Sony Xperia Z5: User Review
by Adam Carne
The Sony Xperia Z5 is the very first mobile phone in the Xperia range that I have purchased, as before I have always used products made by Samsung. So I was very skeptical at first but based on the products specifications and friend’s opinions, I decided to upgrade to this phone. I have now had this phone over a year and I feel it is the right time to give my personal experience of the Xperia Z5.
Now before I do start my review, its only right to talk about my usage of the phone. As like most people, I use my phone everyday of my life and for me it is used for most of my personal tasks. From checking Facebook to even checking my bank balance, it has never failed to achieve the day to day tasks. Therefore, if I’m not working, then I’m most likely on my phone, meaning I use my phone an average 10 hours a day.
Battery Life & Charging
Now a good battery life is key, especially for me, as nobody wants to keep charging their phones all the time. From personal experience, I can say that the battery has never faltered for me and I’ve never had to do a mad dash for the charger when my phone reaches that dreaded one percent. I have sufficient usage time, allowing me to complete my daily tasks as well as watching the odd video or two.
The usage time does vary depending on what you are using the phone for, as does any phone, so when I use my phone to watch videos I have more than enough to watch a full length film and still be able to check my emails or social networks. When it comes to taking that important picture, the camera application doesn’t attack my battery as much as my previous phones.
When I do finally reach the point where my phone’s battery has reached zero, I never feel as though I’ll have to wait until retirement age for it to charge. Once I place my phone on charge, with the included charging cable, I only have to wait an average 30 minutes to have my phone at a decent charge level and just an hour for a full charge. So the Xperia Z5 allows me to charge my phone, complete a few tasks and be fully charged when I get back. A feature I fully enjoy.
Performance & Design
In terms of performance, the Sony Xperia Z5 is fast and doesn’t give you the slow feeling when doing something as simple as opening Facebook. Nobody likes waiting too long for something and I personally don’t like having to wait a while for a phone to do a simple task, so speed for me was key when choosing a phone. The boot speed of the phone is a little slow compared to other phones on the market, however this isn’t an important factor for me, as my phone is hardly, if ever, turned off.
When gaming on the Sony Xperia Z5, the processor holds up well and runs the games smoothly, especially when partnered alongside a beautiful 1920x1080p screen. I feel like I can become immersed in a game when playing on the Xperia Z5, a feeling I feel is sometimes left out in other phones.
In my honest opinion, I feel like Sony did an amazing job as not only is the Xperia Z5 a visually stunning phone, but in my opinion it is one of the best looking phones on the market. I love the 5.2-inch screen, as for me this is the perfect size for any task and is brilliant for watching the odd film or two when travelling long distances. I don’t find it too awkward to hold either, as for someone like me with small hands a lot of other phones on the market are uncomfortable to hold, whilst the Xperia Z5 is only 7.3mm thick and has a nice premium feel to it. I especially love the frosted glass that Sony has used for the back of the phone, as this makes the phone look smart and very professional, not plastic and gimmicky like other phones.
The Sony Xperia Z5 also has ergonomically placed buttons, these include the power button which doubles up as a fingerprint scanner, the volume buttons and a camera button. My favourite feature of these buttons are the fact that they are raised above the surface of the phone, whilst also giving an assertive click to let you know you’ve fully pressed the button and activated whatever feature the pressed button does.
Strength & Durability
Now I must admit, I can be a bit silly when it comes to dropping my phone and believe me it does happen a fair amount. The Sony Xperia Z5 holds up well in the strength department, with its reinforced glass screen the Xperia Z5 has never smashed, allowing me to never experience the feeling of revealing a cracked screen when picking up a dropped phone. With a frosted glass back, I was worried that the phone would be susceptible to scratches, however I haven’t had any and that is something that is surprising to me. When buying phones I have always purchased a screen protector, but I didn’t want to alter the aesthetics of the Xperia Z5 as I love the look of it, so I decided against buying one and I’ve never looked back since. The phone is very durable and for me I feel like I can take it anywhere without having to worry about damaging it, especially considering the phone is IP68 certified.
