Sony Smartphone 

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Having recently divested itself of some of its product line up, Sony can now put more effort into offerings such as its Smartphone catalogue.

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The Xperia Z5 is the latest addition to Sony’s range of smartphones to be available from Vodafone.  This particular model has dimensions of 146 x 72 x 7.3mm (H x W x D) and weighs in at 154g.  Featuring a 5.2-inch screen with 1080p resolution, the Xperia Z5 is available in a range of colour schemes including White, Gold, Green, Pink and, as in the case of my review unit, Graphite Black.

In the design of the unit, Sony has opted to make use of all four sides of the handset when it comes to the positioning of the various connection points and control options.  Situated in the top left corner is a 3.5mm jack socket for attaching a headset device for private listening.  Placed along the base of the unit are a lanyard socket and a microUSB port for charging the smartphone using the supplied three-pin plug and standard to microUSB lead.  Arranged down the right edge of the handset are power, volume/zoom toggle and a specific camera key for operating the front-mounted 8MP camera and the rear-mounted 23MP model with Hybrid Autofocus. 

A concealed flip-out compartment on the left side of the Xperia Z5 houses the required nano SIM card and an optional microSD card to increase storage capacity from the built-in 32GB up to a maximum of 200GB.  Having inserted numerous SIM and SD cards of various sizes into different smartphones, I was not expecting too much trouble in mounting these elements.  However I found the operation to be rather fiddly with the result that the inserts often attempted to escape from the place holder before I finally succeeded in completing this task.  Also when holding the Xperia Z5, it quickly became obvious that the handset had a tendency to slip and slide if not gripped firmly in the hand at all times.

Dominating the front of the handset is its window into the digital smartphone world.  As mentioned you get 1080p resolution in 16m colours from this IPS LCD capacitive touch-screen with up to 10 finger multi-touch capability.  The presence of protection provided by scratch-resistant glass and an oleophobic coating has little adverse effect on the performance of the display and its responsiveness to gestures and touches.

Completing enclosed, the Sony Xperia Z5 is classified as being IP68 certified.  This means it is dust proof and water resistant at over 1.5 metres and for up to 30 minutes.  Beating at the heart of the handset is a Snapdragon Qualcomm 810 octa-core processor with a CPU Quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex A53 and Quad-core 2.0GHz Cortex A57 and Adreno 430 GPU.  The non-removable Li-Ion 2900 mAh battery is rated at providing up to 520 hours (2G) or 540 hours (3G) on stand-by, 13 hours 10 minutes (2G) and up to 17 hours (3G) talk time with up to 87 hours music playback.  Running my usual constant video playback routine, I managed to get 10 hours and 15 minutes of movie watching before an automatic shut down occurred.

The Xperia Z5 arrived with Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) pre-installed.  Following a three second depress of the power button, a further 45 seconds was required for various house-keeping tasks to be carried out in order to arrive at the operating system’s lock screen.  I barely had time to become use to Lollipop before the new Android update was available, bringing the operating system up to Android version 6.0.  The upgrade seemed to make little difference to the speed of boot up but was carried out trouble free.

Not surprisingly as this is a Sony device, the handset’s camera facilities are well to the fore.  While the front-mounted 8MP camera is more than adequate for those selfies we cannot resist capturing and other casual images with its f/2.4 lens with 1080p resolution, the rear-mounted main camera has an impressive range of features that include a f/2.0 24mm lens.  Other camera features provide autofocus, LED flash, touch focus, face detection, HDR, geo-tagging with video capturing at [email protected] and [email protected]  Quality is of a high standard at different lighting conditions.

The Xperia Z5 supports a range of sound and vibration alerts.  There are built-in stereo speakers, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, FM radio and NFC.  Disappointingly I was unable to get OTG USB to be recognised when wanting to watch a movie stored on an appropriate external device.

The review unit of the Sony Xperia Z5 was supplied by Vodafone who offer this handset on a range of contracts.

Vodafone Contracts for Sony Xperia Z5
Monthly feeUpfront feeUK MinutesUK TextUK DataLength
£25.00 £9.00 1000 Unlimited 1GB 24 months
£35.00 Free Unlimited Unlimited 6GB 24 months
£30.00 £9.00 Unlimited Unlimited 2GB 24 months
£40.00 Free Unlimited Unlimited 10GB 24 months

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OverallSony Vodafone Xperia Z5 rated 88 out of 100

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