Review of the compact flagship – Sony Xperia 5 II

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Content

  1. Contents of delivery
  2. TECH SPECS
  3. Positioning
  4. Design, dimensions, controls
  5. Display
  6. Battery
  7. Memory, chipset, performance
  8. Communication capabilities
  9. Камеры
  10. Software features
  11. Comparison with last year’s Xperia 5
  12. Impressions

Contents of delivery

  • Smartphone
  • Charger with USB Type C cable (18W)
  • Instructions
TECH SPECS
Dimensions and weight 158 x 68 x 8 мм, 163 грамма
Body materials Metal, glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 6)
Display 6.1-inch, FullHD + (21: 9), OLED, auto-dimming, AlwaysOn Display, Corning Gorilla Glass 6, HDR, 120Hz
Operating system Google Android 10.0
Platform Snapdragon 865
Memory MicroSD memory card up to 512 GB
8/128 GB version (free 118.4 GB is the main version in Russia) and 8/256 GB
Wireless Interfaces Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac, dual-band, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
Сеть 5G (inactive in Russia)
Dual SIM, nanoSIM (combo slot)
Navigation GPS / GLONASS / Beidou / Galileo
Sensors and connectors USB Type C (USB 2.0), OTG
Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, Geomagnetic Sensor
Side fingerprint sensor
No face unlock
Main camera 12 MP (16 mm, 1 / 2.6 inches, Dual PD AF)
12 MP (24 mm, 1 / 1.7 inches, Dual PD AF, OIS)
12 MP (70 mm, 1 / 3.4 inches, PDAF, OIS)

Zeiss Lenses
Eye tracking when taking photos (Pro mode only)
Up to 20 frames per second
4K video, 120 fps slow motion video

Front-camera 8 MP (f / 2.0), bokeh effect, various additional effects
Battery Li-Ion 4000 mAh, fast charging at 18 W
Degree of protection IP65 / IP68
Colours Black, blue, gray, pink
Sound Two stereo speakers (front), 3.5 mm jack, Hi-Res Audio, Dolby Atmos, 360 Reality Audio (at the level of iron), DSEE Ultimate
Payment System Google Pay 
Games DualShock 4 Direct Connection, 240 Hz Motion Blur Reduction

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

Positioning

At first glance, everything is confused in the Sony lineup, flagships come out with the “one” index, models below the level – with large numbers. I have repeatedly heard suggestions that Sony’s naming method is too confusing and complicated, although I don’t think so. To understand the place of the Xperia 5 in the company’s lineup, you need to look at the entire lineup and realize that in fact it is quite narrow, Sony has killed a large assortment, because they want to make a profit, and not bear the costs of supplying channels and small sales to the end consumer. Over the past year, Sony’s share has dropped globally; the company is invisible even among mid-range manufacturers. But at the same time, the same Xperia 1 II has become an event, the flagship is in short supply, and it is almost impossible to buy it in many countries, including Russia. New lots are sold from wheels, it is almost impossible to get a discount on the device.

Let’s go back to the numbers. All key Xperia families start with a number – 1, 5, 10. The higher the number, the lower the cost of the device. There are also letter indices, at the moment it is L-series, budget smartphones. In order not to change every year the number for a smartphone from the key lines, an index is added to it – Xperia 1 II. Very often, in reviews and articles about Sony smartphones, they miss the word Mark, write Xperia 5 Mark II correctly. This is a marketing ploy to show the continuity of two worlds, Alpha digital cameras and smartphones. The first part of the name comes from traditional smartphones, the second from cameras and the functions that smartphones get from them. It is possible that it was by relying on the perception of digital cameras that Sony was able to attract the attention of enthusiasts who are guided by new smartphones. The Xperia 5 II reuses this trick, but also relies on improving sound quality, returning the 3.5 mm jack along the way!

Sony has created a category of compact smartphones with flagship characteristics, such devices have never been inexpensive. This is a deliberate movement towards small models, it is convenient to work with them with one hand. But at the same time, the screen is such that you can watch movies, play games and not experience any difficulties with this. Such devices, by definition, cannot be inexpensive, as many would like, and this is quite a unique phenomenon on the market. Perhaps only a Japanese company can create such solutions with such perseverance without regard to actual sales.

