News by Micah Bartos on Tuesday November 24, 2015.
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A week after the Sony Xperia Z5 arrived in the United States, its jacked up sibling the Xperia Z5 Premium has also made its debut. It is worth noting that, just like the Xperia Z5, the Premium is only available in its International variant, which means it is not being sold officially through Sony so will not come with any warranty in the United States.The bleeding edge smartphone is currently available through Amazon and Expanys, costing $776 via the former and $779.99 on the latter. Yes, that's a lot of money but in many respects the Xperia Z5 Premium is a super phone. The handset will work on AT&T and T-Mobile, but not Sprint or Verizon.
It has always puzzled us in our office why Sony is not a leader of smartphone screens. The company is well known for TVs, but has been content in towing a resolution line while rivals keep pushing boundaries. 4K is the ultra-clear resolution that has been on TVs for some time, but even so it is still not even the market leading resolution in terms of television. It is here to stay though and Sony has taken a bold new step and is trail blazing with other companies certain to follow the Japanese giant from here. The 5.5-inch 2160 x 3840 pixels Ultra-HD (4K) panel on the Xperia Z5 Premium comes with a pixel per inch density that is above 800ppi, a new record that smashes the nearest contender, which is incidentally the Galaxy S6 by Samsung with a 577ppi. Needless to say, this has instantly become the new standard bearer, the one to beat, and simply the best display on the market. However, amazing screen or not, if the rest of the phone is not that good then that panel just becomes a gimmick, right? The Xperia Z5 Premium is a solid smartphone away from the 4K display, although pound for pound the normal Xperia Z5 is probably still the device of choice if you want an all-round performance. Not least because we imagine that 4K resolution is going to hurt battery life, the Premium comes with a 3400mAh battery and we are concerned about that. However, Sony's Xperia flagships have been the best battery performers in the market bar none, so we trust the company more than most to strike a good balance between that stunning screen output and keeping the lights on long enough to enjoy it. In terms of design Sony has stuck with the Xperia Z language we have been used to for a couple of years, a double glass panel sitting on a metal frame. It is still mage premium (ahem), but it is also still an aesthetic we think needs something fresh, although admittedly not everyone joins us in that opinion. Under the hood there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 that Sony says is not suffering from heat throttling, while 4GB of DDR4 RAM is ideal considering the 4K screen on this thing. There is 32GB of native storage on board and a micro SD card slot to expand, while Sony's newest Exmor 23 megapixel camera sensor serves as the primary lens.