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Sony Ericsson XPERIA mini and mini pro get official

Sony Ericsson has announced the XPERIA mini and the mini pro, apparently the smallest HD smartphones in the world. The Android 2.3 Gingerbread handsets can shoot 720p HD video, and use Sony’s BRAVIA engine along with Sony Ericsson’s custom UI. The XPERIA mini is touch-only, but the mini pro has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

Behind the 3-inch 320 x 480 scratch-resistant touchscreen there’s a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 320MB of storage and a microSD card slot (a 2GB card will be included). There’s also quadband GSM/EDGE, UMTS/HSDPA, WiFi, AGPS, Bluetooth, an FM radio and a 3.5mm headphones socket. On the back is a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus, face-detection and an LED flash. A bigger, 1200mAh battery than the last-gen mini adds up to 30-percent longer runtimes.

The four shortcut corners of the original X10 mini have been retained, but each now acts as a shortcut area for four icons, in what Sony Ericsson is calling 4×4. That, along with auto-correction on both devices, adds up to what the company reckons is the performance and usability of larger Android phones, but in a very pocket-friendly form factor.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA mini will go on sale in August 2011 in a choice of white, black, blue and dark pink. The XPERIA mini pro, meanwhile, will drop at the same time in white, black, pink and turquoise. Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but we already know Vodafone UK will be ranging the mini pro.

Press Release:

Sony Ericsson unveils next-generation XPERIA minis

05 May 2011

Introducing two powerful, versatile and compact smartphones

Xperia™ mini – the world’s smallest HD video recording smartphone

Xperia™ mini pro –intuitive fast messaging in a compact smartphone

May 5th, 2011, London – Sony Ericsson unveils the new Xperia™ mini and Xperia™ mini pro, the latest additions to its Xperia™ family. Building on the success of the original mini series, these innovative smartphones come packed full of features, powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™ processor, and run the latest platform of Google’s Android™ – Gingerbread 2.3. Beautifully designed, Xperia™ mini and Xperia™ mini pro both integrate best-in-class imaging and display technology from Sony, including Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine and HD video recording (720p).

The products offer a full multimedia entertainment experience. Xperia™ mini and Xperia™ mini pro enable access to over 150,000 apps on the Android Market™ and has a 3″ scratch-resistant, multi-touch glass screen. The improved user interface allows up to 16 apps displayed on the home screen. Facebook inside Xperia™, a feature just announced for the Xperia™ family, provides a unique social media integration.

Xperia™ mini pro brings the optimized slide-out keyboard with smart functionality first seen on the Xperia™ pro to a compact smartphone. A subtle but fast Type & Send functionality eliminates the need to open a dedicated app for each type of message, and Smart Keyboard triggers predictive messaging actions automatically when the user slides out the keyboard. Xperia™ mini pro also comes pre-loaded with Office Suite and McAfee antivirus software, letting consumers manage documents and e-mails instantly and securely while on the move.

Steve Walker, Head of Marketing, Sony Ericsson said, “We wanted to provide consumers even greater choice across the Xperia™ range, while building on the success of the original mini series. These turbo-charged smartphones now contain even more power, enhanced functionality, a larger screen and premium features unique to Sony Ericsson. They are packed full of features, making them a perfect choice for consumers looking for all the benefits of Android and Sony in a beautiful and easy to use compact form factor.”

Sony Ericsson Xperia™ mini – Key features

World’s smallest Android™ smartphone with HD video recording

Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine

Place up to 16 apps in the corners of your home screen

Over 150,000 apps on Android Market™

Facebook inside. Keeping your friends closer

Sony Ericsson Xperia™ mini pro – Key features

Ergonomic keyboard and smart functions for fast messaging

HD video and Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine

Synch your email and view office documents safely on the go

Place up to 16 apps in the corners of your home screen

Over 150,000 apps on Android Market™

Sony Ericsson Xperia™ mini pro and Xperia™ mini with HD will be available globally in selected markets from Q3.

