Like normal, Sony have stuck to one thing we’ve always being a big fan of and that’s releasing a Flagship device and a compact device with the same specs, which is something we wish other manufacturers would listen to but don’t, but this year Sony also have thrown in the worlds first 4K Smartphone the Z5 Premium, which sure maybe a slight over-doing things, will definitely put Sony on the radar which they definitely need in relation to Smartphones as they really do deserve that recognition.
In true Sony fashion all three devices have a very similar spec sheet, one of the things we really do love about Sony flagships, however they are a few differences and those will be noted below the similarities;
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Octa Core 64 bit Processor powered by Adreno 430 Graphics
- Android 5.1 Lollipop out the box, with Marshmallow upgrade promised
- All new 23MP Camera with Exmor RS mobile image sensor with fast autofocus, 4K Video Recording, 5MP 1080P Front Camera
- Stereo front speakers with Sony’s ClearAudio+
- Chemical tempered glass + Sony’s Anti-fingerprint coating
- *Mixed resolution on model* Sony TRILUMINOS display for mobile
- IP65/IP68 dust and waterproof with cap-less USB
- 32GB *up to for some models* fixed storage with microSD Card expansion up to 200GB
- Side located Fingerprint Scanner on Power button
- Support for Fast Charging
Whilst Sony has supported Fast Charging before, however not in a Compact flagship, the Xperia Z5 series is the first time Sony has included a Fingerprint scanner, and it’s also the first to put the Scanner on the right of the phone where the Power button is. Time will tell to how this compares to Fingerprint scanner from Apple, Samsung, HTC, OnePlus etc.
It’s crazy to look at the Z5 as the base model, but due to an introduced Premium model, that’s what it’s become, but these are the Xperia Z5 specs unique to itself;
- White, Graphite Black, Gold and Green colour options
- 2,900 mAh battery with up to 2 days of battery life (with STAMINA mode to help boost that further)
- 5.2 inch 1920 x 1080 display with 428PPI
- NANO Sim, with Dual SIM availability in select markets
- Available October 2015 for £549 SIM Free
Maybe it’s just us, but we’re really happy Sony has kept the Compact line going, and once again with the Xperia Z5 Compact you’re left with an insanely high end spec Smartphone, from the shared spec list alone, which fits nicely in the hand, something we’ll never stop giving Sony credit for. But here’s the Xperia Z5 Compacts unique list of specs;
- White, Graphite Black, Yellow and Coral colour options
- 2,700mAh battery with up to 2 days of battery life (with STAMINA mode to help boost that further)
- 4.6 inch 1280 x 720 display with 323PPI
- NANO Sim
- Available October 2015 for £429 SIM Free
Now, here’s where things get a bit much for the eye to take but something which will be very clear to see once experienced …ok we’ll stop with the poor puns, but here it is, the Xperia Z5 Premium. Premium by design, more premium by materials, but never more so premium by display, this thing has a whopping 4K display, I mean just look at the specifications below and tell me how they fit that thing in a phone!;
- Chrome, Black or Gold colour options
- 3,430mAh battery with up to 2 days of battery life (with STAMINA mode to help boost that further)
- 5.5 inch 3840 x 2160 display with an insane 806PPI.
- NANO Sim, with Dual SIM availability in select markets
- Custom crafted Finger print scanner in chosen material by colour
- Available November 2015 for £629 SIM Free
So we think that the 4K display of the Xperia Z5 Premium is a bit overkill? Most likely. Do we think the choice to use materials such as Chrome, aluminium and gold are required to make a phone be branded Premium? Not really. But one thing we do find interesting about the Xperia Z5 Premium is it’s choice of placement for the Fingerprint scanner which we want to talk about briefly.
Companies such as Apple and then Samsung and more have all gone for the bottom middle position for their Fingerprint scanners, which is very likely due to their original Home button placements being in that position, but it’s more than just that, it’s one of the first places you touch the phone when you attempt to switch it on off standby so having it just their is perfect. But, what about devices such as Sony’s, as well as others, who have their Home buttons elsewhere?
HTC, with the HTC One Max, put their first Fingerprint scanner on one of their Phones (a terrible one at that) at the back of the phone under the Camera as HTC believed this was a natural place your finger would be when holding the phone, and is in fact the same place and reason Motorola even have a dimple in the same area. However, likely the poor Fingerprint scanner itself didn’t help, using the Fingerprint scanner at the back felt less than natural, and it wasn’t even anywhere near any buttons which added up to an additional effort to attempt to use something which is meant to make the experience easier. HTC then joined everyone else with the One M9 this year by putting a Scanner in the bottom middle.
But Sony have theirs on the right side on the Lock button which we think could be the most perfect place for one and here’s why. Whether you’re left or right handed, the side of your phone is held by your hand, in fact both sides are, and due to this it’s much easier to capitalise on that position with additional convenience. By leveraging the already convenient side buttons for lock and power, which are their on larger phones due to the effortless positioning and location, with a Fingerprint scanner means there’s even less movement required to activate the Scanner than even through TouchID on an iPhone when even then you’ve to position differently to activate and use.
Are we saying Sony has a winning formula? Well, it’s way too early to tell, but as far as aesthetics and connivence is concerned they certainly maybe on to something.
The collection of Sony Xperia Z5 flagships launch this coming October, with the exception of the Premium in November, 2015. Sony didn’t announce any pricing for any of the devices, which we think is more telling for the Premium offering over anything else, but we will say we’re pleasantly surprised with Sony’s offerings this year and are a big fan of what’s been announced. Sure we’d of liked to have seen Wireless charging, but this is definitely a step in the right direction and leaves many doors for Sony to open with successors going forward.