Everything you need to know about this compact powerhouse
Sony unveiled the Xperia 5 II, a version of its premium mainstream second-generation phone, in September. The Xperia 5 II follows last year’s Xperia 5 and is in the Sony family tree under the Xperia 1 II.
Sony makes many bold claims about the Xperia 5 II focused on its speed and size. The company is aimed entirely at photography, games and media fans as the main customer segment of the Xperia 5 II. Can it find an audience in these multimedia lovers?
We’ve covered all of the basics in this area Android Authority Buying guide to help you form an early opinion.
Sony Xperia 5 II: what is it?
The Sony Xperia 5 II is Sony’s second version of an affordable flagship. The company unveiled the original Xperia 5 in September 2019, so this sequel arrives in time for the 2020 Christmas shopping season. It’s a slim, average-sized phone that has all of the flagship performance in one easy-to-use hardware.
According to Sony, the Xperia 5 II was “designed for speed” and “made compact”. Specifically, it was designed for game speed, frame speed, and performance speed, and designed for a “perfect fit for hand and pocket”. To achieve these marketing milestones, Sony gave the phone a top processor and specs. It has made very few sacrifices and made every effort to turn the phone into a formidable powerhouse.
More: The best Sony headphones you can buy
Sony didn’t spare a superlative in announcing the phone, but last year’s Xperia 5 wasn’t the beast phone Sony hyped it up for. We found it less compact and not as fully equipped as the more powerful Xperia 1. Has Sony found the right mix in the Xperia 5 II? Let’s go into the details.
What features does the Sony Xperia 5 II offer?
Sony has centered the Xperia 5 II around three tentpoles: imaging, gaming and performance.
The phone is a slim, tall plate. Sony markets the phone as compact, but we disagree. It’s exactly the same dimension as last year’s Xperia 5, which we called “not that compact” in our test. It’s certainly smaller than many of today’s flagships, but it’s not a petite device either. The 5 II is a Gorilla Glass 6 aluminum sandwich with protection class IP68, a headphone jack and an expandable microSD memory. You’ll find dedicated camera and Google Assistant buttons as well as a USB-C port, stereo speakers, and an appealing black piano finish.
Sony likes to borrow imaging technology from its Alpha line of cameras, and this year is no different. The Xperia 5 II uses a triple 12 megapixel system for its standard, wide-angle and telephoto lenses. The focal lengths correspond to those of certain types of lenses, e.g. B. 16mm wide angle, 24mm standard and 70mm telephoto lenses. They all rely on Zeiss lenses with real-time eye autofocus for humans and animals. The sensor is much larger than last year’s phone at 1: 1.7, which makes it perform better in low light. The camera is based on Sony’s Bionz engine and can record bursts at 20 frames per second with continuous autofocus tracking. The phone can record in RAW + JPEG mode for maximum editing flexibility.
The phone is not a video slouch. Sony has teamed up with CineAlta to enable the phone to record at a 21: 9 cinema ratio with advanced color reproduction. In addition, it can process 4K video recordings at speeds of up to 120 frames per second for extremely smooth slow motion. Thanks to the new USB tethering, owners of the Sony A7S III camera can send files to the phone via USB-C for FTP upload.
What about games? Let’s start with the ad. The screen measures 6.1 inches diagonally and has an aspect ratio of 21: 9 – something Sony introduced with last year’s Xperia 1, 10 and 5 phones. Sony improved the game (pun intended) by jumping to a refresh rate of 120Hz with a sample rate of 240Hz. That means scrolling and other actions on the screen will be smoother, while the screen will be more responsive to touch input. The screen is available in two modes: standard mode for gaming and media consumption and creation mode for photography and videography. The latter mode is more accurate in terms of color, so developers can see exactly what their content will look like as a finished product.
Whether you use headphones or the built-in speakers, you can expect top-notch sound from the device, says Sony. Sony continues to praise the advantages of its sound processing, which is supposed to deliver balanced stereo sound from the speakers as well as upscaled quality from almost every audio codec. We reserve the right to judge until we hear it for ourselves.