The Xperia 5 II takes the best from all the Sony worlds, and has worked on cameras, sound, and gaming. And this is a very ambitious decision, which, oddly enough, will appeal to the younger audience, those who do not have a Sony perception from the past. Apart from that, Sony still has a loyal audience and will also pay attention to this device. Looking at the Xperia 5 II, I can say that this is an amazing device for our time, in which there are a number of unique features, and for this alone it should be considered carefully.

The question also arises of how much the new model is better / worse than the previous Xperia 5, we will devote a separate paragraph to this issue, since the choice is not entirely obvious to many.

Design, dimensions, controls

Despite the fact that the device comes in three colors, it is almost impossible to distinguish between blue and black models, they differ only upon close examination, and then in the sun. In Russia there will be one more color – gray, it differs markedly from these two.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

The body is standard, on the front and back Corning Gorilla Glass 6, the side frame is made of aluminum with chrome plating. There are few differences from the Xperia 5, and I can tell from the experience of my son, who beats phones all the time, that that device has withstood almost a year. There are scratches on the metal, but in general it looks exactly the same as at the very beginning of the path. The machine turned out to be reliable, resistant to falls.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

Sony Xperia 5

The glossy case is easily soiled, so you will need to dress it up in a case. Especially for this model, in addition to the standard cases, a black case with a leg will be available. The angle is not adjustable, but the case looks rather massive and makes the device not so thin.

First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)

If it were my will, I would make the glass matte, then no cover would be needed, and the smartphone could be carried just like that. Pay attention to the fact that, unlike many models from different manufacturers, the camera unit does not protrude here at all, it is made flush with the body (the tongue does not turn to call a small elevation a protrusion, especially against the background of the same Note20 Ultra).

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

Sony’s trademark is that a separate key was added for the camera on the side, a kind of combination of the world of cameras and phones, as for me, it’s very convenient. I pressed the button and take a photo, those who wish can customize everything for themselves, which is also convenient. Now there is also a call key for the voice assistant. And here, probably, there is a certain homely truth that few people say “Ok Google” when the smartphone is just lying on the table, usually it is in the hands, and, therefore, you can press a key. And even with a locked screen, although here you need to check what exactly he can look for in this case, whether there will be access to your data.

The fingerprint sensor is not in the screen, also on the side. Works fast and well.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

What I’ve always liked about Sony is the way the tray for SIM cards is made, there are, by the way, two of them, as well as a memory card (alas, the slot is combined). You do not need a paper clip to reach the tray, all operations are easy to do with your fingers anywhere. The device does not have eSIM, unfortunately, Sony hasn’t added such a feature yet.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

A system of several microphones allows you to suppress external noises, you can also turn on the setting for suppressing wind noise (just more power consumption, the sound quality does not change).

First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)

At the presentation, a lot was said about why two stereo speakers should be facing in the same direction, namely at you. In this case, it is impossible to cover them with your hands, if you hold the device on weight, the sound is also distributed better, there is no distortion, as in the case when the speakers look in different directions. In real life, the sound in games, when watching movies, is excellent, the speakers are not covered by the hand.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

But that’s not all about sound! Drumroll! At the top there is a 3.5 mm jack; this is a triumphant return of a connector that many already call outdated. That Sony clearly recognized the desire of many people to have such a connector is commendable. But something else is even more surprising: the company knows how to make excellent players and have relied on this device to sound good too. The 3.5 mm jack was made “low-noise”, all electronics are on the board, signal losses are minimal. And this makes this device interesting for those who like to listen to music.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)

There is also support for 360 Reality Audio, uncompressed file formats, which is traditional for the company. Plus the proprietary DSEE technology has received an update, a different algorithm is used, which recovers sound from compressed files with high compression and makes it cleaner and more enjoyable.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

Listening to music with different wired headphones showed that the device plays well – the sound is clean, clear, there is a pronounced bass. In my opinion, the device does not really stand out among the flagships, but the presence of a 3.5 mm jack gives a gain in sound quality. We can say that this smartphone is qualitatively different compared to other models. The only question is how ready you are to listen to music through the wire.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

I don’t see any point in talking about standard Dolby Atmos, it is here and works the same way as always.

