Sony Xperia Z5, Z5 Premium, Z3 Plus receive Android 6.0 Marshmallow update

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Sony Xperia Z5, Z5 Premium and Z3 Plus have started receiving Android 6.0 Marshmallow updates in India. The announcement originated from the Sony’s official Twitter handle with the tagline “M for the weekend”. With the total download size of 1280MB (1.2GB), the update includes enhanced privacy settings including the ability to manage and control your application data permissions.

The latest Android Marshmallow update offers new camera interface and the ability to switch between modes in addition to customizing settings with simple gestures.

As discussed earlier in various reports, the Android M update includes Doze and App Standby modes which enable better battery life to your device. With the help of in-app stickers, you will be able to make use of your creative mind to express yourself.

Meanwhile, the direct share feature enables you to share activities with friends and recent contacts directly from the handset.

Even though the characteristics as mentioned above are available for the update included with Xperia Z5, in all probability, the other devices will also include the above features in addition to any new feature likely to the introduced at that time.

Like any other update, Sony recommends users to back-up the content on their devices including plugging the device on to h AC power source before updating to Android M.

While Sony had launched the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium in India at Rs 52,990 and Rs 62,990 respectively in October 2015, the Z3+ device was launched in July 2015 as a successor to previously released Z3+.

Sony is also planning to launch the Xperia Marshmallow beta program to select Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact and Z2 devices and the details will be announced soon, as per an official blog post.

Sony Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact price drops by $60 and $50 respectively in U.S

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Sony’s Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact phones have seen an unexpected price slash of $60 (4,097) and $50 (INR 3,415) each respectively. Although released in major markets around the World some time ago, Sony Xperia Z5 and the smaller, Z5 Compact made it to US markets only as recently as the 7th of February.

Since their release in U.S., the smartphones have been sold via Amazon, where even Sony’s official website redirects you to the web merchant to complete the purchase. The phones originally retailed at $599 (INR 40,906) for the Xperia Z5 and $499 (INR 34,082) for the Xperia Z5 Compact.

With the revised rates applicable, the phones are now offered to buyers at $539.99 (INR 36,881) and $449.99 (INR 30,734) respectively. Both phones feature the same offerings regarding their processors and camera sporting main differences in the size of their screens and battery, with the Xperia Z5 Compact having a smaller version of both.

Considering that the phone was made available to buyers in the USA much later; and the fact that it is missing important latest features like a fingerprint scanner, the price cuts only seem fair.

While there is no news if Sony will release a Xperia Z6 at the MWC 2016, considerations have been made by buyers to purchase the Xperia Z5 at a discounted rate.

Sony Xperia Z5 Android 6.0 Marshmallow OTA update now available

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Sony’s flagship Xperia Z5 is reportedly receiving the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OTA update. According to the reports, Android Marshmallow 6.0 update is now available on Sony Xperia Z5 handsets in Turkey with the immediate availability for Xperia Z5 Compact and the Xperia Z5 Premium models.

Disclosing that the update for the Xperia Z3+ is in Final Stage, there is no confirmation as to when the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update will be available globally for the Xperia Z5 handsets.

Finalized with the updates around three weeks ago, a latest Sony Xperia Turkey fan Facebook page features an image which showcases a broad range of Sony devices like Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact, Xperia Z5 Premium, and the Xperia Z3+ along with their Android update status.

Also Read: Sony Xperia Z5 Dual Review: An Android flagship worth buying!

While the official Sony support page still mentions Android 5.1 Lollipop as the latest OS version for the Xperia Z5, the Xperia M4 Aqua will skip Android 5.1 and move directly to Android 6.0 Marshmallow with no expected time frame for its release.

With support for Google Now on Tap feature and Android Pay mobile payment system, the Android 6.0 Marshmallow is supposed to ship with refreshed app permissions and new fingerprint APIs for developers.

Meanwhile, Sony in the past two months has rolled out Android 5.1 Lollipop update to the Xperia M5 and the Xperia M5 Dual handsets in addition to Xperia C4 and the Xperia C5 Ultra devices.

According to unconfirmed sources, Sony is planning to reduce customizations to pave the way for the default UI provided by Android because of its preference among consumers.

Touted to save battery life via Doze, the Android 6.0 Marshmallow is expected to provide support for theme pack, transition effects, grid-style menu, Sony-specific Album, Camera application with AR effects and Music app in addition to several other features.

