Sony Xperia Z5 Compact hands-on


A year after Sony announced the Xperia Z3 Compact mini flagship, the Japanese company is ready for a refresh of its line of small, but extremely powerful devices. Like the Xperia Z3 Compact, the Z5 Compact also skips ahead, leapfrogging the Z4 moniker, but that (once again) doesn't mean that it's a vastly superior model than what Sony already has on the market — at least not on paper. We managed to get our hands on the exciting Z5 Compact during Sony's event at IFA 2015, and we're ready to share our first impressions. Let's go!

Design


If you were hoping for a 180 in Sony's design, the Xperia Z5 (along with its friends, the Z5 and the Z5 Premium) will disappoint you. Indeed, we're still looking at decidedly Sony devices paying respect to the company's OmniBalance design philosophy. In all, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but we've got to admit that Sony's handsets are starting to feel a bit stale.

In any case, it's not all same old, same old in terms of design, and the Z5 Compact arrives packing a fingerprint scanner nestled within the power button available on the right. From the little time we spent using it, the sensor proved to be a more than adequate implementation with good sensitivity and high success rate, though tactical feedback left something to be desired.

Finally, as we've come to expect from Sony devices, the 8.9 mm-thick Z5 Compact is well-protected against the elements, featuring IP68 certification, meaning that it's water- and dust-resistant.

Display


At some point during pre-production, Sony must have decided that it's perfectly happy with the 720p display of the Z3 Compact, so, naturally, the Z5 Compact doesn't improve in this regard — at least on paper. Indeed, we've still got a 4.6-inch, 720 x 1280 pixel resolution IPS LCD display that we reserve the right to properly test before labeling it as good or bad (or mediocre!).

Processor and memory


Sony might have skipped on display improvements, but it obviously felt that the Z5 Compact ought to continue the mini line's legacy of providing top-notch performance. To that end, we're looking at a 64-bit, octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor by Qualcomm, coupled with an Adreno 430 GPU and 2GB of RAM. Obviously, it'll be interesting to see if the temperamental Snapdragon 810 will behave itself.

As for storage, potential buyers will have the chance to get their hands on up to 32 gigs built-in, though a microSD card slot remains available, so you can go wild if you're the kind that like to bring their DVD collection with them when on the go.

Camera


Another area of seeming improvement is the main camera, which has been bumped to 23 megapixels, up from 21 megapixels. The package apparently includes a sensor that is exclusive to Sony, hidden underneath a wide, f/2.0 lens. As for the selfie snapper up front, users will have a 5.1-megapixel unit at their disposal. 

Thankfully, Sony didn't leave it at just that, and is also introducing an updated camera app, the highlight of which is that we'll finally be able to shoot in full resolution whilst inside Intelligent Auto mode. This is a departure from the company's philosophy of old, which limited the mode to using just 8 megapixels, and we can't help but wonder how well it'll do out in the real world.

Expectations


The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact packs a 2,700 mAh battery, Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, and comes in black, white, yellow, and "coral". These specifics round off the list of already impressive hardware specs, though we can't really argue that this is some kind of revolution. At most, the Z5 Compact brings evolutionary improvements to the table, and we'll reserve a final verdict until after we've had the opportunity to spend some more quality time alone with the mini super-phone. Until then, sit tight with us and ponder over the device's as of yet unannounced price and release date.


Related phones

Xperia Z5 Compact
  • Display 4.6" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 23 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2700 mAh(14.8h 3G talk time)

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31 Comments

1. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Sd810 And A 720p Screen Interesting. Benchmarks Should Be Great And Having Less Pixels To Push Would Make You Think It Might Not Have Any Heating Issues At All. Cant Wait To Find Out.

5. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Screen res won't play any part in whether the 810 will over heat or not, if it did, then all the QHD phones with 810's would be over heating more than 1080p phones with 810. And that isn't the case. Personally I would have preferred Sony went with Snapdragon 805 and 1080p screen, why? well the Nexus 6 has the 805 and a QHD screen and yet it can out perform 810 powered devices with only 1080p screens. The 810 is a terrible terrible chip. Having said all that, I really hope Sony managed to do something with the heat/performance/throttling issues of the 810. I still plan on purchasing one of these on release.

10. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

805 Can't Out Perform The 810

14. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

805 could beat the early 810, eg the Nexus 6 (805 & QHD) runs smoother & out benchmarks early 810 devices like the G Flex 2 (810 & 1080p).http://www.antutu.com/en/view.shtml?id=8008 from Arstechnica: "the 810 throttles more than most, and it's severe enough that the 810 is actually slower than the 801 or 805 in some CPU-bound tasks over the long haul."http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/04/in-depth-with-the-snapdragon-810s-heat-problems/ From Androidauthority: "v2.1 adds some minor improvements to the Snapdragon 810’s GPU and memory performance, but the revision doesn’t appear to have completely addressed CPU throttling" http://www.androidauthority.com/qualcomm-snapdragon-810-v2-617956/

15. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Given the history Sony had with the Z3+/Z4 overheating, I would have preferred to see the 805 or 808. But hey, maybe Sony have managed to get the 810 to behave this time round, fingers crossed.

17. murron

Posts: 162; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

There IS no phones with sd810 and quad hd except the Xperia Z4v!

23. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Actually there are plenty of QHD/SD810 devices other than the Z4v, there is also the Letv One Max, the Letv One Pro, the ZTE Axon, and the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro just to name a few.

27. murron

Posts: 162; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

Alas, the PA "phone finder" failed me..

2. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Sort those bezels out

6. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Agree, I was hoping we would see some slim side bezels like what Sony did with the C5 Ultra.

3. ddxmms

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 09, 2012

what kind of glass did sony use for front and back ?

4. JaroB

Posts: 112; Member since: Feb 13, 2013

front Dragontrail back ? Z2 back Gorila Glass 3

7. ferretsama

Posts: 32; Member since: Nov 27, 2014

" the highlight of which is that we'll finally be able to shoot in full resolution whilst inside Intelligent Auto mode. " YESSSSS

8. dimas

Posts: 3363; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

If the z5c launching price is the same with z3c before, then this is a good device for first time compact users. But for xperia z3c users like me, I just have to wait for reviews if upgrading camera, internal storage and slight battery bump is worth it.

11. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Some other reasons (for me at least) include USB port relocated to bottom, no more USB port cover, quick charging, removal of magnetic dock connector. Those are just some tiny bug bears for me.

9. Classique

Posts: 73; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Sony really makes the best android handsets but I just can't afford them :(

12. jojon

Posts: 433; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

Would just love to see/own a Sony Z5C with W10

28. Subie

Posts: 2364; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Agreed!

13. goodenough

Posts: 82; Member since: Sep 28, 2014

4.7"?? I think Z5C has a 4.6"display

16. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1245; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

I never understood why companies announce a product but not the most important details... PRICE and RELEASE DATE!

18. Swordylove

Posts: 209; Member since: Jun 27, 2015

I'm sorry, but this is not a hands-on. This is more like comment on the specifications.

19. lakki369

Posts: 114; Member since: Apr 10, 2015

Feel like I'm in the darkest part of a lonely night right now...!!!! Really don't want to buy a SD810 powered phone.. And at the same time I don't have any other options.. A good compact capable phone with screen size under 5 Inch and powered by a high end 64 bit processor(Other than S810) with a good battery life and water protection..!! Looks like I have to wait until Z7 Compact... Damn you SONY... really disappointed... Wish they would release a Z6 Compact..;(

20. pt020

Posts: 160; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

Why "Damn you SONY" ? is it their fault that the SD820 is not ready yet?

21. jauling

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

why why why Sony, did you only put 2GB memory in the Z5C while the M5 has got 3GB? So much for no compromise... FML! M5 looks like a better deal, and most likely a buttload cheaper

22. pt020

Posts: 160; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

Stop it,the 2GB on my Z3C do a very good job,faster than the 3GB Z3+. Just take a look on youtube.

24. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

So, does this have the hybrid autofocus as well?

25. osbert

Posts: 125; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

*recites incantation* Please tell me they fixed the camera, please tell me they fixed the camera, please tell me they fixed the camera, please tell me they fixed the camera, please tell me they fixed the camera, please tell me they fixed the camera, please tell me they fixed the camera, please tell me they fixed the camera, please tell me they fixed the camera, please tell me they fixed the camera...

30. burann

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 08, 2015

They didnt, its the same noisy affair as far as I can tell from the pictures here at PA

31. osbert

Posts: 125; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

*cries*

26. hortizano

Posts: 294; Member since: May 22, 2013

If I were a Sony executive I would have put a FullHD screen on this one, a QHD on the Z5 and a 4K on the Z5Premium.. It would have made a lot of better sense.. 720? C'mon!!

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