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Corsair K65 Pro Mini Review: Mini Keyboard That Nails The Basics

Pros

Fast optical switches

Intelligent layout and function layer

Solid components

Almost all options available without software

Cons

Expensive

Sound dampening is ineffective

Our Verdict

For gamers who want a compact, wired board that’s all about speed, the K65 Mini Pro is the best around. It’s a bit pricey and the internal foam isn’t doing much, but solid hardware and an excellent layout push it above the competition.

Best Prices Today: Corsair K65 Pro Mini keyboard

Retailer

Price

Have you looked at the market for mechanical mini gaming keyboards lately? You might think that’s a pretty small niche, but it’s absolutely swarming with competitors from manufacturers both big and small. So, to make its latest itty-bitty keyboard, the K65 Pro Mini, stand out, Corsair did…well, not a lot, at least at first glance. 

But looks can be deceiving. While the K65 Pro Mini doesn’t wow you with flashy gimmicks or an eye-catching design, it nails the basics and includes some features that gamers will love. Optical switches and high-quality materials make a statement all on their own. 

That probably isn’t enough to justify a hefty price tag, especially for such a small board…except that the competition is about the same price. If you’re willing to splurge and you want a solid, straightforward optical design shorn of unnecessary extras, the K65 Mini Pro is a good option.

Design & build

Impressive PBT keybcaps

Fast and precise OPX switches

Sound dampening could be better

The K65 Pro Mini differentiates itself from other mini gaming keyboards with a few specific features. It comes with PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) keycaps as standard, and this is a particularly well-made set with a nice rough texture that’s very grippy during gaming sessions.

The board has foam dampening inside the body, and perhaps most importantly, comes with Corsair’s speedy and semi-proprietary OPX linear optical switches.

The K65’s OPX optical switches are highly specialised for gaming, but cannot be removed or replaced. 

Michael Crider/Foundry

For the uninitiated, optical switches interrupt a beam of light to actuate a key press instead of waiting for a physical connection on an electrical contact. Combined with a smooth linear action, it makes the switches extremely fast and light with no scratches or bumps through the press.

Corsair says this keyboard has two layers of internal sound dampening, proven by the exploded view. But if it’s significantly quieter than other linear boards, I can’t hear it. 

Optical, linear switches are probably the best switches for gaming, at least in purely technical terms. The optical build means this board comes without the hot-swap sockets for true customisation beyond lighting and keycaps, though. For that feature, you’ll need to look at something like the K70 RGB ($129.99/£159.99).

The smartest tweak for usability is that the function layer lights up when you press the Fn key.

But the K65 has other charms. These include the aforementioned PBT keycaps (standard), an impressive 8,000Hz polling rate (for those of you with literally superhuman reflexes) and a solid aluminium top deck.

It also retains a lightweight main body for travelling, alongside a braided, detachable USB-C cable and intelligent layout that’s helpfully illustrated by both the keycaps and lighting system. Between that and the forgiving 65% layout with arrow keys, it might be the mini keyboard with the least amount of adjustment time. 

Let me show you what I mean. See how the default position of the Delete key is right next to the key, only a few millimetres away from where it is on a standard layout? That leaves the far less-used Page Up and Page Down to be physically shifted.

Media and volume keys are all clustered in the bottom-right corner, so they’re easy to manipulate with one hand. The Print Screen key is matched to Fn+P, an obvious choice that a shocking number of smaller keyboards simply don’t make. It’s good stuff. And all this is clearly visible on the default keycaps. 

Michael Crider/Foundry

But the smartest tweak for usability is that the function layer lights up when you press the Fn key, instantly showing you which keys do what, and leaving the unused keys dark. It’s a great little way to give you an instant refresh on functions, even in the dark. 

Other features

Lots of features via iCue companion software

Custom macros, custom profiles, lighting effects, PlayStation mode

No ability to move Fn button

Speaking of lighting, the K65 can do all the usual bells and whistles, and then some, through Corsair’s iCue software.

iCue is frankly a little clunky, but once you’ve assigned any custom layout and effect you want, there’s no reason to go back. Since this is a wired board, there’s no reason to turn down the lights or that fancy 8,000Hz polling. 

Michael Crider/Foundry

But Corsair has an impressive range of features on the keyboard itself. Indeed, most of the important functions can be accessed without iCue installed at all.