Sony Xperia Z5 launched in pink color : Specs, Price and Availability Details

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Sony has launched the pink color variant of one of its most recent flagship smartphone, Sony Xperia Z5, with nothing changed in the specifications as the handset is same as the previously released device because the metal frame was just given a new color finish.

Rikke Gertsen, Sony’s Lead Art Director said that the shade of pink used in the Xperia Z5 is “strong and modern”.

Sony further clarified through the release that the pink color is designed to provide a natural complement to the existing colors. The new pink variant is expected to set new dimensions in the smartphone industry and will also form part of the new way to express the style of customers.

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Sony disclosed that choosing a color is a detailed process since the material, and design of the curves play a leading role.

It was the time-consuming task for the company to produce a suitable design because of the frosted glass and aluminum frame as the product team did an advanced research throughout the world to find out the most beautiful shades of pink.

Sony, in a press statement, clarified that the product team explored nature, Japan’s own Sakura cherry blossom including the colors in the sky during a beautiful sunset.

Sony Xperia Z5 pink color variant

The pink variant of Sony Xperia Z5 features 5.2-inch IPS FHD display with a fingerprint sensor, Triluminos display, and X-Reality engine. The handset comes with Snapdragon 810 chipset, dual quad-core processor, Adreno 430 GPU, 3GB RM, 32GB internal storage with the capability to expand up to 200GB including a 23MP primary camera and 5.1MP front-facing shooter.

Sony Xperia Z5 includes 2,900 mAh battery, which can charge up to 60% in less than 30 minutes. As with the previous Xperia Z5, the pink variant also features a fingerprint sensor and is integrated into the power button.

The company is yet to announce the pricing and availability, but it’s likely the pink variant will retail for the same price as the standard Xperia Z5 in the market. The handset is also available in White, Graphite Black, Gold, Green colors.

Sony Xperia Z5 Dual Review: An Android flagship worth buying!

Sony’s current flagship — Xperia Z5 popped out of Sony’s camp with few significant changes over its predecessor, Xperia Z3+ or Z4 in some countries. Initially introduced at IFA 2015 in Berlin, Sony Xperia Z5 was launched in India merely five months after the release of Xperia Z3+.

Well I got this phone from Sony a couple of weeks ago, and I enjoyed ample amount of time getting familiar with the device. We also posted an unboxing video of Xperia Z5 Dual a few days ago. Make sure to check that out!

Now, let’s get started with the review of Sony Xperia Z5 Dual.

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Design & Build

Talking about the device, it has an enhanced 23 MP wide-angle G lens camera located at the back with an LED flash underneath.

Front of the phone sports a 5.2-inch Full HD 1080p IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen. A 5-megapixel front shooter is located right up here accompanied by the LED notification light.

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Now, if you look carefully, you will figure out two sort of hidden speakers grill at the top and bottom of the phone. Apparently, the positioning of the speakers ensures that smartphone itself looks neat and elegant on both, front and back sides.

Xperia Z5 is surrounded by a metal frame that looks quite classy. Starting from left chassis, it has a dual-SIM card tray and microSD card slot underneath the tightly sealed flap and an engraved Xperia logo right at the end.

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Talking about chassis on the right side of the Xperia Z5 Dual, it is comparatively crowded. However, the traditional rounded power button seems to have gone, and it seems an integrated fingerprint sensor has forced the japanese to do so. It is an impressive installation from Sony. You simply need to press it once, and your device will be unlocked directly without performing any swipe screen gesture. So, in short, your phone knows it’s you! I will show you its settings later in this video.

Then, it has volume rockers. The only problem here is the placement. They are placed a bit lower than usual, and you need to put extra efforts for pressing them.

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At last, there is the camera key. It quickly opens up the camera even in lock mode and makes clicking pictures more convenient.

Xperia Z5 is IP65 & IP68 certified, which is an integral feature of Sony’s all flagship smartphones. It is dust proof and water resistant over 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes.

The bottom is house of micro USB port for charging, and this looks like a key chain hook. The top has 3.5mm audio jack with a secondary noise cancellation microphone.

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Xperia Z5 is 7.3mm thin and weighs 156.5 grams. Its bezel makes the screen to body ratio of 69.6%, which is surprisingly lesser than Xperia Z3+, but the phone feels pretty light in hand.

