The chief drawback I had with Sony’s flagship smartphone of 2023, the Xperia 1 V, was that it was simply too darn costly for what it supplied. So right here we’re with the extra reasonably priced Xperia 5 V (pronounced 5 mark 5). Besides it is hardly an “reasonably priced” smartphone—it nonetheless prices £850 (round $1,000), roughly £450 lower than its taller sibling.
The excellent news is that this new Sony cellphone is effectively rounded, with a foolish identify, an aesthetic design, and a singular function set. It packs high-end specs and nonetheless goals squarely on the content material creator area of interest with picture and video options that may go over most individuals’s heads. It is behind the curve on some fronts when in comparison with equally priced Android phones, however a minimum of it is a greater worth than the Xperia 1 V. It’s a disgrace it is not coming to the US.
Sony’s signature rectangular profile is a glance that dates again over a decade to its earliest Android telephones, however the Xperia vary has grown taller and slimmer over time. Some describe it as compact, however the Xperia 5 V is considerably heavier and taller than an iPhone 15 or Samsung Galaxy S23. It is simply narrower than each. That makes it simple to handle one-handed, although the keyboard can really feel cramped in portrait orientation.
This glass sandwich is available in black, blue, or platinum (grey), however the again of the Xperia 5 V is easy and matte, lacking out on the grippy texture of its costlier counterpart. However identical to the Xperia 1 V, there’s a 3.5-mm headphone jack up prime, the proper edge hosts a quantity rocker, energy button with fingerprint sensor, and digicam shutter button, plus there is a microSD card alongside the underside. There’s an IP65/IP68 dust- and water-resistance rating to outlive submersions in water, and Sony employs Gorilla Glass Victus for the glass, making it sturdy sufficient. Nevertheless, lots of telephones at this value have upgraded to the marginally harder Victus 2.
One of many primary downgrades from the Xperia 1 V is the show, however I don’t suppose most people may have any points with this 6.1-inch OLED. The two,520 x 1,080-pixel decision is sharp, and the display screen will get shiny sufficient to stay legible outside should you keep away from direct daylight. It nonetheless has Sony’s most well-liked 21:9 facet ratio, with room for bezels and front-facing audio system prime and backside, making it good for watching films (although you don’t get Sony’s Creator Mode for trustworthy colour copy). The refresh rate is 60 Hz by default, however you may swap it to 120 Hz for a smoother expertise at the price of some battery life (it is a trade-off value making).
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor with 8 GB of RAM makes for flagship efficiency. It feels responsive, jumps out and in of apps with ease, and runs video games like Asphalt 9: Legends and Kingdom Rush Origins for hours with out criticism. The Xperia 5 V will get heat throughout lengthy gaming classes or once you shoot video, however not worryingly so. Simply 128 GB of storage is disappointing, however Sony mitigates it by together with a microSD card slot, a rarity on top-end telephones lately.
Battery life is a energy. The 5,000-mAh cell noticed me by way of the busiest of days, and you would push to 2 days between fees should you use Sony’s Stamina mode. A half-hour of charging was sufficient so as to add 50 %, however the Xperia 5 V took virtually two hours to totally cost, which is sort of sluggish in comparison with the competitors. Charging maxes out at 30 watts and slows down when the cellphone will get heat. Fortunately, there’s assist for wireless charging.
Sony’s picture sensors account for a hefty slice of the corporate’s income. It makes far extra money by supplying digicam sensors to different producers, together with Apple, than from gross sales of its personal Xperia vary. The digicam system within the Xperia 5 V is robust, with the identical 52-MP primary digicam and 12-MP ultrawide, because the Xperia 1 V. It solely misses out on the telephoto lens, however Sony makes use of that primary sensor to crop in and ship an honest 2X zoom, producing a barely sharper picture than customary digital zoom.