In an attempt to change poor sales and get users onto their smartphones, Sony have unveiled the newest Xperia smartphones at IFA 2015. The models are from the Xperia Z5 family, and come in three sizes: The Z5 Compact, the Z5 and the Z5 Premium. How these smartphones do when on the shelves is unknown, especially in competition with all the other smartphone devices and companies?
The three new models, the Z5 Compact, Z5 and Z5 Premium all have the same internal components except RAM. The Z5 and Z5 Premium have 3GB RAM, and the Z5 Compact has 2GB RAM. The processor is the Snapdragon 810 64-bit processor. Internal storage is up to 32GB (Able to be expanded up to 200GB using microSD cards) and has a battery that Sony claims can last for up to two days of use.
The design of the Z5 family is similar to the old models, but due to the unpopularity of these models the look of Xperia smartphones is new to some. iPhones, Samsungs and HTCs are often recognizable to people who aren’t into smartphones. So the appearance of the Xperia Z5 may seem new and unique to them, thus a selling point for customers who want to look different. The casing is dust-tight and waterproof and the micro USB ports capless. There are differences to be found in the materials used to make the devices, with the Z5 Premium giving a better quality feel to the smartphone than the Z5 Compact and Z5 models.
The biggest announcement from Sony about the new Xperia smartphones is the screen of the Z5 Premium. Sony claims the display of the Z5 Premium is the world’s first 4K display on a smartphone. The size of the Z5 Premium is 5.5 inches and looks amazing. This may be good for those who watch video, edit images, or work with graphics on their smartphones, but if it gets large number of customers in that’d be an achievement. To me, it’s a good achievement to have the best display, to be the first with a 4K smartphone display, but it’s not a selling point. I don’t watch movies, edit photos, do graphics work on my mobile device. The display on the Z5 Compact is 4.6 inches and 720p, and the Z5 is 5.2 inches with a 1080p display, which means that only the Z5 Premium has the new display technology.
The camera on the Z5 comes from technology used in Sony’s smartphones, mirrorless and SLT cameras and Nikon and Fujifilm’s high-end cameras. (Sony’s technology with camera sensors is also in the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4.). The best of Sony’s sensors, which they’re not sharing, are going into the Z5 models. All of the new Xperia Z5s have a 1/2.3-inch Exmor 23-megapixel image Sensor. Sony is claiming this technology is the world’s fastest autofocus in a smartphone device.
There is a fingerprint sensor built into the Xperia Z5s, but unlike its competitor smartphones it’s on the right side. Sony claims this will cut down a second or so of movement for users, getting them into their smartphones quicker. My only issue with this is, what if you use your left hand to hold your phone? The fingerprint scanner that scans the thumb being on the right side is horrible for those who use their left hand. How is it being on the right easier for left-handers? I don’t think putting the fingerprint sensor on the right hand side is a good idea, but it may be something others like.
The OS running the Xperia Z5s is Android V5.1.1 with an update to Android Marshmallow in the works. Sony have done away with its older Android skin, giving users a stock Android experience out of the box. In regards to the fingerprint scanner, Google says that fingerprint compatibility won’t start until Android Marshmallow is released. So, users won’t be able to take advantage of fingerprint technology until Android Marshmallow is released. It seems that smartphone makers like Sony are at the whim of Google – If Google don’t want to do a feature, then even if the smartphone is capable it won’t be available to users.
The pricing of Sony’s Xperia Z5 smartphones is yet to be announced. Sony have stated that the price “will reflect the premium quality of the smartphone”. Which says nothing of what the actual cost will be. It could be read that the Sony believes they have a smartphone people will spend top dollar on. Or, if the smartphones are sold at a lower price compared to other competitors, does this mean Sony believes they are of less quality? With their being not much difference between smartphones, price may be a determining factor with many customers. Why would I pay a premium cost when I can have a premium phone at an affordable price?