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Sony Xperia 5 V Review: Performance, Battery, and More

Pros and Cons of Sony Xperia 5 V

Pros:

  1. Outstanding main camera performance
  2. Professional-grade camera software for photography enthusiasts
  3. Impressive battery longevity
  4. Inclusion of a headphone jack for high-quality wired audio
  5. Expandable storage using a microSD card slot

Cons:

  1. Bulkier design compared to its predecessor
  2. Subpar OLED screen quality considering the Xperia 5 V’s price point
  3. Lack of an optical telephoto camera
  4. Limited to 128GB internal storage
Sony Xperia 5 V Review: Performance, Battery, and More _ NewForTech
(Image Credit: SONY)

The Sony Xperia 5 V may not be an evident upgrade for individuals with older 5-series phones. It exhibits a relatively chunky build, weaker screen quality, and a deficiency in optical zoom, especially when compared to the Xperia 5 III. Additionally, the 128GB internal storage capacity, even with the microSD card slot, falls short of our expectations. Nevertheless, it enters the market at a lower price than its forerunner, and it boasts a top-notch primary camera, remarkable battery life, and exceptional overall performance. These qualities position it competitively against today’s high-end devices, particularly in the realm of photography.

SONY XPERIA 5 V: QUICK REVIEW

Sony’s Xperia 5 series initially mirrored the Xperia 1 lineup, sharing identical camera systems. The Xperia 1 III stood out with its continuous zoom periscope camera.

Lately, compromises have crept into the Xperia 5 line, and the 5 V represents the most compromise. But is it a bad phone just because it’s not a carbon copy of the Xperia 1 V? Absolutely not.

After testing, the Xperia 1 V impresses with its sturdy build, comfortable size, long-lasting battery, consistent performance, and exceptional primary camera. However, it’s not without its drawbacks.

Design:

  • The Xperia 5 V feels robust and boasts IP65/68 water resistance.
  • Front-wise, it appears more mid-range due to chunky bezels, unlike the nearly borderless Xperia 5 IV.

Storage:

  • Only a 128GB version will launch in the UK.
  • Pre-installed apps occupy 33GB, leaving just 87GB for your apps, games, and WhatsApp backups.
  • Inadequate power users.

Screen:

  • Weak color integrity off-angle, particularly prone to OLED color-shifting.
  • Unexpected for a Sony device, especially when compared to premium counterparts.

MicroSD Slot:

  • The Xperia 5 V offers a microSD card slot, a saving grace for expanding storage.
  • However, most apps don’t support offloading files to the SD card, limiting its effectiveness.
  • Installing apps like Genshin Impact consumes significant space.

In conclusion, despite notable strengths, especially for camera enthusiasts seeking full control, the Xperia 5 V falls short in several aspects. It’s a good phone but not a winner in every category.

SONY XPERIA 5 V PRICE & AVAILABILITY

  • Availability: Late September
  • Price: £849 / €999 (about $1,075 / AU$1,665)
  • Affordable: Cheaper than Xperia 5 IV and 5 III at UK launch
  • Comparison: The Xperia 5 V costs significantly less than the Xperia 1 V, which is priced at $1,399 / £1,299 / AU$2,099.
  • Affordability Note: Sony Xperia 5 V pricing, when compared to other options, may seem less budget-friendly.
  • Alternative Options: Google Pixel 7 Pro, offering a periscope telephoto camera and impressive design, is priced similarly. For those seeking a compact phone with wireless charging, a headphone jack, and more storage, the Asus Zenfone 10 is a good choice, although it may not match the camera quality.

Value Score: 3.5 / 5

SONY XPERIA 5 V PRICE & AVAILABILITY
(Image Credit: SONY)

SONY XPERIA 5 V SPECS

  • Dimensions: 154 x 68 x 8.6 mm
  • Weight: 182 grams
  • Display: 6.1-inch Full HD+ (2520 x 1080) 120Hz OLED
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • OS: Android 13
  • OS updates: 2 years of software, 3 years of security
  • Primary camera: 48MP (effective), 52MP (native) f/1.9 w/ OIS, 24mm
  • Ultra-wide camera: 12MP, f/2.2, 16mm
  • Front Camera: 12MP, f/2.2, 24mm
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Charging: 30W wired charging, 15W wireless charging,
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Platinum Silver

