Sony rebounds with the Z5 Flagship family - What specs!

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Consumer Electronics' started by JD666, Sep 3, 2015.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Sony has announced the latest additions to the Xperia Family with the Z5, Z5 premium and the Z5 compact.

    Headlining which is a 4K (3840x2160), an insane 806 ppi resolution screen. This is but the best for a Virtual Reality headset.

    The Z5 and the Z5 premium match the specs with regards to the hardware inside. The biggest difference is in the display, which goes up on the Z5 premium. At 5.5 inches, it makes for a decently sized device competing with the best out there. However, this is a world first in a mobile phone, so Sony takes the mantle for that.

    With a SnapDragon 810 (Hopefully a newer stepping that doesn't run as hot) and 3GB of RAM, an Adreno 430 GPU, the specs are all there. Where Sony have differentiated in the devices are -

    Z5 - Full HD (1920x1080) - 5.2 inch display - 2900 mAH battery

    Z5 Premium - 4K display - 5.5 inches - 3430 mAH battery

    Z5 Compact - 720P (4.6 inches) 2GB Ram (vs 3 in the other two) - 2700 mAH battery

    The Z3 compact has been an old favorite device. It packed flagship hardware, in a usable form factor, and the battery life was off the charts. With a decent 21 MP camera, and IP68 water proof capability, it made for a great everyday device.

    With the Z5 series, Sony has introduced a newer 23 MP camera, with a bigger sensor. But what they are calling their biggest innovation, is the 0.03 second focus time. Online hands-on tests do concur with these claims, that the camera is probably the snappiest ever that Sony has put in a device.

    Sony Camera sensors are as is being used in a plethora of devices from the One Plus One to the Xiaomi Mi4. This is only taking it a step further ahead.

    First up, the Z5 compact -

    Z5C 02.jpg

    With a dimension of 65mm x 127mm x 8.6mm, the Z5 compact matches the iPhone 6 for width, but is noticeable shorter, that makes it easier to grasp and hold.

    Z5C 03.jpg

    An interesting (and useful) feature that I want to mention, is the integrated fingerprint sensor in the power button. Now this is something that probably endears the iPhone 5S/6 to me. As much as I have tried to keep them aside and use my other devices as primary phones, I find myself reaching for the iPhone, only for this convenient feature. The ease of unlocking your device with just a button press is superb, and downright spoiling.

    Z5C 01.jpg

    Sony have integrated their fingerprint sensor into the power button, which made the most sense, since you can again, like the iPhone, unlock the device by just pressing the button that powers up the display.

    This might just make me forego the iPhone for the new Z5 Compact.

    Other features include a 2700 mAh battery, which should give the device 2-day battery life easily. Sony also have a fast charger, that should give another 5 hours of life, with 10 minutes of charging.

    The Z5 Compact is a single SIM (Nano) device. The front camera is now a 5MP, Full HD recorder with a wide, 25mm lens.

    The screen size has been left the same at 4.6 inches, with a 720p (1280x720) resolution display. I have held and used the Z3 Compact. Owned it for 2 weeks before I sold it off for something else. I never found the display lacking in resolution, at any point. In fact the 720p display, actually made it faster and snappier than the Z3 (Which I have owned as well, until I gifted it to a family member). For a lover of compact devices and sub 5 inch screens, this is the Android device to own (after probably a Redmi 2, which would be like 1/4th the price of a Z5 Compact).


    What might irk people is the nearly 9mm thickness of the device, which is higher than the Z3 compact, the last predecessor. I for one am okay, since they have packed higher battery life in the device. Can't complain at all.

    Next up, the Z5 -

    5.2 inches display, again similar to the Z3/Z3+ series. What I feel bad about, are the people who purchased the Z3+, which was announced in May. Yes it did bring in the SnapDragon 810 earlier, but the greatest difference here are the camera and the fingerprint sensor. This does make a person feel shortchanged.


    Z5 01.jpg

    Hence my next piece of advice. Never buy first generation. Don't be the first on the block to buy a device. Wait for the next generation to get launched, and then buy the old one. A) Not only would you get it cheap, but :cool: you would know by then if there are any issues/faults with the device and should you buy it or not.


    Z5 02.jpg

    Your future self will thank you for all the money you save by following this mantra. So now that One Plus has launched the Two, it's time to buy yourself that One Plus One that you've been eying :D

    The Z5 appears with little to no difference when viewed from the back of the device. The major changes (if they can be called so) are on the front of the device, with the speaker grille slot moved right to the top of the front fascia -


    Z5 04.jpg

    The Volume rockers have been moved to a more ergonomic position, below the power button. The camera button is more pronounced as compared to the previous one, where in it was slightly recessed. The charging port is now at the bottom, and without a flap, common to the Z3+

    Sony has done away with the magnetic dock or cable for charging. This is though a step back, but wireless charging does not make an entry here.


