Sony’s Xperia smartphone line-up has long been one of the more premium options if you’re after a high-end phone. With signature features including the sleek, squared-off design, top-notch cameras and waterproof casings, the Xperia range is full of the features you’d expect from a market leader.
The most recent iteration, the Sony Xperia Z5, was released in Australia in late October 2015. So with users having had a few months to get to grips with it, we surveyed hundreds of Australian customers around the nation to find out how they’re getting on.
The Sony Xperia Z5 comes in a metal unibody casing with a glass backing all rated to IP68, meaning it’s both waterproof and dustproof (though you should still avoid taking it swimming!). In this latest model, the only port on the phone which is physically covered is the SIM and SD card slot – the others are waterproof, even the USB Type C charging port.
Under the hood nestles a top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, along with a 2900mAh battery which Sony claims will provide up to two days of battery life. All of these features power a full HD 5.2-inch screen, perfect for showing off your favourite movies and photos. The size and shape of the phone were big talking points with the Aussies we surveyed, with several praising the stylish design, shape and screen size.
On the side of the phone sits a power button with an inbuilt fingerprint sensor, along with a convenient camera button. This activates the shutter on one of the key features of the Z5 – a powerful 23MP camera, with features such as incredibly fast autofocus and the ability to zoom in fivefold with no loss of image clarity. The customers we surveyed were raving about the Xperia’s camera, with many referring to it as a great feature of the phone and that the photos it took were wonderful. But enabling all of this, of course, is the software on which the Z5 runs.
Like many other flagship smartphones, the Xperia Z5 runs a custom version of Android to which Sony has made some significant additions. Sony has added system-level integration for LinkedIn – ideal for business users – and for its own smartwatch line-up, allowing you to use your watch as a remote camera shutter amongst many other features.
The company’s custom camera app is the most prominent among a host of other Sony apps, such as the Walkman music player, the Video and Album apps for your photos and videos, and the Playstation app which actually lets you play games remotely on your PlayStation 4. There are also more peripheral additions such as Lifelog, Sony’s health tracking application, and the Xperia Lounge app which brings you the latest in entertainment.
Is the Sony Xperia Z5 value for money?
Many of our users praised the ease of use and functionality of the Xperia’s software, with singled-out features including the cross-platform integration with Sony’s Smart TVs and the powerful battery saver mode. On the negative side, several also took issue with the sheer amount of apps included as standard, and how they use up storage space and battery – some of these apps will have no use for a lot of people.
The occasional issues with software glitches and updates were also reported. A significant number of customers, however, also reported having no negative issues at all. With Sony pushing the boundaries even further with the Xperia Z5, it’s encouraging to see the reception has been mostly positive.
The Xperia Z5 with 32GB memory starts from $999 in Australia. To learn more, see how Sony compared to its competitors in our customer satisfaction ratings for smartphones.