Sony Xperia Z5

Announced Sep 2, 2015 •
5.2 screen | 23 megapixels (rear) | 5 megapixels (front)
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Reviewed Feb 9, 2016
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Product description
Announced Sep 2, 2015
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With its 5.2-inch 1080p screen the Xperia Z5 is the mid-size and resolution model in Sony's updated Xperia Z line. Essentially it differs from the Z5 Premium and Compact only in screen size and resolution. For the first time since the Xperia Z1 there has been significant change in the camera module and a 23MP 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor is paired with an F2.0 lens and dual-LED flash. Sony claims the hybrid AF system, which combines contrast and phase detect technologies, makes the Z5 series the fastest focusing camera phones in the business at 0.03 seconds. It also says that low light performance has been improved over the Xperia Z3+.

Changes have also been made to the camera app. The 23MP full resolution mode is now also available in Superior Auto which previously had been limited to 8MP and 16:9 aspect ratio. Now you can choose between 8MP (16:9), 20MP (16:9) and 23MP (4:3). The Touch Focus feature allows you to touch anywhere on the live view image to focus and capture the image in one go.

The Android operating system is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 system chip and 3GB of RAM. 32GB of on-board storage can be expanded by up to 200GB via microSD card. The fingerprint reader for increased security is a new addition but the new model features a similarly boxy design as previous Xperia Z devices, including the dedicated camera button. It is also waterproof with a coverless microUSB port. The build quality is once again more than adequate for a premium device, with a metal frame and frosted glass on the back.

Quick specs
OS Google Android
OS Version 5.1.1
Front camera effective pixels 5 megapixels
Rear camera effective pixels 23 megapixels
Rear camera resolution 5520 x 4140
Rear camera focal length 24 mm
Rear camera aperture 2
Camera physical shutter release Yes (two-stage)
Camera image stabilization No
Video camera recording format 2160p, 30fps
LCD size 5.2
Built in memory 3GB RAM, 32GB storage
Weight 154 g (5.43 oz)
Dimensions 146 x 72 x 7 mm (5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29)

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Our review

The Sony Xperia Z5 produces very good still image and video quality across the board and with its angular shapes and dedicated camera button offers ergonomics that, on a smartphone, come as close as it gets to a real camera. The device is let down by an unintuitive camera app and mediocre panorama mode but better alternatives can be found on the Google Play Store. Overall the Z5 is an easy recommendation for mobile photographers who prioritize image detail, video quality and good camera handling.

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Scoring
Camera and Photo Features
Screen Quality
Ergonomics and Handling
Video Quality
Still Image Quality
Speed and Responsiveness