The Japanese firm introduced the Sony Xperia 1 in early 2020, as a natural successor to the Xperia XZ4. Then came a new name, although it was two very similar terminals. A few months later, in the fall of last year, we met the last big release of the company, the Sony Xperia 5.
We find a terminal that, again, has similar specifications. Nevertheless, decrease the size of your screen, going from 6.5 to 6.1 inches. We could classify it as the "Xperia 1 Compact", following the trend of versions reduced in size, not in features, that Sony has presented in recent years.
During the last weeks I have had the opportunity to use this Sony Xperia 5 as a personal mobile. I have been able to thoroughly test its only version with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, specifically the black model. These are the conclusions I have reached.
Index of contents:
|Specifications and technical characteristics|
|Dimensions and weight||158 x 68 x 8.2 (mm) | 164 (g)|
|screen||6.1 inch OLED Triluminos|
|Resolution||FHD + (2,520 x 1,080 px), 21: 9 format, 449 dpi|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855|
Octa-core (1x Kryo 485 @ 2.84 GHz & 3x Kryo 485 @ 2.42 GHz & 4x Kryo 485 @ 1.78 GHz)
Areno 640 GPU
|Storage||128 GB expandable with microSD up to 1 TB|
|Operating system||Android 9.0 Pie (with Xperia UI)|
|Rear camera||Triple 12 MP (wide, f / 1.6) + 12 MP (ultrawide, f / 2.4) + 12 MP (telephoto, f / 2.4), OIS, PDAF autofocus, 2x optical zoom, HDR, slow motion video, fast shooting mode 10 fps|
|Frontal camera||8 MP (f / 2.0), HDR|
|Connectivity||LTE (dual SIM)|
Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0 LE
aGPS + GLONASS + BDS + GALILEO
18W fast charge and Smart Stamina
USB Power Delivery
|Others||Gorilla Glass 6|
Fingerprint reader in side frame
HDR Panel BT.2020 and DCI-P3 100% with X-Reality Engine
Hi-Res sound with Dolby Atmos
The best of the Sony Xperia 5
Screen construction and quality
The screen of this Sony Xperia 5 arrives with OLED technology, HDR, Full HD + resolution and a size of 6.1 inches. Its 21: 9 aspect ratio, ultra-wide, gives the Sony device an elongated and particular appearance. It is not difficult to realize at a glance that we are facing one of the smartphones of the Japanese firm.
We cannot speak of a hole on the screen, not even a notch, since we find ourselves with quite traditional frames. The upper one is responsible for housing the front camera, while the lower frame is completely bare. In addition, the latter is somewhat thinner, which impairs its symmetry.
The Sony Xperia 5 panel is of high quality, with powerful colors and well calibrated. Although we lose the 4K resolution compared to the Xperia 1, I have to say that I have not missed her given its size. You will also have the possibility to customize it to your liking with the white balance control tool, switching between warm, medium and cold tones.
It maintains the rectangular appearance that Sony smartphones have traditionally had, but both the sides and the corners have rounded finishes. Its rear is simple, and together with the black color of the model that I have been able to analyze, it gives a very elegant appearance. In addition, despite having a glossy finish, the fingerprints are less marked than in other devices.
This Sony Xperia 5 arrives with the Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm as the brain, an 8-core Kryo processor that has been incorporated by some of the most powerful terminals in recent months. It is true, during the summer of last 2019 we were able to see an improved version of the North American processor, the Snapdragon 855+, but the performance difference is not significant on a day-to-day basis.
The Sony device smoothly move demanding applications. It also performs outstandingly with all kinds of games, such as Call of Duty: Mobile. Together with its 6 GB of RAM, it forms a duo with which I have been more than satisfied.
Of course, in the day to day it also flows smoothly, something in which your software plays an important role. Sony's customization layer is very light, and respects the aesthetics with which Google has designed the latest versions of Android. As of today, in January, I am using version 9.1 of the Californians operating system, although Android 10 is expected to arrive imminently.
Autonomy is another of the characteristics with which the Sony terminal has left me satisfied. It has a battery of 3,140 mAh, 18W fast charge and an energy saving mode they have called Smart Stamina. You will not find a spectacular autonomy, but the Xperia 5 complies and you will arrive without problems at the end of the day. In most cases I have exceeded 6 hours of screen. Regarding the speed of the load, in about 27 minutes he was able to go from 0 to 50%, up to 70% in about 40 minutes. As in most devices, the last section is the most complicated, reaching 100% in 1 hour and a half.
