Introduction


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.

Design


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.


Sony Xperia X

Sony Xperia X

Dimensions

5.63 x 2.72 x 0.3 inches

143 x 69 x 7.7 mm

Weight

5.36 oz (152 g)

Sony Xperia Z5

Sony Xperia Z5

Dimensions

5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 inches

146 x 72 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.43 oz (154 g)

Sony Xperia X

Sony Xperia X

Dimensions

5.63 x 2.72 x 0.3 inches

143 x 69 x 7.7 mm

Weight

5.36 oz (152 g)

Sony Xperia Z5

Sony Xperia Z5

Dimensions

5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 inches

146 x 72 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.43 oz (154 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display


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.

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16 Comments

1. senseiJ

Posts: 172; Member since: May 02, 2015

Sony needs to change their now dull design. Sure it was really gorgeous before but it's so old now.

2. libra89

Posts: 2271; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Thanks for this, it was an interesting read.

3. BobLawblaw unregistered

"Nokia, BlackBerry, even HTC, all are having trouble staying relevant in an increasingly murderous smartphone market." At least HTC have the 10 which is an amazing phone. The Xperia X lineup is a mess and this X being tested is an overpriced mid spec'd boring slab. I'd take my old z3 over this any day..

12. mimicryXD

Posts: 175; Member since: Apr 03, 2015

Better check out youtube videos that xperia x murders htc 10 in speed test and not even close despite having sd820 vs sd650 on xperia x

4. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

The Z3 series, with the exception of the camera which goes to the 5th generation, was the pinnacle of Sony design and relative performance. What we know and love about Sony was embodied in the 3rd Gen devices. I have a Z3C, but I'll likely go basic Zenfone 3 or Axon 7 (both, pending reviews). No more Sony for me.

16. zenun12

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 31, 2016

Yeah....2014 was Sony's year. They put out their best.....and lost a lot of money. (Remember how many Snapdragon 400 powered phones they put out in 2014?)

5. xperiaZlover

Posts: 202; Member since: Nov 15, 2015

I think Xperia X display better than z5 .

6. kevintangi

Posts: 6; Member since: Oct 31, 2012

Both dont come close to Z3C :(

7. XperiaG

Posts: 178; Member since: Jun 06, 2016

Well thanks for the review... Now I convinced that the Z5 is better... is terrible that Sony wont be making any other device on the Z series... cause this new X series looks like mid-range phone with a high-end price... did not like that... I'll go for the Z5 now.. thanks PA.

8. PhoneFixer unregistered

That guy holding phones like ; bleee both phone crap . where is my beloved ippphonee aah here come to papa..

10. Alkomb

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 11, 2016

Ha, you just made me laugh in real life, thanks!

9. Alkomb

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 11, 2016

So, literally everything that the Xperia X has is just a little bit worse than the Xperia Z5? Besides the front-camera, of course. An upgraded front-camera, & a little bit worse everything isn't worth $550, when the Xperia Z5 $100 less/cheaper than the Xperia X? I hope that Sony stops taking the Apple way, & starting to make overpriced, & under-powered cellphones, every, single, year.

11. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

In summary, Xperia X had nothing better than Z5 beside new better design look. Xperia X simply overprice. Sony you are going to even bad suffer this year! Trust Me!

13. toka8

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 13, 2016

Having used Z1 Compact, Z3, Z4/Z3+, Z5 Compact and the totally unnecessary Z5 Premium, it is clear to me that Sony has lost its way. The Z3 was fabulous, but now the design is now becoming old, the specs stay behind (3GB for a 2016 flagship?), the extras are now widespread (IP 68) and the prices have a very thin grasp to reality. I'm moving on.

14. Misa_01

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 13, 2016

Someone needs to do more research. Xperia Z5 is not $600 usd. You can get it for $450 usd on Amazon and Expansys. Spend a $100 more and you can get the Z5 Premium for $550 on Amazon and Expansys. Article does not have pricing content verified.

15. elephone

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 13, 2016

Appreciated to your professional and practical review about Sony Xperia X vs Sony Xperia Z5,we really learn a lot and do know how to distinguish the Xpria version of Sony. We are a brand cell phone supplier located in China,you could find tons of fashionable cell phone ranging from Andriod 3G to Andriod 5.0 5.1 6.0 4G sold at significantly discounts at elephone.cc

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