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Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium hands-on and first impressions: Sony’s refined flagship smartphones

Sony’s new flagship smartphones are here. Understandably, the new Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium come with a pressure of expectations considering these may be among the last lot of devices from Sony, whi

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Sony’s new flagship smartphones are here. Understandably, the new Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium come with a pressure of expectations considering these may be among the last lot of devices from Sony, which is now looking to exit the smartphone business. The Xperia Z5 and its premium variant, however, seem more of refined versions of the current Xperia Z lineup. In spite of drawing flak over its pricing strategy, Sony’s Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium are priced at Rs 52,900 and Rs 62,990 respectively. The pricing seems to be on the higher side considering 32GB variants of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note are available for Rs 36,695 and Rs 53,900 respectively. We are not very sure how Sony will correct on this front in the near future. We briefly spent time with the new flagships at the launch event, and here are our first impressions.

Design and Build Quality: As mentioned earlier, Sony’s new premium phones follow the same Omnibalance design language of the previous Xperia Z phones but are more refined, instead of overhauled. Changes you can quickly spot are the engraved Sony branding on the left edge and a flatter power button that is also a fingerprint reader. The Xperia Z5 has glass on both front and back sides, though the rear has frosted glass that is lesser reflective and hides the fingerprints that have plagued most of the phones with glass backs. In case of the Xperia Z5 Premium, the rear is highly reflective and is a fingerprint magnet.

The Xperia Z5 has a 5.2-inch full HD display, while the Xperia Z5 Premium has 5.5-inch 4K display (first smartphone in the world to have this). The Xperia Z5 measures 146x72x7.3 mm and weighs about 154 grams, while the Xperia Z5 Premium measures 154.4x76x7.8 mm and weighs about 181 grams. Despite being large-screened phones, the smartphones feel compact, easy to operate with one hand with buttons for volume and power well within reach of your fingers, and light. Placement of the fingerprint reader is quite unique as mostly we have seen this located at the home button or on the rear below the camera. Sony has ensured the reader is within the phone’s real estate and is well integrated with usual power button.

Display, Specifications and Features: First up is the the Xperia Z5. It has a 5.2-inch full HD IPS display. The phone has decent viewing angles like its predecessors. The Z5 Premium, however, surpasses the competition with a 4K Display, which it says is capable of upscaling content that includes videos and photos to 4K resolution. During our brief use, the 4K display looked pretty good. We are not sure 4K is going to be the main driver for sales, but those looking for more in-depth imagery with smartphones may consider this phone.

The Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium come with similar set of specifications – Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 64-bit octa-core processor paired with Adreno 430 GPU and 3GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage (expandable via microSD), 23-megapixel camera and 5-megapixel selfie camera. The Z5 is equipped with a 2,930mAh battery, while the premium variant is powered by a 3,430mAh battery. For more battery efficiency, Sony is offering Quick Charge 2.0 and Stamina Mode. One of the interesting features is the availability of dual-SIM functionality on these premium phones.

During our brief use, performance on both the phones seemed fluid. We are hoping Sony has fixed the heating issue that had hampered its Xperia Z3+. But, we will give you more insight about the performance after we have reviewed it thoroughly. Sony’s Xperia Z5 goes on sale on October 23 while the Xperia Z5 Premium will be available slightly later on November 7. Sony is offering several schemes such as cash back and easy finance offers, and freebies such as content worth Rs 4,000 with the new phones. Stay tuned for our detailed review.

  • Published Date: October 22, 2015 1:27 PM IST
  • Updated Date: October 23, 2015 10:57 AM IST