Sony Xperia Z5 Premium: Bringing 4K to smartphones

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium: Bringing 4K to smartphones

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Remember how Samsung came up with Galaxy S6 Edge+, a refined version of the S6 Edge? That seems like the rage these days and is proven by Sony’s latest offering – the Xperia Z5 Premium.

Sony has tweaked the Z5 in several ways and given us the Z5 Premium. The Z5 Premium retains the metal rim of its predecessor but comes with a mirrored back – which is susceptible of being covered in fingerprints and smudges.

  • Processor: Snapdragon 810
  • OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM ; 32 GB ROM
  • Display: 5.5” IPS 2160 x 3840 pixels (810 ppi)
  • Camera: 23MP primary; 5.1MP secondary
  • Battery: 3,430 mAh; non-removable

The phone is comfortable to hold but fragile to look at. So, one has to be extra cautious so as to not drop it. It has a microUSB port at the bottom and a capped slot, which further houses a slot for a microSD card and a tray for two nanoSIM cards. One has to be careful with the tray as it feels flimsy to touch and might break easily. The volume rocker and the power button are on the right side. The power button – placed midway on the right side – doubles as the fingerprint sensor. However, the placement of the volume rocker – below the power button – might take some getting used to. The fingerprint scanner, unlike the Nexus 5X, doesn’t wake up the phone. One has to press the power button and the use one’s fingerprint to unlock the phone.

The main attraction of the phone is its 4K display. The Z5 Premium is the first smartphone that features a 4K or ultra-high-definition (UHD) display. It has a 5.5-inch IPS panel of 2,160×3,840 pixel resolution which results in an 806ppi pixel density. This is by far the most phenomenal jump in smartphone resolution. During normal use, it is difficult to appreciate the 4K resolution. So, I tried looking up videos on YouTube with the option to play at 2,160×3,840, but I was met with disappointment. Though, the version of YouTube on your desktop has the 4K option, the mobile app and the mobile web browser versions don’t. One can use Netflix to watch House of Cards in UHD to utilise the display to its maximum, but unfortunately, Netflix is not available in India. So, the lack of 4K content turns out to be a bane.

As for performance, the phone runs on a Snapdragon 810 processor with 3GB of RAM. Android 5.1 Lollipop comes preloaded on it. The phone is smooth to work with and can multitask easily. The RAM is able to run memory-heavy apps and games. Sony has always boasts of a long battery life – the Z5 Premium comes with a 3,430mAh battery. It gets one through a day without any issue.

Another one of Sony’s forte is the camera. The phone comes with a 23- megapixel (MP) rear camera. The Z5 Premium has a big field of view and captures more than other smartphones. Sony has also made it possible to shoot UHD videos at 30 frames per second. The camera has both auto and manual modes, with the manual mode giving more freedom to the photographer – one can control ISO, metering and focus modes. The image quality is great, but I noticed high levels of noise in certain pictures – especially while capturing foliage. The secondary 5.1MP camera is good enough for selfies and captures good quality pictures in different light settings.

The Xperia Z5 Premium emerges victorious in all qualities a good smartphone should have. It offers great performance, a high-end camera and introduces 4K to the world of smartphones – an amazing feat in itself. However, the lack of 4K content might not justify the hoopla surrounding the display. That said, it is one of the toughest competitors to beat in the ongoing smartphone war. The phone is priced at Rs 62,990 and is available both on e-commerce websites and mobile stores.