Xperia 5 II

This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.

Sony's new Xperia 5 II smartphone will be released by au and Softbank on Saturday, October 17, 2020. Presumably, NTT DoCoMo will announce it as well as last year.

Xperia 5 II

The Xperia 5 II is a smartphone that combines the compact style of last year's Xperia 5 with the latest performance of the Xperia 1 II, a significant improvement from last year's model.

It features a 6.1-inch OLED display (2,520 x 1,080 pixels) with a 21:9 aspect ratio, the latest Snapdragon 865 processor, and an increase in memory and storage from 6G/64GB on the previous model to 8GB/128GB.

The front and back of the device are made of tempered glass (Gorilla Glass 6). The side frame is made of metal material for a glossy look. It is naturally waterproof (IPX5 and IPX8), dustproof (IP6X), and has a mobile wallet.

The device measures 158 mm x 68 mm x 8 mm and weighs 163 g. It features a long, vertical body, and the body is slim and very easy to hold, with a width of about 68 mm.

Xperia 5 II

The size is almost the same as its predecessor, the Xperia 5, and the battery has a large capacity of 4000mAh. The previous generation was 3000mAh, so a whopping 1000mAh is up. Regrettably, it doesn't support wireless charging, which the Xperia 1 II has.

Xperia 5 II

Other than its size, the unique feature of the Xperia 5 II is its 120Hz display support. The Game Enhancer, discussed below, also delivers a 240Hz equivalent refresh rate with a black insert, and touch response is improved by up to 35%.

It's very easy to set up, and users can switch from 60Hz to 120Hz by turning on or off the new "low residuals" setting in the settings screen.

One of the easiest things to understand about this feature is that it tracks smoothly when scrolling vertically in social networking sites or moving maps quickly in Google Maps, so you won't have difficulty seeing blurry text due to afterimages. However, 120Hz setting increases battery consumption, so if you don't mind the refresh rate for the apps you use most often, you can adjust the battery duration at 60Hz and focus on battery life.

Xperia 5 II

There are the following triple cameras at the rear. Like the Xperia 1 II, each one has an image sensor with approximately 12 megapixels of effective pixels.

16mm f/2.2 1/2.6-inch dual PD (photodiode) sensor

70mm f/2.4 1/3.4 type PD (photodiode) sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS)

24mm F1.7 1/1.7" dual PD (photodiode) sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS)

35mm equivalent focal length

Compared to the Xperia 5's camera, the 135° dynamic ultra-wide angle lens is a bit narrower at 124°, while the telephoto lens is equivalent to three times the size of the Xperia 5's camera for ease of use.

However, the main wide-angle camera's sensor has been enlarged from 1/1.7-inch to 1/2.6-inch, and the camera's performance has improved, with about 1.5 times higher sensitivity than the Xperia 5, and AF area coverage of about 70 percent.

Xperia 5 II

The camera has a small amount of popping out of the body, but not much. It uses ZEISS lenses and has a T* coating to reduce unwanted reflections and provide clear imaging performance.

In addition to using ZEISS lens quality on the phone, the ZEISS T* icon is very eye-catching. One thing that differs from the Xperia 1 II is the omission of the 3D ToF sensor. There doesn't seem to be a big difference when shooting in brighter scenes, but when shooting in the dark, the presence or absence of the 3D ToF sensor is likely to affect the focus accuracy.

Xperia 5 II

The camera app is very comprehensive.

Photography Pro follows the same UI of the original α series DSLR cameras. You can enjoy your favorite settings from the mode dial, including Program Auto (P), Shutter Speed Priority (S), Manual (M), and Recall Shooting Settings (MR).

You can change the shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, white balance, and other settings to get the look you want. What's more, you can choose from three file formats: RAW, RAW+JPEG, and JPEG, so you can take pictures while enjoying the richness of the camera's elements, despite being a smartphone.

Xperia 5 II

The best part is that the camera's Real-time Eye Detection AF system is amazing.

The camera continues to track the eyes of the person you're shooting, even if they move their face, and even when they turn their head to the side and can't see their eyes, the camera recognizes their face and lets you take pictures without having their face out of focus.

It tracks the eyes of not only people but also cats, dogs, and other animals. What's more, it processes AF (autofocus) and AE (auto exposure) calculations at a maximum rate of 60 times per second, a specialty of the Alpha series of digital SLR cameras, to enable high-speed continuous shooting at 20 frames per second while keeping up with AF and AE.

