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Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review

7.5/10 AVG.
RATING



7.5/10
Informr score
The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium currently has an Informr score of 7.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 20 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • 4K resolution display offers vibrant colors
  • Speedy overall performance
  • Dust- proof and water-resistant

What's bad

  • Heavy and slippery
  • Camera produces dull and cold images on basic setting
  • Processor heats up during intense gaming sessions
  • Hard to see advantages of 4K over 2K

The Xperia Z5 Premium is the biggest phone in the Z5 lineup. Measuring in at 6.1 inches it sits firmly in the phablet range and at 180 grams it is also one of the heavier smartphones on the market. The size and weight made it difficult for experts to use especially when combining the size with the clear glass back. Not only did they find it unwieldy they also worried about its overall slipperiness. Sony seems to have thought of that issue as they included reinforced corners for protection against accidental drops. Despite the premium in the name, it comes with plastic edges instead of the metal ones found on the Xperia Z5. Like the rest of the Z line, the Z5 Premium is IP68-rated, meaning it is dust-proof and water-resistant up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.

The Xperia Z5 Premium is the first smartphone to offer a 4K screen. What does that mean? The 5.5 inch panel has a resolution of 2160 x 3840 for an eye searing pixel density of 806 pixels per inch. To put that into perspective, the iPhone 6S Plus has a resolution of 1080 x 1920. While a higher resolution screen might seem impressive, many reviewers were a bit underwhelmed as they could barely see any differences between the one on the 6S Plus and the Z5 Premium. They also didn't notice any additional benefits of the screen during day to day tasks or even viewing multimedia files. With that said, most agree the screen is gorgeous as it offers superb colors, viewing angles and sunlight legibility.

Behind the screen are a 2GHz octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM, which is the same as the Xperia Z5. For the most part it performed quite well for experts even when playing the latest 3D games or shooting 4K videos. CNET states, "There's very little you can throw at this phone to slow it down." The only drawback others noticed was heating issues with the back heating up to the point where they were hesitant to play intense games for very long. In order to power the screen and processor Sony opted for a 3,430mAh battery. During everyday usage, reviewers were able to get around a full day out of it, but streaming back 4K videos constantly resulted in only around 5 hours.

The 23MP main camera impressed reviewer, but they do not back Sony's claim that it is "the world's best smartphone camera." While they agree it takes decent pictures, many found the images dull when compared to shots on other phones with the camera skewing to a colder white balance, which led to less vibrant colors. Of course, the camera app does allow for manual calibration of white balance and other modes so users can choose adjust as necessary for the perfect pictures. Besides an upgraded megapixel count, Sony has also included a new 5X zoom and a new autofocus. While welcome features, experts were a bit let down with the results as the zoom did not focus properly on the intended target and the autofocus had issues capturing moving objects.

Despite its overall solid performance, reviewers have a hard time recommending it. Recombu states, "…you'll pay a premium price for this phone, and with no real advantages over the standard Xperia Z5, plus poorer battery life and more difficult handling, we'd say go with the original flagship instead." Tech Radar adds, "…the Xperia Z5 Premium is the go-to phone for enthusiasts who want the next big thing. It's just a shame that isn't not a more rounded package…"


Operating system
Android
Processor
2 GHz
Screen Size
5.5"
Camera
20+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


AndroidPIT

The Sony Xperia Z 5 Premium is a smartphone with some unique selling points, but it seems out of date in some areas. Sony’s OmniBalance design principles are a matter of taste - some love them, others simply find them boring. But the simple truth is that it feels like it’s time for a fre...

- Camila Rinaldi, AndroidPIT
Notebookcheck

Sony's designated Premium smartphone turns out to be a bigger twin of the Xperia Z5 with the same technological basis apart from the screen.

- Andreas Kilian, Notebookcheck
Android Police

You're looking at about $700 to get your hands on this phone, and that's not even for a North American version with proper warranty support. I'm not sure what Sony's plans are for the Z5 series going forward, but it would be nice to at least have the option of buying one here. As for whether or not...

- Ryan Whitwam, Android Police
Android Community

Anyone hoping for a real wow factor with this phone based on the specs or the marketing hype will be sadly disappointed. While the Z5 Premium isn't a bad phone by any stretch, it simply doesn't live up to that hype or the pretty steep retail price. With UK pricing set by Sony at £600 ($713 acc...

- Richard Devine, Android Community
The Indian Express

4K images look stunning, but they take a slight second to load. It is good that you can shoot 4K videos with the phone and view them in full resolution on the phone itself. The one impressive thing is that despite the high-resolution screen, the Premium has a similar battery life as its cheaper...

- Nandagopal Rajan, The Indian Express


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.5"

The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium's screen size is 5.5 inches with 2160 x 3840 pixels resolution.

Processor
2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810 Octa core 2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 5.1 Lollipop (Update Available: 7.0 Nougat) operating system (OS).

Camera
20+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 20+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 200 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3430mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3430 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 1150 minutes.

Xperia Z5 Premium Specs

Overview
Release date September 2, 2015
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/800 /850/1800/2600/2300 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 5.1 Lollipop (Update Available: 7.0 Nougat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810 Octa core 2 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.43 W/kg
Body: 0.81 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3430 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 440 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1150 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 26.3 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Chrome, Black, Gold, Pink
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.4 x 7.6 x 0.8 cm (6.1 x 3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 180 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 68
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 2160 x 3840 pixels
Pixel density 801 pixels
Size 5.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX, LDAC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 200 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
20+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
8x digital
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, ASF, DivX, XviD, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
ISO, Night mode
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, OGG, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM/RDS)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, ASF, AVI, DivX, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sony E6853

Also available in a dual-SIM model.

Additional Sensors
- Finger Print Sensor
- Pedometer

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Reviews
Where to buy Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
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