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Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Review – The Best Camera and Display in a Flagship


Introduced a couple of months ago, the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium is the biggest waterproof flagship of Sony with world’s first 4K display, skipping the QHD that we’ve seen from LG and Samsung in recent years. Aside from the groundbreaking homebrewed display technology, the Xperia Z5 Premium is easily one of the best-looking and heavily loaded with premium features in smartphones this year.

And with the availability hitting both international and local markets, we’re eager to find out on what does the Xperia Z5 Premium (priced at Php40990 in the Philippines) brings on to the table. We find out in our in-depth Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review.

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Sony Xperia Z5 Premium vs Huawei Nexus 6P

Unboxing: Whats in the retail box of Sony Xperia Z5 Premium?


Like most Sony Xperia phones, the box came in white with not so premium goodies aside from the device of course. There is a stereo headset, USB data cable supporting microUSB 2.0, 1.8A power adapter (not Quick Charge 2.0) and a set of papers.

  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium with sealed 3430 mAh battery
  • 1.8A charger, you need to buy higher amperage charger with Quick Charge 2.0 support to enjoy faster charging
  • Stereo headset
  • USB data cable
  • Manuals and guides

Design and build


Aside from the larger footprint, the reflective glass back of the Xperia Z5 Premium is another design element that distinguishes it from the rugged and waterproof Xperia Z5 series. Our unit came in Chrome variant, which I think is the most eye-catching options you’d get though the gold looks like a legit gold in person. You’ll just mind that the polished back pickups smudge easily unlike on the frosted, matte texture on Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact.

There is still the squarish and angular form, waterproof and dust resistance certifications, and the flat and classic back we’ve seen since the first Xperia Z phone was released. But this time around, however, the approach in Xperia Z5 Premium is more refined, there is now an etched Xperia logo, capless USB port, and the fingerprint sensor embedded on top the power button. Despite the subtle changes, the device still felt sturdy and solid, with the design still looks beautiful and unique.

See also: Sony Xperia Z5 vs iPhone 6s Comparison, Camera Review

Like the other Xperia Z5s, one of my complaints is about the elongated fingerprint scanner, which is also a bummer every time I unlock the phone with my sweaty hands. The positioning is a good idea, but the form and sensitivity of the scanner should have been better.


In terms of handling, the Xperia Z5 Premium is manageable with one-handed use. At 180g, it is a bit heavy but its slim and narrow profile helps a lot in providing a good grip. Helping the solid build are the flat metal sides and curved bumper corners that provide protection in accidental drops. Undoubtedly, the Xperia Z5 Premium was made with both function and style.



Now on the 4K display, the diagonal measures of Xperia Z5 Premium’s screen is a 5.5-inch in size. The resulting pixel density is whooping high at 806, the sharpest in any phones right now. Upon inspecting, the advantage of having a 4K display is currently limited in the gallery and certain apps, which is still acceptable given that most of us consume a lot of multimedia and for sure turning on 4K on all areas would consume a lot of battery life. So mostly when you’re not viewing images and videos, you’re still looking at the downscaled 4K at 1080p resolution.


The resolution is just another story as colors plays a vital role in producing excellent viewing experience too. We found out that Sony Xperia Z5 Premium has the most vivid IPS LCD display configuration by default, which is good as we prefer those punchy, high-contrast, and bright picture reproduction in a mobile screen. The display of the Premium is easily one of the best we’ve seen both in sharpness and color, so remarkably, the 4K really makes a difference.

Camera in still and video shooting


Sporting the same 23MP main sensor as to the other Xperia Z5s, we were blown away by the image quality we saw from our first shots. The photos have accurate and lively colors and top-notch resolved detail, which is comparable only to DLSR. Perhaps the hybrid stabilization and very fast focus speed at 0.03 seconds helped a lot in producing very crisp and clear photos in Xperia Z5 Premium.

Sample FHD video recording embedded in the video comparison below

Sony did not only improve the image quality alone, the new superior auto is now smarter and correctly detects the shooting modes in every scene. One of the shots below is taken in auto mode and the camera detected and used high dynamic range (HDR) backlighting which gives brighter exposure to the subject.

The 5.1MP selfie camera takes pleasing shots with the natural colors being preserved.

The new Sony Steady Shot feature in Xperia Z5 Premium provided the best stabilization in video coupled with a very fast and smooth focus speed and sharp detail preservation. These were all proven in our different comparisons and camera review.

