The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact could well be the most impressive handset in Sony’s latest phone range, and is one of the best phones you can buy right now. Featuring all the goodness of the full-blown Z5, it’s a tad smaller and a shade cheaper as well which makes it a bit of a superstar.
Anyone short on cash but looking for a good camera experience should be excited about what’s on offer here. Even if you’re not focused on money love the Compact for its smaller form factor. Plus when you think it also has PS4 Remote Play and Hi-Res Audio under the hood, you can see why there are a lot of reasons to want this phone.
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Techradar’s Xperia Z5 Compact review highlights
In early 2015 there were rumours that Sony was considering giving up on smartphones altogether, so the Xperia Z5 range needs to succeed. It deserves to do so and the Z5 Compact is a gem in the series.
Many will be distracted by the standard Xperia Z5 and the shining lights of the Xperia Z5 Premium and its 4K display, but for design, performance and well-conceived detail, it’s the Compact that stands out.
If you’re looking for strong battery life without compromising on design, this is your choice. The Xperia Z5 Compact offers a far better battery life than the rest of the competition right now, and that it manages this without bulking out its frame is fantastic.
The fingerprint sensor could be seen as an easy upgrade, but to do this so well is unheard of. The Galaxy S6 has an amazing fingerprint sensor on the front now, but the Galaxy S5 came before it and that scanner was atrocious.
The positioning is perfect and it reacts so quickly to the touch it’ll make contactless payments a breeze when Android Pay finally comes to the phone. Just don’t look for it in the Sony Xperia Z5 in the US.
The design deserves particular mention. Considering it’s a smaller phone, Sony has packed it with key features. It’s slightly thicker than the Xperia Z5, but you only notice the difference when you put them next to each other, and the Compact feels much more comfortable in the hand.
The lack of flaps this time is great, and Sony has achieved this without sacrificing on the water resistance that is a key selling point of the Xperia range.
Plus on top of that Sony has decided to future proof its device a little further by including 200GB microSD support. There might not be many 200GB cards out there but in the lifetime of this phone it’s sure to grow.
Screen resolution is a big let-down. It doesn’t match what we’d expect from a phone in 2015, and we wish Sony had made this a Full HD screen.
If it had, this could have been a five star review – but we understand why it’s kept at 720p. Saving on pixels has meant a better battery life, and many picking up this phone would prefer that to a clearer view of YouTube.
The fact Sony hasn’t upped the price this year is good as well, although the Z5 Compact is still on the expensive end of the spectrum. If Sony had decided to go under the £350 mark there would be no reason not to recommend this phone to anyone.
We feel like a broken record when talking about Sony devices, but we’d love to see the company adopt stock Android. The Xperia UI isn’t good looking and it’d be nice to see it retired before the next Sony phone.
While most of the big competitors look to fast charging and wireless charging technologies, Sony has left them out. It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s a shame it was overlooked.
If you’re looking for a small Android phone right now, this is it. No other phone manufacturer is making high-end devices in this form factor, which is a shame, because the Xperia Z5 Compact is beautifully proportioned.
With an incredible battery life, a new high-end processor and some impressive camera upgrades, it’s also worth getting this over last year’s Xperia Z3 Compact. The screen is much the same, which is regrettable but does save on your battery. There’s much more to like here than to criticize.