Sony Xperia 5 V review

    Many factors go into making a decent mobile phone. A screen with good color, contrast, and brightness; a camera that produces dependable photos in a variety of scenarios; solid mobile signal and Wi-Fi reception; and well-thought-out systems, apps, and interfaces.

    The physical form of the mobile phone is one of the most crucial – this is a device you carry in your pocket all day and in your hand for several hours every day. As a result, it must be adequately fitted and constructed for that purpose.

    The Sony Xperia 5 V is not one of them. Despite maintaining the tiny, elongated proportions for which Sony’s Xperia 5 phones have been renowned, it’s one of the most painful phones to handle that I’ve experienced in a long time.

    They’ve never been very ergonomically rounded, with flat surfaces and straight edges all around, but it’s unclear what Sony’s designers were thinking here.

    Where the frame transitions to a fully flat glass surface with an obvious seam, there are double sharp edges on both the front and rear. It chafes my fingers and palm when I need to grasp it more tightly, and it irritates me when I swipe movements on the screen from the edges.

    Similar edges worked better on the Xperia 1 V, which was built for two-handed use and featured ribbed sides for a solid grip.

    High performance – at first

    It’s difficult to complain about performance with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the hood. Everything works well, from games to heavier programs and multitasking.

    It’s one of the quickest phones I’ve encountered for short-term high-intensity work. The instantaneous heat dissipation from the processing cores appears to be extremely effective.

    Unfortunately, if the high processing and graphics load lasts longer than five minutes, the entire mobile phone gets too hot to hold. Then there might be substantial throttling: in a graphics stress test, it loses about 40% performance in 20 minutes.

    The only variant offered is 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The latter is insufficient for most people, however it may be expanded with a micro SD card slot in the SIM card port. There is space for a physical nano SIM card, and the phone also supports eSIM.

    Connections through Wi-Fi 6E or 5G are reliable and quick, however it’s unclear whether the phone will ever be upgraded to support the most recent (at the time of writing) Wi-Fi 7 standard.

    Classic Xperia features

    The phone comes in three colors: matte black, light grey, and a muted grey-blue variant.

    There’s not much to say about the style; it’s quite unremarkable, and none of the color selections stick out. A Sony logo is carved into the glass surface on the rear, and a relatively modest two-lens camera body protrude out an additional centimetre in the upper left corner.

    Several usual Sony information may be found elsewhere on the phone. The conventional 3.5mm audio connection for wired headphones remains at the top. The SIM card slot is located on the bottom and may be accessed without the need of a pin.

    There are also little volume controls on one long side, as well as a fingerprint sensor embedded inside the power button. There is also a shutter button for the camera.

    Sony Xperia 5 V

    The front looks extremely Sony. Unlike practically every other phone these days, the extremely large 21:9 screen lacks smoothly rounded edges and selfie camera holes.

    While the bezels are thin, there must be space for a selfie camera as well as front-facing stereo speakers on either side of the screen. This lengthens the phone even further, yet it is still simpler to operate one-handed than other handsets.

    Smart interface, few updates

    Sony’s software is same to that seen in other 2023 Xperia phones.

    Its Android 13 skin is quite close to the official Google version, but it has some additional navigation features, such as a clever and user-friendly split-screen or floating window multitasking system. The latter, on the other hand, performs better on the Xperia 1 V, which has a larger screen area.

    Sony adds some spice to the mix with its own applications and services. One is called Bravia Core, and it allows you to watch chosen films from the Sony Pictures collection. The other is Music Pro, a multi-track audio recorder that is linked to an AI and cloud-based mixing and mastering service that you must pay for. What !!

    Sony’s Android upgrades aren’t as generous. Only two years of system upgrades and three years of security updates are promised, lagging well behind the majority of competitors.

    However, image quality is one of the Xperia 5 V primary strengths. The color quality is the same as in the Xperia 1 V, with a BT.2020 (also known as Rec. 2020) color gamut that is even better than DCI-P3.

    With the correct material, it provides for an outstanding cinema experience when combined with 10-bit color depth and HDR optimized video. Or, at the very least, as great as it can be on such a little screen.