Custom macros can be programmed and cleared from the keys alone. Up to 50 custom profiles can be saved on the keyboard’s local memory, cycled through with Fn+Z by default. You can even save up to 20 on-board lighting effects, all of which are selectable and adjustable via the keyboard hardware.

You also get PlayStation mode for the PS4 or PS5 – just press Fn+Win for five seconds to enable it.

Michael Crider/Foundry

The only thing you can’t do, with or without the iCue software, is move the Fn button. That was a big detraction for me on the similar-sized K70, but it’s less of an issue here thanks to the extra keys.

So, you won’t have to re-learn the placement of arrow controls, but I still long for a day when you can easily move the Fn button on a mainstream keyboard. It’s already straightforward on specialised versions with VIA compatibility.

As for other gripes, they’re few and far between. I wish the keyboard feet were double-staged for a slightly higher profile, and maybe that a wrist rest was included for the price. But there’s not much to dislike here.

Price & availability

Talking of price, the K65 Pro Mini doesn’t come cheap.

It’ll set you back $129.99/£129 when paying full price, from Corsair and Best Buy in the US or Corsair and Amazon in the UK.

That makes it one of the more premium keyboards around, but it’s not extortionately priced for everything you’re getting here.

Michael Crider/Foundry

Verdict

Assuming a super-fast optical setup is what you want, and you don’t care about some high-end features, the the K65 Pro Mini is a great compact keyboard.

It offers an excellent typing feel and intelligent layout choices. Also, the fact that you can access so many functions without the iCue companion software is a big plus.

I wish it was cheaper, but you could say the same about almost any gaming keyboard these days. It’s still in line with the competition, and likely to be on sale at some point in the future.

But unless you’re feeling frugal, you probably won’t regret buying the K65 Pro Mini right now.

M2 Pro Mac Mini You Can Buy

What sets the all-new Mac mini apart from the rest is the ability to deliver a solid punch despite being available at a comparatively affordable price point. Even better, the mini also offers you the full freedom to choose a preferred monitor, mouse, and keyboard for a more personalized experience.

Having already hand-picked the top-notch mice, we have now set our sights on the best keyboards for M2/M2 Pro Mac mini. So, if you are yet to pick a matching wireless keyboard for Mac mini 2023, now is the right to get exploring!

Best Wireless Keyboards for M2/M2 Pro Mac Mini

When you have a ton of good-looking keyboards at your disposal, it becomes a bit difficult to choose only the 5 best. Having put qualities like durability, smooth typing, and hassle-free pairing at the forefront, I have chosen the following Bluetooth keyboards. Hopefully, you may find them in line with your taste. 

Should you need a full-size premium keyboard for your new Mac mini, I would recommend you check out Apple Magic Keyboard. The keyboard features an extended layout with navigation controls. Moreover, it also features arrow keys designed to boost gaming.

Apple Magic Keyboard: Wireless, Bluetooth, Rechargeable. Works with Mac, iPad, or iPhone; US English – White

WIRELESS, RECHARGEABLE CONVENIENCE — Magic Keyboard connects wirelessly to your Mac, iPad, or iPhone via Bluetooth. And the rechargeable internal battery means no loose batteries to replace.

WORKS WITH MAC, IPAD, OR IPHONE — It pairs quickly with your device so you can get to work right away.

ENHANCED TYPING EXPERIENCE — Magic Keyboard delivers a remarkably comfortable and precise typing experience.

GO WEEKS WITHOUT CHARGING — The incredibly long-lasting internal battery will power your keyboard for about a month or more between charges. (Battery life varies by use.) Comes with a woven USB-C to Lightning Cable that lets you pair and charge by connecting to a USB-C port on your Mac or iPad.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS — Requires a Mac with macOS 11.3 or later, an iPad with iPadOS 14.5 or later, or an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 14.5 or later.

Another thing that makes the Magic Keyboard stand out is the scissor mechanism that enhances stability. Thanks to the tactile keys and low profile design, it’s able to provide a more comfortable typing experience. On top of all, the keyboard offers a long battery life so that you can work with the needed peace of mind without having to worry about charging it repeatedly.