Performance and benchmark

Aside from the powerful camera, there is also a beastly chip found under the hood of the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium. The latest Snapdragon 810 octa-core chip paired with 3GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage and microSD card expansion of up to 200GB, all constitute to the smooth and fluid browsing experience on the device.

The bigger profile of the device helped a lot in dissipating disturbing heat when playing graphic intense games such as Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat.

Benchmark rating

  • AnTuTu – 52747
  • Basemark OS II – 1454
  • Geekbench 3 – 1246 single core
  • Geekbench 3 – 3884 multi-core

Software and experience

Running in Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with Xperia UI on top, the Xperia Z5 Premium has one of the cleanest and dynamic iteration in Android. The overall layout and design of the UI are close the stock Android Lollipop while having the exclusive live and static themes from Sony.


Watching a lot of videos certainly consumes more battery life compared to other typical loads running on the Xperia Z5 Premium because of the video upscaling to 4K that is happening behind. Our video battery test produced 8 hours rating from the 3430 mAh juice of Xperia Z5 Premium while our day-to-day usage tips in at roughly 2 days with moderate use, which is still great for a device with a 4K display.

Battery rating

  • Roughly 2 days battery life
  • 8 hours video battery rating
  • 135 minutes charging speed (1.8A non-Quick Charge Adapter)

Charging speed took 135 minutes or 2 hours and 15 minutes using the 1.8A charger. If you want faster charging speed, you’ll need to spare some cash and order higher amperage one supporting Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0.


The audio quality is enjoyable on the front-facing stereo speakers. On the flip side, the volume or power level is not that loud compared to the mono speakers of Galaxy Note 5 and LG V10 nor on the stereo speakers of Nexus 6P. Despite turning on the ClearAudio+ in the settings, the volume level was still the same. In summary, vocals and treble are balanced, cool and clear, with average loudness.

Value and Verdict

The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium is already available in the Philippines. You can pick yours from Sony stores at Php 40990, which is quite a steep asking price. But surely you will be getting more value with this price compared to the other phablets that are priced around P40k too such as the iPhone 6s Plus.

Sony definitely went big this year and disrupted the market with the first 4K display venture and the addition of new breed of camera sensors in mobile devices. It’s true that the 4K display may not be 100% working in all areas on the Xperia Z5 Premium right now, but it’s already a big start for Sony considering that most competitors are still stuck at QHD and FHD resolutions.

The display is just another part of the story, what makes the Xperia Z5 Premium truly a remarkable and worth trying smartphone for is the whole package in it like the fantastic and sturdy design, top-class camera and reliable battery life–all these makeup for a high-value smartphone.


Pros on Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

  • Premium, classic design
  • Sturdy, waterproof and rugged build
  • The 4K display makes a difference
  • Camera is one of the best in the market
  • Steady Shot feature is the king in video balance
  • MicroSD card expansion
  • Fast and fluid experience
  • Good battery life

Cons on Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

  • 4K is limited in some areas
  • Fingerprint sensor design is not convenient and sensitive to moist
  • Stereo speakers loudness is average

Watch the video comparison and camera review below

SPECS, PH Price Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
Display 5.5-inch 4K or 2160p UHD IPS Triluminos, 806ppi
Size 7.8mm, 180g weight
Design IP68 rating, Scratch-resistant, oleophobic coating, stainless metal, water and dust proof
Colors Black, Gold, Chrome
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 3GB RAM, 32GB internal, microSD card up to 200GB
Main Camera 23MP f/2.0 camera, single LED flash, Steady Shot
Multimedia 4K UHD video, 720p @120fps SloMo, HDR
Front camera 5MP selfie camera
Connectivity Dual 4G LTE cat 6, WiFi ac, Bt 4.1, FM Radio, GPS, NFC, Fingerprint sensor
OS Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (cofirmed for Android 6.0 Marshmallow)
Software Xperia UI
Battery 3430mAh, Quick Charge 2.0
Ports microUSB 2.0
Official Price Php40990 price estimate
Availability date November
Where to buy Sony Philippines

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium VS Huawei Nexus 6P Comparison Video Review
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Hi! I'm Jade, an Electronics and Communications Engineer and tech enthusiast. I am the editor-in-chief here at ManilaShaker and on our YouTube channel. If you have questions, suggestions or anything we could talk about you can find me Instagram and Twitter @jadejardinico.


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