    Z5 03.jpg

    As usual, a plethora of colors from Sony with Gold, Black, Aqua green and White being available for the Z5. I wouldn't be surprised if a few more colors are added for different regions.

    A useful bit that many online reviewers are criticizing is the lanyard attachment. They have obviously not used their Z family devices in the water or at a beach. A lanyard attachment makes it so much easier to go splashing around with no fear of losing your device. I went splashing with the Z3, and the only issue I had was to hold onto it. Finally I ended up zipping it inside my shorts and entering the water.

    I welcome this little but useful feature.

    The Z5 Premium grows a bit on all sides and comes in at 154.4 x 75.8 x 7.8 mm vs the 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm of the Z5. It is also heftier at 180 gms vs the 154 of the Z5.


    Z5P 02.jpg

    Most of this probably due to that 800+ pixel per inch screen, and the necessary protection to keep it from getting damaged. The battery also is to blame here, since the Z5 needs the additional juice for the GPU to push out all those additional pixels. A quick multiplication tells me that where in the Z5 Premium has over 82,00,000 pixels to be pushed for a screen refresh, the Z5 Compact makes do with 1/9th or slightly over 9,00,000 pixels.


    Z5P 03.jpg

    I'm really expecting better benching scores for the Z5 Compact vs the rest of the two devices.

    Where the Z5 premium should excel in, is if it is used in a Virtual Reality headset. Or if someone is stubborn enough to want to watch 4K resolution video on his/her device. As a whole, full HD resolution in this size of display is more than adequate for regular usage.

    Z5P 01.jpg

    I won't be kidding if manufacturers find a way to make a display with hybrid resolution. This way they can still have bragging rights, and save battery when needed.

    On the whole, Sony really needs to space out their product launches and upgrades. In a market where the Z1/Z1 compact still jostles for space with the Z2/Z3/Z3Compact/Z3+, adding 3 more flagship devices in the space of 3 years is a bit befuddling to be honest.

    The Z5 family marks the first serious upgrade for Sony, and bring in features that surely set them apart and ahead of many, if not all. This might be the do or die moment that Sony was preparing for.

    I for one am going to wait for the Z6, before buying myself the Z5 compact :D



     
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  2. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Pricing information?
     
  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Between 400 and 600 Pounds GBP for the devices. Various websites have different listings, but the cheapest for a Z5 Compact is 400 GBP or 40,000 INR.

    The Z5 regular comes in between 525-700 GBP so thats around 52,500 INR starting price.

    The Z5 premium comes in at 700 GBP so that's 70,000 INR.


    Interesting bits to add -

    - Sony is rumored to be making a Full HD 1080p display Z5 Compact for the Japanese market. This will come with a bigger 2,900 mAH battery and 4 GB Ram instead of the 2 in the current Compact. Considering that the Z5 and Z5P run 3 gigs, 4 Gb is a tad overkill. They might do 3 and a full HD screen.

    - A teardown was done of the Z5 Premium, and it reveals a dual Heat pipe structure to dissipate heat away from the 810. This is good (and bad) in the fact that manufacturers are trying to address the overheating issues with the SnapDragon 810, and bad that QualComm have not been able to address this.

    I would personally give the 810 generation a skip, and wait for the 820 or other cooler/efficient options (eXynos perhaps? ) The Z5 Compact is really tempting, but I'll wait a year before taking the plunge.
     
  4. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Regarding the heating, I noticed on the Galaxy S6, on heavy continuous usage, the frame started to heat up to the point where I found it uncomfortable to hold. Dissipating the heat outwards is required, but companies should target certain hotspots.
     
  5. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    I think they should use common sense and just not go about jumping on the latest chip out there. An annual (or shorter) upgrade cycle is taking things a bit too far. You don't settle in with one device, and the next one pops up, making you feel bad about your older model (that's exactly what it is supposed to do). But I feel companies are just burning themselves out with the marketing, hype and the high speed of R&D on churning out devices.

    They really need to space them out with a 3 year cycle minimum, with an improved version after the 15th month for the next 21 months.
     
  6. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Agreed, but I'm also noting a stagnation, the general public is now also quite smart and know that they don't need to jump onto the latest device and they can skip a generation in between without missing a lot of features. Specially given how the latest Android or its custom iteration trickle down to the previous generation same segment phone after a couple of months on the latest version in that segment.
     
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  7. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    You're right. Funny thing is manufacturers should realize this sooner, and space out their development time. This breathing space could companies like Sony (their mobile division) back from the brink. HTC is another case, but then they've always spaced out their releases. Good devices (HTC) but unfortunately, now with single digit market shares.
     
  8. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Definitely, the market is a lot more fragmented now with lots of new players in the market like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Huawei, One Plus, Meizu, etc.
     

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