Apple’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus might win the attention of Apple fanboys, but over in the Android world, eyes are on Sony because it has three models on the way to grab lovers of Google’s mobiles.
Announced barely a month ago at IFA in Berlin, Sony is ready with its major releases for this year in the world of smartphones.
While the company made some news about a new Z3 and a fabled Z4, prepare to skip a digit as the Z3 jumps all the way to the Z5, a range that is no longer based on the small and the big, but rather a small, a medium, and a large, offering a option for people who like varying screen sizes.
Beyond those different screen sizes, expect a Qualcomm eight-core Snapdragon 810 processor, either 2 or 3GB RAM depending on the screen size, 32GB storage, support for up to 256GB of storage using a microSD slot, 4G LTE, 802.11ac WiFi (with backwards compatibility for 802.11n), and Google’s Android 5.1 “Lollipop”.
A new camera is also at the heart of the phone, supporting up to 23 megapixels and ISO12800, while 4K Ultra HD video is able to be captured.
“Since unveiling our new flagship smartphones at IFA in Berlin last month, anticipation has been building as to when Australians will be able to purchase them,” said Sony Mobile’s John Featherstone, Market Head for our region, adding “so we are delighted to announce that the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact will be available for customers from next week.”
Technically, there will be three models, though only two will arrive next week, providing a 4.6 inch screen in the Z5 Compact and a 5.2 inch display in the Z5, with the super special not-set-to-be-released-until-later 5.5 inch Z5 Premium eventually arriving with a 4K screen boasting the most pixels per inch out of any smartphone found on the market today.
Most won’t need that sort of resolution, and truth be told, even the Z5 Premium won’t show the Ultra HD screen display most of the time, defaulting to Full HD just like its Z5 brother except when 4K videos and 4K images are being shown, at which point it will display them in the best resolution possible.
“Sony’s Xperia Z Series has consistently brought advanced innovation and technology to the mobile phone industry,” said Featherstone (above). “We don’t believe in innovation for its own sake – it’s about listening to customer needs and ever changing behaviours.
“The Xperia Z5 Series has been developed to answer these – a best-in-class camera and imaging experience, our renowned battery life of up to two days, all combined with new innovations in design, including the world’s first 4K smartphone.”
Hands on with the mid-sized model in the range, the evolutions on the body are small, with minor design changes in a simple flat rectangular brick made to feel less like a brick and more like a small part of the future.
In fact, if this thing landed in Kubrick’s “2001: A Spacey Odyssey”, it wouldn’t look so unusual, with a large black monolith looking out to the world.
The design is similar here, and that’s been the way Sony has been heading with its Xperia line for a while now, but now we’re flatter than ever, and even the circular power button has changed, making way of a flat button that hides a super fast fingerprint reader underneath.
More than the design, however, Sony wants to point out the evolution of hardware, with a fast processor, upgradeable storage, in-built noise cancellation (provided you buy Sony’s special earphones, as others won’t take advantage of this), and a redeveloped camera designed to provide solid low-light results with 23 megapixels of camera prowess.
These features will be found across all the devices, too, with only a couple of differences — essentially screen size, resolution and then battery size — changing between the models, with Sony saying that these devices are designed to fit hands of all sizes, with an approach that is less “one size fits all” and more “something for everyone”.
Price-wise, we’re delighted to see we’re not getting burned by a falling Australian dollar, so that’s good too, and Sony’s Xperia range will start from $849 for the Z5 Compact, before going up to $999 for the Z5, and then $1199 for the 4K screen-equipped Z5 Premium.
We’ve started our review, too, so it shouldn’t be long before we have our thoughts on the range, so stay tuned.