If I were to pick a keyboard that can give Apple’s offering a long run, Logitech MX would be my go-to pick. Fully optimized to work with macOS, this Bluetooth keyboard has a Mac key layout to ensure you have a more seamless typing experience. The well-spaced keys offer much-needed feedback for smooth sailing typing.

Sale

Logitech MX Keys Advanced Wireless Illuminated Keyboard for Mac, Backlit LED Keys, Bluetooth,USB-C, MacBook Pro/Air,iMac, iPad Compatible, Metal Build – With Free Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription

Designed for Mac: Compatible with Apple MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac & iPad models.

MASTERED FOR MAC – MX Keys for Mac is optimized for macOS, iPad compatible, finished in Space Gray – and features a Mac key layout

PERFECT STROKE KEYS – Spherically dished keys are crafted for the shape of your fingertips – and feature a Mac key layout. A row of Fn keys can be customized for your specific creative workflow

COMFORT, STABILITY, MINIMALISM –Confidently type on a keyboard crafted for comfort, precision, and remarkable stability. The aesthetic minimalism and timeless construction fit perfectly with your Mac setup

SMART ILLUMINATION – Backlit keys light up the moment your hands approach and automatically adjust to suit changing lighting conditions

What’s more, the backlit keys automatically light up in accordance with the changing lighting conditions. Once fully charged, the Logitech MX can last up to 10 which makes it a great pick for folks who prefer to have a long battery life.

Macally is the sort of wireless keyboard for Mac that aims to offer the best of both worlds – an impressive typing experience and a comparatively low price point. So, if you want to have a high-quality keyboard for M2 or M2 Pro Mac mini without having to spend a lot of money, go for Macally keyboard.

Sale

Macally Premium Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for Mac, iMac, MacBook, Mac Pro – Compatible Apple Wireless Keyboard for Mac Mini, MacBook Pro/Air Laptop – Rechargeable Full-Size Wireless Mac Keyboard

PAIR UP TO 3 BLUETOOTH DEVICES: In seconds you can seamlessly pair the Apple Wireless Keyboard to any macOS or iOS Bluetooth enabled device. Multi sync with your Macbook, iPad, or iPhone.

RELIABLE WIRELESS CONNECTION – Enjoy a stable connection with our mac keyboard which comes with a micro USB cable, user manual, 18-month warranty, and our friendly customer service.

COMFORTABLE TYPING WITH FULL SIZE LAYOUT – This bluetooth keyboard for mac features scissor switch keycaps (laptop style) for the ultimate responsive touch and quiet typing, 21 shortcut keys preset to support Mac and iOS platform, and 17-key numeric keypad to quickly and efficiently enter long sequences of numbers.

ULTRA-SLIM AND CLEAN DESIGN – This budget friendly Apple keyboard with numeric keypad alternative features a cordless low profile design that will transform your workspace into a simple and clean layout.

RECHARGEABLE MAC WIRELESS KEYBOARD – Built-in 650mAh rechargeable Lithium-ion battery lasts up to 2 months with no need to replace battery and can recharged with the included USB cable.

The keyboard sports a low profile with responsive keys. Hence, you will have a convenient typing experience. Furthermore, you can also count on it to deliver a solid battery life.

If budget is not a problem, I would suggest you give serious consideration to Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch ID. Thanks to the durable construction and neat finish, it looks premium in all aspects. Designed to deliver a more convenient and precise typing experience, the wireless keyboard has very tactile keys.

Sale

Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch ID: Wireless, Bluetooth, Rechargeable. Works with Mac Computers with Apple Silicon; US English – White Keys

WIRELESS, RECHARGEABLE CONVENIENCE — Magic Keyboard with Touch ID connects wirelessly to your Mac via Bluetooth. And the rechargeable internal battery means no loose batteries to replace.

WORKS WITH ANY MAC WITH APPLE SILICON — It pairs automatically with your Mac with Apple silicon so you can get to work right away. See the list of compatible devices above. Requires a Mac with Apple silicon using macOS 11.4 or later.

