Sony Xperia Z5 Premium vs Z5 vs Z5 Compact: What’s the difference?

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Sony Xperia Z5 Compact vs Sony Xperia Z5 Premium: What makes Sony’s three new smartphones so different?

Sony isn’t shy about releasing multiple flagship phones each year and the Japanese company has followed up the disappointing Xperia Z3

with not one but a trio of new handsets. First up is the 4.6-inch

Xperia Z5 Compact, a 5.2-inch Z5 and the 4K-display-toting Xperia Z5

Premium.

But what exactly is the difference? Well, not a lot. But

that’s a good thing. Sony hasn’t skimped on the smaller model, so it’s a

real option if you want high-end specs in a smaller, more mangeable

body.

The Z5 Premium has a 4K display

Sony has done a great

job in ensuring that each of these Z5 phones are crammed with top-end

features, but that Premium branding has to mean something, right? The

biggest upgrade the Z5 Premium has over its smaller siblings is a

5.5-inch 4K screen, with a 3840×2160 resolution and an 806ppi pixel

density. Now, to put that into perspective, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 – noted as having one of the best mobile displays – has a QHD 2560 x 1440 display

with a 518ppi pixel density. There’s a theoretical jump up in

sharpness, but if you’ve read our hands-on with the Premium, we didn’t

notice an exceptional bump in quality.

Related: Sony Xperia Z3 review
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Left to right: Xperia Z5 Premium, Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact

There’s

been plenty of discussion about whether phones should bother with QHD

panels, so there’s sure to be lots of interest in Sony’s latest effort

and whether there’s a difference to be had. In our eyes there are a few

positives – it’ll be great for virtual reality and for watching 4K

content at native resolution. But considering not many of us have 4K

televisions at home, it does seem a tad ridiculous to put one on a

smartphone right now.

Sony’s software will automatically upscale

content to 4K, with native apps, Netflix and YouTube supported. You’ll

also be able to output video to a compatible television. This could be a

multimedia powerhouse.

In comparison, the regular Z5 has a

5.2-inch 1080p display – we would have liked to have seen this bumped up

to QHD – and the Z5 Compact tones that down to a 720p, 4.6-inch

display.

Each display is equipped with Triluminous tech and

Sony’s X-Reality for Mobile engine, each of which should give accurate

colours.

They’re all different sizes, obviously. But the design is the same.

The

biggest difference between each device is their size. The Compact is,

as the name suggests, the smallest and lightest. Weighing in at 138g and

measuring 127mm x 65mm x 8.9mm.

Next up is the Z5 which tips

the scales at 154g, with dimensions of 143 x 72mm. It also slimmer than

the Compact, with a thickness of 7.3mm.

The largest device is the

Premium. This weighs 180g and measures 154.4mm x 75mm x 7.8mm. Again,

it’s much bigger, yet slimmer than the Compact.

Design wise,

each phone is very similar. The look hasn’t changed much from previous

iterations, though they now have ‘Xperia’ etched on the side. They’re

all still waterproof, a nice bonus, with an IP56/IP68 rating and no

pesky caps covering the ports.

Related: Sony Xperia Z6 release date

Each has the same camera, processor and fingerprint sensor

We’ve

praised Sony before for its approach to its Compact phones, not

skimping on the specs and ensuring they’re on par with the larger

models. Things haven’t really changed this year, as each edition of the

Z5 packs pretty much the same internals.

You’ve got a Snapdragon

810 64-bit processor – yes, the same one that caused all those

over-heating issues on the Xperia Z3 – plus an Adreno 430 GPU. 32GB

internal storage is standard, and microSD cards are supported.

One difference is the RAM, with both the Z5 and Z5 Premium packing 3GB, whereas the Compact will have to make do with 2GB.

Related: How much RAM does a phone need?
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They

also all have the same camera tech, an area which Sony is, again,

really pushing with the Z5 series. Each phone is equipped with a 23MP

main camera with a Exmor RS mobile image sensor and a F2.0, 24mm G Lens

with fast auto-focus. Sony is also talking up its digital zoom, which it

says doesn’t deteriorate that quality of the snaps. We’ll have to take

it for a spin before we can cast judgement, though.

Image

stabilisation comes in the form of SteadyShot, while each can shoot

video at 4K. The selfie shooter has also been souped up, again with an

Exmor 5MP sensor and 25mm wide-angle lens.

Finally, each one has

a fingerprint scanner tucked inside the lock switch on the side. From

our initial testing, it seems this is a very fast sensor.

If you’ve been longing for a fully specced out, yet diminutive handset, Sony might have a winner.

They come in different colours

A minor difference, but worth noting nonetheless, each of Sony’s Z5 line-up comes in a different range of hues.

For

the Z5 Compact you can choose between white, graphite black, yellow and

coral, while the Z5 5.2-inch ditches yellow and coral and adds in gold

and green.

Related: Sony Xperia Z5 vs Z4/Z3 vs Z3

The

colour selection is smaller for the Z5 Premium, with just gold, chrome

and black being the choice. Now, where have we seen those three colour combos before?

Z5 phones 81

Each has a different battery

With

bigger phones comes more space for a larger battery, and thankfully

Sony has made the most of the space. The Z5 Premium packs a 3430mAh

cell, the Z5 a 2900mAh version and the Compact a 2700mAh. Sony claims

each phone should last two days of use, but that can be improved further with the Stamina mode.

We’ll

have to wait until we get these devices in for review to see how long

the battery really lasts, but those estimates seem impressive.

Especially for the Premium, which has a 4K screen and a battery smaller than that from the Moto X Play, which only has a 1080p screen.

Early verdict

While they aren’t a huge change for the brand, there are a couple of things that have us excited about

Sony’s new phones. The Z5 Compact could be the perfect mix of power,

battery life and features and, depending on how much it costs, possibly

value. With phones getting bigger, it’s nice to still see a well-specced compact device.

Then

there’s the 4K display on the Z5 Premium. It might not make looking at

emails or browsing the web better, but it could help with VR and viewing

4K recorded content.

Will these phones see a rise to the top for Sony? We’ll have to wait and see.

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