Table of Contents
Display and Multimedia
The display may be smaller than the current average, but Sony has done a good job on the display. The 4.6-inch HD screen presents itself with vivid colors, great viewing angles, and the right amount of sharpness at 323ppi. The blacks give off a great contrast thanks to built-in controls that you can tweak in the settings panel. The display is also legible enough to be seen outdoors on a high sunny noon.
By default, the phone opens with the XReality Mode for Mobile enables which greatly increases the clarity and color in photos and videos viewed on the device. You can opt to switch to a super vivid mode that can greatly increase saturation, or turn the whole setting off. The highest brightness setting is a bit lowered by turning on these modes, though it doesn’t affect the legibility of the display in general.
As for multimedia viewing, the screen may be a bit small for viewing content, but is still good for catching up with any content while on the go. Sounds produced by both the front speaker and the audio port are crisp and well-balanced too. The speaker, in fact, doesn’t sound scratchy even when set to the highest volume while playing music. As checked with a sound meter app, the front speaker peaked at 79dB using a music track, which is loud enough to fill an average room.
Having the same camera with the rest of the Z5 series, the compact bears a whooping 23-megapixel rear camera. By default, the camera app will shoot 8MP widescreen photos, which can be changed in the settings into 23MP photos with 4:3 aspect ratio. Several features of the camera app include the following:
- Several modes such as AR, Timeshift, Sound Photo and Creative Effect,
- Videos at 4K resolution, and Full HD slow-mo videos at 60fps
- Manual mode that lets you change only the scene setting, white balance, and ISO (up to 3200)
Using some of the special modes take a toll on the device, making it heat up instantly. Nevertheless, the Z5 Compact is a great camera companion, as it takes great photos both on broad daylight, indoors, or at night time. Take a look at some of these sample shots:
We find the built-in camera a bit slow when taking pictures, as the actual shooting takes 1.5-3 seconds whether using the on-screen button or the dedicate camera one. There are also times you might think you shot your photos out of focus, only to end up checking the gallery again to see if it’s ok.
OS, UI, and Apps
Once you start to navigate the phone, you find yourself treated to Sony’s well-optimized UI baked from Android 5.1 Lollipop with ton of Material design still intact. The phone offers a few tweaks, which can be accessed through the settings panel. A folder of Google’s apps are also present on the device. There are also options for power management, wireless connectivity with a TV (Throw, Miracast), and Sony’s own services.
Speaking of own services, their default multimedia apps are stunning. I’m not kidding, they are some of the most well-crafted default apps I’ve seen. From the gallery to the music player, these apps are smooth and fluid enough to use throughout the day. Aside from these, lots of other home-baked Sony goodies are pre-installed on the phone, which you can also find useful depending on how you look at it. It also has a 32GB internal memory, and this leaves you at around 22.5GB of memory for other apps you need to install. This is where we thank the heavens for a microSD card slot.