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Review: Sony Xperia 5 Hands-On

The Sony Xperia 5 was announced at IFA 2019 as Sony’s latest flagship device, but this time comes in a slightly shrunken shell.

A reasonably-sized smartphone, with a flagship set of specifications. Could this be Sony’s way of slyly bringing back the compact line?

Sony Xperia 5 | £699 inc-VAT

Display & Design

The Sony Xperia 5 has already been touted as the compact Xperia 1, which we were fans of here at Clove, and the Xperia 5 certainly sports a similar look.

The Xperia 5 retains the same 21:9 Cinema Wide aspect ratio that matches that of the cinema and makes media playback a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The 6.1-inch Full HD OLED panel has a 1080 x 2520-pixel resolution at 449 pixels per inch, meaning that colour reproduction, overall, is very good. There’s also support for HDR remastering to everything you watch, so even streaming content has more contrast and clarity.

Add Dolby ATMOS stereo speakers to this and you have yourself your own mini cinema.

This unique aspect ratio also means that the device is far slimmer in hand. Indeed, the Xperia 5 has been designed with this in mind and at 164g is pleasantly light. At 158 x 68 x 8.2mm it is shorter and narrower than the Xperia 1, but still leaves enough room for effective multitasking.

A precision-engineered metal frame, coupled with a glass back make for a sophisticated overall look, finished off with a coating of Corning Gorilla Glass 6 for added durability and protection.

It is prone to fingerprint smudges; however, the side mounted fingerprint sensor helps with this and is both easy to reach and very quick to use.

  • 6.1″ Full HD OLED panel
  • 21:9 CinemaWide aspect ratio
  • 1080 x 2520
  • 449ppi
  • HDR remastering
  • Dolby ATMOS sound
  • 164g
  • 158 x 68 x 8.2mm
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6
  • Side-mounted finger sensor

Sony Xperia 5

Camera

Moving onto the camera, and a similar triple lens rear setup adorns the Sony Xperia 5.

(Top to bottom) This consists of a 12MP telephoto and portrait lens, with an f/2.4 aperture and 2x optical zoom, a 12MP lens with a 26mm equivalent focal length, f/1.6 aperture and OIS, and lastly a 12MP super-wide-angle lens, with an f/2.4 aperture and a 130-degree field of view.

Smart scene detection uses AI tech to distinguish what is in a scene and adjusts your settings accordingly. Even with this enabled, colours are very natural and don’t come with the overbearing saturation that is the fault of many other smartphones.

Sony’s Eye AutoFocus tech is similarly as impressive and instantly locks onto subjects for brilliant portraits.

Low light photography has also been upgraded, as the main camera comes equipped with a bright f/1.6 lens. Combined with OIS and RAW noise reduction, final results are sharper and clearer than many similar devices.

Shooting video is where the Sony Xperia 5 really comes into its own, supporting 4K HDR recording in 30fps or 1080p video at 60fps.

Cinema Pro is an exceptional tool, giving budding creators access to professional colour management. This will also allow you to adjust shutter speed, ISO, focus and to tweak colour profile according to 8 professional colour management pre-sets.

Alongside this, the Sony Xperia 5 is equipped with an 8MP front camera with an f/2.0 aperture for some very respectable selfies.

  • Triple rear camera setup
  • 12MP telephoto/portrait lens, f/2.4 aperture, 2x optical zoom
  • 12MP sensor, 26mm equiv. focal length, f/1.6 aperture, OIS
  • 12MP super-wide-angle lens, f/2.4 aperture, 130-degree FOV
  • Smart scene detection
  • Eye AutoFocus
  • 8MP front camera, f/2.0 aperture
  • 4K HDR recording at 30fps / 1080p at 60fps
  • Cinema Pro

     Sony Xperia 5

    Performance

    So, this is clearly a great device for media lovers and also has a pack of features suited to keen gamers.

    Indeed, the Sony Xperia 5 lets you record your gameplay, face and commentary at the same time, before uploading to your favourite site. Voice changer similarly lets you have some fun with your game commentary. Alongside this, with game enhancer you can turn off all notifications during gameplay, whilst support for a wireless connection to a DualShock 4 controller is also supported.

    We’re not avid gamers here at Clove, however we didn’t notice any lags with the Xperia 5 which owes largely to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855, which provides up to 45% faster CPU, 20% faster GPU and improved power efficiency.

    The 3,140mAh isn’t the biggest but should get you through the day, depending on use. A fast charger is packaged in the box though, getting you a 50% charge in 30 minutes. Sony also includes ‘Battery Care’ to keep the device from overcharging and ‘Adaptive Charging’ to monitor your device as it charges.

    Rounding things up, the Sony Xperia 5 comes with an IP65/68 certification for water and dust resistance and supports a microSD card of up to 512GB.

    • Game-play recording
    • Wireless connection to DualShock 4 controller
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
    • 3,140mAh battery
    • Fast Charging
    • IP65/68 certification
    • MicroSD support up to 512GB

    Sony Xperia 5 | £699 inc-VAT