Gadget Review – Sony Xperia Z5 Compact (Nougat) Is It Still Worth It
If youre in the market looking for a compact
smartphone that is still decent today, you dont really have much options to choose
from. One of them would be the Xperia Z5 Compact
from late 2015. But is it still worth getting one today? Lets find out. While the design of the Xperia series hasn’t
really changed all that much throughout the years, I have to say, they do age really well.
Even today the Z5 Compact still looks really
good. While the frame might not be metal, it still
feels really solid, and the glass back makes it feel like a more
premium phone. I also really like the frosted glass finishing. It feels smooth to the touch, and doesn’t leave any fingerprints or smudges.
To me it’s pretty much the ultimate expression
of Sonys Omnibalance design. Furthermore, the phone is still water and
dust resistant without need to deal with flimsy flaps covering
the charging port. The Z5 Compact was also one of the first Sony
phones to include a fingerprint sensor. Its a really unique implementation at the
side of the phone, and it works surprisingly well.
If you set it up properly, you can unlock
the phone easily no matter whether the phone is in your hand, or on a desk. Oh, and by the way, despite being such a small phone, Sony still found a way to put in stereo speakers. The volume might be a bit on the softer side,
but its still nice to have that stereo effect. The 720p 4.6-Inch LCD display at the front
might not sound like much today, but it still looks decent enough for everyday
The colours are a little cool for my liking,
but that can be easily adjusted. That lower resolution also means better battery
life, as well as lesser pixels for the processor to push around. Which brings me to the Snapdragon 810 chipset
on the phone, which is a bit of a double-edged sword. I love that despite being a compact phone, its still packing a high end chipset with
the only minor compromise being a bit less RAM.
So the performance of the phone is still really
good. But, the thermal performance of the processor
leaves much to desired. When Im playing a game, using the camera, or just browsing the web for a short while, the phone warms up more easily than I would
have liked. For heavier users, it probably wouldnt
be uncommon to feel the phone getting really warm.
Unfortunately this is just how it is with
this chipset. After over a year of use, the 2,700mAh battery
is no longer as lasting as it used to be, but it can still last me a day of normal use. The lower resolution screen and better battery
management in Android Nougat probably helped. It does supports fast charging, but the fast
charger is not included in the box.
Android Nougat also brought one of my favourite
features which is fast app switching, making it really quick and easy to jump between
apps. Split screen mode is here too, but frankly
its not that useful on a screen this small. Sonys interface is actually very close
to stock Android, with just minor tweaks and enhancements here and there. Double tap to wake, and double tap to sleep
is always a nice feature to have.
The small apps feature actually can be useful
occasionally too, and Im sure some folks would enjoy the
audio features. There are quite a bit of Sony apps on the
phone too along with some third party ones, but what I really like about Sonys interface,
is that most of them can be uninstalled or disabled if you prefer a more stock Android-like experience. One of the headlining features of the Z5 Compact,
is its 23MP camera. The camera is able to capture good looking
shots, but it does require quite a bit of effort and playing around with the settings to do
It also has the tendency to over-saturate
the shot, which I guess some people will like. As long as there are still some light, the
camera can still capture some pretty decent shots. But once it becomes too dim, the camera struggles
at getting good details, and the colours are just way off. The 5MP camera is actually not half bad, certainly
better than I was expecting it to be.
It captures pretty good looking 4K footage
too, even though the electronic stabilisation doesnt look as good in 4K. Just one thing though, instead of being part
of the video mode, why is 4K a separate mode? And who really uses all these AR effects? In the end I cant really say I enjoyed
using the Z5 Compacts camera. The camera app is just a little bit too finicky
for my liking, even though it has the potential. For a smartphone, I would prefer a camera
that does all of the work for me, making it as easy as possible to capture great
Another complaint I have is with Sonys
Album app. Just look at how long it takes to render this
23MP photo when I zoom in. Then, lets try Google Photos. See the difference? Its crazy.
Overall, the Z5 Compact is still a pretty
remarkable phone. For such a tiny phone it packs in a ton of
features that would still put a lot of newer phones to shame. It does have a few compromises, and a few
things Im not a huge fan of, but the overall user experience is still really good. Im really surprised at how snappy it still
Its tendency to warm up easily might annoy
some folks, but for normal smartphone usage, I dont think its a big deal. So even after a year and a half, I do think
that the Z5 Compact is still a decent option for folks who are looking for a good compact smartphone. Its like not there are a lot of other options
around anyway. Thanks for watching this video, if you liked it be sure to give me a thumbs
up and subscribe to the channel.
Thanks, and see you guys on the next one..