SONY XPERIA 5 V DESIGN

  • Gorilla Glass Victus 2 back and front
  • IP65/68-certified water resistance
  • Feels bulkier compared to the Xperia 5 IV
  • The Xperia 5 V appears aesthetically pleasing in isolation.
  • However, when compared to its predecessors and competitors, it comes across as bulkier and less refined.
  • Notably, the thick bezels on either side of the screen contribute to a less premium appearance.
  • The Xperia 5 V’s design may disappoint those considering an upgrade from a previous 5 series phone.
  • On the positive side, it offers IP65/68 water and dust resistance, a solid build, and a comfortable grip.
  • The matte texture and fingerprint-resistant finish enhance the tactile experience.
  • Sony retains favored features like a headphone jack, an easily accessible SIM and microSD card tray, and a physical camera button.
  • Despite its added weight compared to earlier Xperia 5 models, the 6.1-inch screen size makes the Xperia 5 V manageable and user-friendly.
  • The design, however, could benefit from a more distinctive Xperia 5 identity.

Design Score: 3 / 5

SONY XPERIA 5 V DISPLAY REVIEW

  • Display: 6.1-inch Full HD+ OLED with 120Hz refresh rate
  • Pros: Bright and sharp, customizable options
  • Cons: Noticeable color shifting off-angle

The Xperia 5 V’s 6.1-inch OLED display is decent but falls short of excellence. While it’s smaller than most modern flagships, it provides comfortable typing and swiping experiences. Thanks to its OLED technology, colors appear vibrant, and contrast levels are impressive, resulting in an enjoyable viewing and messaging experience. However, there are notable display drawbacks.

One significant issue is the pronounced OLED color shifting, more evident than on most high-end phones, including its predecessor. Off-angle viewing on the Xperia 5 V resembles the Xperia 10 V more than the Xperia 1 V, displaying significant color distortion. This issue is particularly noticeable with white or light content.

For context, color shifting refers to OLED screens adopting a slight blue or magenta tint when viewed from non-head-on angles. The Xperia 5 V exhibits one of the worst performances in this regard, even compared to budget and mid-range alternatives.

Surprisingly, even more affordable phones like the RedMagic 8s Pro surpass the Xperia 5 V in addressing color shifting, which is unexpected given Sony’s emphasis on creators and content consumption.

However, Sony offers extensive display customization in the settings, including manual white balance control. Users can select between two color gamut and contrast modes: creator mode, optimized for HDR and 10-bit content, and standard mode. A Real-time HDR drive option enhances visibility during HDR content playback, and Sony’s X1 image enhancer adds vibrancy to videos.

Users can choose between 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rates, with the default setting at 60Hz. Notably, there’s no option for dynamic or variable refresh rates, which is now common in more affordable devices.

Despite past issues with peak brightness, the Xperia 5 V performs well in direct sunlight with auto-brightness enabled. Manual brightness, while not as dazzling, remains satisfactory.

Additionally, features like an always-on display and an intuitive one-handed mode enhance user experience. The display excels in basic aspects but the significant color distortion off-angle remains a notable compromise, especially considering the phone’s price.

Display Score: 3 / 5

SONY XPERIA 5 V SOFTWARE REVIEW

  • Operating System: Android 13 with Sony’s lightweight UI
  • Updates: 2 years of OS updates and 3 years of security updates
  • User-Friendly: Sony maintains its clean and user-friendly design, extending to the user interface (UI) on the Xperia 5 V.
  • Stock Android: Primarily, it runs on stock Android 13, with Sony adding some noteworthy features.
  • Side Sense: Introduced Side Sense, a side-screen menu for quick access to frequently used apps, enhancing multitasking with split-screen options.
  • Gesture Navigation: Swiping right activates the Google App and news feed while swiping up brings up the app tray, and swiping down reveals the notification menu.
  • Game Enhancer: Sony will enhance its Game Enhancer for 2023, providing a comprehensive gaming portal. It centralizes games, offering various in-game options, such as launching apps in floating windows and accessing a browser for walkthroughs or YouTube.
  • Customization: The UI allows customization of display settings, performance modes, and more on a per-game basis.
  • Camera Apps: The Xperia 5 V comes with three camera apps: Photography Pro for manual control, Video Pro for video creators, and Cinema Pro for filmmakers.
  • Video Capabilities: It supports video recording at up to 4K, 120fps, with multiple microphone options.
  • Additional Features: Always-on display, one-handed mode, and intuitive controls enhance usability.
  • Future-Proofing: A drawback is Sony’s commitment to only two years of major OS updates and three years of security updates, falling behind competitors offering longer support.

