- Andrew Hoyle , Cnet
By squashing powerful specs into a smaller, water-resistant body, the Z5 Compact earns the title of best "mini" Android phone.
- Gary Sims , Android Authority
One of the precious few compact Android flagships, but not without compromises
- Snappy performance for all tasks
- Over 2 days of battery life during moderate usage
- Incredibly fast autofocus
- Highly detailed photos in bright and low light conditions
- 720p resolution display
- Camera lag issues when navigating app and in-between shots
- Difficult to adjust to smaller keyboard when typing
While other companies are pushing forward with larger and larger screens, Sony's Xperia Z5 Compact is one of the few smartphones in 2015 that offers a sub 5-inch display. Despite being only 5 inches tall, it manages to be fairly thick at 0.4 inches, leading many experts to call it chunky and chubby. This slight thickness made it feel like a less than premium device to critics, which was only amplified thanks to its plastic sides. With that said, they still found it to be an attractive device thanks to the frosted glass back panel and array of color options. As well, the added thickness and rounded corners provided them with a comfortable fit.
Gracing the front of the Z5 Compact is the petite 4.6-inch, 720 IPS LCD screen. This provides a Retina-like pixel density of 323ppi. While some critics bemoan the fact that it isn't full HD, they all agree it is sharp enough for most people. Still, there are some limitations to this resolution as they were not able to watch some videos at the intended resolution. The screen did deliver in other aspects, however. They describe it as bright with good viewing angles and good color balance. Unlike larger smartphones, they were also able to use the phone one-handed easily. Some reviewers did discover it took them some time to get used to typing on the smaller screen as they had become accustomed to larger ones.
Just because it's small doesn't mean it's underpowered. The Z5 Compact comes with an octa-core processor that consists of four cores running at 1.5GHz for basic tasks and four 2.0GHz cores that kick in during more intensive tasks. This is backed by 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. For the most part, experts experienced fairly snappy performance regardless of whether they were simply browsing the web or playing a 3D game. Thanks to the 2700mAh battery, they were also able to get a full day's worth of life even when leaving 4G on for hours. Moderate usage netted them a whopping 72 hours.
The Z5 Compact comes with the same camera as the Z5. This means a 23MP camera, new autofocus, stronger zoom and optical image stabilization. According to Sony, the camera can autofocus in 0.03 seconds. While experts didn't time it, they were impressed with the incredible speed citing it as one of the fastest they've tested. Bright light situations provided them with detailed shots and excellent contrast between light and dark. Unlike many other smartphones, critics were also able to take excellent pictures in low light conditions as well even without flash. Still, many experts were unsatisfied with the camera due to shutter lag, delay between shots and sluggishness when navigating the app itself.
Experts recommend the Xperia Z5 Compact for people who are looking specifically for a smaller smartphone. Tech Radar states, "If you're looking for a small Android phone right now, this is it. With an incredible battery life, a new high-end processor and some impressive camera upgrades…There's much more to like here than criticize." Android Pit adds, "The Xperia Z5 Compact must be the best 'small' smartphone in the world."
Reviews (8.2/10 Avg. rating)
A unique smartphone emerges from the shadows
A bit pricey, but the best small Android phone
Good things still come in small packages
For the phablet-averse who still want quality hardware
Teeny tiny powerhouse
Not an amazing phone, but a small phone
A rare small flagship
When all advantages of the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact are summed up, its practical nature is what stands out the most. For those who do not like the trend of big smartphones, the Compact offers a powerful flagship in a smaller body. Possible issues with color calibration on the display and the phone’s chunky appearance are only minor gripes.
Apart from the odd combination of supreme specifications and small dimensions, Sony’s compact flagship model also offers a powerful camera, sustainable battery, modern, credible and waterproof body and an unobtrusive and simple user i... Full review
Heavily customisable and has plenty of power and a good camera
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