Sony Xperia XZ vs Xperia Z5: What’s the difference?

Sony was one of the only manufacturers left to announce a new flagship in 2016, until IFA anyway.

The company has now released its latest Xperia flagship smartphone – the Xperia XZ – which is in fact the fifth smartphone to appear from the company this year alone.

Sony scrapped the “Z” series at Mobile World Congress and marked the “X” series as its future, meaning the Xperia XZ is the successor the Xperia Z5, but how do they compare and what are the differences?

The Sony Xperia XZ follows the same OmniBalance design Sony smartphones are distinguished by, but it opts for a flatter and squarer top and bottom. The side edges are rounded like the current X series, with the right side featuring the power button and the built-in fingerprint sensor.

The Sony Xperia XZ features a brushed metal finish, measures 146 x 72 x 8.1mm and weighs 161g. It is IP68 water and dust resistant and USB Type-C is present for charging and data transfer for the first time on a Sony smartphone.

The Sony Xperia Z5 also has an OmniBalance design but it features a tempered glass rear with a metal frame rather than an all metal finish. The side button is present with the fingerprint sensor but the Z5 offers a slightly more rounded top and bottom compared to the new device.

The Z5 measures 146 x 72 x 7.3mm, meaning it has the same footprint as the Xperia XZ but it is slightly slimmer. The Z5 weighs 154g, features Micro-USB and it too is IP68 water and dust resistant.

The Sony Xperia XZ features a 5.2-inch display and a Full HD resolution. This puts its pixel density at 424ppi, which is lower than competitor devices like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5.

We were hoping to see an edge-to-edge display like the Xperia XA but we didn’t quite get it. The Xperia XZ’s display does wrap around to the edges of the device however, thanks to a new design feature called Loop, resulting in almost bezel-free sides even if the top and bottom aren’t.

The Sony Xperia Z5 comes with a 5.2-inch Full HD display, which puts its pixel density at the same as the Xperia XZ. There are a couple of Sony technologies on board, including X Reality and Triluminos, again like the Xperia XZ, but all-in-all, the Z5 has a pretty standard display with no fancy features.

The Sony Xperia XZ features the same sensor as the Xperia Z5, X Performance and X smartphones on the rear, meaning a 23-megapixel resolution. It does have support from two other additional sensors however, one for colour and the other for depth of vision.

The front-facing camera resolution of the Xperia XZ is 13-megapixels like the X Performance and X smartphones. It has a wide-angle front lens, a sensitivity of ISO 6400 and it is capable of Full HD video recording, while the rear can produce 4K videos.

The Xperia Z5 features a single sensor 23-megapixel rear camera, coupled with a 5-megapixel front camera. It is capable of Full HD video recording from both cameras but not 4K. It also isn’t possible to manually control shutter speed or ISO, which you can on the XZ.

The Sony Xperia XZ arrives with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, supported by 3GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage and a battery capacity of 2900mAh, charged via USB Type-C. There is microSD support for up to 256GB storage expansion.

The Xperia Z5 comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a 2900mAh battery. There is microSD support for storage expansion too so the only real difference between these two devices in terms of hardware is the upgraded processor and USB Type-C.

The Sony Xperia XZ will launch on Android Marshmallow rather than Android Nougat and it will feature Sony’s bloatware over the top.

The Sony Xperia Z5 launched on Android Lollipop but it has since been updated to Marshmallow and will see an update to Nougat at some point, as the XZ will.

There are a couple of new features on the XZ including the camera control we mentioned, as well as a new battery management feature, but the experience between these two devices should be pretty similar overall.

The Sony Xperia XZ improves on the Xperia Z5 in a couple of areas including the processor, camera and some might say the design, though the latter is subjective.

There isn’t a huge change in hardware though, with the battery, RAM, display size and resolution, as well as the internal memory all remaining the same as they were a year ago.

The Xperia XZ does introduce USB Type-C, the display does offer a nice curve into the side, and there is a nice metal body, but internally, these two devices are pretty similar.


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