If you happen to value your audio experience on a smartphone, you’ll find more settings for sound enhancements, spatial effects, and support for high-resolution audio up to 24-bit in 192kHz, meaning any high quality FLAC files you have laying around or that you bought recently for another media player will play on this phone.
A new audio trick is also here, with noise cancellation built into the handset provided you use one of Sony’s compatible headsets.
For this to work, your phone becomes the power and processing brick for the Sony-specific noise cancelling headset, and while we haven’t tried it yet, this seems like it might be a good idea, provided Sony has produced a decent pair of headphones. If not, we’ll just go to another pair of active noise cancelling cans, of which there are certainly quite a few.
Owners of a Sony PlayStation 4 will also find they can control their console using their phone, or even pair the PS4 controller with the phone and play over a network connection (but not a mobile one) the games they’d normally have to sit in front of the telly for.
And then there’s that other trick that we always love: water resistance.
This is something we wish more mobile manufacturers wood seriously bring into their designs, and just like it was on the Z3 and Z3 Compact, it remains on the Z5 and Z5 Compact alike.
That is to say, if you’re worried about rain killing your phone, or a splash of beer drowning it, or fearing that you’ll take a dip in the water and forget to take your phone out of your pocket destroying it without realising it and forcing you to buy the biggest bag of rice you can find to dry it out, you don’t have to worry with this handset.
From the get go, the Sony is rated as IP65/8, which means it is mostly dust proof and highly water resistant, though these water proofing ratings have been developed for freshwater.
If you do end up taking the phone into the saltwater of the sea or chlorinated pool water, run your phone under a tap when you’re done, letting the clearwater remove any and as many impurities that may have been introduced from the not-quite-freshwater you’ve dipped the phone into.
The camera is also fairly strong, and it should be given there’s a redeveloped 23 megapixel Exmor camera on-board, providing up to 4K video and up to 23 megapixel stills, though make sure to switch it from the 8 megapixels when you get the phone. For some reason, both Z5 variants were set to this out of the box.
Now loading the camera can occasionally through out some delays, much like we saw on the full-strength Z5, but this was by no means as frequent, and while it’s not fast as some other cameras, it still gets up all the same, offering downloadable camera modes and Sony’s neat augmented reality based modes if you need them, too.