Fans of compact smartphones are spoiled with this Sony Xperia 5 II. The Japanese brand has always wanted to offer a smaller version of its top of the range. However, it’s 9/21 and you have to like it. For those who follow this format, this smartphone is a marvel. But does it keep all its promises? The answer, right away in this review.
Still so sober at Sony. A well supplied box but something essential is missing. The rear protective shell, which we see more and more from other manufacturers. You will see in this review that it is sorely lacking. There is, however, a change at the level of the cradle. A recess in the latter reserved for documents. It’s a good thing, it prevents them from scattering. We find below:
– a cable
– an AC adapter
Design and features of this Xperia 5 II
Felt and handling
We are surprised when we take the smartphone and weigh it. Hard to believe it has such a big battery. Thanks to the 21/9, the grip is more comfortable. However, one-handed operation is difficult if not impossible. The phone is certainly narrower thanks to this format. But it is very long, despite a fairly contained screen diagonal. The rear protection is already starting to be lacking here. The phone is very slippery, this is the consequence of an excellent finish. The edges at the back are not curved to aid grip. But that’s not a problem, the width of the phone already helps gripping well.
The tour of the Xperia 5 II
No borderless design here and that may bother some. Sony took advantage of these borders to integrate nice elements. A notification LED at the top and a large speaker at the bottom. There is of course the camera, the proximity and light sensors and finally the earpiece. The latter is not only used for calls. It acts as a loudspeaker. So we have stereo speakers on the front. But we will come back to this in the audio part.
A microphone, a USB type C port and bands (almost invisible) to let the waves pass on the lower edge.
we’re not used to seeing such an empty slice
A drawer on the left edge, for two sims or a single one and a memory card. It’s a shame to have to make a choice. Especially for an ultra top of the range which must be irreproachable. But we appreciate the fact that Sony keeps the possibility of opening this drawer with the fingernail. We rarely walk around with an extraction rod.
don’t bite your nails though
On the upper edge, a second microphone and a mini-jack socket. She had disappeared on the Xperia 5 first of the name. She’s back and that’s a very good thing for some.
4 buttons on the right edge:
– for volume
– For alimentation
– for Google Assistant
– and for the camera
There is no play and the finishes are excellent. But there is something to be said for each of them.
The volume button is clearly too small. It combines two functions and handling errors can quickly happen.
The power button also acts as a fingerprint reader, it is difficult to find. Still more to unlock but we’ll get to that in the security part.
The button for Google assistant does not stand out as much as the other buttons. It is often triggered by mistake. It’s all the more frustrating because we find this feature not so essential.
The button for the camera is a very good thing. There is no better way to capture a moment.
there is more room for a fifth button
And finally at the back, the traditional photo block. It is composed of the 3 main objectives found in this telephony market. A main lens, an ultra wide angle and an optical zoom.
a real mirror
Chapter that completes our review. Because we think it makes sense to highlight the efforts of the manufacturer when it is. Here we have an IP (dust and water) certified phone. The screen has level 6 Gorilla Glass protection. From there to thinking that’s why there are no protections in the box, there is only one step.
Connectivity with Xperia 5 II
We have rarely seen such good connectivity:
– 5 bands for 5G
– Wi-Fi 6
– bluetooth 5
-15 standards for GPS
– a lareview generation USB port
We managed to hook up an external hard drive and the transfer was super fast.
Interface and navigation
There is almost no overlay on the Xperia, and that’s not too bad. Navigating the menus is rarely so easy on an Android smartphone. There are of course some Sony apps and additional settings, but that’s as far as it goes. We are almost on Android Stock. It will please many. There’s the HD vibes at Sony. The tactile feedback is a treat. On the other hand, we find it a shame not to have curved screen edges. Indeed many applications have hamburger menus (menu on the edge of the screen).
The screen of the Xperia 5 II
Here it’s perfect, unless you don’t like this format. It’s the best screen technology for endless contrasts and beautiful colors. The full HD+ definition is sufficient. Peak brightness is phenomenal. But what impresses most here is the refresh rate. It brings a fluidity never seen before. It’s just comfort, a caress for the eyes.
Again, here is perfection. We have stereo speakers. And they are on the front, and that’s something. Indeed the sound will not be obstructed regardless of how you hold the phone. The sound amplitude is immense and of good quality. The bass is present and the sound is not garish at maximum volume. If you want to remain discreet, it is possible via bluetooth or wired.
The quality is very good. We encountered no problems.
Performance and game
One of the lareview processors from Qualcomm and a comfortable amount of RAM memory. That makes it an excellent engine and it’s very pleasant to use. We did not have to deplore any slowdown. Everything runs like clockwork. And with this refresh rate, the user experience is at its peak. Too bad Fortnite isn’t compatible by the way.
a nice score
a rank not so shamefulonly 30 FPS…
The photo with the Xperia 5 II
By day, the pictures are absolutely beautiful. The main lens offers plenty of detail. The ultra wide angle is for once as bright and does not suffer from chromatic aberrations. The optical zoom is very good too. Too bad it doesn’t go further than the X2. Especially since the hybrid zoom is very satisfactory. The night mode is automatic and offers good results. It’s to believe that the lens sees better than the human eye, it’s quite confusing.
The interface is very clear, you can easily find what you want. We would have liked to have had more modes though. Some manufacturers use the ultra wide angle to do macro. Or have a dedicated black and white lens. Despite everything, there is a pro mode for photo and video which is very complete.
Autonomy and charging
6 hours of screen-on with 120Hz refresh rate. It’s amazing but not surprising. Sony smartphones have always been good at optimizing a battery. So with such a large accumulator, the result had to be extraordinary. 1h50 for a full charge, phone on or off. It’s long, even too long. There’s not even wireless charging. When we see what other manufacturers are doing, we are frustrated.
Xperia 5 II security
No facial recognition but a super responsive and superbly placed fingerprint reader. The unlock is instantaneous but the latter is very difficult to find. A protective shell will once again compensate for this defect. Big bad point for the security patch on the other hand. It is very old for an ultra high-end. We have never seen that.
- An exemplary finish
- Its IP certification
- Stereo speakers
- A great screen
- A very pleasant refresh rate
- The mini-jack socket that completes this excellent audio part
- Top performance
- Super autonomy
- An amazing photo party
- No rear protection
- A borderless design
- No curved screen edges
- Loading too long and not versatile enough
- The hard-to-find fingerprint reader
- A security patch on the way
So, is this Xperia 5 II worth it? Absolutely, a smartphone of this size is a UFO. We are not far from the compact, without the defects usually associated with this smallness. Performance is top notch. Autonomy is impressive. And with this finish, we feel like we have a little gem in our hands. Of course, it’s a feeling to be weighed up but a photo jewel, a use worthy of Sony’s photo branch. If you fear 9/21, an outdated design or having to plan a great time to recharge your smartphone. So go your way but we invite you to take this Xperia in hand. It will not leave you indifferent.