The not so good of the Sony Xperia 5
Screen (yes, again) and details
As I pointed out not long ago, the screen quality of the Sony Xperia 5 is excellent. It is colorful, it is well calibrated and its Full HD + resolution seems sufficient for its 6.1-inch diagonal. What I'm not so happy with is its format. A ratio of 21: 9 seems excessive for a mobile phone. The moments in which we can take advantage of it are scarce, unless today, and it does not seem that most of the content we consume is going to adapt to a format like this. In fact, in most cases we will have to deal with two large black stripes.
Is it a sign of identity that differentiates it from the rest? Yes. Does the use benefit from day to day? My experience tells me no. The device is very tall and narrow, 15.8 and 6.8 centimeters respectively, and although it is true that you end up getting used to it, even carrying it in your pocket can be uncomfortable.
In addition, at a time when manufacturers have managed to make the most of the front of their devices, we find ourselves with some frames that take us years back. They are details, I do not think that the experience with the screen of this Xperia 5 is bad, but they contribute to the fact that an experience that could stand out from other devices does not end up being round.
On the other hand, and making it clear that the Sony terminal has pleasant materials and good finishes, its elongated screen is accompanied by some design obstacles. One of them is the position of the fingerprint reader, which the Japanese firm has always located on the side of the device. The natural position of my thumb fell right on the reader, so on many occasions I unlocked it without intending to, just by taking it.
So are the cameras of the Sony Xperia 5
The Sony Xperia 5 has three cameras on its rear, all with 12 megapixel sensors. Yes, there are differences in terms of brightness, since we find a 1.6 focal length in the case of the main sensor, 2.4 for the remaining two. On the other hand, in the upper frame of its front, it houses a camera 8 megapixels and focal 2.0.
Photography by day, zoom and portrait mode
Nails on optimal conditions, the photographs that we can take with the Sony terminal are really good. It is true that sometimes with a lot of light it is possible that we find burned areas, but it can be solved if we have some expertise when taking the picture.
We did not expect anything else, the images present a great level of detail and the color interpretation It has not caused me any problems, even in low light scenes. We are facing a fairly constant trio of cameras, with which you can take good photographs in practically any situation.
On the other hand, the portrait mode has also given good results. Doesn't suffer too much with trimming, even if we find ourselves with complicated scenes, and you will have the possibility of taking this type of photograph with both people and objects. However, it must be taken into account, we must be careful with areas of high lights.
We are not facing the most remarkable night mode on the market, but this Xperia 5 is capable of doing a very good job when the light falls, especially if we compare it with some of its predecessors. Color rendering is good, the orange lights of the lighting of my city kept their tonality, and it manages to collect images with a good level of detail, without too much noise.
If the conditions are right, the 8-megapixel front sensor of this Xperia 5 does a good job. We obtain photographs with a good level of sharpness and detail, with some successful skin tones. However, the level drops noticeably when night falls, noise appears and we lose detail. In any case, it is nothing new, it is something that we have seen on many other devices.
Sony Xperia 5: conclusions and opinion
The Snapdragon 855 is more than enough for practically any task that you can ask the Japanese terminal, which together with its software, fluid and without too many additions, leaves us a really good experience. The Sony Xperia 5 is a fast terminal, that is enjoyed in the day to day. On the other hand, their cameras do a very good job too. They are not the best, but almost any type of user will be happy with them.
It is a well-built device, with details and finishes that make it clear that we are facing a high-end terminal. Nevertheless, your design may also be your main problem. I do not think that the ultra-wide ratio of your screen is for all audiences, in fact, on many occasions I have missed something more width on your panel. It could play the trick of being a somewhat more compact high-end, many consider it the "Xperia 1 Compact", but its almost 16 centimeters do not let me see it that way.
Sony's smartphone is not a bad option, but I don't think its arguments are enough to choose it over the rest of its rivals. It is what has such a competitive market, for a price that is close to 600 euros we can find great alternatives which, in my opinion, are a better buy. However, this does not mean that Sony has created a different and recognizable terminal. Whoever enjoys 21: 9 can be sure of getting a very good smartphone.
Sony Xperia 5 price and where to buy
If you have been convinced and you want to get the Sony device, you can find it on Amazon in its only version with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for a price of around 600 euros.
|Should you buy the Sony Xperia 5?|
|Conclusions||The Sony Xperia 5 is a great device, with a very good screen, a great user experience, and a lot of power. Also, its cameras do well in most scenarios. However, its particular format may not make it suitable for everyone.|
|Punctuation||Sony Xperia 5|
A great smartphone that may not be for all audiences.