Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact

Sony announced three new Xperia Z5 smartphones at IFA 2015 (soon to be four - see Connectivity & extras below), so how do you know which is for you? We walk you through the differences between the Xperia Z5, Z5 Premium and Z5 Compact to help you choose which Sony Xperia Z5 phone is the one for you. For more in-depth information also see our Sony Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium hands-on reviews.

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: Price and UK availability

None of Sony's Xperia Z5 Android phone are available to buy right now. The Z5 and Z5 Compact will go on sale in the UK in October, and the Z5 Premium in November. Final pricing has not yet been announced, but it's likely that you'll pay around £450, £550 and £650 for Sony's small, medium and large Z5s respectively. For more details see our release date and price articles for the Z5, Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium.

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: Build and design

The Sony Xperia Z5 line-up has a familiar design that runs through the range, but with some necessary differences in size and weight, as well as some different colours and finishes.

The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact is obviously the smallest in the Z5 line-up. It measures 65x127x8.9mm, weighs 138g and comes in white, graphite black, yellow and coral. In common with the standard Sony Xperia Z5 it has a frosted glass rear cover, and on all three Sony's the iconic circular power button is now flat and rectangular.

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: What's the difference between Sony's new Xperia Z5 phones?

The standard Sony Xperia Z5 is also available in white and graphite black, but swaps the Compact's yellow and coral for gold and green. It's a little wider and taller, but thinner, at 72x146x7.3mm. The Sony Xperia Z5 weighs 154g. See all smartphone reviews.

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: What's the difference between Sony's new Xperia Z5 phones?

The biggest model in the Xperia Z5 line-up is the Z5 Premium, which comes with a chrome, gold or black mirrored finish. It's both larger and chunkier than the standard Z5, matching the Compact on width. The Z5 Premium measures 76x154x8.9mm and weighs 180g.

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: What's the difference between Sony's new Xperia Z5 phones?

All three Sony's are waterproof (IP68) and at last feature a fingerprint scanner, plus a microSD slot that can accept up to 200GB.

Their batteries are not removable, but capacity increases as you move up the range: the Compact has 2700mAh, the standard Z5 2900mAh and the Premium 3430mAh. Don't expect to see a massive difference in battery life, however, given the differences in the screen and hardware, which we'll come on to next. Also see: Best Android phones 2015.

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: Display

The display is a key difference between the three Sony Xperia Z5s. All three house Triluminos IPS displays, which are known for their excellent viewing angles and realistic colours, plus X-Reality tech and dynamic contrast enhancement, but they differ both in size and resolution.

The Sony Xperia Z5 has the smallest, lowest-resolution screen, 4.76in with an HD resolution of 720x1280. The middle model has a 5.2in full-HD screen, with 1080x1920 pixels. Also see: Best smartphones 2015.

Largest in the range is the Z5 Premium, with a 5.5in super-high-resolution screen - Sony has not plumped for Quad HD like many of its rivals but Ultra HD. The Premium's 2160x3840 pixels translate to a whopping pixel density of 806ppi, making this the first smartphone to feature a 4K screen.

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: Core hardware

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: What's the difference between Sony's new Xperia Z5 phones?

Save for the amount of RAM, with 2- rather than 3GB in the Compact model, all three Sony Xperia Z5s feature the same core hardware. That means a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, Adreno 430 graphics and up to 32GB of internal storage, which can be bolstered some 200GB via microSD.

We can't comment on performance until we've had a chance to properly test each smartphone in our lab. There is unlikely to be a great difference between the phones, but with a less demanding screen to power we wouldn't be surprised to find the best performance coming from the standard Xperia Z5. It will be interesting to see what difference is made by the Compact featuring just 2GB of RAM also. Also see: What's the fastest smartphone 2015?

Sony says you should expect up to two day's battery life from each phone.

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: Connectivity and extras

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: What's the difference between Sony's new Xperia Z5 phones?

The Sony Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium are all single-SIM (Nano-SIM) 4G phones, although a Sony Xperia Z5 Dual (dual-SIM) is coming soon. Also see: Best dual-SIM phones

You'll also find aGPS, Bluetooth 4.1, DLNA, Wi-Fi plus MIMO, MHL 3.0 and NFC, and the aforementioned fingerprint scanner. Sony's three Xperia Z5s each support PS4 Remote Play, and they feature S-Force front-facing stereo speakers with support for high-res audio.

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: Cameras

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: What's the difference between Sony's new Xperia Z5 phones?

No matter which Sony Xperia Z5 you choose, it will have the same 1/2.3in 23Mp Sony Exmor RS rear- and 5Mp 25mm wide-angle lens front camera setup. This is upgraded over the 21Mp camera previously found in the Sony Xperia Z-series.

The primary camera can focus in 0.03 seconds, according to Sony, and features 5x optical and 8x digital zoom, a Pulse LED flash, a 24mm wide-angle G Lens, SteadyShot stabilisation, and can operate up to ISO 12800 (3200 for video). This camera is capable of 4K video recording, too. Also see: Best phone camera 2015

Sony Xperia Z5 vs Xperia Z5 Premium vs Xperia Z5 Compact: Software

Also the same across the range is the software preinstalled on the new Sony Xperia Z5s. All run Google Android 5.1 Lollipop and will feature the same Sony tweaks.

Read next: Best new phones coming in 2015.

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Sony Xperia Z5: Specs

  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 5.2in Triluminos Display IPS (1080x1920, 424ppi)
  • 2.2GHz Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU
  • Adreno 430 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage
  • microSD slot (up to 200GB)
  • 23Mp rear camera AF with LED Flash
  • 5Mp front camera
  • Video recording at up to 2160p
  • Wi-Fi up tp 11.ac
  • Bluetooth
  • NFC
  • 4G LTE Cat 6
  • Nano-SIM
  • 2900mAh battery
  • Dust and waterproof (IP68)
  • 72x146x7.3mm
  • 154g
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 5.2in Triluminos Display IPS (1080x1920, 424ppi)
  • 2.2GHz Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU
  • Adreno 430 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage
  • microSD slot (up to 200GB)
  • 23Mp rear camera AF with LED Flash
  • 5Mp front camera
  • Video recording at up to 2160p
  • Wi-Fi up tp 11.ac
  • Bluetooth
  • NFC
  • 4G LTE Cat 6
  • Nano-SIM
  • 2900mAh battery
  • Dust and waterproof (IP68)
  • 72x146x7.3mm
  • 154g

OUR VERDICT

The desire for a smaller phone shouldn't mean you have to compromise on its hardware or specification, and that's something Sony has absolutely nailed with its Xperia Z line-up. Whether you want a small-, medium- or large phone you'll get almost the same deal. With what we expect will be very little difference in performance, your buying choice very much comes down to what size phone you need and how much you have to spend - with the Z3 and Z3 Compact we found with its similar specification but significantly lower price the Compact actually offered the best value. If you want the absolute latest in tech then you'll be attracted to Sony's Xperia Z5 Premium and its 4K screen, but unless that's very important to you or you want a larger screen, we don't think you'll notice the difference enough to make it warrant the extra cost.