Sony Xperia 5 Review: the best camera to fit in your pocket?

The Sony Xperia 5 is the spiritual successor to the Xperia Z Compact series — a series that packed all of the top-tier hardware from the brand's flagship phone but in a smaller body. And while small phones are not exactly what the general public wants, there is a niche audience for them that is mostly left longing for more.
This is a discussion for a review. To read the whole review, click here

33 Comments

1. Pcworld1976

Posts: 178; Member since: Sep 18, 2018

just an 8? iPhone 11 trash has an 8.5

5. maherk

Posts: 6960; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

How is the iPhone 11 trash? Apart from the average screen, it's one of the best phone in the market, especially when you consider the price.

9. Pcworld1976

Posts: 178; Member since: Sep 18, 2018

just for the HD screen is a 7

11. mackan84

Posts: 555; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

I find it funny that no one is complaining when a tablet gets 270 ppi screen but when a tiny phone has it, it’s trash. Can’t even see all the bad details in a photo on such a small screen.

23. ivan.k

Posts: 31; Member since: Jan 29, 2014

Tell them!!!

25. mixedfish

Posts: 1561; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

A tablet is not viewed at the same viewing distances as a phone. A tablet is also not $700-$800 for a tiny chocolate bar sized device dubbed 'flagship'. Stop apologizing.

6. donrox

Posts: 203; Member since: Jul 18, 2014

"On the other hand, the iPhone 11 just dropped and is offering crazy value with its $700 price-tag" You have got to be flucking kidding me PA

10. jellmoo

Posts: 2626; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Dear lord, the fact that this thing got an 8 is ridiculous. Nothing works particularly well... so I guess an 8. This should have gotten a 5.

34. Pcworld1976

Posts: 178; Member since: Sep 18, 2018

in phonearena no Sony phone works well, coincidences

19. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2451; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

The camera app crashes. The fingerprint scanner doesn’t work great. The speakers sound tinny. I think to anyone that is being generous giving it an 8 considering it also costs $100 more than the iPhone 11. It’s almost as if you didn’t read the review.

26. mixedfish

Posts: 1561; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Did you forget that it's a phone? You know the part where the benchmarks scores were high, screen is good, good battery life and easy to hold? It's almost as if you didn't read the review....no let me rephrase that, you didn't read the review at all.

2. User123456789

Posts: 1008; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Not same hardware exactly Xperia 1 = imx445 Xperia 5 = imx563 ( no DRAM)

3. User123456789

Posts: 1008; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Why not posting the phone scored more than 12h on battery test? It was available on your database, but not anymore. Another site have article about it days ago.

7. donrox

Posts: 203; Member since: Jul 18, 2014

Because is would have made the phone look too good for a rating of 8 :)

4. EugeneJeong unregistered

The software issues are a bummer. I think this is the best looking phone out there.

8. jvardon

Posts: 38; Member since: Apr 28, 2012

"The Sony Xperia 5 is the spiritual successor to the Xperia Z Compact series." I have to disagree with this statement. The phone may be narrow but anything with a 6.1" screen can't be considered compact. Personally, I feel that the last truly good compact phones were the XZ2 Compact by Sony and the Sharp Aquos R2 Compact. The latter had the unfortunate double notch but the specs seemed decent if you could look past the front of the device.

12. Feanor

Posts: 1389; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

No, it is a compact, just a new kind of compact. The super skinny 21:9 ratio means two things; First that the screen surface is smaller than on other screens with 6.1" diagonal and more conventional ratios. It means that the phone is very compact, just not in height but in width. Second, the width of the screen is very narrow and the content size is much smaller. I'd say that the content on the screen appears as small as on a screen with a sub-5" diagonal with the more traditional 16:9 ratio. You just get more scrollable content, but everything appears more or less just as small as on previous Compacts. In other words, if Sony went for an even smaller diagonal with this unusually tall ratio, it would end up with tiny displayed content.

32. jvardon

Posts: 38; Member since: Apr 28, 2012

It is narrow, BUT it’s also very tall and that height stops it from being truly compact. Ask people with smaller hands. Some people want to be a able to reach the whole screen with their thumb without having to shift the device. I can’t call this compact. It’s another big device but it’s easier to manage because it’s narrow.

24. shawman

Posts: 71; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

galaxy s10e is quite compact and is lighter than xz2 compact as well.

39. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 926; Member since: May 07, 2014

You should not decide the compactness of a phone based on the size of the display but the overall dimensions.

13. Itstheshoes

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 28, 2019

So you guys just don't have time to do proper battery life tests? Seeing a lot of cut corners on your reviews lately, why is there still no s10 snapdragon vs exynos update? Please step it up!

17. User123456789

Posts: 1008; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

They did ... but not published 12:15h

14. RocketDoc

Posts: 18; Member since: Jul 24, 2018

To answer the title question, no, because this doesn't fit in my pocket. I guess I'm the minority of the minority; I want a small phone, but the Xperia 5 isn't a small phone, and the tall/narrow form factor is exactly the problem for me. I had no problem with the width of e. g., the Moto Z I carried for a few months, but it was too tall for comfort while going about my daily activities, and the Xperia 5 is taller still. After much experimentation with buying and returning or selling phones, I've found that 145mm is the tallest I'm willing to carry, and narrower than 70mm or so makes the on-screen keys too narrow and my typing error rate goes up. I really liked the Xperia XZ2 Compact as a package, but it was a bit too narrow, so right now I'm still using an Essential PH-1, with the Galaxy S10e, maybe the Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 Pro seeming to be the last satisfactory options for a replacement (Galaxy A40 would be fine too if Samsung would build with the right North American LTE bands). If genuinely compact options disappear I might leave the smart phone at home or in the car and carry a KaiOS feature phone for daily needs.

15. Itstheshoes

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 28, 2019

You're over thinking this. Just get a smaller phone and use it until you get used to it. That's the secret my son.

16. pt020

Posts: 164; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

There is nothing wrong with the finger print sensor on the side ... have it 5 years and it always works on the first try ... it might be difficult for Apple fans.

20. jellmoo

Posts: 2626; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

A bad FPS is a bad FPS, regardless of what brand you like. Reviews seem to indicate that this device has a bad FPS.

29. paul.k

Posts: 296; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

I’ve used the old Sony phones and the scanner was passable. This one is worse.

18. User123456789

Posts: 1008; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Phone has same height of iphone 8+ but called very tall on internet. LOL ... Imagine Mate 20X that has almost 2 cm more ...

21. inFla

Posts: 137; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

Early review, I want to see other reviews including owner reviews before I decide.

22. el_sur

Posts: 11; Member since: Sep 23, 2014

i get side sense to work every single time, and only whenever i want. it's very specific as to where you can touch the screen to activate it, but once you learn the sweetspot, it works like a charm.
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