The Sony Xperia 5 II takes lots of what makes its bigger sibling nice and distills it right into a package deal that’s a lot smaller and simpler to carry. In case you’re in search of close to top-end tech in an easier-to-hold phone, you’ll wrestle to go flawed with the Xperia 5 II, because it features a terrific camera, stunning screen and long-lasting battery.
- Simple-to-use design
- Nice cameras
- 120Hz screen appears nice
- Annoying Google Assistant button
- Still fairly a high worth
- Antiquated unlock button
The Sony Xperia 5 Mark II is a flagship phone that inherits many of the finest features from the significantly costly Sony Xperia 1 II, however, cuts a number of corners so as to convey the worth all the way down to the extent of most different flagship phones.
It’s a handset that’s streamlined for pictures and video recording, somewhat than matching the competition characteristic for characteristic and spec for spec. That mentioned, should you’ve favored the look of Sony’s bigger phones up to now, however you desire a smaller tackle them, that’s mainly what you’re getting right here, albeit with a number of lower corners.
These lower corners embrace some key specs – for instance, the 4K show of the Sony Xperia 1 II is absent right here – however should you’re keen to forego such few bells and whistles this may increasingly really feel like a handset that’s made particularly for you.
Whereas this may increasingly really feel like a smaller Xperia 1 II, the Xperia 5 II improves on the system for Sony phones in a number of vital methods. That is the first handset from the corporate with a 120Hz refresh-rate display screen, and it makes scrolling by means of apps or your social media feeds a pleasure on the 6.1-inch display screen.
It additionally improves on the design, with rounded corners making the phone extra comfy within the palm whereas retaining the now arguably iconic look of Sony smartphones. There’s nonetheless a hefty brow and chin, above and under the show, however it appears higher than earlier handsets.
The three.5mm headphone jack has returned; battery life is powerful, with the phone lasting for a full day from a single cost; and the cameras stay as nice as they had been on the Xperia 1 II. In case you’re in search of a smaller-package smartphone with top-end specs, the Sony Xperia 5 II may show a superb alternative.
Sony Xperia 5 II release date and price
The Sony Xperia 5 II worth is $949 / £799 (around AU$1,350), and it is available in a single configuration with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Within the US, T-Mobile and AT&T will carry the Xperia 5 II, and within the UK you can get it from O2, Vodafone, EE, Virgin Media and Carphone Warehouse.
These in Australia won’t have the ability to purchase the phone as the corporate now not sells phones within the nation.
The Sony Xperia 5 II’s launch date is October 15 for these within the UK, and you’ll pre-order the system now instantly from Sony and quite a lot of different companions. Pre-orders are additionally open within the US, however it will not be launched till December 4.
The Sony Xperia 5 II is a smaller version of the Xperia 1 Mark II. It’s acquired the identical slender 21:9 aspect-ratio show, although it’s solely 6.1 inches, in comparison with the Xperia 1 Mark II’s 6.5-inch display screen. You’ll feel that smaller dimension as quickly as you choose this phone up, because it’s surprisingly simple to slot in one hand.
The 21:9 aspect ratio is the trick that’s allowed Sony to make a phone that feels simple to carry in a single hand regardless of nonetheless having a pretty big show, because it makes the phone narrower than most handsets.
In case you’ve owned the Xperia 5 or different earlier Sony phones, you’ll discover how the perimeters listed here are extra rounded than on these units.
That is an interesting choice from Sony, because the squared edges of its phones have change into an integral a part of the model’s signature look – nonetheless, we don’t suppose the rounded edges right here detract from that look a terrific deal, so Sony followers are unlikely to be disenchanted – and as we are saying it makes the phone really feel that bit nicer to carry.
On the suitable fringe of the phone you’ll discover quantity buttons close to the highest and, additional down, a Google Assistant button (which may be personalized for different features), in addition to a camera shutter button close to the underside that’s designed for taking snaps in panorama orientation.
There’s additionally an enlarged lock button between the amount and Google Assistant keys, which includes a fingerprint sensor, as Sony hasn’t included an in-screen sensor right here. That’s a fairly large omission, however we’ve discovered the fingerprint scanner to work nicely in our testing.
A few instances we activated the fingerprint scanner unintentionally once we had been holding the phone, which was annoying – touching the scanner a few instances whenever you’re not making an attempt to unlock the phone will trigger the phone to immediate you to make use of a unique unlock methodology.
While you’re spending this a lot on a phone you may nicely expect to get an in-screen fingerprint scanner, contemplating that lots of top-end phones, together with the Samsung Galaxy S20 vary and OnePlus 8 sequence, have this.
