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article imageXperia Z5: Sony unveils the world's first 4K smartphone

By James Walker     Sep 2, 2015 in Technology
Sony has unveiled its new flagship smartphone range, the Xperia Z5, at the IFA trade show in Berlin. Three different models have been announced, including one which now holds the record as the first phone to boast a 4K display.
The range, still using traditional Sony Xperia design, covers the 5.2-inch Xperia Z5, 4.6-inch Xperia Z5 Compact and 5.5-inch Xperia Z5 Premium. The ordinary Z5 has a 1080p display while the smaller Z5 Compact makes do with a 720p unit. Only the larger Premium model is equipped with the ground-breaking 3860x2160 resolution 4K display.
The phone can playback 4K content directly to compatible TVs and can also upscale existing content so that it looks its best on the extremely high-resolution display. The screen has four times as many pixels as the Full HD 1080p panels that are still popular on phones and TVs, although other flagship smartphones this year have been using 2K ultra-high definition displays.
1080p gives a typical pixel density of around 400ppi (pixels-per-inch) while a 2K display will usually be around 550ppi. Sony's 4K panel is rated at 806ppi.
In practice, most people probably won't notice the added pixels during day-to-day use. Only once more 4K video is made available for streaming will the panel become beneficial. In the meantime, the extra pixels mean that the processor has to do more work, creating more heat and using extra power.
That processor is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. The octa-core chip is powering all three "Xperia Z5" badged devices and remains the processor of choice for flagship smartphones, despite overheating concerns. It remains to be seen whether the new Sony phones will suffer but updated chip designs are now in use that supposedly end the overheating risk.
Other specifications include 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor built-in to the power button, water and dust resistance and an updated camera. It claims the world's fastest smartphone auto-focus time of just 0.03 seconds, borrowing the phase detection sensors from Sony's range of Alpha cameras.
Battery life varies between model. The Z5 is rated for 2,900mAh, the Z5 Compact 2,700mAh and the Z5 Premium 3,430mAh. Sony claims that the Premium has two days of battery life despite the 4K display but it remains to be seen whether owners will actually be able to achieve this too.
The Z5 and Z5 Compact will get a global launch this October. The Premium edition will follow in November. Pricing and carrier availability are yet to be determined.
More about Sony, Xperia, sony xperia, xperia z5, 4K
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