Home Tech Reviews Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Review – Small and Powerful

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Review – Small and Powerful

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Few months ago, Sony unwrapped the Xperia Z5 lineup in three sizes including the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, which is the most compact in the Z5 trio. It just took a month for Sony Philippines to announce and release the Z5 Compact (Php29k pesos price) locally alongside with Xperia Z5 (Php35k) and Xperia Z5 Premium (Php40k).

With the compact footprint, the Xperia Z5 Compact is by no means small in specs. In fact, it has the same waterproof design, powerful Snapdragon 810 octa-core chip and the much-improved 23MP camera like as to the Xperia Z5 classic and Z5 Premium. Anything you’d expect from the extra large Z5s is the same but in just a more handy way.

Find out why is that the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact is one of my favorites among the smartphones I’ve used this year in our in-depth, comprehensive review.

Unboxing: What’s in the retail box of Sony Xperia Z5 Compact?

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Our unit came in white variant and single SIM (dual SIM options available on Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium) with typical contents expected from Sony. The charger is now 1.5A considering that its successors were using lower amperage wall adapter.

  • Xperia Z5 Compact with built-in 2700 mAh battery
  • USB data cable (microUSB 2.0)
  • Stereo headset
  • 1.5A charger
  • Papers

Design and build

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It’s a tradition for Sony to attach the “compact” suffix on at the end of every flagship Z device that has a small footprint, with it usually including a few minor cuts in specifications and features. That is true to the Xperia Z5 Compact. The phone features similar beautiful and rugged design as its siblings, including a squarish form, frosted glass on the back, an etched Xperia logo, and the new signature keys.

New to Z5s is the fingerprint sensor which is integrated at the power button on the right side of the device along with the volume rocker and dedicated camera key, all laid out in a convenient manner. They are easy to reach and respond quickly when pressed. The top houses a 3.5mm headphone jack and a secondary microphone, while at the bottom are the capless microUSB port and a mouthpiece. The etched Xperia logo is found on the top left side, just below is the flap door for the nano-SIM tray and microSD card slot, and the lanyard eyelet.

The fingerprint scanner is still just as fast as it was on the Xperia Z5, but it is a different story when my fingers are sweaty. Unlike on the Nexus 6P and 5X that would still read my fingers even when wet, the scanner on all Z5 devices is very sensitive to moist, leaving you to wipe off the sensor and your fingers for it to successfully scan. Or instead, just resort to the PIN password after several attempts, which consumes more time. You’ll also need to cover the entire elongated shape of the scanner taking more time of getting used to.

Meanwhile, the materials used up on the back and on the side feels very sturdy and always keep the device waterproof and smudge-free. There was one time I dropped the device from 4 feet high without any damage on the entire phone.

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The smaller footprint means that one-handed usage is very comfortable and that is a convenience that it is hard to get in most smartphones today. Perhaps the small size, solid build and classic design are few of the main reasons why I liked the Xperia Z5 Compact more than any device.

Display

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The Xperia Z5 Compact features a 4.6-inch Triluminos Bravia IPS LCD screen with a 720p HD resolution, resulting to a pixel density of 323. Not the sharpest screen around, but it is relatively high. Of course, with Sony maintaining the excellent viewing experience found from the other Z5 such as accurate color reproduction, more vivid configuration than most high-end LCDs, great viewing angles, and high brightness level.

See also: iPhone 6s VS Xperia Z5 Compact Comparison

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On the flip side, having smaller screen means watching movies and playing games are not the best when compared to the large displays of other phones. But, what you’d get is the best 4.6-inch screen around and that you can comfortably insert in any pocket and hold in one hand.

Camera

The camera on the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact is the same as what was available in the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium, with its 23MP (25MP true resolution) main sensor coupled with f/2.0 aperture, hybrid stabilization (which is really excellent), ability to focus at 0.03 seconds, and LED flash. The selfie snapper at the front is 5.1MP that can shoot 1080p video and takes good-looking selfie photos with natural and vivid colors.

Sony has made very big improvements in video department as well. The new Steady Shot feature works in conjunction with the hybrid stabilization (mechanical and digital). We found the video shooting to have the most stable and fastest focus speed in a smartphone camera. The quality is also superb, with accurate colors and white balance, and top-class detail preservation.

Given the same camera unit and chipset as to the Xperia Z5, it’s not a surprise that Xperia Z5 Compact takes excellent still images. In daylight, photos have natural and very pleasing colors, with superb detail preservation and wide dynamic range (HDR). The ability of the camera extends up to the night using the 8MP super auto settings. Low light photos are bright and retain the natural colors. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re shooting at night or when the sun is around.

