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Sony Xperia 5 V Review: A Phone That Delivers On All Fronts

After using the new Sony Xperia 5 V for the past one week, I have to say is that the Xperia 5 V is a fantastic phone which should probably deserve more attention from consumers and medias alike. Not only is it extremely easy to wield with, it also offers one of the best mobile camera experience you can ever find on a smartphone. While it’s true that it’s S$1,599 asking price might be a bit steep, but it’s definitely worth every penny that you forked out.

Sony Xperia 5 V Design -1

Sony Xperia 5 V: Design & Display

Sony smartphones are known for their idiosyncratic form factor. In the sea of smartphones that are getting larger by the day, Sony smartphones are the only few that remain slim, tall and light. The new Xperia 5 V is no exception in this regard.

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It’s easily grippable with one hand and is certainly a joy to hold considering how light it is compared to most other flagship phones that weigh over 200 grams. This makes it a great alternative to the discontinued Apple iPhone Mini for those looking for a compact-sized flagship phone that’s easy to wield with one hand.

@playfuldroid Sony Xperia 5 V hands-on ? What a wonderful phone! #SonyXperia5V #Xperia5V #SonyXperia #Smartphone ? Don’t Be Shy – Tiësto & Karol G

Apart from it’s excellent in-hand feel, the Xperia 5 V also looks incredibly stylish on the outside donning the company’s signature flat edge design which makes it easily recognizable from other devices. The Black-colored model I’m holding comes with a frosted finish which does well in repelling those unsightly smudges which tend to build up after prolonged usage.

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Flipping the phone over, we’ll be greeted by a decently-sized 6.1” screen enveloped by slim bezel along the sides. Unlike any other smartphones in the market, there’s no notches or hole punches on the screen as the selfie camera is placed along the upper bezel.

The display itself is based on a high-end OLED panel which boasts an sharp-looking FHD+ screen resolution as well as an ultra-fast 120Hz refresh rate that makes scrolling and animation felt much smoother on the screen. To make things even better, the 10-bit HDR display also supports 100% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage which ensures accurate color reproduction when watching your favorite movies and playing your favorite games.

Just like any other premium smartphones, the front display has an extra layer of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 atop to protect the screen against accidental drops or scratches. Also, let’s not forget that the Xperia 5 V is IP65/68-rated for dust and water resistance as well.

Sony Xperia 5 V: Performance & Battery Life

Under the hood, the Xperia 5 V is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform that offers plenty of horsepower for work and play. In day-to-day usage, the phone delivers an impeccable mobile experience with rapid app loading and seamless transition between different apps when multi-tasking.

In fact, it also holds up well when working on more resource-intensive workloads as I hardly encounter any form of stuttering even when playing high intensity game like PUBG Mobile under high graphic settings for several hours. Speaking of mobile gaming, the Xperia 5 V also features a pair of capable front-facing stereo speakers that help to further elevate gaming experience with rich and powerful surround sound effects.

Just as I expected, battery life is exceptional on the Xperia 5 V. This wasn’t surprising to me as I already had a taste of how enduring Sony smartphones’ battery life are when I reviewed the Xperia 5 IV earlier this year. During my time with the Xperia 5 V, I was able to get at least 1.5 days worth of usage when using the phone moderately with around 5 to 6 hours of screen time each day inclusive of occasional hotspot and GPS.

For me, it’s long-lasting battery life does makes up for it’s slow charging speed since I never find myself having a need to recharge the phone during the day. Hence, it’s 1.5 hours charging time (from 0 to 100%) wouldn’t matter much since I only recharge it overnight.

Sony Xperia 5 V: Cameras

For photography, the Sony Xperia 5 V relies on a versatile dual-camera system lead by a 48 megapixels (f/1.9 aperture) main camera and a 12 megapixels (f/2.2 aperture) ultra-wide camera which are well-capable of handling all sorts of photography.

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Gone are the days when you need advanced photography knowledge to take advantage of the Xperia 5 V’s camera prowess. Unlike those from the earlier generations, new Xperia smartphones finally come with more beginner-friendly interface and settings that make it easy for anyone to capture social media-worthy photos.

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This is all thanks to the new Basic Mode in the camera app which allows you to use the phone as a simple point-and-shoot camera without having to tinker with any complex settings. After spending hours shooting in Basic Mode, I’m glad to say that I’m deeply impressed with the resulting photos. They look fantastic, with excellent details and dynamic range across different lighting conditions.

Unlike photos taken by Samsung and Apple smartphones, those captured by the Xperia 5 V tend to lean on the natural side of things with life-like colors that are close to what we see with our own eyes. This is definitely a good thing for those who prefer more realistic-looking photos rather than those that gone through more vigorous processing which often results in unnaturally high contrast and saturation.

Outside of Basic Mode, there’s a wide range of manual settings within the menu layout which provide users with full control over expert-level stuffs like white balance, exposure compensation and metering mode. As always, Sony Xperia smartphones offer the closest experience you can get to an actual DSLR camera among all the smartphones.

Verdict

The Sony Xperia 5 V might not be cheap, but you’ll definitely get what you paid for: Top-notch performance, five stars rated audio quality and first-class photography experience. All in all, this is a true flagship that delivers on all fronts.

For those who’re interested, the Sony Xperia 5 V is currently priced at S$1,599 in Singapore, and is available for purchase through Sony’s official online store.

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