    The brightness of the screen is both excellent and awful. The basic brightness, which can be adjusted manually, may reach around 800 nits, which is very high. And, for the most part, this is sufficient for both indoor and outdoor use.

    But with auto brightness turned off, it’s very obviously lacking intensity, and struggles in direct sunlight.

    Sony Xperia 5 V

    Excellent camera, but the zoom is missing

    A recent tendency has been for mobile phone makers to “borrow” credit for its cameras by teaming up with well-known camera manufacturers. Sony avoids this by basing its mobile cameras on Exmor sensors and incorporating features from its Alpha system camera platform. Sony, on the other hand, employs Zeiss optics in their smartphones, as stated in fine language beneath the primary sensor.

    The Xperia 5 V has gotten the same camera improvement as the Xperia 1 V, with this year’s main camera using a new Exmor RS sensor with 48Mp instead of the previous 12Mp. The difference is that you only receive a wide-angle camera instead of the top model’s telephoto for optical zoom.

    That limits its use, but everything that doesn’t need magnification makes the Xperia 5 V just as excellent. A wide dynamic range, beautifully natural color reproduction, fast and precise autofocus, and strong low-light photography skills are all available. It preserves color balance and dynamics while producing little noise.

    When I photograph with a wide angle, I don’t have to change my approach since the color, light, and dynamics remain the same, even though the low-light photos are noisy and the detail is less crisp.

    The camera software, which successfully mimics a Sony Alpha system camera, continues to pretend I have optical zoom and, in manual mode, switches between three fixed focal lengths or zooms with a smooth slider.

    Three ways to film

    Sony also wants you to enjoy filming with your Xperia. You have two independent video shooting applications in addition to the video in the camera app.

    Smooth zooming, object tracking, increased ISO control, and even live streaming functionality are all available with Video Pro. Cinema Pro emulates a true professional camera for cinematographers, with features such as color grading filters, comprehensive FPS control, and full manual shutter control. It all feels a little extravagant for a mobile phone, and I would have rather to see Video Pro baked into the camera app as an option instead.

    Battery life should be enhanced using the same 5,000mAh battery as the Xperia 1 V, but a smaller screen area and lower quality display. A 120Hz refresh rate that can alter dynamically based on what you’re doing undoubtedly helps.

    And, sure, this is a significant improvement over the Xperia 1 V’s simply passable battery life. There’s also 30W wired charging and Qi wireless charging capability, but the latter’s wattage isn’t indicated.

    There are no wired or wireless chargers provided, so you’ll have to locate one that meets the required power and charging standards. Fortunately, I had one, and with it, I can charge the battery to just under 50% in half an hour. A full charge then takes a further 50 minutes.

    Most people won’t mind, but it’s not on pace with many other top phones that charge considerably faster. You don’t have the option of simply plugging in for five minutes before rushing to the bus and having enough power for a few hours on the road.

    Sony Xperia 5 V


    • Product name: Sony Xperia 5 V
    • System: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
    • Memory: 8 GB
    • Storage: 128 GB
    • Display: 6.1 inch amoled, 1080×2520 pixels, 120 Hz
    • Cameras: 48 megapixel + 12 megapixel wide angle with led rear, 12 megapixel front
    • Communications: 2g, 3g, 4g, 5g, wifi 6e, bluetooth 5.3, gps, nfc
    • Connections: Usb 3 gen 2 type c, 3.5 mm headset
    • Operating system: Android 13 with Xperia UX, 4 years of updates
    • Other: Dual-SIM, side fingerprint reader, water resistant (ip65/ip68)
    • Battery: 5,000 mAh, 22 hrs video streaming (max brightness, 60 Hz), 14 hrs 72 min mixed use (Pcmark Work 3.0, 200 cd/m2 brightness), approx. 38 hours of calls (4g)
    • Battery charging: 30 W usb (pd3.0, pps), 0-26% in 15 min, 0-47% in 30 min, wireless charging (qi), charger not included
    • Size: 15.4 x 6.8 x 0.86 cm
    • Weight: 182 g

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