Regarding look and feel, Sony is working hard on Xperia design culture, which started with its Z series. Well, it seems, Sony has finally achieved what they were trying to reach throughout all these years.

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The frosted glass back (at least that’s what Sony calls it), an elegant matte appearance on the device stands out with utmost perfection. You don’t have to clean the device again and again. It keeps fingerprints and smudges away and gives a premium look. However, the frosted glass makes it a little slippery to hold.

As expected from the company, Xperia Z5 has a non-removable back.

Setting up the Fingerprint Sensor

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Now, to start with an activation of a fingerprint sensor, go to Security option in Settings. Then, go to Fingerprint Manager. Once the Wizard opens, click on get started. Choose screen lock. I will opt for a Pin here. As soon as you confirm your pin, it asks you to configure notification setting when the device is locked. I chose all notifications.

Now it asks you to put your finger on the power button, again. It will ask several times to recognise all the possible touch combinations. And it’s done! Now you press the power button and just touch your thumb. The device will be unlocked automatically without entering the pin.

Also, you can long-press the power button, and it will unlock your Xperia Z5 for you. Quite simple and useful!

Display: 5.2-inch 1080p Full HD IPS

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It sports a 5.2-inch 1080p Full HD IPS display. Sony has opted for Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2, Triluminos technology and X-reality engine to keep display crisp, and it’s not suffering from any shortage of pixels with 428 ppi pixel density.

Viewing angles on this display are pretty good. In terms of color rendering, it’s just fantastic! Colors on this display are very vibrant and produce quality images and videos. Although, it is not as bright as I had expected.

You may find it difficult using this phone under direct sunlight. The contrast ratio is just average. However, if you want to see more saturated pictures, it can easily be configured within settings.

Well, a great display to watch movies or play games! But I feel display could have been even better for the flagship of this kind.

Performance: Snapdragon 810 chipset, Adreno 430 GPU and 3GB RAM

Xperia Z5 Dual is powered by Snapdragon 810 chipset, having an octa-core processor, Adreno 430 GPU and 3GB RAM. Now, this configuration makes the device quite fast and smooth. Accessing toggles, switching between apps, browsing and gaming, everything seems pretty smooth, and the chipset provides a great compelling experience when it comes to gaming — be it visuals or performance. We played few graphic intensive games, and we are happy to report no lag was observed. But the heating issue remains untouched from Sony.

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When I started using the phone and installed few applications, it quickly became hot. Or I’d say, super hot! And if you do some CPU intensive multitasking, it starts heating up instantly. Maybe it’s just the metal body, which makes it even warmer.

Sony should have worked on eliminating the heating issue to some extent as it persists in the whole Xperia Z lineup, and finding the same issue again in a flagship device like Xperia Z5 made me a bit surprised.

There’s also 32GB internal storage and microSD support availability for further storage expansion up to 200GB.

Software & UI: Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

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Sony Xperia Z5 Dual runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box. The great thing about Sony smartphones is its software as you get stock Android. There are few proprietary apps that you get from Sony such as Lifelog. It is a health app, which functions similar to a fitness band app.

Diving in deep, another one is TrackID. It is Sony’s music recognition app. While listening to music, if you are not able to recognise and catch lyrics, simply hit this button, and it will recognise the music and offer you more details.

Migrate helps in transferring stuff from this device to a new one. Movie creator is used for making short films from phone gallery. Jive is just another music app from Sony, and here is Sony’s What’s new store.

On top of that, Xperia Z5 Dual also comes with these pre-installed third-party apps such as Facebook, Clean Master, dropbox, AVG Protection, Amazon Kindle, etc. These apps (except few, of course) are not at all useful unless all you want from your phone is added junk. So yes, Xperia Z5 is full of bloatware, but hey, you can also uninstall apps which are not required.

Camera: 23 MP Primary & 5MP Selfie

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Sony Xperia Z5 Dual offers a 23MP autofocus rear camera with Hybrid AF 0.03 and LED flash, which gives fast focusing speed and 5x Clear Image Zoom. Although, Optical Image Stabilisation is not present in this device, which is definitely disappointing, especially to those who buy Sony phones just for its excellent camera performance.

