Sony Xperia X vs Sony Xperia Z5
Not even a day has gone by this past year without someone, somewhere, pondering over the unfortunate fate of esteemed manufacturers of old. Nokia, BlackBerry, even HTC, all are having trouble staying relevant in an increasingly murderous smartphone market. Worse yet, Sony has also been having quite some trouble as of late.
In a highly visible attempt to swing its fortunes for the better, Sony recently made the decision to discontinue its flagship Xperia Z-series and transition to a bit less-exclusive Xperia X branding for its higher-ends. The eponymous Xperia X was our first handshake with this new lineup, but keep in mind that the upcoming Xperia X Performance is the higher-end device that is likely meant to supersede the Z5.
That said, let's see if the more mainstream Xperia X, with its lighter specs sheet, can fill the Xperia Z5's shoes.
There's no denying, we're fond of Sony design, at least as far as aesthetics go. Even more so lately, with phone makers the world over adopting round form factors when designing their gadgets. Elegantly rounded, the Xperia X and Xperia Z5 are among the few standing rectangular phones of the day, and that means something if you value differentiation.
Of the two, it's hard to pick a favorite, for both have their advantages and downsides. The newer X is decidedly more minimalist, with four counts of branding insignia forgone, and with a cleaner frame. It also features a curved glass for the display that seeps into said frame, unlike the Z5 which looks a bit more ordinary from the front.
The frame of the Z5 sticks out ever so slightly at the back, cutting into our hand when operating the phone—an issue taken care of with the X. Unfortunately, both remain very slippery devices in general, though this is compounded by the aforementioned issue with the Z5.
The Xperia Z5 is also a just a bit wider and taller than the X due to its larger screen, though it is slightly thinner overall. Not too bad considering the screen gains and the fact that the former is dust-proof and water-resistant, while the X isn't.
We ought to start with a simple fact: the 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution displays on the two phones are very different from each other. And not just in terms of size, with the Xperia Z5's 5.2-incher to the Xperia X's 5-incher, but also in terms of display properties.
Starting with color temperature, both the Xperia X and Z5 have rather bluish screens, with the X's deviation from the reference colors being more extreme. The Z5 does win out on overall color accuracy, with a better—but not much better—representation. The Z5's 5.2-inch panel also offers higher brightness, so it's better suited for the upcoming summer months.
Going back to color, it's worth noting that both devices let you manually tweak (apart from choosing between two pre-made profiles) color temperature. If you know what you're doing, you can set these so that you get a more realistic image. Most people won't.