Sony Xperia Z5 Compact review

December 30, 2015 Reviews Sony

What is the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact?

The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact is the smaller vesion of the Xperia and the 4K-screen packing Z5 Premium. It's considered as the successor to the Xperia Z3 Compact, having the same 4.6-inch 720p HD screen in a water-resistant body.

Z5 compact

As a family of Z5, Sony realize as many of its high-end features as it can into the smaller frame. So you enjoy the same great camera, 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor powering performance and possible to shoot 4K video you can enjoy on the Z5.

Recently, Sony has its design philosophy. When the first Xperia Z launched in a few years ago, that design makes it different from other smartphone set of Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC that were sold to market at the time. Those same eye-catching elements introduced back then have trickled down into Sony's other handsets, including the Z3 Compact.

The Z5 Compact now can offers a frosted-glass finish on the back and front of the phone, which, although feels very much like plastic to touch, makes some welcome change from the slippery tempered glass which people usually likes. For anyone who's owned a Z3 or a Z3 Compact, you'll know all about how the issues of that glossy back, especially if you like leaving your phone on the your sofa or any soft material surface.

Measuring in at 8.9mm thick compared to the Z5's slender 7.3mm profile, the Z5 Compact is a far chunkier phone. In fact, it looks the handset's back and sides are sporting a bumper. Unlike the Z5, these sides are made of plastic, rather than the more luxurious metallic finish.

You might have noticed that the Z5 Compact is actually bigger than the Z5 in one size it's a little thicker. That's to fit in all those high-end specs and a bigger battery than the larger phone. I barely noticed the difference in thickness until I put them next to each other, and even then it wasn't all that shocking.

The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact weighs in at 138g, 16g lighter than the Z5. Build wise, it's a similar size and weight to the iPhone 6S.

The buttons and ports are positioned in pretty much the same place you'll find them on the Z5.

This Compact has the nano-SIM and micro SD card slot on the left edge of the phone, next to a small gap where you can attach a lanyard. Elsewhere, it's an identical layout to the Z5.

Thankfully, you still get a dedicated camera button, which is handy for taking photos in landscape mode. Plus, the larger, side-mounted home button now includes a fingerprint sensor. To set it up, head into the phone's security settings and follow the process, which involves placing your finger on the power button and lifting it off when you feel a vibration.

While I found Sony's fingerprint sensor better positioned than Apple's Touch ID sensor and Samsung's fingerprint tech, it was a little more temperamental in operation. You'll need to be very precise when wrapping your finger around that button.

One of strong feature is waterproof technology Sony remains one of the few companies to offer such protection: its IP68 certification means it's technically dust- and water-proof to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes. Except Sony doesn't want you to take your phone into the water, as the company bizarrely advised its customers recently.

The Z5 Compact certainly isn't an ugly phone or an uncomfortable phone to use, but in many ways it just isn't as nice as the Z3 Compact. Especially with its thicker form.

Screen is too small?

The Z5 Compact sticks with the same 4.6-inch 720p HD panel as its predecessor and the LCD screen is scratch-resistant too. Although this means it might not be as impressive as its bigger brother for watching films and playing games, overall there are few areas in which I can pick holes.

Resolution is something that needs addressing. Is it time for Sony to upgrade to a Full HD display? There are a number of significantly cheaper phones out there sporting 1080p screens ? although few similar-sized phones offer a resolution higher than 720p HD. It's arguable whether the benefits of the extra resolution are as noticeable as they are on an 5-inch screen or above.

Z5 compact
The increase in pixel density from 319ppi on the Z3 Compact to the 323ppi here does result in sharper screen quality and improved clarity. In addition, Sony includes its now standard Bravia TV-inspired display technologies such as a Triluminious display, X-Reality Engine and Bravia Engine 2.

The bottom line is that the Z5 Compact's screen is exceptionally bright, offers great contrast and accurate colours.

Viewing angles on the Z5 Compact are solid as well, and it offers great visibility in bright sunlight; Sony's adaptive contrast technology aids the ability to view and read the screen at day or night.

Basic features
Key Features: 4.6-inch 720p HD LCD screen (323ppi); Android OS 5.1.1 Lollipop; IP68 dust-proof and water-resistant; Side-mounted fingerprint sensor; Snapdragon 810 processor with Adreno 430 GPU; 2GB RAM; 32GB with microSD card support; 23-megapixel main camera; 5.1-megapixel front-facing camera; Shoots 4K at 30fps; Non-removable 2,700mAh battery
Manufacturer: Sony

Please check out our lineup of Z5 compact.