The phone’s USB-C port is on the underside of the phone and the three.5mm headphone jack is on the highest, so you may cost the phone and hearken to audio on the identical time if it’s essential to – that’s a giant deal for a lot of music lovers, and the corporate choice to convey again the three.5mm jack, having dropped it on the Xperia 1 and Xperia 5, is a welcome one for a lot of.
The phone’s again is easy glass, with the camera block within the top-left nook. The Xperia 5 II is about to return in each black and blue colours, however these appear to be the one shades Sony will probably be providing.
Total, the Xperia 5 II is an attractive-looking phone, and whereas the black shade we’ve been utilizing is unlikely to catch the attention, the general design is purposeful, and loads simpler to achieve all the things you want when holding the phone in a single hand in comparison with the Xperia 1 II. The handset can also be waterproof to a depth of 1.5 meters for as much as 30 minutes.
The Sony Xperia 5 II solely has a Full HD Plus (1080 x 2520) show, somewhat than the 6.5-inch 4K show of the Xperia 1 II, however it improves on its bigger sibling in a single key respect: the show right here has a 120Hz refresh fee. That basically means the display screen refreshes photographs twice as quick as older phones, permitting for a smoother expertise when biking by means of your social media feed or gaming.
The brand new screen tech makes all the things really feel smoother and subsequently sooner, and it’s the type of feature you don’t know you need till you’ve skilled it.
Whereas the Full HD Plus decision is loads decrease than the Xperia 1 II’s on paper, in apply the difference isn’t all that noticeable. As talked about, it’s a 6.1-inch show, and the decision equates to 449 pixels per inch.
Colours look good on the show, and it could possibly attain a excessive peak brightness – we had been consistently impressed by how good the screen regarded once we were watching Full HD video. Whereas we’d have cherished to have seen a QHD show right here, we didn’t notably miss it, and it’s a worthwhile trade-off for the worth you’re paying.
The display screen has a 21:9 side ratio, which means it’s longer/taller than the screens on most smartphones. It is designed to be extra optimized for watching video content material, comparable to movies that are virtually completely shot in a widescreen ratio.
An additional profit to this side ratio is that the corporate has included a bigger show than it might have been capable of beforehand. It is vital to note there are nonetheless thick bars on the high and backside of the display screen that make it look a bit dated, however, should you choose the longer screen model you may probably be okay with that.
The three rear cameras are all 12MP shooters: an important camera with a 24mm lens, an ultra-wide camera with a 16mm lens, and a telephoto one with a 70mm lens. We’ve discovered these cameras to carry out fantastically in our testing, though they will not be the proper setup for everybody.
Sony places lots of emphasis on its skilled pictures modes, which allow you to tinker with camera settings you couldn’t enter on many different phones. That is nice should you prefer to play around with white steadiness, ISO and extra, however once more they won’t be for everybody – anhe excellent news for these people who the automated mode on the Xperia 5 II is unbelievable, and we had been capable of seize some great-looking photographs throughout our testing.
The camera generally is a little slower to focus than some others, however the images we took regarded sharp, and whereas the colors will not be as punchy as you’ll get from different flagship phones they really feel true to life – once more, Sony could also be pondering of the extra serious photographer right here.
The telephoto sensor solely works as much as 3x optical zoom, however the high quality of zoom photographs is especially good – without finding out them intently you wouldn’t know that they had been zoomed-in.
You’re not getting the robust zoom capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy S20 sequence, for instance, however should you’re not in search of a phone with high-end zoom efficiency this can swimsuit you simply advantageous.
There’s a single 8MP front-facing camera, which produces nice-looking selfie photographs. There are a lot of phones with higher-specced selfie cameras, however should you’re simply seeking to take the odd shot in your social media channels you’ll be completely pleased with what Sony’s snapper can do.
As on different Xperia phones, the selfie camera is positioned in a stable black bar above the display screen – which means there’s no notch on the Xperia 5 II, however it additionally implies that the entrance of the phone isn’t all screen, which does look a little bit dated.
Specs and performance
The Sony Xperia 5 II packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset with 8GB of RAM alongside it. That isn’t the top-end chipset from Qualcomm in the meantime, however we discovered it delivered ample power to allow us to do all the things we needed to do on the phone.
Apps and games loaded shortly, with none stuttering. We didn’t expertise any points with the efficiency usually, and whereas the Xperia 5 II could not have the ability to load games as quickly as some phones with sooner chipsets you’re unlikely to seek out it a difficulty.
In Geekbench 5, the phone returned a mean multi-core rating of 3265. That’s increased than we noticed from the Xperia 1 II, which got here as a little bit of a shock, and exceeds fairly spectacular previous what we’ve seen from different top-end phones lately, such because the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, which scored 2701.