ENHANCED TYPING EXPERIENCE — Magic Keyboard delivers a remarkably comfortable and precise typing experience.

QUICK UNLOCK WITH TOUCH ID — Touch ID gives you a fast, easy, secure way to unlock your Mac and sign in to apps and sites.

GO WEEKS WITHOUT CHARGING — The incredibly long-lasting internal battery will power your keyboard for about a month or more between charges. (Battery life varies by use.) Comes with a woven USB-C to Lightning Cable that lets you pair and charge by connecting to a USB-C port on your Mac.

Notably, it pairs automatically with your Mac. Thus, you won’t have to bother about pairing it with your macOS device again and again. Additionally, it can last for several hours after being fully charged. As for the Touch ID, it works like a charm for unlocking your Mac and also authenticating purchases. Everything considered; it deserves to be rated as one of the finest keyboards for Mac mini 2023.

How about going for a combo pack – a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard at an incredibly low price point? If you are hunting for a reasonably good Bluetooth keyboard along with a decent mouse for your Mac mini without having to shell out much money, this offering from DC could be a smart choice.

Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Compatible with iMac MacBook Windows Computer and Android Tablets

Top Keyboards Listed for Your All-New Mac 

So, that concludes this accessory roundup. I hope your search for a top-notch keyboard for the brand-new Mac mini has finally met with the ideal choice. By the way, would you like to let me know the wireless keyboard that is all set to pair with your Mac? And yes, if you know any other keyboard that deserves a mention in this lineup, do not forget to share its name either. 

Read more: How to Customize Siri Responses in macOS 13 Ventura on Mac

Ipad Pro, Retina Macbook Air, And Mac Mini Video Review Roundup

Over the past few days, reviews for Apple’s latest iPad Pros, MacBook Air, and Mac mini have started rolling in. While we’ve rounded up all of the written reviews for each of the new products, there are also a slew of video reviews available as well…

Retina MacBook Air Video Reviews:

Leading the way today is the new Retina MacBook Air. For CNET, Dan Ackerman takes a close look at the differences between the latest MacBook Air, its predecessor, the 12-inch MacBook, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro. He also touches upon the third-generation Butterfly keyboard, which also includes Touch ID support despite the lack of a Touch Bar.

Meanwhile, iJustine walked through the unboxing experience of the new gold Retina MacBook Air. Like earlier unboxing videos showed, the MacBook Air includes color-matched Apple stickers, as well as a 30W power brick. iJustine also offers a neat look at how the new MacBook Air compares to the old 11-inch model.

Jason Snell’s look at the new MacBook Air is also worth a watch, as he offers a detailed look at the sizing differences between the new model and its predecessor.

Here are a handful of the early Retina MacBook Air video reviews to hit the web: 

iPad Pro Video Reviews:

Early iPad Pro reviews have also started hitting YouTube over the last few days. One of the more interesting videos comes from Ian Barnard, who unboxes the new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and then takes a look at how the new devices work for an artist. For instance, he notes that the double-tap functionality on the Pencil to switch between brush functionality is useful in theory, but it’s not always reliable for in-the-moment use.

In his unboxing and setup look at the new iPad Pros, YouTuber Karl Conrad offers a close look at how the 12.9-inch and 11-inch models compare in size. Conrad also shows off the new 18W power brick included with the iPad Pro, as well as the lack of color-matched Apple stickers.

In CNET’s review, Scott Stein notes that the new iPad Pro “doubles down” on what it’s good at, but says it’s still not perfect, nor is it designed for everyone. Perhaps most notable is Stein’s comparison between the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the last-gen model. The difference between the two in terms of size and bezel is incredibly jarring.

Here are a handful of the early iPad Pro video reviews to hit the web: 

Mac mini Video Reviews:

Last but certainly not least is the brand new Mac mini. In his video review of the new Mac mini, Marco Arment does an excellent job of explaining how the Mac mini’s target market has shifted in recent years, further detailing the many different use cases for the machine.

Jason Snell offers a look at the wide-array of ports offered on the new Mac mini, which include Gigabit Ethernet, four Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, 2 USB-A, and a headphone jack. Snell also notes that the Mac mini is identical to its predecessor in terms of form factor, which is crucial to those who use the machine in modular setups.

