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First impressions on Sony Xperia Z5 Compact – small body packed full of features

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact was officially announced back in September and is now available on the market. We’ve got our hands on a unit and we’re ready to start our in-depth tests, the results from which you can find in our upcoming full review. Anyway, we’re going to start off with an article about our first impressions of the device.

As expected, Xperia Z5 Compact inherits the specific appearance and design of all the Xperia Z line, but there are some slight differences that should be noted. As we are dealing with a high-end model, we expected it to have an extremely thin profile. It seems we had our expectations set too high, as the thickness of the phone is 8.9 mm, exceeding that of its predecessor Xperia Z3 Compact (8.6 mm). Despite that, the device isn’t bulky at all and the reason for that is the small housing. This is a 4.6-inch model, so having a secure grip with one hand shouldn’t be an issue – most users prefer this instead of a larger screen. Luckily, Sony is one of the few manufacturers that still includes powerful hardware in the mini versions of their flagship devices.

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As far as the design of Xperia Z5 Compact goes, it should be noted that it doesn’t feature the same glass back panel. Instead, the phone has a frosted glass panel, which is soft to touch, but also makes it a bit slippery. Anyway, you shouldn’t worry about this being a problem, because the sides of the device are a lot less slippery, due to the specific polycarbonate used. It should also be noted, that the phone does collect nasty fingerprints and smudges, but they are easy to clean and you can even remove them with your hand. So we don’t consider this to be an issue.

Another typical aspect of the Xperia Z line design are the physical buttons. This includes the power button and volume rocker as well as the dedicated camera button. The latter is used to launch the camera app and take photos with two-staged “click” for autofocus.

One of the new features included in Xperia Z5 Compact, is the fingerprint scanner, which is integrated into the power button and thus far, we haven’t experienced any problems with it – unlocking the device is fast and easy.

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Xperia Z5 Compact boasts Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 SoC and unfortunately, there have been some overheating issues with other models using this chip. However, there is evidence that this won’t be the case with Z5 Compact and we’re eager to run our temperature tests to see how it goes. As soon as they’re done, we’re going to share the results in a dedicated article and in-depth review.

We see some improvement in the camera department as well since the phone now features a 23MP rear unit. It doesn’t offer many manual settings, but we see a lot of shooting modes and effects. The sensor is able to record video in 4K resolution and you can expect a sample shots article too.

The device comes with Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box, but Sony recently announced that the Z5 Compact will be one of the first devices to receive an update for Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Sony’s well-known custom UI, which brings a lot of extra features and pre-installed apps, runs on top of the OS, but we will talk about that in our full review.

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Specs sheet


OSAndroid v5.1.1 (Lollipop)
CPUQualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810 (4-cores, 1.5GHz, Cortex-A53 & 4-cores,2 GHz, Cortex-A57)
RAM2GB
Storage32GB
GPUAdreno 430
Display4.6-inch IPS capacitive multi-touch display with 720 x 1280 resolution
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.1, 802.11b/g/n/ac, 4G/LTE
Cameras23MP (rear), 5.1MP (front)
Features
  • fingerprint sensor
  • microSD memory card slot, supports up to 200GB
  • IP68 waterproof and dustproof certified
  • stereo speakers
Battery2700 mAh
Dimensions127 x 65 x 8.9 mm
Weight138 g (4.87 oz)