The camera for me, is one of the main reasons as to why I decided to purchase the Xperia Z5 as I am fed up of wanting to take a picture of a moment and getting something that either a blur or lacks so much colour I might’ve well as taken it in black and white. The Sony Xperia Z5 has a 23MP camera and a higher pixel resolution than its predecessors, team this up with an insanely fast auto focus and you get high quality pictures that can be taken quickly. A feature of the camera is low light technology, letting the Xperia Z5 thrive in low light conditions and deliver clear photos, a feature helpful considering the lack of sun the England.
I use my Xperia Z5 a lot for recording stuff, anything from a birthday party to a night out on the town, and I always know im getting good quality videos. With a high quality camera, along with being able to record in 4K quality, I know I’m always getting the best videos that a clear and full of life. When I don’t want to record in 4K, the Xperia Z5 can easily switch to 1080p or even 720p with an amazing 120 fps, a setting useful for recording fast paced scenarios.
I dont really have much to say about the front camera, except it is 5.1MP and I mostly use it for selfies and the odd video. I do use my phone every now and again for video calling and the front camera holds up well, delivering a high quality crisp image to the other caller.
Security for me is crucial when owning a phone as I don’t want anyone being able to gain access to my important information, especially since I like to use my phone for banking. The fingerprint scanner is built into the power switch, therefore being discreet but still does its job. This is the first phone I have owned with a fingerprint scanner and in my opinion it is a feature that is long overdue in the Sony range. I found it easy to set up and use, with it detecting my fingerprint nearly every time and only having to re-scan my finger the odd few times.
I love swimming and doing sports like mountain biking, so with the Sony Xperia Z5 being water and dust proof, how could I resist. Being able to take my phone in the water allows me to take amazing shots both above and slightly underneath the water, a breathtaking moment for me as I’ve never done underwater photography before.
Now, one of the things I dislike about the Xperia Z5 is the amount of the heat the phone produces with me having to stop what I was doing at the time to allow the phone to cool down. I find this problem mostly arises when I am playing a demanding game that is heavy on graphics and battery usage and doesn’t happen when only using the phone to check social networks or surfing the web. I don’t know if the materials of the Xperia Z5 contribute to this, considering the main materials or metal and glass, but it is certainly an annoying and unwanted feature.
I love android as it allows me to customise my phone anyway I want to add that personal touch, making it feel like my phone and nobody else’s. However the operating system that Sony shipped with the phone is a little lack luster, as I feel like it is restricting me a little bit and to me a bit boring. Like I just mentioned though, since it is Android, it does allow me to customise it and change a the UI to suit me.
No Wireless Charging
With wireless charging becoming a mainstream way of adding juice to your phone, I was pretty surprised when Sony left it out. Having a cable attached to the phone feels old fashioned and something that is just a nuisance, with wires easily being caught and pulling the phone straight off the table which I have done a few times. Wireless charging removes this, allowing the user to just simply pick up the phone when it has finished charging and not have to unplug and plug in a cable when charging. Also, I’m kind of geeky and find wireless charging cool.
In my honest opinion the Sony Xperia Z5 is the best handset I have owned so far and one I will use for the foreseeable future.
It is an amazing looking phone with one of the best designs around, one in which I have had a few people ask what phone I owned. The Sony Xperia Z5 contains a whole host of useful features that make the handset a pleasure to use, with its high tech camera that is able to deliver high quality photos and 4K quality videos to its many different settings that add that little extra touch to every picture you take. With its new fingerprint scanner I feel as I never have to worry about security for my phone ever again, especially since there are apps that can take advantage of it and allows me to protect certain apps which can only be unlocked with my fingerprint. I also love it that I don’t have to worry about taking the phone out in the rain either.
Even though there are a few features that I don’t like about the phone, these don’t have too big of an impact to make me switch. Overall I highly recommend this phone, especially to anyone looking to try a handset made by Sony.
As a final verdict, I give the Sony Xperia Z5 a 7/10, with the heat and operating system affecting the score, but it contains some amazing technology.