Lastly, iJustine shows off editing using Final Cut Pro on the new Mac mini. She also offers a great look at how the Mac mini works paired with Apple’s space gray Magic Trackpad and Magic Keyboard, as well as LG’s 4K USB-C display.

Here are a handful of the early Mac mini video reviews to hit the web: 

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New Lenovo Yoga Pro 9I Laptop Features 165Hz Mini

In fact, none of the six new Windows 11 devices in the Yoga lineup can turn into a tablet. That might sound like a bad thing, but it’s simply not necessary on creator-focused Yoga Pro laptops. 

They’re headlined by the Pro 9i, the most powerful Yoga laptop Lenovo has ever made. Available in 14.5in or 16in models, it’s equipped with 13th-gen Intel Core CPUs (i5-13505H, i7-13705H or i9-13905H) and DDR5 RAM ranging from 16- to 64GB. 

But it’s the discrete GPUs that are arguably more exciting. While the cheapest 14.5in version uses Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, all other configurations feature Nvidia RTX 40 Series graphics – 4050, 4060 or 4070. It’s no wonder Lenovo says it’s suitable for demanding tasks such as 3D modelling and graphic design.

Lenovo

However, those are specs you’ll find on several high-end laptops. What you don’t often see are Mini-LED displays, which generally strike a good balance between contrast and brightness. Lenovo claims a maximum of 1200 nits here, which is some four times brighter than some budget laptops. 

Lenovo also has one eye on the environment, with half of the aluminium in the back cover and plastic in the keyboard made from recycled materials. The keyboard’s keys have 1.5mm of key travel and a large trackpad, with a separate numberpad the only addition on the 16in version. 

Other key features include a 5Mp webcam with electronic shutter, quad microphones and a 75Wh battery. You also get plenty of ports: 1x USB-C, 2x USB-A, HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack and full-size SD card reader. 

But with starting prices of $1,699.99 (approx. £1,380) for the 14.5in and $1,799.99 (approx. £1,460) for the 16in respectively, you’ll need deep pockets once they arrive in May in North America. A release date elsewhere is yet to be confirmed. 

Yoga 7 range

If your budget can’t quite stretch that far, Lenovo has plenty of more affordable options. There are no fewer than seven Yoga 7-branded models, and it’s worth briefly exploring what each brings to the table. 

It’s only available with a 14.5in IPS display, but you can choose between 2560×1600 at 90Hz or 3072×1920 at 120Hz. You drop down to a 73Wh hour battery, but fast charging support means just 15 minutes of being plugged into the mains should be able to give you you up to three hours of use. 

The new Yoga Pro 7i

Lenovo

The $1,449.99 (approx. £1,180) Yoga Pro 7 is identical to the 7i in many ways, but there’s one key exception. It shifts to AMD CPUs, with a choice of four high-end chips from the latest Ryzen 7000 HS Series. Cheaper models use integrated Radeon graphics as a result, but you can still step up to the RTX 3050 or 4050. It’ll be available in North America from July. 

For a similar price in Europe, you’ll be able to get the Yoga Slim 7 (from €1,499, approx. $1,615/£1,315) in June. As the name suggests, it’s relatively thin and light for a 14.5 (OLED, 90Hz) laptop, at 13.9mm and 1.35kg respectively. You also get AMD Ryzen processors here (Lenovo hasn’t specified which ones), but integrated Radeon graphics are your only option here. 

Then there’s the regular Yoga 7i and Yoga 7, both of which are available in 14in or 16in sizes. Prices here start at $749.99 (approx. £610), so they’re much more affordable. Release dates vary between April and May, while the latter is when you can get your hands on the Yoga Slim 6 – it starts at €899 (approx. $970/£790). 

It can be hard to keep track of the wide variety of Yoga devices Lenovo releases every year, but the company is catering to a range of different budgets with its latest lineup.

