Sony Xperia 5 vs Xperia 1: what are the differences?
A modern-day Compact
... but not really
Years ago, when everyone was making “mini” versions of their flagships with insultingly low specs, Sony came up with the “Compact” series of phones. They were basically smaller versions of the latest Sony flagship, but with minimum compromise.
Over the next few generations, it seemed that Sony wasn’t sure what to do with the Compact series. The concept itself was great and they were pretty much the only Android phones that were small and powerful. But customer interest for mini devices has been on a steady decline for a while. The Compact series refreshes became few and far between.
Now, it looks like the newly-announced Sony Xperia 5 is the Compact version of the previously-released Xperia 1. The new phone has a 6.1-inch screen whereas the old one is a 6.5-incher. Now, a 6.1-inch diagonal doesn’t sound like a very small phone, but let us remind you that Sony’s new devices have a 21:9 aspect ratio. But, put in this context… the 6.5-inch Xperia 1 isn’t that much bigger than the Xperia 5. So, why does the latter need to exist?
Let’s see if there are any differences in hardware:
Hardware and Camera
The Sony Xperia 5 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and 6 GB of RAM. Guess what — so does the Xperia 1. OK, then, maybe it’s the cameras? The Xperia 5 has a triple camera module — 12 MP main camera, 12 MP one with a telephoto lens, and a 12 MP super-wide-angle one. Surprise, surprise — the Xperia 1 has the very same thing. And, on the front, both have an 8 MP selfie camera.
In fact, the only difference in the hardware we can find is in the screen. Not just the size, but the resolution. The Xperia 5’s 6.1-inch display has a 1080 x 2520 pixel resolution (FHD+), while the Xperia 1’s 6.5-inch screen goes to 4K with a resolution of 1644 x 3840 pixels. Don’t worry about sharpness, though — the Xperia 5’s display will have 449 pixels-per-inch — that’s plenty sharp.
Which is better then?
The Xperia 5 isn’t really a much smaller version of the Xperia 1. It’s slightly shorter, yes, but not much narrower, definitely not thinner, and not exactly lighter. It sports the very same hardware and cameras. And it doesn’t have a 4K screen… which, depending on who you ask, may actually be better for the phone.
The main difference between the two? We expect the Xperia 5 to be a much better deal. While Sony hasn’t announced any pricing for the new phone yet, it has promised that (in some markets) it will come bundled with the brand-new noise-cancelling, truly wireless the WF1000-XM3 headphones (a ~$230 value). That’s sweet!
The Xperia 1 launched for $949, but we do expect the Xperia 5 to be cheaper than that. Probably something along the lines of $799, judging by other products on the market.
So, while the Xperia 5 is not exactly a “Compact” phone… It’s more of a “Oops, sorry about that. Have a better deal!” phone.