The iron has also changed a lot inside. Since a chipset with high heat dissipation is used, the cooling system was made on the basis of graphene films (the same is in the Note20 Ultra and in a number of Samsung flagships). This is the latest fashion among engineers, they place a big bet on graphene films.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)

But! In addition, the smartphone uses a unique power scheme at the iron level. When you play “heavy” toys, which are demanding on graphics, and are connected to a charger, the battery stops charging, power is directly supplied to the board. This is done in order not to create additional heating of the device, which means not to start lowering the processor frequency. It turns out that the Heat Supression technology controls the heating of the device and does it well.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

The dimensions of the smartphone are such that it is easy to operate it with one hand, there are no big differences from the previous Xperia 5, they are perceived the same. And this is how the novelty looks against the background of the flagship – Xperia 1 II.

First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)

Nicely made body, albeit easily soiled. The perception of this device is at a good level, whatever one may say, this is the level of flagships.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

Display

The technical specifications of the screen are as follows: 6.1 inches, FullHD + (21: 9), OLED, automatic brightness control, AlwaysOn Display, Corning Gorilla Glass 6, HDR, 120 Hz.

Briefly about the impressions – the screen is excellent, bright, even in the sun.

First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)First look at the compact flagship Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II)

The 120Hz frequency is felt, there is no adaptive mode, you can enable it for all applications (where supported) or just disable this option. Overall, the display experience is very good. Not Samsung, but the level of the same flagships from Apple.

The fact that the screen is narrow, however, allows you to split it into two parts, run two applications simultaneously. But working on such a screen in two places is already more difficult. Therefore, this is more of pampering than a real necessity.

For a month with a smartphone, I can say that the screen is excellent. I especially like the high refresh rate, the game Call of Duty supports 240 Hz for the touch layer, which allows you to play much more comfortably than on other devices. In general, due to the screen and processor, this game looks fundamentally different. In comparison with the iPhone 12 Pro, I can note that playing on Sony is much more comfortable, and the screen does not change brightness, the device does not overheat.

Battery

Built-in 4000 mAh Li-Ion battery, talk time – up to 24 hours, video playback – up to 18 hours, LTE battery life – up to 11 hours, the device will last up to 6.5 hours in games.

Comes with 18W fast charging. Here’s how the device charges:

  • 15 minutes – 23%
  • 30 minutes – 44%
  • 45 minutes – 64%
  • 60 minutes – 78%
  • 75 minutes – 86%
  • 90 minutes – 93%
  • 105 minutes – 98%
  • 112 minutes – 100%

Power Delivery 2.0 is supported. The device does not have wireless charging.

In the settings, you can set smart charging, it wears out the battery less over time, charging goes up to 80%, the remaining 20% ​​is charged before using the device (it is assumed that you leave it on charge overnight). It doesn’t make sense in my usage profile, I recharge my phone as needed.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

The battery life is excellent, the device works quietly all day long under load (5-6 hours of 120 Hz screen operation). In terms of battery life, the device is good, for those who use it as a second smartphone for calls, it will give two days of work or even more. The working time is the strong point of the model.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

Memory, chipset, performance

In Russia, an 8/128 GB version is sold (there is another 8/256 GB version, we do not have it on sale). Supports memory cards up to 1 TB. There are no questions about performance, the device performs well, the usual Snapdragon 865 is installed here. Look at the results of synthetic tests.

Communication capabilities

There are no restrictions, these are maximum capabilities in every sense – support for frequency aggregation, the maximum set of frequencies in 4G / 5G, the device is ideal for traveling around the world. Dual band Wi-Fi works great too. The presence of NFC and its normal operation. For Bluetooth 5.1, there is support for various codecs, including LDAC.

