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Sony's Xperia Z5 family: hands-on video

Sony's Xperia Z5 family: hands-on video


A pair of good looking phones and a third with a mirror on the back

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So far at IFA 2015 we've seen a water-cooled laptop, an arachnid router, and an orange-weighing smartphone. In among all this extravagance, however, there's one company that's still retaining a bit of sobriety and approaching IFA in a professional manner. Yes, I speak of Sony. The Japanese company's presentation left me feeling a bit flat, probably because its phones all leaked well in advance of the show, but getting them in my hands has revitalized my spirits and rekindled my anticipation. These new Xperia Z5 phones are nice. The subtle matte finish on the back, the elegant colors, the lightning-fast fingerprint sensor. Everything about this design evokes a sense of maturity and thoughtfulness.

Read next: Sony launches Xperia Z5 family with fingerprint sensor and new camera

Okay, so the chromed-out Xperia Z5 Premium doesn't quite fit in the same mold of understated classiness, but hey, Sony needs to sell phones and all of its other ideas aren't working out, so why not put a mirror on the back? I'm also unconvinced that any smartphone will ever need a full 4K display resolution — which is the Z5 Premium's highlight spec — but there's no denying that the screens on all three of these phones look great. Sony's got a color-matched theme for every hue in the Z5 series, which just helps highlight the displays' good contrast.

The story of the Z5 is a familiar one, insofar as Sony has kept to its strategy of gradual evolution and refinement, but I definitely like all the little tweaks it has made, including the blockier shape, in this new generation. The biggest promise, though, comes from that new 23-megapixel camera sensor, which Sony says is the best it's ever made for a phone. Better than even the ones it makes for Apple's iPhones, presumably. Of course, camera performance is the sum of many things, including the lens and image processing, but if Sony can live up to its words, the Xperia Z5s are going to be a great addition to the cohort of awesome Android phones.