For gaming, we discovered the Xperia 5 II to work impressively nicely. All of the titles we tried loaded as shortly as we would hope for from a phone with a top-end chipset, and a particular characteristic referred to as Warmth Suppression Power Control ensures the phone would not warmth up throughout lengthy session.
We solely performed for around 20 minutes at a time, however we did not discover the phone to warmth up in any respect throughout that interval. It’s possible you’ll discover it does throughout longer periods, but the thought behind this characteristic is it will save in your battery life by the chipset staying at a on a regular basis temperature.
The Xperia 5 II is offered in two storage variants – 128GB or 256GB, though some markets are restricted to 1 possibility so it’s possible you’ll not have a choice. In case you’re caught with the 128GB and wish additional area, you may develop your storage with a microSD card.
The phone comes with 5G built-in, so when you have a supportive community and data plan you can take advantage of next-gen web connectivity. 5G isn’t obtainable all over the place yet, however the expertise is spreading out throughout each the US and UK.
The phone is working Android 10 out of the field, giving you entry to lots of the finest features inside Google’s working system – should you’re after Android 11, the most recent model, the update is confirmed for this phone, though it’s unclear when it’ll land.
Sony consists of its own UI overlay on all its smartphones, and it’s right here too. This offers the OS a definite look, and quite a lot of features you’ll solely discover on phones from Sony, comparable to its Cinema Pro app for taking pictures video and its personal Music Participant app.
Google Assistant is being pushed on the Xperia 5 II, with a devoted button for accessing the smart helper – we found this annoying, nonetheless, because the button sits between the unlock and camera shutter buttons, and each time we pressed the button throughout our time reviewing the phone it was as a result of we hit it accidentally when making an attempt to press the camera button.
The phone has the same 4,000mAh battery because the Xperia 1 Mark II, and like that phone it additionally boasts fast-charging capabilities – though to take most benefit of this you’ll want to purchase a devoted charger separately.
That’s a big battery for a phone of this dimension, and it shows in day-to-day use. We discovered the phone at all times lasted us by means of the entire day from a full cost, and we regularly discovered it might have at the very least 30% left within the tank on the finish of the day.
Not surprisingly we discovered the battery to empty sooner with intensive utilization, however even then the phone by no means did not make it by means of to the top of the day.
There’s no wi-fi charging on the Xperia 5 II, which is one thing its bigger sibling does have. As a substitute, the corporate has included a layer of graphene that helps dissipate the warmth of the chipset to make sure it doesn’t get too warm.
This can be a disgrace for anybody who desires entry to wi-fi charging tech, however it appears to be a aware alternative from Sony to go for the graphene tech and guarantee fast-charging is a spotlight.
The phone additionally helps even snappier 21W fast-charging, however you’ll have to buy a separate charger to have the ability to make use of this.
Should I buy the Sony Xperia 5 II?
Buy it if…
You love Sony phones, but desire a smaller one
The Xperia 5 II’s smaller size in a market dominated by huge flagship phones is a serious promoting level. In case you’re after a smaller handset with premium features and spec the Xperia 5 II is likely one of the finest choices proper now, and it’s nearly excellent should you just like the look of the Xperia 1 II however feels it’s too huge for you.
You want a robust camera
The Xperia 5 II’s cameras won’t be for everybody, however should you’re one thing of a photographer, and also you prefer to take management of camera settings you’ll love what this phone presents. The auto mode is healthier than ever too, so count on to have the ability to get some great-looking snaps.
You desire a 3.5mm headphone jack
Sony has acknowledged that dropping the three.5mm headphone jack from its phones was a mistake, and it’s current and proper on the Xperia 5 II. In order for you this port in your phone, this is likely one of the few top-end handsets available on the market to incorporate it.
Don’t buy it if…
You want the very best show
Don’t get us flawed: the display screen on the Xperia 5 II is nice; however, if you need a good higher decision you need to go for the 4K-toting Xperia 1 II or one other handset with a QHD decision and a 120Hz display screen such because the Samsung Galaxy S20.
You want to use wireless charging
Sony has opted to not embrace wi-fi charging on this phone. The reasoning is sensible to modify it for graphene tech to make sure the chipset doesn’t get too heat, however which means this isn’t the phone for you if you wish to eliminate cables by the facet of your mattress or in your desk.
You want a cheap phone
The Sony Xperia 5 II is cheaper than the Xperia 1 II, however it’s nonetheless not what we might name an inexpensive phone. It’s an analogous worth to flagship units from OnePlus and Samsung, so should you’re in search of cheaper Sony units go for the Xperia 10 II as a substitute.