Камеры

Leaving aside a bunch of marketing terms, you can find a description of the modules in the table above. But I will say the following, in the normal photo mode you get standard images, it cannot be said that they amaze the imagination. In Pro mode, there are already more settings and possibilities, you can save in RAW, there is eye tracking and many other chips.

Look at examples of photos and videos. This device, alas, did not impress me. In its segment, it is inferior to most models from other manufacturers, the camera is not its strong point.

Sample video (MP4, 22 MB) >>>

There are various additional effects like AR, plus new ones can be downloaded from the app store. It is always interesting to create something else in the surrounding world, and the device is good in this aspect.

And also a separate Cinema Pro application was developed for Xperia. Its design follows the interface of Sony professional cameras from the CineAlta line. The application has special presets for video shooting, they are also used for professional video shooting. Different presets are suitable for creating different moods: from warm romantic shooting to cold tones inherent in horror films. In general, shooting in a 21: 9 ratio with these filters really resembles cinematic quality, I’m not talking about the video itself, but about the impressions from it. But to get some kind of digestible result, you need to be a professional, nothing good with the application came out for me, there are too many manual settings.

Software features

Inside the device runs on Android 10, there is no point in describing standard features.

The device has a gaming mode, screen recording and other features. But this is standard Android with a small number of Sony applications, so there is no point in describing them. These applications do not change the perception of the device.

Comparison with last year’s Xperia 5

For many potential buyers of the Xperia 5 II, the question will be how justified the choice of this model is compared to the Xperia 5 that came out last year. Moreover, the devices look almost identical.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

In my opinion, with a difference in cost of 20 thousand rubles, the model of the previous year has every chance to attract your attention. And then the question arises, what exactly do you need from the device. The Xperia 5 II is favored by the presence of a 3.5 mm jack (if you need it), maximum performance (Snapdragon 865), a little more RAM (not essential for most people). But at the same time, those who are looking for a compact device for making calls and viewing pages will be satisfied with the previous model, it is easier to save money. If there are no budget restrictions, then look at the new model.

Also watch our video on this topic.


Impressions

The Sony example proves that sometimes problems that arise become the engine for creating something new, something that other companies do not have. The Xperia 5 II is very unusual, it focuses not only on photography, as in the previous device, not only on compactness, but also on sound quality. This is a device that can in the full sense be called an attempt to revive the Walkman brand, so meticulously was the sound. And this is very interesting. Inside there are many chips that other companies do not have, the device turned out to be interesting, and it has its own face.

The cost is 70 thousand rubles, let me remind you that the cost of the flagship Xperia 1 II is 80 thousand rubles. The difference in cost is not overwhelming, you need to understand and meticulously study which one suits you best if you decide to stay with Sony.

As for me, the Xperia 5 II has every chance of becoming a cult smartphone for those who like to listen to high-quality music, but are not ripe to buy an expensive player. For example, here’s a model for 180 thousand rubles.

Review of the compact flagship - Sony Xperia 5 II (Xperia 5 Mark II or XQ-AS52)

The price of the Xperia 5 II is on par with the usual Galaxy S20, with which they have a lot in common. But in terms of perception, these are completely different devices, and it cannot be said that one is better than the other in everything, or vice versa. Everyone will be able to find something of their own in them, and the uniqueness of Sony makes the device unusual and deduces from direct comparison with other models. And I think that this uniqueness is worth the money. The model is compact due to the width of the case, it fits well in the hand. And it is this moment that should be brought to the fore.

Now about the fly in the ointment. The device has a flaw with the proximity sensor, the screen can be activated at a short distance from your ear, there can be accidental presses, watch the video to see how this happens. The sore is old and known from a number of Sony models.

There are no other significant problems with the device. I think it lacks a camera at the level of other flagships. Everything else is interesting, and we can say that the model is good. But the price of 69 rubles looks very high, so there won’t be much demand for the model. Alas, it is the cost that will alienate most buyers. I know that many people buy this device as a second smartphone in addition to the main one, they use it for calls. And if the money allows you, then this is a great choice.

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