Product Sony Xperia Z5
Website Sony Mobile
Specifications 5.2in, 1080x1920, full HD IPS LCD display, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB RAM, up to 32GB storage expandable with microSD card up to 200GB, 23MP camera, Android Lollipop 5.0, IP68-rated, 146x72x7.3mm, 154g
Price £549 SIM-free in white, graphite black, gold and green colour options
SONY REVEALED its latest smartphone line-up at the IFA conference in Berlin last month, comprising three new handsets: the Xperia Z5, the smaller and slightly less powerful Xperia Z5 Compact and the Xperia Z5 Premium, a bigger and beefier model that brings 4K resolution to a smartphone for the first time.
As the successor to the Xperia Z3+ the Xperia Z5 possesses many of the same features, such as an IP65/IP68 dust-tight, waterproof design with cap-less USB ports, plus a number of updates, including Sony's next-generation camera, the larger 1/2.3 Exmor RSTM for mobile with a 23MP sensor and F2.0 G Lens.
However, the Xperia Z5, which hits UK stores later this month, carries the same processor as the Z3+, Qualcomm's notorious Snapdragon 810, which was blamed for the handset's overheating problems and resulted in an unexpectedly low score in our review. We have put the Japanese smartphone maker's latest device through its paces to see whether it is plagued with the same problems. But first, let's take a look at the design.
Design and build
One thing we have always liked about the Xperia Z series of smartphones is that you can always tell it's a Sony mobile device because the firm has stayed true to its "omnibalance" look and feel so that buyers instantly recognise the brand. The smartphones haven't really changed all that much from one model to the next, each update receiving minimal alterations here and there while generally retaining the same overall look and design theme, which we think is a nice touch.
So there aren't many differences in terms of overall appearance when comparing the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z3+. Interestingly, however, Sony usually strives to make its top-end phones thinner and lighter with every release, but the Xperia Z5 is actually 0.4mm thicker and 10g heavier than its predecessor. Nevertheless, it looks almost identical and only the particularly observant will notice any real difference in design, even with day-to-day use.
We were always fans of the Xperia Z series' sleekness, so minor design changes are no bad thing, but perhaps the Xperia Z5 is a little more boxy-looking than the previous model. Saying that, the chassis does have a much nicer matt finish this time round, which we have to admit we like.
One of our favourite new features in the Xperia Z5 is the addition of a fingerprint sensor on the side. Sony has somehow managed to retain the same small size of the power button but added the fingerprint technology so that you can unlock the device when you pick it up, without having to move your hand to a separate button to unlock the screen. This works very well, and recognises your fingerprint much faster than the Apple iPhone 6, for instance, thus getting you to the home screen quicker.
Another great feature is that, like the Xperia Z3, Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z1, the Xperia Z5 can be dunked in water for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5m owing to the dust-resistant and waterproof IP65 and IP68 certification, the highest possible waterproof rating. We've tested this and, as with previous devices, it works really well.
Like the Xperia Z3+, the Xperia Z5 comes with a capless USB port on the underside making it easier and more convenient to charge while remaining waterproof. It is worth noting, though, that you will have to wait for the ports to dry out before charging if the handset has been immersed in water, otherwise you could end up with a nasty shock.
Next: Display, performance and battery