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Sony unveils Xperia Z5 range

Flagship, compact, 4K handsets make up vendor’s 2015 premium smartphone range

Sony has released three separate Xperia Z5 models, including what it claims is ‘the world’s first 4K smartphone’.
Sony has released three separate Xperia Z5 models, including what it claims is ‘the world’s first 4K smartphone’.

Sony Mobile today unveiled the Xperia Z5 range: the Z5 Dual, Z5 Compact, and the 4K Xperia Z5 Premium Dual, which Sony claims is the world's first 4K smartphone.

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"Smartphones are part of people's lives" said Hiroki Totoki, president and CEO at Sony Mobile Communications.

"Since users already create, share and enjoy most of their content on the go, we've set out to bring Sony's latest innovations in camera, design and display to ensure the Xperia Z5 series is the best possible lifestyle and entertainment platform."

Xperia Z5 Dual

Xperia Z5 Dual features Sony's 1/2.3 Exmor RS for mobile 23MP sensor and F2.0 G Lens. This is the first time since the Xperia Z1 that Sony has completely rebuilt its smartphone camera module. The Z5's component uses Sony's own interchangeable lens camera α technology.

The camera is capable of "the fastest autofocus in a smartphone", according to Sony, clocking in at just 0.037 seconds. Sony cites an average range of 0.1s - 0.4 s for the blink of a human eye, so that would make the autofocus faster.

"Whether you're jumping for the Frisbee in the park, diving into the pool or catching air on the vert ramp, you'll have the power to preserve spontaneous action in real-time," the company mused in a statement.

A combination of the sensor and specialised processing software allows 5x zoom with "minimum loss of quality", Sony claims. "And, advancements in low-light photography mean you can capture clearer photos at night or in darker surroundings with less noise and blur, perfect for capturing a sunrise or night skyline."

IN PICS: Sony's Xperia Z5 range

Also included is SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode for video, which is designed for smooth capture while, for example, riding a bike or skateboard.

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As usual, Sony has devoted sizeable resources to look-and-feel elements. The Xperia Z5 Dual was designed in Sony's Creative Center studios in Sweden and Japan. The body is a waterproof (within the confines of a few standard caveats) continuous plate with a metal frame and frosted glass back, and its colour range is based on "Fall 2015 fashion and interior design cues": White, Graphite Black, Gold and Green. The display is a 5.2-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen.

IN PICS: Sony's Xperia Z5 range

Xperia Z5 Compact

The Z5 Compact comes with the same camera technology and features as the Dual, but with a 4.6-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, aimed at one-handed use. The colour range for the Compact is Yellow, Coral, White and Graphite Black.

Like the Dual, the Compact has frosted glass finishing to the rear and a capless USB for connection and charging.

On the side, both devices have a newly introduced integrated fingerprint-sensor power button for a bit of extra security. It will also support the FIDO (Fast ID Online) Alliance standard; and authentication via fingerprint for online payment services. Sony has promised information on partners for the payment services closer to the Z5 range's launch.

Both the Z5 Dual and Z5 Compact are powered by a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor.

"Whether you're multi-tasking over Wi-Fi or the latest 4G network, both devices [Dual and Compact] deliver the speed you need," Sony promises. "Download email with attachments in seconds and enjoy video streaming with no delays or unwanted buffering."

Both handsets are also equipped with power-saving technology that allows the battery to offer up to two days of life, depending on use. Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 permits "5.5 hours usage with just 10 minutes of charging with a certified Quick Charge 2.0 charger", according to Sony.

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Xperia Z5 Premium Dual

Sony claims the Xperia Z5 Premium Dual is the world's first 4K smartphone. It comes with a 5.5-inch 4K TRILUMINOS display for mobile and IPS, which delivers four times the resolution of Full HD.

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The Z5 Premium Dual is designed to upscale content to 4K, enhancing native or third-party videos and photos. The handset also allows capture in 4K and the option of preserving the content as an 8MP-quality image.

IN PICS: Sony's Xperia Z5 range

Xperia Z5 Premium Dual is also powered by the Snapdragon 810 processor. A 3430 mAh battery lasts, like that of the Dual and Compact, for up to two days, depending on use, with quick charge capabilities also included.

To support 4K content, the Xperia Z5 Premium Dual has 32GB internal storage, expandable to 200GB via microSD card. The handset also features Sony's memory-on-display feature, where the data transfer between processor and device is optimised so the display memory tech remembers the display of images seen on the smartphone and caches the content. This means images and video do not need to be reloaded from internal storage each time they are viewed, which Sony touts as another power-saving attribute.

Sound and stuff

Across the Xperia Z5 series, Sony has included High-Res Audio. DSEE HX is designed to upscale the audio fidelity of existing MP3, AAC or Spotify tracks to "near High-Res Audio quality" Sony said. And for high-quality wireless music listening, Sony's LDAC codec transmits data "three times more efficiently than legacy codecs" over Bluetooth.

Sony's new High-Resolution Audio Headset MDR-NC750 allows combined Hi-Res Audio music with Digital Noise Cancelling, with ambient background noise reduced by up to 98%, according to Sony.

PlayStation 4 owners can wirelessly play games through their Xperia Z5, through PS4 Remote Play, although Sony did admit that this feature would be limited by territory and title. Players would use the PS4 controller while their smartphone acts as a screen, meaning they could play games in any room while they were at home.

IN PICS: Sony's Xperia Z5 range


Xperia Z5 Dual and Z5 Compact will launch globally from mid-October 2015, and Xperia Z5 Premium Dual from mid-November 2015. Regional pricing is not yet available.