The final tent mast is the power Sony can easily address. The phone comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor. This is the standard version of the chip, not the plus version with higher clock speeds. Even so, you should expect the phone to be fast. A new graphene sheet inside conducts heat more evenly across the phone so it doesn’t get as hot as last year’s Xperia 5. The phone has 8GB of RAM, which is a little less than we’d like to see at this price point, but at least it is the phone is available in 128 GB and 256 GB versions.
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The power supply in the Xperia 5 II is a much larger battery, which has improved from 3,180 mAh in the previous year to 4,000 mAh in this year’s phone. According to Sony, a 25% larger battery could be built into the same size case by downsizing other components. If you use an optional 21W charger, you’ll get a 50% charge in just 30 minutes. The included charger takes 35 minutes to reach the same 50% mark. No wireless charging, which is a shame.
|Sony Xperia 5 ii|
|display||6.1 inch OLED|
120 Hz refresh rate
240Hz touch scanning
FHD + resolution
Aspect ratio 21: 9
|processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865|
Adreno 650 GPU
|warehouse||128 or 2565 GB|
Ultra wide: 12 MP, 16 mm
Wide: 12 MP, 24 mm, aperture 1.7, PDAF
Tele: 12 MP, 70 mm, PDAF, OIS
Eye AF, 20fps tracking
|Audio||3.5 mm headphone jack|
360 Reality Audio
|Dimensions and weight||158 x 68 x 8 mm|
Competition and alternatives
The competition in the under $ 1,000 area is fierce. They have solid deals from just about every major player, including Samsung, OnePlus, Google, and even Motorola.
At Samsung, it’s worth taking a look at the Galaxy S20 Plus or the Note 20. Each of these phones costs roughly the same price as the Sony Xperia 5 II. The biggest difference will be the size. Both Samsung’s are larger than the 5 II.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is a lower-cost option that is also slightly larger than the Xperia 5 II. OnePlus’ efforts in this affordable flagship are commendable, and we really liked the OnePlus 8 Pro.
You cannot discount Google. The Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL may have already been discontinued, but they are still viable competitors if you can find them. Additionally, the Google Pixel 5 is poised to make its debut later this month.
See also: The best phones of 2020
Finally, there is the Motorola Edge Plus. Motorola’s $ 999 flagship is a beautiful piece of hardware that does almost anything right. More importantly, it is often available for $ 799.
Where to buy the Sony Xperia 5 II
Pre-orders for the Sony Xperia 5 II will open on September 29th. The phone will be available unlocked on Sony.com, Amazon and Best Buy. The price for the 128GB model is $ 949. Sony did not split the prices for the 256 GB variant. However, the sales date isn’t before December 4th, so you’ll have to wait a bit.
For users in Europe, you can intercept the device a little earlier. Pre-orders are now available from Sony’s eStore partner store. In the UK, you can book a black or blue dual SIM version of the phone for £ 799 (~ $ 1,026). Shipping begins October 15th. In mainland Europe, the phone will be available from retailers for 899 euros and will be shipped to customers from October 19. Black, blue and gray colors are available to buyers on the continent.
We’re assuming we’ll check the phone right before it starts. So look for more content on the Sony Xperia 5 II that will arrive shortly before the holidays.
Top Sony Xperia 5 II Questions and Answers
Q: Does the Sony Xperia 5 II support 5G?
ONE: Yes, it supports 5G networks below 6 GHz, but not in the US.
Q: Does the Sony Xperia 5 II have a headphone jack?
ONE: Yes, it includes a headphone jack as well as advanced codecs for sound processing
Q: Does the Sony Xperia 5 II support wireless charging?
ONE: No it doesn’t. It charges at 21W via a USB-C cable and an optional power adapter.
Q: Does the Sony Xperia 5 II have dual SIM functionality?
ONE: No it does not.
Q: Does the Sony Xperia 5 II have a microSD card slot?
ONE: Yes, the phone supports expandable memory. Sony didn’t say how much (1TB, 2TB, etc.)
Q: In which memory variants is the phone available?
ONE: The phone has 8 GB of RAM and either 128 GB or 256 GB of internal storage.
Q: Does the device have stereo speakers?
ONE: Yes, the phone has two front-facing speakers that produce high quality stereo sound.
Q: What colors will the Sony Xperia 5 II be available in?
ONE: The phone is only supplied in one color: black