Sony announced its newest flagship smartphone today, the Xperia Z5, along with two other smartphones from the same series, the Xperia Z5 Compact and the Xperia Z5 Premium, the "world's first" 4k smartphone.
The Xperia Z5 has kept much of the same "OmniBalance" design language that Sony has used for the past few years. It can still be considered competitive with most of what is currently out there at the high-end, but many users would have liked to have seen something a little different from Sony by now.
The main feature of the new device is likely to be its brand-new camera module, which had not been changed since the launch of the Xperia Z1. The camera comes with a new 23MP sensor and what Sony calls the fastest auto-focus in the world -- it's only 0.03 seconds to be ready for capturing pictures. That's about 10 times faster than what we see other new smartphones announce these days.
However, even if pictures can be "taken" instantaneously, there's still an ~1 second delay in processing the picture completely, and sometimes the device even lags slightly because of it.
Other specifications include the Snapdragon 810, a 5.2" display, LTE support and Quick Charge 2.0 support, which enables it to handle 5.5 hours of talk with only 10 minutes of charging.
The Xperia Z5 Compact is going to replace the previously launched Xperia Z3 Compact, which was praised for its compact size and battery life. The Xperia Z5 Compact also has only a 4.6" screen, just like the predecessor, and Sony promises it can last up to two days on a charge.
The third device from the Z5 series is the Xperia Z5 Premium, which includes the 5.5" 4k screen, a 3,430 mAh battery, and the ability to expand its 32 GB of default internal storage by up to 200 GB through microSD cards. The 4k Triluminos IPS display promises to have a high color gamut, higher contrast and higher sharpness, as well. In the few moments I've spent with it at IFA, the screen did indeed look crystal clear.
Sony also talked about its support for high-resolution audio in the latest products, which sometimes works simply by upscaling the current MP3 and AAC files into newer higher-res versions.
Sony has also begun selling a pair of smartphone headphones designed to almost completely eliminate background noise. Sony said it eliminated noise by 98 percent, and after testing the headphones myself at IFA, I can believe that's very close to the truth. Once a button is activated, almost all background noise simply disappears. However, I found that the headphones did not sit well in my ears, and according to a Sony representative, they are quite pricey at 180 euro a pair.
Xperia Z5 will launch globally in October this year, while the Xperia Z5 Premium should arrive a month later, in November. Both single-SIM and dual-SIM variants will exist for both models.