Software Score: 3.5 / 5

SONY XPERIA 5 V CAMERA REVIEW

  • Primary Camera: 52MP with 1/1.35-inch sensor and f/1.9 aperture lens (technically 52MP, but photos are pixel-binned to 12MP)
  • Ultra-Wide Camera: 12MP with f/2.2 aperture and autofocus
  • Selfie Camera: 12MP
  • Bokeh Mode: Improved bokeh mode
  • Camera Features: Lacks a telephoto camera but offers a versatile camera app selection.
  • Primary Camera: Sony utilizes a unique 4.3:3 sensor aspect ratio, capturing photos at 48MP (binned to 12MP).
  • Color Shifting: Xperia 5 V displays noticeable color shifting off-angle.
  • Control: Extensive manual control options in the camera apps.
  • Video: Supports 4K at 120fps and offers microphone options.
  • Video Creator App: New Video Creator app for video editing and montage creation.
  • Photo Quality: Sony’s natural styling delivers nuanced, detailed, and low-noise photos, with improved shadow detail.
  • Zoom Performance: Optical zoom quality surpasses the telephoto camera in challenging lighting conditions.
  • Ultra-Wide Camera: Performs adequately but exhibits exposure challenges in low light.
  • Bokeh Mode: Despite improvements, struggles with complex scenes compared to competitors.
  • Video Quality: Excellent video capture and strong stabilization.
  • Selfie Camera: Solid performance, especially in optimal lighting conditions, with versatile 4K video capabilities.

Camera Score: 5 / 5

SONY XPERIA 5 V PERFORMANCE REVIEW

  • Chipset: Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, delivering robust performance.
  • Memory: 8GB RAM ensures smooth multitasking.
  • Storage: Limited to 128GB in the UK; other global options to be confirmed.
  • Heat Management: Improved heat management compared to previous Sony models, thanks to a slightly thicker chassis and superior internals.
  • Benchmark Scores: Impressive benchmark performance with a Geekbench 6 score of 5140 multi-core and a 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme score of 3600.
  • Gaming: Handles gaming well, with minimal throttling, but the storage limitation of 128GB can be restrictive.
  • MicroSD Slot: Offers a microSD card slot for expanded storage, but certain limitations with apps and storage hogs like WhatsApp backups persist.
  • Storage Issue: 128GB may not suffice for users, especially considering game sizes and pre-installed software.
  • Sound Quality: Xperia 5 V excels in audio quality with front-firing dual speakers, a headphone jack, and extensive audio settings.
  • Charging: Supports wireless charging and offers 30W wired charging. Charging speed might not suit everyone.
  • Battery Health: Slower charging benefits battery health and aligns with Sony’s sustainability efforts.

Performance Score: 4 / 5

SONY XPERIA 5 V BATTERY LIFE REVIEW

  • Battery: Equipped with a 5,000mAh battery, same as Xperia 5 IV.
  • Improved Screen-On Time: Shows almost double the screen-on time compared to Xperia 5 IV in tests.
  • Charging: Supports 30W wired charging, wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging.
  • Battery Test: Xperia 5 V outperforms Xperia 5 IV, lasting a full day with various activities.
  • Wireless Charging: Wireless charging allows quick top-ups for extended usage.
  • Charging Speed: Charging from 0-100% takes around 90 minutes, competitive with iPhones.
  • Value Consideration: Slow charging may suit some users but may not be ideal for those reliant on fast charging.

Battery Score: 4.5 / 5

CONCLUSION

  • Value: Xperia 5 V offers features but might not be the best value proposition.
  • Design: Dated front design with substantial side bezels.
  • Display: Good screen quality with high brightness but lacks variable refresh rate and suffers from off-angle color shifting.
  • Software: Sony’s Android looks appealing but falls short on software update commitments.
  • Camera: Outstanding main camera and a good ultra-wide camera compensate for the lack of a telephoto lens.
  • Performance: Runs cool, and handles gaming well, but a limited storage capacity of 128GB can be problematic.
  • Battery: Impressive battery life, wireless charging, but slower charging speeds.
  • Who Should Buy:
  • Photo and video enthusiasts.
  • Those seeking all-day battery life.
  • Audiophiles who appreciate wired audio.
  • Who Shouldn’t Buy:
  • Budget-conscious buyers.
  • Users prioritize screen quality.
  • Those needing ample internal storage.

This concludes the Sony Xperia 5 V review.


Score Card

AttributesRating
Value3.5/5
Design3/5
Display3/5
Software3.5/5
Camera5/5
Performance4/5
Battery4.5/5

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Pros and Cons of Sony Xperia 5 V Pros: Outstanding main camera performance Professional-grade camera software for photography enthusiasts Impressive battery longevity Inclusion of a headphone jack for high-quality wired audio Expandable storage using a microSD card slot Cons: Bulkier design compared to its predecessor Subpar OLED screen quality considering the Xperia...Sony Xperia 5 V Review: Performance, Battery, and More