In the saturated Android smartphone market where there is a general consensus that physical size of a device is often indicative of its performance, handsets like the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact are oftentimes seen as an underdog and are almost always at a disadvantage because of its small size.
But it would be unwise to quickly dismiss the Xperia Z5 Compact because of its petite form factor, as there is more to this handset than meets the eye. Join us as we take a closer look at this small, but terrible smartphone in our full review.
What’s in the box?
Manuals and Other documentations
1x USB Wall Charger
1x MicroUSB cable
1x Stereo Headset
The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact comes in a straightforward cardboard box that doesn’t do the the handset that it holds inside any justice. Most consumers who throw away the packaging wouldn’t mind this at all, but Sony has robbed some consumers of a heartfelt out-of-the-box experience.
Along with the actual device, the Z5 Compact comes with the usual set of pre-bundled accessories comprising of USB wall charger, microUSB cable, and stereo headset. There’s a bunch of product-related literatures for those who are in to those kind of things.
Design and Build
The Z5 Compact hails for a long line of premium Xperia Z-series smartphones that dates back to 2012. As such, one can immediately notice some unmistakable design cues that the handset inherited from its precursors.
Faint similarities aside, the Z5 Compact (and all the other devices under the Xperia Z5 lineup for that matter) looks nothing like the Xperia Z of old. Gone are glass panel at the back, the signature circular power button, as well as the metallic look of the physical buttons and speaker grills.
In essence, the handset was stripped off of all the fancy trappings. What is left is an IP68-certified polycarbonate chassis with an uncluttered, unibody design that would definitely appeal to consumers with a taste for minimalist smartphone.
As for the Z5 Compact’s posterior, Sony went for a frosted glass instead of a tempered glass found on the Z3 Compact. Some considers the new back panel as a bit of a downgrade from the previous model, but we actually prefer the former because it attracts less smudge and fingerprint, and is less likely to get accidentally scratched during day-to-day use.
Despite the use of more economic materials for the physical buttons, the impressive tactile feedback remained the same. These external keys, particularly the volume rocker, offer a satisfying click when pressed and doesn’t require to be bottomed out to register a key press.
The dedicated camera button is a bit mushy compared to the volume rocker, for two good reasons. First, it minimizes the incidents of accidentally launching the camera app, and secondly it’s a two-stage button that initializes the autofocus and metering system when inside the camera app and activates the shutter when pressed all the way.
The only odd man out among the physical buttons of the Z5 Compact is the power button. The slightly recessed oval-shaped key with an off-color silver paintjob helps to differentiate the power button from the other physical keys on the right hand side of the handset.
Oh, and there’s actually an inconspicuous fingerprint scanner around the power key in case you haven’t noticed it.
Over to the left side, there’s an engraved Xperia logo at the top-left and a pair of eyelets on the bottom left for wrist strap. Sandwiched in between these two is an oval flap that hides the SIM card and storage expansion slots.
Display and Multimedia
The IPS LCD screen of the Xperia Z5 Compact (4.7-inch) slightly grew in size compared to its predecessor (4.6-inch), albeit the resolution remained the same at 720 x 1280.
However, what the Z5 Compact may lack in size and screen resolution, it makes up in other aspects. This is, in part, thanks to the fact that all of the other note-worthy features of the Z3 Compact’s display were also carried over to the new model which include Sony’s proprietary display technologies such as Mobile BRAVIA engine, Triluminos, and X-Reality Engine 2.
The combination of the decent hardware and Sony’s added customizations results to an eye-candy display that offers very decent outdoor legibility and viewing angles, superb color reproduction, and crisp detail.
The Z5 Compact’s impressive display is paired to an equally notable loudspeaker. The loudness and clarity of the audio that’s coming out of this handset’s loudspeakers is really good, that it’s almost unbelievable that such high-quality sound is produce by a fairly small device.