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Sony hopes new Xperia Z5 Premium will wow with 4K screen

Mikael Ricknäs | Sept. 3, 2015
The smartphone will start shipping in November.

Sony is hoping the Xperia Z5 Premium’s 4K screen and 23-megapixel camera are a winning combination as it looks for a way to turn around its ailing smartphone fortunes.

It showed the Xperia Z5 Premium along with the Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact at an event in Berlin on Wednesday.

Because the Z5 Premium won’t go on sale until November, Sony had to come up with something special to differentiate it from high-end smartphones running Android that went on sale seven months or more prior. In the end, the company decided to go for a 4K screen.

Smartphones with 4K screens have been rumored for some time, but Sony is the first to introduce one. The Z5 Premium has a 5.5-inch screen with 2160 x 3840 pixels. That will, at least on paper, help separate in from competing products with 1440 x 2560 pixel screens.

How the higher resolution affects battery life remains to be seen. The Z5 has a 3430 mAh battery, which is larger than on competing products. On the downside, the battery can’t be replaced. There is support for quick charging, but no wireless charging, according to Sony’s spec sheet.

In addition to the screen, Sony is banking on its camera know-how to convince users to choose the Z5 Premium. The main camera has a 23-megapixel sensor, up from 20.7 megapixels on Sony’s existing top models. Sony also promises a fast autofocus and better image quality when shooting in low-light conditions.

However, it faces some stiff competition here. Samsung and LG have taken Android camera quality to the next level with the Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 5 and the G4, which have 16-megapixel and 13-megapixel sensors.

Another thing that differentiates the Z5 Premium from the competition, but unfortunately not in a good way, is the weight. The smartphone weighs 180 grams, which is a bit more than already heavy devices with 5.5-inch screens such as the OnePlus 2 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

The phone has a similar design to its previous phones with a glass back and a metal frame.

The rest of the waterproof Z5 Premium’s specifications don’t do much to separate the device from smartphones launched throughout the year. It has a Snapdragon 810 processor and a 5-megapixel front camera. There is 3GB of RAM, 32GB of integrated flash memory, and a microSD card slot for additional storage. The power button on the side contains a fingerprint sensor.

The smartphone was rumored to have the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 under the hood, but that processor is still only available in small volumes to Sony and Qualcomm’s other partners. Smartphones powered by the processor won’t arrive until the first half of next year.

 

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