Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Beautiful, expensive, pointless
Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Performance and battery life
The Z5 Premium is – as the name suggests – a premium handset. It’s at the very top of Sony’s collection, even if – screen aside – it’s identical to the Z5. Day-to-day performance is as you’d expect: buttery smooth, with no problems when multitasking or undertaking more complex jobs.
Most Android devices feel like this out of the box, of course, and it’s important to assess how likely the handset is to hold on in the long haul, which is part of the reason why we do benchmarks: to objectively state that handset X is faster than handset Y.
To ensure that any software updates or optimisations by Sony hadn’t changed the Z5 siblings’ scores since their reviews, I dug them out of our hardware drawer and tested them afresh, alongside the Z5 Premium. Here’s what the they say:
Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
Sony Xperia Z5
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
Geekbench 3, single-core
Geekbench 3, multi-core
To reiterate, the only difference between the specifications of these handsets – display resolution aside – is the memory in the Compact, which has 1GB less, so we can safely put down the slight differences between the top two to margin of error fluctuations.
Those scores put both the Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium up there with the best of them. For comparison’s sake, the iPhone 6s scores 2,532 in the single-core and 4,417 in the multi-core tests, while the Samsung Galaxy S6 achieved 1,427 and 4,501.
Here’s how the phones performed in the GFXBench tests:
Xperia Z5 Premium
Xperia Z5 Compact
Manhattan 3, onscreen
Manhattan 3, offscreen (1080p)
The Z5 Compact differs here because it has a smaller 720p screen, giving it a major boost on Manhattan, as it doesn’t have to draw as many pixels per frame. As you can see from the results, there’s basically nothing between them other than that, as you’d predict from the identical innards.
Perhaps a more critical area of performance is battery life. Xperia smartphones are renowned for their battery life, but as with the other models in the series, that’s partly smoke and mirrors. Sony’s own power settings are rather aggressive out of the box, optimising for when the screen is switched off. That means that, in daily use, you can sometimes go for two days without a charge, but start to use the phone more intensively and battery life will shorten.
When put through our standardised battery test, where such advantages are overruled by screen activity, the Z5 Premium lasted 9hrs 38mins before giving up the ghost. That’s actually below average, and more than an hour shorter than the regular Z5. It’s certainly a long way behind the aging Z3 Compact, which managed over 20 hours when it was put through the same exam.
Sony Xperia Z5 Premium specifications
Octacore (quad 2GHz and quad 1.5GHz), Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
2,160 x 3,840, 806ppi
23MP (f/2, phase detect autofocus, OIS)
Memory card slot
Bluetooth 4.1, A2DP, apt-X
76 x 7.8 x 154mm
Android 5.1.1 Lollipop