Full HD video recording sample below

Performance and benchmarks

Under the hood, the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact is equipped with the same octa-core Snapdragon 810 chipset, as to the bigger Z5s, and 2GB RAM (1GB less as to the Z5) with a 32GB expandable storage using up to 200GB microSD card. Our day-to-day experience is a breeze; browsing is very smooth and switching between apps is fast and stutter-free. We tried running hefty and graphics demanding games without experiencing any lag issues.

The benchmark tests yield convincingly good numbers, which are close on what we got from the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium. Perhaps the 1GB less specification and smaller footprint for thermal dissipation were few of the factors that affected the slight difference in the ratings.

Benchmark ratings

  • AnTuTu – 40434
  • Basemark OS – 1505
  • GeekBench 3 single core – 1346
  • GeekBench 3 multi-core – 4025

Software and experience

Running on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop OS with the latest custom Xperia UI, the software experience on Xperia Z5 Compare could never be different from the Xperia Z5. It is clean and flat; bloatware is very minimal and the whole offering is close to a vanilla Android Lollipop experience (stock Android). If there is one iteration of Android UI we loved most, then it is the one found on Xperia Z series.

Battery

True Sony Xperia smartphones are their reliable battery life. It’s the same case on the Xperia Z5 Compact with 2700 mAh battery, we squeezed up to 2 days battery life with moderate use while our video battery test produced around 11 hours and 6 minutes running time.

Charging speed is around 120 minutes or 2 hours using the 1.5A power adapter in the retail box. Of course, you would go faster if you’re on higher amperage charger and with Quick Charge 2.0 feature.

Battery and charging speed ratings

  • 11 hours 6 minutes video battery test
  • 2 days battery life with moderate use
  • 120 minutes charging speed (1.5A non-Quick Charge adapter)

Speaker

The Xperia Z5 Compact is rocking with front-facing stereo speakers. In regards with the sound quality, the vocal is cool and clear with decent bass. The volume level is not the loudest we’ve heard, but it is convincingly good considering the small footprint. Sony is also throwing some audio configurations which are accessible from the settings.

Value and Verdict

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Sony Philippines is currently listing the Xperia Z5 Compact at their online store with an official PH price of Php29,990 and that’s 6k and 11k cheaper than the Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium, respectively. So there you have it, our comprehensive look and review on the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact.

The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact is a powerful and capable smartphone as the bigger Xperia Z5 but in a smaller form factor. Its sturdy built, classic design, latest hardware, and very reliable camera are among the key features worth trying out. Definitely, the Xperia Z5 Compact is a smartphone with a lot of value for your money.

Pros on Xperia Z5 Compact

  • Waterproof and sturdy build
  • Beautiful, classic design
  • Comfortable compact size
  • microSD card expansion
  • Excellent still image and video quality
  • Fast focusing speed, very stable video shooting
  • Fast and smooth experience
  • Long battery life
  • Clean and bloatware-less software experience

Cons on Xperia Z5 Compact

  • Fingerprint is sensitive to sweaty fingers
  • Stereo speaker is not loud as to other high-end mono speakers
  • 2GB RAM only

Watch the video comparison and camera review below

SPECS, PH Price Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
Display 4.6-inch 720p HD Triluminos IPS LCD, 323ppi
Size 8.9mm, 138g weight
Design Scratch-resistant, oleophobic coating, metal frame, water and dust proof
Colors  Yellow, Magenta/Pink, White, Black
Chipset Snapdragon 810 octa-core chipset
Processor Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2 GHz Cortex-A57
Graphics Adreno 430 GPU
Memory 32GB internal, microSD card up to 200GB
Main Camera 23MP f/2.0 camera, single LED flash, HDR, steady shot
Multimedia 4K UHD video recording, SloMo
Front camera 5MP selfie camera, 1080p video
Connectivity Dual 4G LTE cat 6, WiFi ac, Bt 4.1, FM Radio, GPS, NFC
OS Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
Software Xperia UI
Battery 2700mAh, Quick Charge 2.0
Ports USB 2.0
Official Price P29,990 pesos official price from Sony PH
Availability date 2015 November
Where to buy Sony Philippines

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact VS iPhone 6S Comparison, Camera Review

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Sony Xperia Z5 Compact are available at online stores with cheaper price, is it safe to buy their stuffs? Are they Authentic?

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