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Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Review

Our Verdict

A 4K smartphone might seem like something you want but you really don’t need it and it’s an expensive card to play in order to trump your mates. The device is also big, uncomfortable and brash. Hardware is the same as the regular Z5 so it really comes down to the screen, which doesn’t even display 4K much of the time. We strongly recommend steering clear of the Premium which is this year’s most unnecessary phone and sticking to the regular Z5 or one its alternatives.

One of the surprise announcements of IFA 2024, back in September, was Sony’s Xperia Z5 Premium which is the first 4K smartphone to make the light of day. After some proper time with the new phone, here’s our full and in-depth Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review.

Also see: Best Black Friday Phone Deals

Also announced at IFA 2024 by Sony was the Sony Xperia Z5 and the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact. Sony faces tough competition in the smartphone market and the unique selling point of the Premium is something which it helps will differentiate it from rivals such as Apple and Samsung.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Price and competition

As you might expect from the world’s first 4K phone, the price of the Xperia Z5 Premium lives up to its name. Sony’s official price for the handset is a whopping £629. This makes it one of the most expensive phones on the market along with the iPhone 6S Plus which costs up to £789 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ which can set you back up to £719 – the Z5 Premium doesn’t even include headphones either.

You’re better off buying the Xperia Z5 Premium elsewhere as Clove is selling it for £600 with free accessories while Amazon has it for a fairly reasonable £576.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Design and build

This is the most recognisable of the Z5 range with since it’s the largest of the three and, oh yeah, it’s shiny mirrored finish. The device will be available in Chrome, Gold and Black options and we took a look at the very bling Chrome option. Also see: Best MiFi 2024.

It might make the device look fancy and you can check your makeup or do your hair my looking in the back, but you’ll be forever polishing it to get rid of fingerprint marks and smudges which appear the first time you pick it up.

Things go from gleaming to grubby in a matter of seconds so we prefer the frosted glass of the other Z5 phones.

If you can bear owning a phone this shiny then the Z5 Premium has the same design features as its smaller counterparts. This means its waterproof with only a flap to cover the slot which houses the SIM-card and Micro-SD card slot.

It also means the Z5 has a new power button so the iconic round one is gone and has been replaced with a flat rectangle. Sounds a bit boring but it’s because it now has a fingerprint scanner built-in. We’ve tried it out and it’s fast, accurate and is placed on the phone better than any other we’ve seen exactly where your thumb naturally lies.

At 7.8mm, the Premium is a little thicker than the regular Xperia Z5 but it’s not that which we’re worried about. The phone weighs 180g which is pretty colossal and more than other phones with the same screen size – even the brick-like OnePlus 2 is lighter at 175g so this is a serious drawback of the Z5 Premium.

We can understand why Sony has kept the same rectangular shape for the Premium to match the other Z5 phones, but at this size it makes for a rather uncomfortable and unwieldy experience.

A smaller problem is that the volume rocker is situated below the power button which makes it pretty awkward to use. That’s the same as previous Xperia handsets but it’s lower down this time around.

As usual, one of the key selling points is that the Z5 Premium is dust- and waterproof to an IP68 rating which is great to see. There is only one flap, too, making life a lot easier.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: All about the 4K screen and content

Let’s jump straight into the most exciting section of the Xperia Z5 Premium’s spec sheet which is that 4K screen. Sony has skipped Quad HD entirely and is the first manufacturer to bring us a resolution on a phone which most people don’t even have on their TV or computer monitor yet.

That’s right, the Xperia Z5 Premium offers a 2160×3840 resolution on a 5.5in, meaning a jaw dropping pixel density of 806ppi. That beats the Galaxy S6 by a long way which has touts 577ppi.

Sure this phone has some serious top trump credentials in this department and people at the pub might not even believe that it’s Ultra HD but the numbers on the spec sheet make up a very small part of the full picture here.

In comparison with the regular Xperia Z5, the premium model doesn’t have as much brightness available and colours are slightly less punchy – the latter is more a personal thing and I actually prefer it a bit more laid back.

There’s a good reason for this and you can probably guess what it is. Driving all those pixels 100 percent of time would result in a serious dip in both performance and battery life. The other reason is that Android 5.1 Lollipop doesn’t support 4K resolution.

