Sony Xperia Z5 Compact review: Pint-sized powerhouse wows us all over again

Price when reviewed

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact review: Pint-sized powerhouse wows us all over again

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact: Screen

With the smaller frame comes a lower resolution screen, with the Xperia Z5 Compact outputting a 720p resolution. Should you be bothered by that? Not really, if my experience is anything to go by. I came to the X5 Compact from the 5in, 1080p HTC One M8 at 441ppi, and it’s quite a drop to the 319ppi of the Sony. But in day-to-day use? I was very impressed: it’s sharp, vibrant, colourful and has very good viewing angles.

However, it didn’t quite reach the same heights as its larger sibling – the Z5 – in our tests, hitting a maximum brightness of 461cd/m2, and a decent (but not spectacular) contrast ratio of 912:1. Its sRGB coverage of 98.8% goes someway to explaining why it looks so good, though.

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact review

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact: Performance

Size and price aside, the real difference between the mini versions of flagship handsets tends to be performance, with manufacturers often selling significantly worse smartphones under the same branding as the flagship (I’m looking at you, HTC one mini).

To Sony’s credit, this isn’t the case with the Z5 Compact. Packing a nearly identical specification into its smaller frame as the Sony Xperia Z5, this really is a miniaturised flagship, and the performance proves that.

Both phones have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1 chipset and Adreno 430 graphics chip, although the Compact does have 1GB RAM less to play with. But this doesn’t have a negative impact on performance.

In fact, due to the lower resolution 720p display, the Z5 Compact was faster in the gaming tests, returning 58fps on the GFXBench T-Rex HD onscreen test and 35fps on the Manhattan onscreen test. This is slightly ahead of the Z5.

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact review

In the CPU-only Geekbench 3 tests, the results were – understandably – a lot closer, with the Z5 Compact scoring 1,345 to the Z5’s 1,236 in the single-core test and 3,747 to the Z5’s 3,943 in the multi-core test.

Performance is generally swift as the specifications and benchmarks suggest, with games flying along at a full rate of knots. Despite this, there were times when the Z5 Compact seemed a touch on the laggy side – for example, when switching between apps and when the keyboard took a moment to emerge. You come to expect this kind of thing after a few months of living with Android, but after only a week’s use, I’d hoped the honeymoon period wouldn’t end quite so abruptly.


Sony Xperia Z5 Compact specifications


Octacore (quad 2GHz and quad 1.5GHz), Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 



Screen size


Screen resolution

720 x 1,280, 323ppi

Screen type


Front camera


Rear camera

23MP (f/2, phase detect autofocus, OIS)









Memory card slot 





Bluetooth 4.1, A2DP, apt-X



Wireless data


Size (WDH)

76 x 7.8 x 154mm



Operating system

Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Battery size


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