5 questions about the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium that need answers

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It’s no real secret that Sony has been working on its latest smartphone range just in time for IFA 2015. In Berlin yesterday, the company launched its three-tiered range and introduced the world to its first 4K-screened smartphone.

That’s pretty impressive to say the least. We heard that Toshiba managed to squeeze a 4K screen into a 12.5-inch laptop, but all 8.3-million pixels in a 5.5-inch? There’s a thought.

Of course, although the phone sounds incredible, and as a Sony smartphone fan, it sounds particularly brilliant, but there are many unanswered questions.

Can you make toast on it?

You think this is a joke? It’s widely known that Qualcomm‘s supposed flagship mobile chipset, the Snapdragon 810, causes its host to overheat. We’ve also seen the chip, as a result, thermal throttle itself to the point where its actually slower than the Snapdragon 808 — the chip that’s one rung below it.

Digital Trends reported that the phone felt hot to the touch at IFA 2015, something we’ve heard echoed by a number of other publications.

A test video of the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium recording in 4K mode proved these issues false though.

Still, I’m not wholly convinced. The 4K screen should, in theory, have the 810 working harder whenever there’s any type of animation pending to render. If the Snapdragon 810 was hot in the HTC One M9 (a phone with a 1080p screen, mind), I can’t fathom how Sony managed to fix the thermal issues entirely.

Read more: HTC One M9: is it hot or not?

Will it ruin my bank account more than a Samsung Galaxy S6?

Here’s a thought: It’s the first 4K screen fitted to a smartphone. Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus features a 1080p screen, while Samsung’s Galaxy S6 boasts a 1440p flicker. Both retail for well over R10 000. So Sony, what’s the damage?

The Sony Xperia Z3 is retailing for under R7000 now, but when it was launched, we saw it go for around the R10k mark too. It’s possible that the standard Sony Xperia Z5 will retail for that, but what of the Premium?

sony xperia z5 premium 1

Sony has been rather mum on numbers so far, so it can’t be one of the phone’s greatest selling points.

Is it coming to South Africa?

The Sony Xperia Z3+ didn’t, nor did the Verizon exclusive Sony Xperia Z4v (which was ostensibly the same phone).

Read more: Verizon exclusive Sony Xperia Z4v boasts upgraded Quad HD screen

It does look likely though that the company will bring its first flagship phone in over a year to South Africa, considering that the rest of its generation-five family are here already. The Sony Xperia M5 for one, and the Sony Xperia C5 are just two devices that launched locally in the last few months.

The real question then, is when? Europe and North America will likely get a taste of the two more insignificant variants in October, while the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium is poised for a November introduction.

What happened to the 4500mAh battery rumour?

Sony has shown that if any company can squeeze the life out of a battery, it’s Sony. While a 4500mAh battery would’ve been the absolute icing on the Premium cake, we’re graced with a 2900mAh unit instead.

sony xperia z5 premium 2

Annoyingly, this is probably for aesthetic purposes as well.

I should note, that while the LG G4 has a larger battery, it lasts around 15 hours on one charge but the screen (2560×1440) drains around 28% from it on average. With double the pixels, a hotter chipset, and a smaller battery, how long will the Sony last?

What’s with the phone’s new stabilisation technology?

After rubbishing its television line and pending its hopes on its console business, Sony’s only other money maker has been its camera sensor sales. It has supplied sensors to Samsung, Huawei and the like, but there’s a bit of an issue with the camera fitted to the Sony Xperia Z5 range — there’s no mention of OIS anywhere.

Instead, Sony has spilled the beans on a new version of OIS its calling “enhanced optical image stabilisation.”

Pocket Lint’s Chris Hall explains the system in greater detail:

There’s a new closed-loop actuator in the camera that controls the lens position. Essentially, this is adding a feedback loop to the previous open-loop actuator, aiming to make it more accurate. Sony claims that the new unit deals much better with controlling motion.new closed-loop actuator in the camera that controls the lens position. Essentially, this is adding a feedback loop to the previous open-loop actuator, aiming to make it more accurate. Sony claims that the new unit deals much better with controlling motion.

Sounds good, but what does that mean in terms of imagery? Is it a better camera phone than the LG G4 and Samsung Galaxy S6? Only time, and thorough testing, will tell.

sony xperia z5 premium 3

Parting words

Ultimately, we can only wait for Sony to reveal the answers to some of these, and a full review on the phone to uncover the others. While Sony’s latest flagship might have its issues, it certainly has people talking. And that, for Sony at least, isn’t a bad thing at all.

Do you have any questions you’d like Sony to answer, or can’t wait to investigate yourself? Let us know in the comments.

Andy Walker
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