The Sony Xperia 5’s 3,140mAh battery is on the low end for a modern smartphone, but the device’s compact display means it can get by on less energy than its larger-screened counterparts.
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Although, the Xperia 5’s battery is just slightly smaller than the one in the Xperia 1, yet the Xperia 5 has substantially greater battery life than the Xperia 1 because of its smaller screen.
Even with heavy use including streaming music and some gaming, the Xperia 5 lasted us the entire day without a hitch. Even if we didn’t expect it, the handset wouldn’t last more than a day under intense use, such as when we played games for extended durations or watched several movies.
Playing a video at maximum brightness for 90 minutes with Wi-Fi and account syncing running in the background resulted in only a 12% reduction in battery life on the Sony Xperia 5. That’s a lot less of a decline than the 17% seen in the Xperia 1, and it suggests that the Xperia 5 will last you for a lot longer while streaming video. Well, it’s a really standard fall for a smartphone, so that’s nice too.
Although though Sony doesn’t advertise it as such, the Xperia 5 comes with a fast charger that can supply 18 watts of power. This should allow for quite rapid charging times. Given the small battery size, we were not surprised to find that the 18W charger quickly recharged the phone.
We could charge the phone for an hour before going to work and have plenty of juice to last all day, or for a few minutes in between episodes of our favourite shows to keep it going strong until the credits roll. A feature present in the Xperia 1 and absent here is Adaptive Charging.
You could set a target time for the phone to be fully charged, and it would adjust its charging rate so that the battery wouldn’t be under excessive strain from being at 100% for too long. It’s regrettable that Sony didn’t include this helpful feature to safeguard the Xperia 5 over the long haul.
Although wireless charging is available on many other smartphones, the Sony Xperia 5 lacks this function. However, few smartphones in this price range have wireless charging.
Three 12 megapixel cameras (one wide-angle, one telephoto, and one ultra-wide) are packed within the Sony Xperia 5. Those are the same components found in the Xperia 1, so you may recognise them. Although while Sony’s Alpha family of mirrorless cameras are some of the best cameras on the market, and a lot of that innovation makes its way into the company’s smartphones, the Xperia 5’s cameras still fall short of the top camera phones.
The telephoto lens offers a 10x digital zoom in addition to the 2x optical zoom it provides, so it’s great for capturing distant objects as long as you don’t expect them to look particularly sharp. In some situations, such as when trying to fit more people into a photo or while shooting a gathering of friends, the ultra-wide-angle lens comes in handy.
But, similar to our experience with the Xperia 1, we noticed that the edges of wide-angle photos appeared slightly warped. The Xperia 5’s scene optimisation feature seems faster than that of the Xperia 1 at recognising subjects and adjusting white balance and colour settings to suit them.
Even though this optimizer does much of the heavy lifting in low-light conditions, the Xperia 5 struggles to capture usable images in the dark. The camera’s autofocus is still a little sluggish, and we occasionally had to wait for it to lock onto our subject. This was true for both portrait and regular modes, but the effects of a blurry portrait image were especially disappointing.
The camera performs better when used for casual photography; the 12MP sensor produces satisfactory results in most situations. Those accustomed to the post-processing on their smartphones, which is typically designed to make colours pop as much as possible, may be taken aback by how natural the colours appear.
The screen of the Xperia 5 makes images appear dimmer than they actually are, although this is not the fault of the camera. When the phone is held in landscape mode, the shutter button for the camera is located on the side, similar to the shutter button on a traditional camera.
It’s simple to operate and eliminates shake while taking photos with a smartphone by eliminating the need to reach for the screen to press the shutter button. The only drawback is that we often forgot to use the dedicated button and instead used the on-screen one.