The main issue It occurred to me that Sony’s 2023 flagship smartphone, the Xperia 1 V, was simply too expensive for what it offered. So here we are with the cheaper Xperia 5 V (pronounced: Five five). However, it’s hardly an “affordable” smartphone – it still costs £850 (around $1,000), about £450 less than its bigger brother.
The good news is that this new Sony phone is a well-rounded thing, with a silly name, a classy design and a unique feature set. It offers high-end specs while still targeting the content creator niche squarely with photo and video features that go over most people’s heads. Compared to similarly priced Android phones, it lags behind in some ways, but at least it offers better value for money than the Xperia 1 V. It’s a shame it’s not coming to the US.
Sony’s signature rectangular profile is a look that dates back over a decade to the first Android phones, but the Xperia range has gotten taller and slimmer over the years. Some describe it as compact, but the Xperia 5 V is significantly heavier and taller than an iPhone 15 or Samsung Galaxy S23. It’s just narrower than both. This makes it easier to use with one hand, but the keyboard feels a bit cramped in portrait format.
This glass sandwich is available in black, blue, or platinum (gray), but the back of the Xperia 5 V is smooth and matte and doesn’t have the grippy texture of its more expensive counterpart. But just like the There is an IP65/IP68 dust and water resistance rating to survive immersion in water and Sony uses Gorilla Glass Victus for the glass, making it tough enough. However, many phones in this price range have been upgraded to the slightly harder Victus 2.
One of the Xperia 1 V’s biggest drawbacks is the display, but I don’t think most people will have any issues with this 6.1-inch OLED. The 2,520 x 1,080 pixel resolution is sharp, and the screen gets bright enough to be readable outdoors if you avoid direct sunlight. It still features Sony’s preferred 21:9 aspect ratio, with room for bezels and front-facing speakers at the top and bottom, making it good for watching movies (though there’s no Sony’s Creator Mode for one faithful color reproduction). The refresh rate is 60Hz by default, but you can switch it to 120Hz for a smoother experience at the expense of battery life (a trade-off that’s worth it).
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor with 8GB of RAM delivers flagship performance. It feels responsive, jumping in and out of apps with ease and running games like Asphalt 9: Legends And The Origins of Kingdom Rush For hours without complaint. The Xperia 5 V gets warm during long gaming sessions or when recording videos, but not worryingly. Just 128GB of storage is disappointing, but Sony mitigates this by including a microSD card slot, a rarity on high-end phones these days.
Battery life is a strength. The 5,000mAh cell got me through even the busiest of days, and if you use Sony’s Stamina mode, you could go two days between charges. Half an hour of charging was enough to add 50 percent, but the Xperia 5 V took almost two hours to fully charge, which is quite slow compared to the competition. Charging reaches maximum power at 30 watts and slows down as the phone gets warm. Luckily, there is support for wireless charging.
Sony’s image sensors account for a significant portion of the company’s profits. The company makes far more money supplying camera sensors to other manufacturers, including Apple, than it does selling its own Xperia range. The camera system in the Xperia 5 V is strong, with the same 52MP main camera and 12MP ultra-wide camera as the Zoom and produces a slightly sharper photo than standard digital zoom.