xperia 5 camera price, colors and release date

The Sony Xperia 5 will be released in October in black, blue, white and magenta, and in select markets it will be bundled with Sony's award-winning true wireless earphones, the WF1000-XM3 set. The price? Mum's the word on that. Any takers?

Related phones

Xperia 5
  • Display 6.1" 1080 x 2520 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3140 mAh



3. Whitedot

Posts: 818; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

It's funny how PA exaggerated perception of the specs . For instance : "High screen-to-body ratio (80.52 %)" which by today's standards is at best average.

5. User123456789

Posts: 926; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Well ... - Screen % increases with the size when you keep same bezels. 21:9 screens have less area than 19:9, 18:9 and 16:9 with same diagonal. For example 6.5" 21:9 has the area of 5.9" 16:9 ... - other companies say they have X % of screen, but do not discount space taken by notch or hole - dual edge / waterfall increases the %, despite taking from you useful area. The space wasted on Mate 30 Pro and Nex 3 may be more than 14cm2 on the sides.

7. Whitedot

Posts: 818; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

Hole or tear drop notch is basically unintrusive because watching experience does not suffer. However having top and bottom thick bezels for the phone with 21:9 aspect ratio makes and extra finger stretch unnecessary. I, personally wouldn't count part of the screen fall off a screen because it does not contribute to watching experience. I hope waterfalls and curved display trend will day. It is my personal opinion only.

14. romeo1

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

In my experiences the punch hole and notches are very annoying watching content. I'd rather have bigger bezels for holding the phone comfortable.

19. Whitedot

Posts: 818; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

I have Redmi Note 7Pro. tear drop notch is nothing short of delight to hang around. Full screen at best. But hey it's my opinion. If you happy with bezells then fine with me. All I am saying there are ways to combat old school bezels and SONY is very conservative about it.

16. Kloak

Posts: 82; Member since: May 27, 2018

It does, you do watch a video or picture without a part of it or you do leave a black bar to watch it completely.

18. Kloak

Posts: 82; Member since: May 27, 2018

Well the iPhone XS for example has 82.9% of screen to body ratio, its not the best of course but it can definitely be called high for the standards, even phones like the A80 that has to use pop up mechanisms has something like 85 o 86 screen to body ratio, this one has no such things so it can keep stereo speakers and ip rating.

4. Cyberchum

Posts: 1068; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Oh, Sony have a product that goes by "AirPods alternative"? Wow! That's some choice of name. /s

8. Tizo101

Posts: 545; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

They're trying their best to make apple relevant.

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 22109; Member since: May 28, 2014

I’m actually liking everything about this smartphone except the small-ish battery. 3500 mAh should me the minimum for smartphones now, IMO.

11. vuyonc

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

This phone is...not terrible. Though I was really hoping to see a follow up to the XZ3 rather than shrunken Xperia 1. No more front facing speakers and still has a tiny battery by 2019 standards :( Unless they make it dirt cheap, I don't find this interesting yet. My XZ still puts up a fight after 3 years.

13. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I'm on the same boat... just before the XZ I had a Z3 Compact and I was on the edge of ditching Sony because of terrible durability of the Z line glass (digitizer stopped working after a cracked screen)... But the XZ has been a TANK, with several drops to concrete of over 1 meter height. So my faith in Sony has been somewhat restored, however I am in love with the Asus ROG Phone 2 (specs wise) but I don't appreciate the huge dimensions... After my XZ I am seriously considering the Galaxy S10e due to having similar features (flat display, side fingerprint scanner, similar dimensions with bigger display).

17. Kloak

Posts: 82; Member since: May 27, 2018

I did consider it as well, the hole was the only thing pushing me back but then I saw the position of the fingerprint scanner, seriously who could thought that was a good position for it.

12. andrewc31394

Posts: 295; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

is it running Android 10 out of the box? it isn't? then no for me -_-

15. therons

Posts: 59; Member since: Feb 25, 2014

Come on Sony. It is not a compact version. You need to fired your product development department. I don't see any market that you're targeting with this smaller Xperia 1 version. Disappointing.

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