Sony’s new Xperia Z5 Premium puts a 4K display in your pocket

Xperia Z5 Premium is glamorous in gold. Photo: Sony

Xperia Z5 Premium is glamorous in gold. Photo: Sony

Sony today announced its new Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium, two devices that look a lot like their predecessors, but boast big improvements that’ll make the upgrade well worth it.

The Xperia Z5 premium is the first smartphone to put a 4K display in your pocket, while both devices pack “next-generation” cameras, fingerprint scanners, and two-day battery life.

Sony has long been criticized for its smartphone release cycles, which sees new devices pushed out every six months or so with mostly minor changes that simply aren’t worth upgrading for. But that’s not the case with the new Xperia Z5 family.

The Xperia Z5 Premium, by far the most exciting device in the series, has an unnecessary but incredibly cool 5.5-inch 4K display with a 3840×2160 resolution that provides a staggering 806 pixels-per-inch. It’s also powered by a Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM.

Yes, that’s the same processor powering the Xperia Z3+ that’s prone to overheating. We can only assume Sony is using the updated version that’s also employed by the OnePlus 2, which seems to get no warmer than any other smartphone under heavy load — but we’ll have to wait and see.

Xperia Z5 Premium's color options. Photo: Sony

Xperia Z5 Premium’s color options. Photo: Sony

Also packed into the Xperia Z5 Premium is 32GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a large 3,430mAh battery, and a high-resolution audio chip. All of this is packed into a water-resistant form factor that has a fingerprint scanner embedded into the power button on its right side.

Sony is also incredibly proud of the Xperia Z5’s camera, which is a 23-megapixel Exmor RS sensor with some excellent tricks up its sleeve.

In addition to a six-element lens, the camera features an f/2.0 aperture, the “fastest autofocus in a leading smartphone,” and phase-detection pixels. It’s also capable of recording 4K video, and it’s capable of oversampling image to provide digital zoom without compromising image quality.

Another big change with the Xperia Z5 Premium comes in its software. Sony has ditched its own interface to deliver a near-pure Android experience that’s almost identical to what you’d find on a Nexus device. Sony’s own apps are baked in as standard, however.

Xperia Z5's color options. Photo: Sony

Xperia Z5’s color options. Photo: Sony

The regular Xperia Z5 is very similar to the Xperia Z5 Premium, but not quite as spectacular. It has the same processor, RAM, camera, and other internal components, but it swaps the 5.5-inch 4K display for a 5.2-inch 1080p one, and has a slightly smaller 2,900mAh battery.

The Xperia Z5 will be available globally this October alongside the Xperia Z5 Compact, while the Xperia Z5 Premium will follow in November.