Sony Xperia Z5 The Xperia Z5 has a very reliable battery and the addition of Quick Charge 2.0 will allow you to top off the battery quickly for those days when you need a bit more oomph to make it through your day.The Sony Xperia Z5 looks good, has plenty of power, its camera can take some great snaps and it won't die when you spill your drink on it.5.2 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels, IPS LCD... Color balance and accuracy, on the other hand, are areas where Sony should have tried a bit harder. The screen has a significant blue tint, taking some of the life away from images. It's not too bad, though, plus Sony is kind enough to let us adjust display color balance from the settings, meaning there's a way to get a more natural-toned image. Sony has to be congratulated for not playing the specs game and sticking with this resolution, because in no way is the Xperia Z5's screen harder to read, in comparison to the 1440 x 2560 screens out there. Sony needed to fix up the design of its Xperia Z series and there have been some big changes this time. It's still angular and glass-backed, but this time it's a frosted material instead of the clear glass we've seen on every iteration since the Xperia Z1. A lot of the problems that plagued the Xperia Z3+ stemmed from Sony's choice of components. It was powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810, a chip that notoriously ran hot. So, it might seem odd to layman that, on the surface, the Xperia Z5 looks to be using the exact same chip.
But the 810 in the Xperia Z5 is a slightly upgraded version that supposedly solves the overheating problems. From my time with the Xperia Z5 I'm not convinced this is the case.
During bouts of gaming, even with titles that I don’t class as graphically intense, the phone gets hot below the camera. The heating issue gets worse when I fire up Asphalt 8 or Lara Croft Go. I wouldn’t be as fussed if it was only a minor temperature hike, but the Z5 got hot to the point I hat to move by fingers on several occsaions. The phone even gets hot when playing Spotify, which is odd.
The other major problem with the Xperia Z3+ was that its 4K recording was basically unusable. Capturing footage for longer than a few minutes caused the device to spew up a worrying overheating message and then crash. Thankfully, this problem seems to have been fixed on the Z5.
As a test, I left the camera recording a 4K video for half an hour. Aside from eating though almost half of my available storage, it didn’t crash or make the phone hot. Discounting the gaming bits I mentioned earlier, performance and stability on the Z5 are great. Switching through apps is fast, Chrome never feels sluggish and lag is non-existent. It’s a great performer.
But, for a flagship device costing £539, packing a high-power processor and 3GB RAM, I expect this.
The powerful chip produces impressive benchmarking scores too. With a 4,720 result on the multi-core GeekBench 3 test it outmuscles the LG G4 (3,260) and HTC One M9 (3,952), but just falls short of toppling Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge+ (5,014). On AnTuTu, it scores 53,155, putting it above the Nexus 6 (51,855) and Moto X Style (51,350), but below the iPhone 6S (59,069).
To be completely honest, I’d still have preferred Sony to go with the Snapdragon 808. The small losses in performance are easily made up for by the better heat control.
You get 32GB of onboard storage, though this can be supplemented by a microSD card. These cards are about to get a whole lot more useful in Marshmallow, as the OS will let you use them for proper system storage.
The dual front-facing speakers are well positioned, but they fall into many of the same traps as other phones. Volume is loud enough, but audio is tinny and lacks any sort of oomph. It’s fine for YouTube, but not really for music.
but,The Xperia Z5 Premium hype seems to have done that to some degree, but 4K is still an issue when you realise the battery life isn't perfected, and you will need to shell out quite a bit of extra money to get it.Only minor updates from its predecessor means it lacks the excitement of its rivals. Its waterproofing no longer allows for full submersion, meaning it can't be used for underwater photography.
THE BOTTOM LINE The Z5 isn't as perfect as it should be, but it does have all the right parts.Even with strong specs befitting a high-end phone, the Sony Xperia Z5 adds little over its predecessor to make it an exciting option over rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.
VS HTC One M9 The HTC One M9 feels smaller than the M8, but not by much at all. It measures 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61mm and weighs 157g, so it's only a minor difference between the two devices - 2mm shaved off the height, 1mm from the width, and 0.2mm added in thickness.The HTC One M9 inherits its predecessor's stunning metal design and strong speakers, and has a bright, sharp display. It runs the latest version of Android, and the new Sense 7 software is simple, responsive and highly customisable. It's one of the few flagship phones to still feature expandable storage, and it offers a unique one-year replacement program in the US. Performance
Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core; 3GB RAM
Qualcomm’s 800-series processors dominated 2014 flagships, and with good reason. The Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z3 all packed a serious wallop and made mincemeat of intense 3D games and processor-hungry HD video conversion.
