Review: Sony Xperia 5 II – Samsung , Huawei , OPPO , OnePlus . Just a number of well-known Android smartphone manufacturers who have all released new devices this year. But let’s not forget Sony, which has also had a series of devices in its range for years. We started with the Sony Xperia 5 II for a review and the conclusion can almost be described as a revelation.
Most premium smartphones are very similar. They combine the best specs of the moment in a serious housing. Sony does that differently and you notice that when you unpack the phone. The excellent specs have remained, but the housing and the feeling that the smartphone gives you is significantly different.
I always see Sony as a modest brand when it comes to smartphones. They design sleek phones without any fuss. And I noticed for this review that the Sony Xperia 5 II is no exception. The front and back are smooth. You only have a camera island and the brand name Sony in combination with a type indication on the back. At the front, the selfie camera is incorporated in a bezel and there are no physical buttons to be found.
Where Sony lags behind the competition is that the edges are a bit thicker, but that does not disturb at any time. Moreover, the issue of the notch is also resolved immediately. On the side are a number of buttons for the volume, on / off button, a shortcut to the camera and a Google Assistant button.
All those buttons on the side take some getting used to. You can also quickly open the camera via the smartphone screen, but it is nice that there is a separate button for it. In the beginning I often mistook these for the Google Assistant button because they are close together. Maybe a little overkill on buttons. On the other hand, you have a lot to choose from and that makes Sony really different.
Sony Xperia 5 II review – specifications
For its modest appearance, the Sony Xperia 5 II is really a powerful thing. You have a 21: 9 6.1-inch OLED HDR screen with a refresh rate of 120Hz. There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 under the hood and you have 128 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM. Via microSDXC you can further expand the storage to a maximum of 1 TB.
What is striking is what a lightweight phone this actually is. For such a powerful smartphone, the Sony weighs a meager 163 grams. You have a camera with three lenses on the back. This is a 12 MP + 12 MP + 12 MP combination. There is an 8 MP camera in front.
The battery has a capacity of 4,000mAh. Wireless charging is unfortunately not included. The smartphone comes with stereo speakers. Sony is also thinking of the dinosaurs among you. It has a 3.5mm input for your headphones. Did I mention that Sony really does differently? The phone ships on Android 10.
Sony Xperia 5 II review – daily use
A huge plus of this smartphone is its weight. It is a nice thin model and the Sony is not a big present in your pocket. It has been a really long time since I have tested a high-end smartphone that was not a whopper in my pocket. Today smartphones are so big and heavy that they are quite a dominant part of your daily activities. You hardly feel the Sony in your pocket thanks to the weight of 163 grams.
Sony’s take on Android is business with a dash of entertainment. A funny gimmick is that you can set up a sleeping robot dog from Sony with the Always On Display. This version of Android 10 does come with a number of apps that I do not care about myself. Personally, I prefer to have the bareest possible Android with control myself.
The design of the phone deserves two thumbs up in my opinion. It is very sleek, but you do not have to worry that the device is slippery or something. I did have to get used to the operation. My finger sometimes unintentionally rested against a button. Fortunately, the buttons do not protrude, but have gone a bit in the design. As a result, you really have to impress them, which is nice and that prevents an unintended action.
Besides the fact that the bezels reveal that Sony is not completely on point with the competition, the Japanese company is still a step behind. The phone can fast charge up to 21W. Brands like Huawei, OPPO and OnePlus do that a lot better. It feels like a decline when you get used to it.
All in all, the criticisms of the Sony Xperia 5 II are not deal breakers. It would have been really nice if you could fast charge with 30W or more. But what is not may yet come, who knows what Sony has in store for 2021.
Sony Xperia 5 II review – camera
And then about the quality of the camera. There is little to criticize about that. The photos are true to life and very sharp. If you try to take a photo of objects closer, the camera will perform less well. I can draw a very positive conclusion for general photos of an object. You can see the images from different locations and times of day.
Sony Xperia 5 II – Conclusion
I see the Sony Xperia 5 II as a real underdog. Between all other well-known brands, this smartphone is not one to forget. If you are considering a high-end smartphone with a fantastic camera, packed in a sleek housing, the Sony Xperia 5 II is a very strong candidate.
The Sony Xperia 5 II has a suggested retail price of 899 euros and is available in black or blue. However, if you search carefully, you can spot great offers here and there. For example, we already saw a price of 779 euros in combination with a free headset. For that money you really have a top device and then you can also listen to high quality music or watch a film wired. And not many high-end smartphones can say that anymore.
- Sleek design with many physical buttons for a camera, among other things
- Good camera
- Competitive price with competitive hardware
- 3.5mm headphone input for the enthusiast
- Edges around the screen, you hardly see that in the competition
- Fast charging is not very fast
- Wireless charging not possible