Sony’s latest smartphone, the Xperia 5 II (pronounced Five Mark Two, which is almost as difficult to say as it is to read) is a superbly slick handset that looks stunning.
When I first looked at it, it kept reminding me of something. But Sony hasn’t copied anyone else: in terms of its looks, it seems to presage the iPhone 12’s rumored design. It was the leaked images of the next Apple phone that it kept bringing to mind!
The design of the Xperia 5 II, like the excellent Xperia 1 II which launched earlier in the year opts for a flat front and back like, if the rumors are correct, the iPhone 12 is expected to have.
Here, unlike the Xperia 1 II, Sony has softened the look with a curved edge to the top, so there’s a more curvaceous look than we’re expecting from Apple.
Of course, there’s no real way you can get the two phones mixed up: Sony has plumped for a very distinctive screen ratio, a full 21:9 widescreen shape, and one without a notch, so watching video on this 6.1in display is distraction-free. This means there are narrow, screen-free strips at top and bottom but like on the Xperia 1 II, these are easy to live with.
Compared to last year’s Xperia 5 – and indeed to the iPhone 12, if rumors prove true – the display has a big advantage in the form of a 120Hz refresh rate that’s butter-smooth, whether you’re scrolling through lists or watching video.
And when it comes to gaming there’s a very clever extra feature: 240Hz Motion Blur reduction. This enhances games by inserting a black frame between each regular frame to look something like 240Hz refresh rate and promises to be blur-free, though not quite as bright.
The OLED display, created in conjunction with Sony’s TV section, who know a thing or two, boasts strong color accuracy with something called Creator mode which ensures what you see matches the colors Hollywood intended.
It’s not a 4K display, like the Xperia 1 II, but on balance I’d rather have 120Hz instead.
On the back are three 12MP cameras, with focal lengths picked by another Sony department, Alpha, renowned for its high-end cameras. The 16mm, 24mm and 70mm lenses were chosen because they were deemed essential and efficient for SLR cameras, offering ultra-wide, wide and telephoto options at the equivalent of 0.66x, 1x and 3x zooms.
Sony is big on cameraphone photography and there are Pro modes for stills and cinematography to make the most of these.
Battery life is consistently strong on Sony phones and this year the battery is bigger than last, 4,000mAh against the previous 3,140mAh cell. Clever heat dissipation inside the phone also helps boost performance.
The phone, which will be available in the Fall is 5G-capable. It’s available for pre-order and costs $1.033, £799 in the U.K. and 899€ in Europe.
I’ve been writing about technology for two decades and am regularly struck by how the sector swings from startling innovation to persistent repetitiveness. My areas of
I’ve been writing about technology for two decades and am regularly struck by how the sector swings from startling innovation to persistent repetitiveness. My areas of specialty are wearable tech, cameras, home entertainment and mobile technology.
Over the years I’ve written about gadgets for the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, the Sun, Metro, Stuff, T3, Pocket-lint, Wareable.com and Wired. Right now most of my work away from Forbes appears in the Independent, the Evening Standard and Monocle Magazine. Parenthetically, I also work as an actor, enjoying equally the first Mission Impossible movie, a season at Shakespeare’s Globe and a stint on Hollyoaks. Follow me on Instagram: davidphelantech, or Twitter: @davidphelan2009.
Sony Xperia, Mobile phone
World news – GB – Sony Reveals Xperia 5 II: Has The Cool Design Anticipated iPhone 12?