The Sony Xperia 5 was introduced in 2019 as a compact counterpart to the flagship Xperia 1. It aimed to offer a similar high-end experience in a more manageable size, retaining many of the premium features of its larger sibling. Here’s an in-depth review of the Sony Xperia 5:
Launched in the latter half of 2019, the Xperia 5 was Sony’s attempt to cater to users who desired flagship features in a more compact form factor. The device emphasized a high-quality display, professional-grade camera features, and Sony’s signature design language.
- Operating System: Shipped with Android 9 Pie, upgradable to later versions.
- Display: 6.1-inch OLED with a resolution of 1080 x 2520 pixels, supporting HDR BT.2020 and a 21:9 CinemaWide aspect ratio.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855.
- Memory: 6 GB RAM with 128 GB internal storage, expandable via microSDXC.
- Camera: Triple 12 MP rear camera setup – primary sensor, telephoto lens, and an ultrawide lens. The camera system benefits from technology and expertise from Sony’s Alpha camera series. The front camera is an 8 MP shooter.
- Battery: 3140 mAh non-removable battery with USB Type-C fast charging.
- Other Features: Side-mounted fingerprint scanner, IP65/IP68 dust/water resistance, stereo speakers, and Dolby Atmos sound.
- Compact Design: The Xperia 5 was designed for users who prefer a smaller device without compromising on flagship features.
- 21:9 Display: The unique aspect ratio offered an immersive viewing experience for movies and allowed for multitasking with two apps running side by side.
- Camera Capabilities: The collaboration with Sony’s Alpha series brought professional-grade features to the camera system, including Eye AF and Cinema Pro video recording.
- Performance: Powered by the Snapdragon 855, the device offered smooth and responsive performance.
- Build Quality: The device featured a sleek and modern design with a glass back and metal frame, emphasizing its premium positioning.
- Battery Life: The 3140 mAh battery, while decent, might not be sufficient for power users, especially when considering the high-resolution display and powerful internals.
- Camera Low-light Performance: Similar to the Xperia 1, the camera sometimes struggled in low-light conditions.
- No Headphone Jack: The device lacked a 3.5mm headphone jack, which could be a downside for some users.
Comparisons to Other Technologies:
In its segment, the Xperia 5 faced competition from:
- Samsung Galaxy S10e: Offering a Dynamic AMOLED display, Snapdragon 855 (or Exynos 9820), and a dual-camera setup.
- iPhone 11: With its Liquid Retina IPS LCD display, Apple A13 Bionic chip, and a dual-camera system.
- OnePlus 7T: Featuring a Fluid AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 855+, and a triple-camera system.
The Sony Xperia 5 was announced in September 2019 and became available in October 2019.
- Fingerprint Scanner Sensitivity: Some users reported occasional misreads or sensitivity issues with the side-mounted fingerprint scanner.
- Camera Software: While the camera hardware was impressive, some users felt that the camera software could be improved for better image processing and more intuitive use.
The Sony Xperia 5 was a compelling offering for those who desired flagship features in a more compact form factor. It catered to users who prioritize multimedia consumption, especially with its 21:9 display aspect ratio. While it had its set of drawbacks, especially in terms of battery life and camera software, it stood out in the market due to its unique features and Sony’s brand legacy. For those who value a cinematic viewing experience on a smartphone and prefer a smaller device, the Xperia 5 was a strong choice.