The 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 the One M9 totes is Qualcomm’s latest and greatest and provides twice the number of cores of the M8's 801. Twice the power, then? It doesn’t quite work that way, I’m afraid.
The Snapdragon 810 uses ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture. This let’s a low-powered 1.55GHz quad-core processor be paired with another, more powerful, 1.96GHz quad-core processor on the same chipset. The benefits of this aren’t just about increasing power – last-gen quad-core processors are already powerful – it’s about energy efficiency. Most of the common tasks your smartphone does – make calls, send texts, collect sensor data, listen to music and browse the web – don’t need much power. Using a mighty processor for these is overkill, and uses more of the battery than it should. That’s where the LITTLE quad-core comes into play. It takes care of all those smaller, daily, tasks in a more energy efficient way, thereby conserving power. It also means that HTC no longer needs the co-processor that handled all the sensor data on the M9’s predecessor.
The processor is restricted in Power Saver mode. This means that the HTC One M9 performs differently depending on how much juice you’re willing to sacrifice.
Let’s leave the benefits to the HTC One M9’s battery life to one side for a moment and focus on its performance. As you can expect the Snapdragon 810 and 3GB RAM helps the One M9 fly through common tasks like flicking through menus, opening apps and browsing the web, regardless of which quad is being used.
Battery life Battery life on the HTC One M9 should be brilliant in comparison to what's been before. The Snapdragon 801 chipset finally made an HTC phone decent at lasting throughout a day last year, and with a larger power pack and an improvement from Qualcomm things should be awesome.
Sadly, they're not. I'm not saying that it's a problem and this phone won't last long enough to tap out a couple of tweets, but the performance hasn't been moved on much from last year.
The issue is that the phone heats up really easily doing the most mundane of tasks. Anything that takes a little bit of wireless connection is a quick way to watch it drop, be it mobile data or listening to music over headphones.
Where most phones these days won't have much of an issue losing no more than 10% on my morning commute, even with a bit of video action, the One M9 has dropped as much as 17% through Bluetooth music streaming and emails, which is odd as this doesn't usually munch too much power.
The good news is Google's new Android 5.0 gives you a good way of checking the problems, letting you shut down (or get rid of) the apps which are misbehaving. However, in this case it's 'Google Services' which is the issue, elements fundamental to the running of the phone, which means there's not a lot to be done about it.
I usually see this in the first few days of reviewing, but the issue has pervaded. Hardcore testing - be it standby, heavy apps, web browsing and YouTube videos, for instance - has proven the HTC to be a poorer choice than the rest of the competition, with poorer background battery management.
This means you can't lean on the One M9 too heavily for playing games or watching videos, which is irritating if you want to have a little bit of battery left at the end of the day.
Gaming is really heavy on the battery, with a quick 15 minute game sometimes sucking 10% juice - although the issue is often that mobile games these days are constantly communicating with servers for online play or in app purchases, which hurts the battery.
Running TechRadar's standard battery test on the One M9, where we looped a 90 min full HD video at maximum brightness showed that the new HTC phone was one of the worst performers of recent times, with 31% of the battery disappearing.
If you consider that the LG G Flex 2, another big phone on the market with the Snapdragon 810 chipset, only lost 13% in the same test, then you'll see that there's something going on with the software here.
I also ran the same test on the newly-Lollipopped HTC One M8 and HTC One M7, and they managed 24% and 30% respectively - and the phone from 2013 had barely enough battery to make it through the day too. This shows that for some reason HTC has managed to go backwards in battery life, even with the larger capacity and theoretically more efficient processor.
I'm confident battery life will improve, but it's actually a small step back from the One M8, which can be had for nearly half the price of the new version, and that's just not good enough. The other big thing here is QuickCharge 2.0 – although this offers a pretty amazing 60% charge in just 30 mins, the charger in the box isn't QuickCharge enabled to get the maximum speeds on offer.
This is just ludicrous – I thought by this point that they'd be standard as the tech began appearing in phones last year. It's really frustrating that you'll need to spend so much more given this is an already expensive phone.
But, The M9's camera quality and battery life don't measure up to its competitors. For better or worse, the phone feels like a rerun of last year's HTC One.
THE BOTTOM LINE The updated HTC One M9 packs speed and software improvements into a handset that remains lustworthy in middle age, but it doesn't exceed the competition where it counts.
Key Features: 20-megapixel rear camera ; 4-megapixel Ultrapixel front-facing camera; 5-inch 1080p LCD screen; BoomSound speakers with Dolby Surround; Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, 3GB RAM; 32GB onboard storage with microSD slot; HTC Sense 7 on Android 5.0 Lollipop