In other words, when you want to take a picture of a child or pet whose movements are difficult to predict, all you have to do is point the camera at the subject and press the shutter release button, and the camera continues to track their eyes, adjust the brightness level, and take a series of pictures.

It will drastically reduce the disappointment of not having a single good photo after you've taken so many pictures. You can pick out the best picture from a lot of pictures you've taken.

Xperia 5 II

Also, Cinematography Pro, which has a reputation for being too geeky, is alive and well.

There are signs of a cinematic video boom right now, and it's valuable to have an app that allows you to enjoy a creative shooting experience with cinematic textures and colors.

The Xperia 5 II also has the world's first 4K HDR 120 frames per second slow-motion shooting capability, with additional features such as a level, touch AF, custom white balance settings, and a metered manual that allows you to view and set the correct exposure.

The camera is also equipped with Sony's proprietary Intelligent Wind Filter, which uses sound source separation technology to remove only wind noise, and suppresses wind noise such as rumbling, even when shooting with a smartphone that doesn't have a windshield, which is a wonderfully sophisticated feature.

Xperia 5 II

The Game Enhancer has been available since the Xperia 1, but once again, I was surprised by the commitment and evolution of the feature.

In the Game Mode, which allows you to prioritize your phone's performance or power saving, you can choose Performance, which drains the battery but fires up all the processing performance, or Power Saving, which minimizes the battery's consumption.

So far, it's a common feature, but there's an additional feature that's unique to the Xperia 5 II that's hidden in the Custom settings.

Xperia 5 II

What's more, the refresh rate can be set to 40Hz, 60Hz, 120Hz, and even 240Hz. This is achieved by inserting a black screen at every frame to the aforementioned 120Hz display, and depending on the game, it looks dramatically smoother when set to 240Hz.

The 240Hz touch scan rate and touch response are also better, so even when severe timing is required in a sound game, for example, the touch finger movements are read quickly and accurately.

I don't get angry at the phone anymore, but on the other hand, I can no longer put the blame on the phone.

Xperia 5 II

HS Power Control is a useful feature when you are playing games at home. If you have the cable connected to the Xperia 5 II, you can power the device directly without charging the battery. Instead of being charged, the battery will not be drained and you won't have to worry about the device getting hot and slowing down the game.

This is a great feature for those who play games for long hours and are concerned about battery degradation.

Xperia 5 II

In Focus Settings, you can turn off your phone's notifications, stop phone calls, lock the navigation bar, disable Auto-Brightness, SideSense, the Camera Key, and more.

If you don't want to deal with the details, just turn on Competition Set and turn it all off in one fell swoop. Turn off all notifications until you're done playing the game, and you're truly immersed in the game.

Xperia 5 II

Other features include Search, which searches YouTube and the web for strategy information on the game you're playing, Touch Area Settings, which disables the areas of the screen where your finger is likely to touch during a game to prevent unwanted motion, and Record, which allows you to use the front camera to record a play-by-play of the game while recording it.

It's no exaggeration to say that Xperia 5 II has everything a gamer could ever want.

Xperia 5 II

The audio features have also been enhanced with DSEE Ultimate, a new high-resolution equivalent upscaling system.

Thanks to the front-facing speakers, which were sideways in the Xperia 5, you can now enjoy a more immersive experience while playing a game as the sound is now in front of you.

Also, the 3.5mm earphone jack, which was not available on the Xperia 5, is back! It reduces left to right sound mixing to about a tenth of the level of conventional wired systems, and you won't have to worry about delays in gameplay.

Xperia 5 II

One thing that I found very concerning is the physical button that has been added to the side, apart from the camera shutter button.

This is called the "Google Assistant Key" and when you press and hold it down, the Google Assistant will launch.

I honestly wonder if this is something that needs to be physically keyed when you can call it up with a long press on the home button.

I dare say the benefits include not having to say OK, Google out loud, or being able to launch Google Assistant from sleep. At the very least, I thought it would be fun to have a wider range of uses if you could set up your favorite apps on these physical keys, but that''s not possible either. I felt like it didn't add up.

Also, in terms of details, there is no support for One seg or Full seg to receive digital terrestrial TV, which was on the Xperia 5.

Xperia 5 II

Compared to its predecessor Xperia 5, the Xperia 5 II has improved performance in terms of processor, more memory, storage, new 5G support, and more entertainment features such as cameras, audio, and gaming.

The loss of wireless charging is a pain, but with the return of the earphone jack and a generous 4,000mAh battery capacity, the model is now a flagship despite its compact body.

This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.