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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  • Exodite - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    It is:
  • Dribble - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    Wife currently has the Z3 compact, and tbh it's pretty hard to get excited about the Z5 compact as it's near identical other then having 810 not 800 and we all know 810 isn't one of qualcomm's best chips.
  • Human Bass - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    The 1080p is the one to go. Once the DPI is above 400 (423 in this case), anymore will be a strain on the battery with very, very little benefit. The 5.5" should have a 1440p, 4k is BS.
  • Coup27 - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    I think Sony have only done the premium as a technical exercise / advertising stunt over thinking people need a 5.5" phone with a 4k screen. They're clearly struggling to get out of the shadow of Samsung and Apple and needed to grab some headlines.

    I've had a Z3 for about a year now and it's been the best phone I've ever had. Hope more people consider Sony phones because they are head and shoulders above the rest IMO.
  • [-Stash-] - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    Putting aside resolutions and omissions for a moment, I've been waiting for a manufacturer to do this for years. A small, medium and large flagship phone launch which are very nearly identical except for battery size and screen resolution. Well done Sony.

    Now, for the Z6 launch, please give me wireless charging and a removable battery and you'll have a new fan and a bunch of sales from the old Samsung brigade!
  • mortimerr - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    This is exactly right. But instead anyone that isn't a phablet is shipped with low tier CPUs, no storage and awful camera. There are some solid mid range-low range units and that's fine. But I want performance while also not having the phone be significantly larger than my hand.

    The 720/1080p options are also great. It'd be nice to easily get more than half a day's worth of battery life seeing as a ppi over 480 really is just a waste of resources, at this point at least what with battery and power efficiency what it is.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    Now if only they had hardware slider keyboards, it would be the perfect line-up. Something for everyone, refreshed once per year.
  • shadarlo - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    This looks to be a nearly perfect set of three phones, except for the 4K screen on the large one. If that was 1440p it would be perfect.

    I personally LOVE the 1080p screen on the regular model, I've been wishing a company would release a 1080p, waterproof phone with a great camera. This seems to tick every box I care about in a phone.

    Definitely looking forward to the reviews. Might get me away from the G4... assuming I can get it on Verizon in the states.
  • mortimerr - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    I, along with a lot of people, were really looking forward to the Z5. Best form factor and not gigantic, no pointless 1440p display that just sucks battery, great design, I'd prefer stock 5.1 but sony's UI isn't as bad as others. Amazing camera quality.

    But am I the only one who's very put off by the inclusion of the 510? I know a lot of the hate is partly warranted, but some of it is very exaggerated. But in the long run it's going to be obsolete so much faster than so many other SoCs. Very disheartening.
  • Laxaa - Sunday, September 6, 2015 - link

    The yellow Z5 Compact looks really nice(at least in renders) Reminds me of the yellow Lumia 920 in color.

    I am considering the Compact as a suitable 920 replacement now, but I'll wait to see how it performs(both in general perofrmance and in the battery department) The camera has nice specs, but I'm sceptical of Sonys processing. The early samples looked decent, albeit a little unsharp in the corners.

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