The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium was a notable offering from Sony, primarily because it was the world’s first smartphone with a 4K display when it was launched in 2015. Positioned as a flagship device, the Z5 Premium aimed to push the boundaries of display technology and offer a top-tier smartphone experience. Here’s an in-depth review of the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium:
The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium was the pinnacle of Sony’s Z5 series, showcasing the best of what Sony had to offer in terms of design, camera, and display technology. It was targeted at users who wanted the absolute best in terms of display resolution and overall performance.
- Operating System: Initially shipped with Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop), with subsequent updates available.
- Display: 5.5-inch 4K UHD IPS LCD with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, translating to an impressive 806 ppi.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Octa-core.
- Memory: 3 GB RAM with 32 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 256 GB.
- Camera: 23 MP rear sensor with an f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus, and a 5.1 MP front camera.
- Battery: A 3430 mAh non-removable battery.
- Other Features: IP68 dust/waterproof, fingerprint sensor, NFC, and front-facing stereo speakers.
- Display: The 4K UHD display was the standout feature, offering unparalleled sharpness and clarity.
- Design: The Z5 Premium continued Sony’s OmniBalance design language, with a glossy mirrored finish at the back, making it stand out.
- Camera: The 23 MP camera was capable of capturing detailed images, and the camera app offered a plethora of features.
- Battery Life: Despite the 4K display, the Z5 Premium managed to offer decent battery life, thanks to software optimizations.
- Overheating: The Snapdragon 810 was infamous for its heating issues, and the Z5 Premium was no exception, especially during intensive tasks.
- 4K Limitations: The 4K resolution was not always active; it was primarily used for media playback and certain apps. For most tasks, the display resolution was scaled down to conserve battery life.
- Price: Being a flagship device with a 4K display, the Z5 Premium came with a premium price tag.
Comparisons to Other Technologies:
In its price bracket, the Xperia Z5 Premium faced competition from:
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: Offering a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display with curved edges and a premium glass design.
- iPhone 6s Plus: With its 5.5-inch Full HD Retina display, Apple’s A9 chip, and a focus on ecosystem and software experience.
- LG V10: Featuring a 5.7-inch Quad HD display, secondary ticker display, and a focus on multimedia capabilities.
The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium was announced in September 2015 and released in November 2015.
- Fingerprint Sensor: Some users reported issues with the fingerprint sensor’s accuracy and speed.
- Glossy Back: The mirrored finish at the back was a fingerprint magnet and could get scratched easily.
- Overheating: As mentioned, the Snapdragon 810’s heating issues were a concern, especially during extended camera usage or 4K video recording.
The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium was a bold move by Sony, introducing the world to 4K displays on smartphones. While the display was undoubtedly its standout feature, the device also offered a solid camera, decent battery life, and a distinctive design. However, it faced challenges in terms of overheating and the practicality of a 4K display on a smartphone. For users who wanted the latest in display technology and were fans of Sony’s design language, the Z5 Premium was a compelling choice. However, it was a niche device in a market where other flagships offered a more balanced overall experience.