on 17-01-2020 09:59 AM
Thanks to Sony who have let me try out their new Sony Xperia 5 for the last month.
Sony has modified its Compact version to a more bigger version than it used to be and the result is the Sony Xperia 5 the Sony Xperia 1’s “little brother”. It keeps the same CinemaWide 21:9 ratio as the Xperia 1 but with a 6.1’’ display instead. As the Xperia 5 is only 68mm wide its very comfortable to hold in your hand (even with a case) than other 6.1’’ screen phones and the finish gives it a premium feel.
With the Android 10 update the gesture controls make the phone easier to use.
In your pocket it doesn’t feel as bulky as other phones as its not as wide.
The phone feels very balanced in your hand and with a weight of 164g Sony have packed in a lot compared to the Xperia XZ3 which weights 193g.
In line with their new models Sony have placed the fingerprint sensor at the side of the phone which I feel is the most ergonomic way to unlock a phone, it would have been nice to have the power button as part of the side-mounted fingerprint sensor like on their Xperia XZ1 phones while on the Xperia 5 it’s a separate power/restart/screenshot button.
Also having the cameras in the top corner on the rear of the phone mean when your holding the phone you don’t get your grubby fingers over the camera lens and it stays clean.
As usual with phones now there is no headphone jack but with the box I got there was included a USB-C to headphone adapter.
On the side of the phone is the nano sim and microsd tray which doesn’t need any tools to open, just a finger nail will do.
At the bottom is one of the microphones the USB-C connection and one of the stereo speakers.
On the rear is the familiar triple lens setup that sits just raised up from the surface of the phone also the NFC, LED flash and colour sensor. The Xperia 5 is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 and has Water resistant of IP65/68 so no need to worry about it getting wet (once the sim card tray is fully closed).
On the top left of the phone next to the 8MegaPixel Selfie camera is the trusty LED notification.
It would be good to get a case as it can a little bit slippy.
The Xperia 5 comes with a 21:9 “CinemaWide” 6.1" FHD+ HDR OLED 1080p display which covers most of the front of the phone. Sony is still going with small bezels on the top and bottom of the phone but with gesture display you do gain the full screen to use.
The screen is very vibrant and gives very good colour reproduction especially when you open apps liks Netflix which enables “Creator Mode” that use Sony’s CineAlta technology to reproduce video exactly the way it was captured or you can set this option to be active all the time.
The Xperia 5 also has the X1 for Mobile which will up-convert videos to near HDR quality.
Side Sense is a feature that uses sensors at the side of the phone to make it easier to use the phone one handed I found it a bit tricky to use probably as I had a case on the phone. I much preferred the 21:9 Multi-window option which allows you to select two apps to be displayed on the screen at the same time so you can search google on one half of the screen or watch YouTube on the other half.
Due to the screen being OLED there is an option to enable what you want to show on the Ambient (always on display) so you don’t need to go tapping the screen/button to see a notification or current music playing.
As the phone is running Android 10 there’s an option to enable Dark theme which will set all compatible apps to use a Dark theme.
The Xperia 5 packs in plenty of audio tech like Dolby Atmos®, Sony’s High-Resolution Audio, High-Resolution Audio Wireless, LDAC, DSEE HX™, Stereo Recording, Qualcomm® aptX™ HD audio (Which gives you Wireless HD sound over Bluetooth) Sony has again included their “Dynamic Vibration System” which gives you a vibration feedback based on audio which I found more handy when playing games instead of watching movies or listening to music.
As I mentioned before there is no headphone jack but I got a USB-C to headphone adapter and Sony Headphones in the box.
Audio quality of the speaker is excellent and keeps the quality of the sound even when the volume was maxed up.
Like the Xperia 1 the Xperia 5 has the same triple lens camera layout (3 X 12 MegaPixel) 52mm/F2.4 Portrait and Tele lens, 26mm/F1.6 versatile lens, 16mm/F2.4 super wide-angle lens.
Its good that the Xperia smartphones are getting more of the propriety Sony technology like the new feature of Eye AutoFocus technology from Sony’s Alpha cameras. Eye AF focuses on a persons eye to help you get better portrait shots. You will see little green boxes over a persons eyes when taking photos/videos. I did notice this feature did give me sharper shots of people especially when they are moving.
Sony’s camera app could do with some fine tuning as some of the features like zooming in from 1X to the Wide angle lens are not the most intuitive I found the best way to switch between the lenses was to press x1, x2, W.
In the Camera app you get plenty of modes like Portrait selfie so you can tweak your selfie to the way you want, Google Lens integration allowing you to get information about objects with your camera , Slow Motion 120 fps video recording to get slow motion effect, AR effect allowing you to pretending to be chased by dinosaurs or fight superheros its good fun, Panorama for those panoramic wide shots like when you’re at a beach or somewhere else scenic, Creative effect makes nify effects so you can make your videos look old or as if they were made in a cartoon aka from that A-ha video and finally the manual mode.
Overall I found auto/AI mode the photos looked very well it was able to pick the best settings for the shots I did.
Sony again have a dedicated camera button to give you a more natural way to take photos.
The front camera performed very well for both indoor and outdoor selfies and captures plenty of detail with the 8 MegaPixel camera and does a good job of colour reproduction.
Video was very good again the AF Eye helped me record videos of people, you can record in 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps and I found the videos to be very good quality.
Sony have improved the Slow-Motion Mode and you can record a 120fps Slow Motion video and edit it to add the parts you want to slow down after you capture the action.
Sony have included their Cine Alta app “Cinema Pro” in the Xperia 5 which allows you to make more cinematic movies with plenty of manual settings like Frame Per Second ,WhiteBalance ,ISO, Focus, Shutter speeds, and option to select which of the camera lens you want to use to make your own professional looking movies.
In the box there is a 18W USB-C to USB-C Fast Charger (UCH32) which supports USB Power Delivery fast charging, it took me under 30 minutes to get a 50% . The Xperia 5 has a 3140mAh battery which isn’t the largest battery but I didn’t have any issues in it lasting well over a day usage. If your running low on battery you can enable Stamina Mode to squeeze more out of your remaining battery.
Sony have included their “Battery Care” feature which learns your battery charging patterns and for example if you charge your phone every night, it would slowly charge the battery during the night up to 90% then the hour before your wake up it fully charges the phone up to 100%.
It would be nice if wireless charging was included.
As usual Sony runs a lightly skinned Android 10. I found the user experience very good and I didn’t notice any lags as it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor running with 6GB of RAM and 128GB UFS internal storage.
There is also a Game Enhancer mode which disables notifications while your playing games and gives extra performance to games and it also allows you record the screen.
Overall I found the Xperia 5 to be a worthy upgrade over the Xperia XZ3 especially with its triple lens camera and the 6.1’’ 21:9 display ratio.
Available to buy:-
Three Billpay from 79€
Three Prepay 589€
on 23-01-2020 10:44 AM
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