The Sony Xperia 5 Mark II is yet another Sony flagship phone that inherits most of the top features from the Sony Xperia 1 Mark II and cuts a few corners to drop the price down to match that of most other flagship phones. It’s a handset that’s streamlined for photography rather than matching the competition perk-for-perk.
What does that mean? The Xperia 5 II has the same three rear cameras as the Xperia 1 II along with the complex camera app and, best of all, a dedicated shutter button. The latter is located on the bottom of the right side, and when the phone is rotated to landscape, the button is positioned in easy reach of your right finger.
Otherwise, it’s got a fairly standard array of specs for a flagship in 2020: a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, 8GB of RAM, and either 128GB or 256GB of storage, and a 4,000mAh battery.
The Xperia 5 II’s shortcomings are few: the display is only Full HD Plus resolution compared to the WQHD displays in the Samsung Galaxy S20 line, for instance, and the phone has 5G capabilities but won’t be able to connect to 5G networks in the US (Sony has stated the upcoming Xperia Pro will be the brand’s first 5G-capable phoen in the US).
Sony Xperia 5 II price and release date
The Sony Xperia 5 II price is $949 / £799, coming in a single configuration with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. In the US, T-Mobile and AT&T will support the Xperia 5 II.
We’ve yet to get a specific release date for the Sony Xperia 5 II, but Sony has said it’ll be coming by the end of 2020. We’ll update this in the near future when we hear more about a specific release date.
Design and display
The Xperia 5 II is a smaller version of the Xperia 1 Mark II. It’s got the same narrow 21:9 ratio display, though it’s only 6.1 inches (compared to the Xperia 1 Mark II’s 6.7-inch screen).
While it’s only Full HD Plus resolution, the Xperia 5 II does improve on its larger sibling in another way: its display has a 120Hz refresh rate. While this is good for smoothing out the screen while browsing apps or scrolling down web pages, the phone’s gaming software allows you to tinker with refresh rare even while playing, which is a neat feature seen in few other handsets.
But otherwise, the Xperia 5 II is laid out exactly like its predecessor. On the right edge of the phone are volume buttons on the top and, much farther down, a Google Assistant button (that can be customized for other functions) and the aforementioned shutter button nearly at the bottom.
There’s an enlarged lock button in between, which has a fingerprint sensor in it as Sony hasn’t included an in-screen sensor here.
The phone’s USB-C port is on the bottom and the 3.5mm jack is at the top, letting you charge the phone and listen to audio at the same time, which is nice.
The phone’s back is smooth glass, with the camera block in the top left corner. The phone is set to come in both black and blue, but those seem to be the only shades of the device Sony will be offering.
The Xperia 5 II inherits all of its cameras from the Xperia 1 Mark II: its three rear cameras and single front-facing camera.
The three rear cameras are all 12MP shooters: a main camera simulating a 24mm lens, and ultrawide camera simulating a 16mm lens, and a telephoto simulating a 70mm lens.
There’s a single 8MP front-facing camera. Like other Xperia phones, it’s located in a solid black bar at the top of the phone – that means there’s no notch for the Xperia 5 II.
Performance and battery
The Xperia 5 II packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, 8GB of RAM, and either 128GB or 256GB of storage. Some markets are restricted to just one variant though, so there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to buy each version.
Sony says the device will debut with Android 10 software, and when asked the company wasn’t able to confirm when it’ll be introducing Android 11 to the handset.
The phone has the same 4,000mAh battery as the Xperia 1 Mark IIK wireless charging.. It does boast fast-charging capabilities, but to get the very best you’ll have to opt for an additional charger. There’s no wireless charging on the Xperia 5 II.
While the phone’s specs are pretty standard, it’s game mode isn’t. In addition to switching screen refresh rates on the spot – including up to a simulated 240Hz setting that splices black frames between the 120Hz renders which supposedly allows the eye to see details clearer – users can tinker around with other settings, like blocking notifications and calls mid-game.
Perhaps the most interesting gaming mode feature is Heat Suppression Power Control, which keeps the phone from heating up during intense gaming sessions by…not using the battery. The phone just runs off the cord – leaving it unclear if the phone will automatically switch to battery should the phone suddenly become unplugged.