At the IFA 2019 today, Sony unveiled the newest member of the Xperia series: the Xperia 5. The smartphone is essentially a slimmer variant of the Xperia 1. This is not quite a return to the Sony Compact days, but it's a step in that direction.
The new Xperia 5 has a 6.1-inch FHD+ HDR OLED display in the 21:9 CinemaWide format that Sony is backing heavily these days, except now it comes in a more handy size. We saw this display format on the Xperia 1, but that flagship smartphone felt slim and very tall. The Xperia 5 aims to make it less cumbersome with a more ergonomic design. The Japanese manufacturer says that its BRAVIA X1 mobile processing engine for image optimization provides better contrasts and lifelike colors for better image quality, too.
The 21:9 is not only designed for viewing cinematic content, but it's also supposed to help with multitasking. Thanks to the Side Sense function the transition to multitasking mode is built to be fast and intuitive. Side Sense uses AI to learn user behavior and display the apps you use the most in different situations.
The new Xperia 5 screen is made of Gorilla Glass 6 and the metal frame has rounded outer edges. Due to its symmetrical shape, the Xperia looks elegant. The fingerprint sensor is once again integrated into the side of the phone, but there are some changes on the back in terms of the camera placement. The sensors are now positioned at the top left instead of in the middle.
Talk to me about the camera
Speaking of that triple camera on the back, the Xperia 5 comes with a super-wide-angle lens (16 mm, F2.4), a regular wide-angle lens (26mm, F1.6), and a telephoto lens (52 mm, F2.4). This is the same setup we saw on the Xperia 1. All three cameras are 12-megapixel sensors. In addition, the wide-angle lens can be used Super Slow Motion videos at 960 frames per second in Full HD. The telephoto lens provides a dual optical zoom. The selfie camera is an 8-megapixel with SteadyShot image stabilization and HDR.
Sony has tweaked the software for the camera though for the Xperia 5, integrating solutions from the successful Sony Alpha cameras. Thre's dual-pixel technology and RAW noise reduction to makes things clear and more natural. There's also a manual mode for full control over all settings such as white balance, ISO or exposure. The resulting images can also be saved in RAW on the Xperia 5 - even for fast continuous shooting.
The Xperia 5 also supports the Cinema Pro App powered by CineAlta. Inspired by Sony's professional film camera series, the app aims to give you the tools of a Hollywood director. In Master Mode aperture, filter, focus and even color depth can be individually adjusted. Video recordings are made in 21:9 at a resolution of 4K HDR.
Sony is also trying to attract gamers with the Xperia 5. You can mute notifications when playing and the action on screen is accompanied by a Dynamic Vibration System. On the top and bottom of the Xperia 5 there are loudspeakers, which can be used in cooperation with S-Force Front Surround. Dolby Atmos is also onboard. More interestingly, the Sony Xperia 5 also supports PlayStation DualShock 4 controllers.
The processor in the Sony Xperia 5 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 supported by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, expandable up to 512 GB via MicroSD. In terms of battery, you are looking at a 3,140 mAh with support for fast charging at 18W. The Xperia 5 will ship with Android 9 Pie. Sony has not gotten around to finalizing Android 10 for its smartphones yet, which is understandable given it only came out this week.
The Xperia will be available as a Dual SIM version in four colors; Black, Grey, Blue and Red. Prices start at €799 ($879/£725) in Europe. It will launch at the beginning of October.
What do you think of the Sony Xperia 5? Let us know in the comments section below.