However, it has on-boarded software for video stabilisation, which is not the same thing, but somewhat does a nice job. Sony has kept low light conditions in consideration, thus, features Exmor RS sensor, resulting reduced noise and high image quality. In daylight conditions, pictures are quite sharp and produce brilliant details and colors.

Well, here, I will have to disagree with Sony’s 5x clear zoom claim, as when you zoom out an image to an extent, it starts losing onto details.

Even in low-light conditions, the camera produces sharp pictures.

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Same is the case with its 5MP front shooter, which is capable enough to perform great in daylight and gives you clear selfies.

However, UI of the camera has not changed much from its previous iterations. It comes loaded with several camera apps such AR Effect, Style Portrait, AR Mask, Background Defocus, etc.

Video looks good on Sony Xperia Z5 Dual, and it is capable of 4K video recording. Everything looks sharp, crisp, and clear, even in the absence of Optical Image Stabilization.

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The phone heats up quite often, especially when you are using camera and apps like AR Mask, AR Effect for a longer period or while recording 4K videos.

Although, the audio quality and performance lived up to my expectations. You can enhance your audio experience even further using Clearaudio+ and DSEE HX to upgrade the quality of compressed music for wired headphones.

Sony Xperia Z5 Dual Camera Samples

Battery: 2900mAh

The size of the phone has definitely got bigger, but not the battery. Sony Xperia Z5 is powered by a 2900 mAh battery, which is smaller in numbers compared to 2930 mAh in Xperia Z3+. However, there is no such difference, and Sony claims battery sustainability up to two days on moderate usage.

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According to my experience, you will end up plugging it in by the end of the day if you keep playing games, surfing the web or watching videos on YouTube for a longer period. Whereas on moderate usage, you can easily get it running more than a day. However, you can use Stamina Mode or Ultra Stamina Mode in order to stretch it a bit longer.

On the connectivity front, mostly all standard connectivity options are included such as Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, Bluetooth 4.1, 4G LTE, and NFC. In terms of network reception and call quality experience, I didn’t observe any issues.

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In-The-Box Content:

  • Xperia Z5 Dual Phone Unit
  • MicroUSB Cable
  • Sony USB Wall Socket
  • User Manuals

Pros:

  • Impressive lag-free performance
  • Premium Frosted Glass back
  • 23 MP Camera and 4K video recording
  • Dust and Waterproof
  • Dual SIM 4G LTE flagship
  • Superfast Charging if bundled charger used
  • And Android 6.0 Marshmallow coming pretty soon

Cons:

  • Unresolved heating issues
  • Unnecessarily expensive
  • Display could have been brighter
  • No wireless charging support

Sony Xperia Z5 Picture Gallery

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Sony Xperia Z5 Price and My Verdict

As of this review, Sony Xperia Z5 is available on online and retail stores starting Rs. 46,969. Well, there is nothing much new in Xperia Z5 except fingerprint sensor and premium looks. However, fingerprint sensor works really well. But it still does not justify the price when you have better performers in even lower price segment. The camera and fingerprint sensor clubbed into premium design may seem a lucrative deal for Sony fans.

So, if you are among those who weighs brand image and Japanese trust over price, Xperia Z5 Dual is directly sent from heaven for you!

Sony Xperia Z5 Dual Video Review

Sony explains why Xperia Z5 Premium only renders media in 4K

Sony explains why Xperia Z5 Premium only renders media in 4K

Earlier this month, Sony launched its Xperia Z5 premium with 4K display capability in IFA 2015 event in Berlin — making it the world’s first smartphone with 4K resolution display.

Xperia Z5 Premium sports a 5.5″ IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen and 806 ppi pixel density, leaving behind all the magic of previously respected Samsung Galaxy S6 with a 5.1″ Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen and 577 ppi pixel density.

However, sources claim the screenshots taken from Sony Xperia Z5 Premium feature 1080p resolution, instead of its actual 2160 x 3840 pixels native screen resolution.

Sony has responded with its official statement on why the company chose to go with 4K-on-demand concept for its Xperia Z5 Premium.

According to Sony, Xperia Z5 Premium shows a 4K display based on SID Standard and enables all other media content, i.e., images/videos to be offered in 4K.

All the rest of the content is offered at 1080P or lower resolution for the sake of performance and battery stamina optimisation.

The Sony Z5 premium is considered to be expensive of all the smartphones available in the market.