We spent some time with the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium and these are our thought on this mobile device with a 4K display.

The phone’s 4K display is by far its best feature and offers a cool retina or UHD experience we’ve longed for on mobile phone displays. This feature does come with it own ups and downs like being extremely draining on battery life and having a premium price tag. But this is where mobile displays are heading so you’ll need to embrace the good with the bad.

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Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Tech-Specs

Display  5.5-inches (2160×3840)
Battery  3430 mAh
Storage 32GB/ MicroSD Support up to 200GB
Waterproof Yes, IP65/68
CPU  Quad-Core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.0 GHz
Memory  3GB RAM
OS Android OS 6.0
 WLAN  802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Fingerprint Scanner Yes
Camera 23 MP back (f/2.0, 24mm) 5.1 front (f/2.4 1080p)
Colours Chrome, Black, Gold, Pink
Price R13,999

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In The Box

  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Device
  • Earphones
  • Extra alt sized ear buds
  • Charger (not Quick Charge 2.0)
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Booklets

Design

The Z5 Premium follows the usual Xperia-design aesthetics. We reviewed both the Xperia M5 and Xperia Z5 and we’ve been digging the Premium’s look and feel, but it does have a few shinier parts to it compared to the other models in the range. The back is shiny rather than matte, and the edges have been smoothed out compared to the Z5. The Z5 Premium is heavier at 180g and feels solid in your hand thanks to its extra grams it packs. The edges are aluminium and glossed, which gives it that metal feel which we love in an iPhone for instance.

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If Sony wanted the Z5 Premium to feel like a premium device compared to the other Xperia devices, it did a great job. However, compared to other devices on the market, there are better looking phones out there which come off as more expensive, and have a high-end feel to them.

The device has the fingerprint scanner on the unlock button, and a questionable volume button placement underneath it. This meant that we really had to bend our thumbs to turn it down, rather than using our index fingers which were on the opposite side of the device. The camera button however, has been placed in a convenient spot, preventing us from pressing it by mistake. Like the rest of the family, the Z5 Premium is also water and dust proof, without the need to close the charging port or earphone hole.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

Performance

The biggest feature is obviously the 4K, which looks gorgeous with the 5.5-inch display. It might be before its time due to the lack of 4K content across the world, but downloading a 4K clip and watching it on the device was something to experience on a mobile device. Unfortunately, most of the time you will be using the HD display as games and apps run at that native resolution, which is waste of the display. We also found that the screen’s brightness was relatively low even on 80%. Compared to the Z5, which was almost blinding.

It is tough to really decide the fate of this display as we really like the direction of the device. But most 2K devices, or even HD devices, look fantastic already without the 4K display. This made us feel like the 4K display on the Z5 Premium was more of a gimmick at times which drained the battery. Games and apps never made use of it, and many people in South Africa do not have the Internet speeds to run 4K videos anyway.

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Then we have the gorgeous camera going hand-in-hand with the display, which makes for a great photographic experience all-round. Taking photos outside and then gazing at them in the finest details, is something phones lack. Many devices have high megapixel cameras, but lack the screen to really captivate the photo taken. This is where the Z5 premium’s display shines the most.

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Display aside, the Z5 Premium holds its own when it comes to device performance. Apps and games ran smoothly, and multitasking between everything was a dream. One thing we did not like was Sony’s added bloatware, which is becoming rather frustrating. Other phone giants like Samsung and LG have started minimising its first party apps, but Sony seems dead set on including unwanted apps on its devices.

Verdict

The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium is definitely a step in the right direction when it comes to the future of mobile screens. We weren’t thrilled that the battery life was so poor due to the improved display.

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Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Review: 4K At Its Finest
Absolutely Stunning ScreenGreat CameraSmooth Performance
Weak Battery
78%Great
Design78%
Performance77%
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