If you hate large phones, but love photography, music, videos and gaming, the Sony Xperia 5 II may be just what you’ve been waiting for. In case you missed it allow us to repeat – this phone has gaming ambitions as (unlike the Xperia 1 II) its screen refreshes at 120Hz.
It’s a 6.1” OLED display and while it drops the resolution to 1080p+ (while keeping the 21:9 aspect ratio), it’s still pretty sharp and supports HDR and Creator Mode so the film looks just as the director intended. Better yet, this is the first phone that supports black frame insertion – a trick TVs use to reduce motion blur.
The display also has a touch sampling rate of 240Hz and various software and hardware optimizations to reduce latency by 35%.
This will be powered by the Snapdragon 865 chipset (no plus), which is paired with 8GB of RAM. This means that you get the same performance as the 6.5” Sony flagship. Even a bit better as the CPU now uses an optimized governor that tries to run more cores simultaneously while using less power (see: race-to-sleep).
Storage comes in two sizes, 128GB and 256GB, and there’s always the microSD slot if you need more room. Interestingly, the Xperia 5 II will also be available in a dual SIM configuration in Europe (previous models came only as single SIM). If the S865 chipset wasn’t enough of a clue, this is a 5G smartphone (sub-6).
The camera remains basically unchanged, save for the removal of the 3D Time of Flight module. There are some improvements on the software side that will be ported over to the Xperia 1 II. Sony has enabled JPG+RAW shooting and the 4K/120 fps slow motion videos are now shot in HDR.
As for the camera hardware – we get three 12MP modules on the back. The main cam gets a 1/1.7” sensor with OIS, it and the ultrawide 16mm cam feature Dual Pixel autofocus. Then there’s the 3x (70 mm) zoom camera, which brings OIS of its own.
All three cameras boast ZEISS lenses with T* anti-reflective coating. Eye autofocus is available (it works on both humans and animals), the phone can shoot 20 photos per second with continuous AE/AF.
Despite its smaller stature, the Xperia 5 II has the same battery capacity as the bigger Mark Two, 4,000 mAh. You’ll receive an 18W USB Power Delivery charger in the box, but you can use a more powerful charger to charge at up to 21W. Even with the included power brick a 50% charge is achieved in 30 minutes.
Sony added two (literally) cool features to reduce battery degradation. Battery Care lets you pick a slower charging curve and you can now limit the maximum charge at 90%. The H. S. power control (“heat suppression”) enables a pass-through mode for gaming – the phone uses power directly from the charger to avoid the heat generated by first routing electricity through the battery. Other phones experience a double whammy of both the chipset and the battery generating heat.
The phone brings over all the fan-favorite features from the Xperia 1 II – yes, including the 3.5mm headphone jack. You can enjoy Hi Res audio both with wired and wireless headphones. Alternatively, you can use the front-firing stereo speakers. Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio are both supported for a more immersive experience. You can experience that on TIDAL Hi-Fi as the phone comes with a free 3-month subscription.
The body of the phone is rated IP68/IPX5 for dust and water resistance, the front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass 6. It measures only 68mm wide and 8mm thick, making it more compact than most phones available today. There will be four colors to choose from at launch: Black, Grey, Blue and Pink.
The US will only get the black version, with the Sony Xperia 5 II going on pre-order for $950 on September 29, 2020 and shipping on December 4, 2020.
Those who pre-order Xperia 5 II by November 29 will get a gaming bundle worth over $400 including a gaming headset, a 10,000mAh power bank and 21,600 Call of Duty Mobile Points.
In Europe the phone is coming in Q4 for €900 in Black, Blue and Gray.
Sony will also release two accessories for the phone – a Stand Cover (with a built-in kick stand) and a more traditional Style Cover. The phone natively supports DualShock 4 controllers.