The latest, 6.0 Marshmallow, does and an update is coming but even then it’s designed for up to 640ppi which Google describes as ‘extra-extra-extra-high density’ which is a fair way off the Premium’s 806ppi. When the update does arrive, we doubt Sony will simply remove the downscaling.

So when exactly do you get 4K on the only 4K phone around? Well not often; you need to open Sony’s own Album, and Video apps which will display content in the full resolution. This means you’re most likely to see 4K when viewing photos and videos you’ve captured with the phone. Third party services such as Netflix and YouTube have 4K content but this isn’t what you’ll get on the phone.

Our conclusion on the 4K screen of the Xperia Z5 Premium is that thing can look great on it with excellent amounts of detail. However, it’s extremely limited and really not that different compared to Quad HD phones.

At the moment, 4K on a phone is simply a mismatch and we think the need to downscale proves this.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Other hardware and specs

So is there anything else other than the 4K screen to tempt you to buy the Premium model over the other Z5 phones on the hardware side?

Well not really, the Xperia Z5 Premium also has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage and a Micro-SD card slot for adding up to 200GB more which is the same line-up as the regular Z5 – the Compact is only different with 2GB of RAM.

As you can see below the phone benchmarked almost identical numbers to the regular Z5 due to the downscaling of the resolution. We’ve found the phone to be smooth and responsive in use.

The battery is larger, since there’s more space for it, but battery life is similar to the Z5. The 3430mAh capacity provided five hours and 49 minutes with a score of 3491 in our Geekbench 3 test. Not a bad result but still two or three hours behind the leaders.

As you would expect from a phone which costs over £600, you get a lot of the latest tech on-board. The Z5 Premium features dual-band 11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX, NFC, GPS and support for 4G LTE networks.

Sony has opted against a Type-C reversible USB port for now but that’s not the end of the world at the moment. The Micro-USB port is at least waterproof without a flap but we’d like to see wireless charging included for such a high-end phone.

Like the other Z5 phones, a big addition is the fingerprint scanner. But we don’t mean in size as it’s somehow squeezed into the power button on the size. The scanner is quick and accurate and has the best placement on the device we’ve experienced. It’s even easy to use with the Z5 Premium on a flat surface without picking it up.

It’s also got the same camera which is a new 23Mp sensor with some improvements too such as faster auto focus (just 0.03 seconds according to Sony), x5 digital zoom without a loss of quality and the best low light performance.

We love that Sony has kept the physical two-stage camera button which makes photography that bit easier and feels more professional. The focus is amazingly fast and is easily one of the quickest we’ve seen helping you shoot more freely.

Be default the camera shoots at 8Mp, not the full 23Mp, so that the extra pixels can be used for oversampling. We’re not convinced by the Clear Image Zoom feature and while low light performance is good, the lack of optical stabilisation is a big omission here and something we’d expect Sony to offer.

The camera is very good but just not as good as Sony makes out. At the front is a 5Mp camera which is about as good as you might expect – good but nothing out of the ordinary.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Software

There are new Nexus phones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow now but the Z5 Premium comes pre-loaded with version 5.1 Lollipop. As mentioned earlier, an upgrade will come but we can only review it like it is now.

Sony hasn’t really done much on the software side so it’s really about the design and hardware here. Previous users, and even those coming from a different Android manufacturer will feel at home.

As with previous Xperia phones the user interface is fairly vanilla so Sony has decided to use the stock Android Lollipop notification bar and recent apps menu. But it does add all the Sony style like normal including wallpapers, widgets, floating apps and own-brand apps like Walkman and PlayStation.

All the Sony Xperia Z5 phones come with Xperia Lounge Gold access but they come pre-loaded with some third party apps like OfficeSuite, AVG, Dropbox and Facebook. These do take up space and we’d rather choose what to install but Sony does allow you to uninstall them so it’s not so bad.

Specs Sony Xperia Z5 Premium: Specs

Android 5.1 Lollipop

5.5in 4K IPS (2160×3840, 806ppi)

2.2GHz Quad-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 chúng tôi LTE Cat 6

Nano-SIM

3430mAh battery

Dust and waterproof (IP68)

76x154x7.8mm

180g

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