Nimish SawantOct 26, 2015 08:06:56 IST
Sony has launched two flagship devices for the upcoming festive season in India - the Xperia Z5 and the Xperia Z5 Premium. While the Xperia Z5 is an incremental upgrade to the Xperia Z3+, the Xperia Z3 Premium is the world's first smartphone with a 4K display on it. The Xperia Z5 is priced at Rs 52,990 whereas the Xperia Z5 Premium will set you back by Rs 62,990. We had a chance to play around with both the phones for some time. Here are our first impressions of the two phones.
Build and Design
Sony has the same boring design for its 2015 flagships that we have been accustomed to being seeing for the last many years. Sure there's nothing wrong with the boxy rectangular design, but Sony could have been more innovative with design instead of just adding on an engraved Xperia logo on the left hand side. The Xperia Z5 has ditched the glossy glass back and instead you get one with frosted glass which has an elegant matte appearance. It is certainly not a smudge magnet as the Xperia Z5 Premium's reflective cover is.
Both phones come with a rectangular power button which is a departure from the circular buttons we have been used to seeing on Sony flagships. The rectangular button also houses the finger print scanner. These are the first phones where the fingerprint scanner is located in the side edges. There are no sharp corners and the edges are neatly rounded. The Premium will certainly require two handed operation for most users.
Sony Xperia Z5 comes with the same 5.2inch full HD IPS display and the screen has scratch resistant oleophobic coating. It is powered by Sony's X-Reality engine. Just like its predecessors, the display looks great and has good viewing angles.
The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium on the other hand rocks a 5.5 inch 4K display. Sony claims that the phone is capable of upscaling any content including videos and photos to 4K resolution. We will have to see how the upscaling looks with non HD content to comment in it.
Displays on both phones look sharp, specially on the Z5 Premium. But despite being on maximum brightness, it still cannot match the levels provided by an AMOLED display.
Both phones sport Android 5.1 OS with Sony's custom Xperia skin atop it. The user interface is pretty similar to what we have been seeing on this year's Xperia phones.
Chipset, RAM, Storage
The Xperia Z5 as well as Xperia Z5 Premium house Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset with an octa core processor - one quad-core cluster clocked at 2GHz and the other quad-core cluster clocked at 1.5GHz. This is paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage out of which you get access to around 22GB of storage. Sony also gives you the option to increase your storage by adding in microSD card. In our preliminary usage, the phone seemed speedy, which is expected from such high end specs.
But we are quite interested in how the phone deals with heat, which was one of the major flaws of its Xperia Z3+ we had tested earlier this year. The limited time was not enough to give us an idea about the heating, although the phone did become warm after taking some sample shots.
If there's one area where Sony is renowned, then it's the camera segment. After all, most of the top end phones use Sony's sensors in their phones. With the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium, Sony has added in a brand new 23MP sensor. The video camera is capable of shooting 4K videos as well. On the front you have a 5MP sensor.
Sony claims that it has worked on the camera to ensure the auto focus speed is 0.03 secs, it has hybrid AF. We will have to test the camera thoroughly to give a verdict on the AF speed and low light image quality. The daylight photographs look detailed from some of the samples we shot.
Sample images clicked by the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium below.
Sony has put on a 2930 mAh battery on the Xperia Z5 and 3430 mAh battery on the Xperia Z5 Premium and it claims to give two days worth of battery life on both phones. We have had generally good experience with the Xperia phones' battery and with Sony's ultra power saving modes, we wouldn't be surprised if the Z5 does deliver, but we are not so sure about the 4K display sporting Z5 Premium. We will still have to reserve our verdict till we test both devices.
Sony has restarted its two flagships a year cadence and this time there is a 4K display sporting device as well to add to the mix. Sony is betting big on the camera performance on both phones and the 4K display on the Xperia Z5 Premium. Having the two phones side by side we could differentiate between them only when observing the phones from up close, at an arms length it is very difficult to tell the display quality difference.
Sony has priced the phones over Rs 50,000, as expected, with the Z5 Premium costing Rs 62,990. Sony's last flagship the Xperia Z3+ was a good device marred by heating issues and price point. Will the Z5 / Z5 Premium running on the Snapdragon 810 prevent heating issues? That's one thing we can tell only after thoroughly testing the devices. As for the price, well Sony is known for premium pricing. But this festive season it has a lot of competition, so we shall see how it stands up.
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