In April of this year Sony launched the Xperia Z4, their sequel to the 2014 Xperia Z3. Since the Z3 had only launched in September of 2014, it was a bit odd that it was being replaced after only six months as Sony's flagship device. However, The Xperia Z4 seemed like something of a stopgap device when one considered its specs and its design, and outside of Japan Sony even marketed it as the Xperia Z3+ rather than the Z4.

Today Sony launched three new smartphones branded as Xperia Z5. The first is the standard Xperia Z5, the second is the Z5 Compact, and the most interesting of the three is the Xperia Z5 Premium. All of these devices seem more like what one would expect from successors to the Xperia Z3, and below you can find the specifications for each device.

Sony Xperia Z5 Series
Model Xperia Z5 Compact Xperia Z5 Xperia Z5 Premium
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994
3GB RAM, 32GB NAND + MicroSD
Display 4.6" 1280x720 IPS LCD 5.2" 1920x1080 IPS LCD 5.5" 3840x2160 IPS LCD
Dimensions 127 x 65 x 8.9 mm
146 x 72 x 7.3 mm
154.4 x 76.0 x 7.8 mm
Camera 23MP Sony Exmor Rear-facing, 1/2.3", F/2.0, 24mm focal length
5MP Front-facing, 25mm focal length
Battery 2700mAh (10.26Wh) 2900mAh (11.02Wh) 3430 mAh (13.03Wh)
Connectivity 1x1 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1, DLNA, NFC, MHL 3, microUSB 2.0, GNSS, Fingerprint Scanner
OS Android 5.1 Lollipop

Based on the specifications of each device, I have to hand it to Sony for offering a variety of device sizes that don't really compromise on specs as the size gets smaller. All three phones use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 SoC, and while the Z5 Compact comes with 2GB of RAM, the normal Z5 and Z5 Premium comes with 3GB. All three phones include 32GB of NAND and have MicroSD slots.

The displays are where you do end up losing out if you don't go for the largest device. The Z5 Compact has a 4.6" 1280x720 display, which I do find myself wishing was a higher resolution than it is. The normal Xperia Z5 has a 5.2" 1920x1080 display, and I'm very comfortable with this resolution as a good balance between size and sharpness. With the Xperia Z5 Premium Sony has gone all out and outfitted it with a 5.5" 3840x2160 display. This makes the Xperia Z5 Premium the first smartphone ever to ship with a UHD display.

With a pixel density of 801 pixels per inch, there's really no way that you would be able to see any pixels or aliasing on the Xperia Z5 Premium's display, with the exception of edge cases like vernier acuity. I have a feeling that the Z5 Premium is going to create a lot of debate about whether or not such a high resolution even provides any visual advantage over QHD or even 1080p. It'll also be interesting to see whether people feel it makes a difference when reading logographic languages which can have very fine details on characters.

Looking at the camera, we see that all three of the smartphones ship with the exact same camera system. The specific camera sensor used is Sony's IMX230, which is a 23MP 1/2.3" sensor with 1.12 micron pixels. The lens used has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 24mm, and an aperture of F/2.0. Sony's hybrid autofocus with PDAF enables an autofocus time of just 30ms. All versions of the Xperia Z5 can record UHD video at 30fps, and the high resolution sensor can also be used to perform digital zooming or image downscaling to 8MP in order to reduce Bayer artifacts.

Naturally, the dimensions, mass, and battery capacity of each device scales with its size. All of them seem appropriate given the dimensions of the phone, but I'm very interested to see what sort of battery life the Z5 Premium gets in a display bound battery test like web browsing. All three phones support Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 technology for fast charging speeds.

As for the design of Sony's new phones, it doesn't depart much from the design principles that Sony's flagship mobile devices have always adhered to. All of them have metals frames and frosted glass backs. They do come in different colors, with all the phones coming in a silver/white and black finish, but with red and yellow being exclusive to the Z5 Compact, green being exclusive to the Z5, and gold being exclusive to the Z5 and Z5 Premium. It's also worth noting that the fingerprint sensor on the phone is integrated into the power button, which as far as I can tell is the button in the middle of the right edge of the phone. It doesn't look like a massive area for scanning, so I'm interested to see how well it ends up working.

Sony will be launching the Xperia Z5 Compact and Xperia Z5 globally in October, with the Xperia Z5 Premium to follow in November. The Z5 Compact will only be available with a single NanoSIM slot, while the Z5 and Z5 Premium will come in single and dual SIM versions. Pricing is yet to be announced for these three new smartphones. For more information you can check out Sony's launch post in the source below.

Source: Sony

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  • fokka - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    virtually all phones using the sd810 are using the newer 2.1 version and still all of those phones are struggling with heat, throttling and have worse battery life than their predecessors.

    the sd810 is a powerful chip with abysmal efficiency and hence isn't worthy of being used in a flagship device, especially in late 2015. finding an appropriate alternative is another matter, but spending 600 bucks on a phone with a power sucking chip, when a wholly improved sd820 is only a couple months away seems quite stupid.
  • Xajel - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    Will, no body knows about real world usage... but according to one previewer on YouTube, he tried shooting 4K video for 10minutes and the device didn't overheat... So I guess Sony did something with it...
  • khanikun - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    Power button is still there and still in the same location. I do like the fact that it's now countersunk in. My issue is with the volume button. I have no idea why they decided to move it. It'll now be right where my car mount's arms sit.

    I also don't see any doors on the right side. That's where the sim card use to go. I'm assuming the microSD slot and sim card doors are now on the left. Hope they kept the magnetic charging connection.
  • Urbanos - Thursday, September 10, 2015 - link

    nope, no magnetic charger pins. it sucks, it was disco'd from the z3+/z4 and on. i have the sony deck that connects via the pins and its brilliantly functional. except now when i get a new phone, i have to resort to plugging it back in while in my car. :(
  • WagonWheelsRX8 - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    I agree with most of what you say, and as an owner of the Z3 I can confirm the phone should be less tall. I guess they had no good alternate options to the power hungry Snapdragon, though.
    As an aside, I like the power button a lot on the Z3, even if it looks weird. It is very tactile and is placed near where your thumb naturally goes to grasp the phone in one hand, so it's very easy to activate the screen in the dark, and the button itself has a nice feel to it. I suppose it's one of those rare cases where function wins out over form.
  • ishould - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    I bought a Z3 Compact specifically because it was cheaper than similar flagships at a more reasonable price. The Z5 will probably be $649 and the Z5P will be closer to $799 I'm guessing
  • edzieba - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    Unfortunately it's an LCD panel, not OLED. Likely limited to 60Hz (too low), and will only work in Low Persistence driving by pulsing the backlight, which adds latency (because you have to wait for the slowest possible pixel switching time before you can pulse the backlight).
  • extide - Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - link

    Looks like Sony is playing it safe and testing the market with the Z5 / Z5 Prem being nearly the same except for display. Should be interesting.
  • akaskar - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    Z5P frame is made of steel, not aluminium as is the case for Z5(C). Also, Z5 and Z5C have kind of matte glass on the back, whereas Z5P has glossy
  • extide - Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - link

    Well, if they are actually announcing clock-speeds, than it should be pretty close to being released. Should be pretty awesome, IMHO.

    It would be really interesting if they did a big.LITTLE setup with custom core ip...

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