Sony is stepping out from the shadows to take on smartphone heavyweight Samsung. Whereas its Xperia Z5 Premium, announced overnight at the IFA tradeshow, appeases the needs of multimedia users, Samsung's Note5 satisfies the demands of users driven to be more productive.
Size & Weight
Samsung has been economical by implanting a larger screen in a smaller body. The South Korean company earns another nod for curving the back of the smartphone so that it sits more comfortably in the hand.
Both smartphones reap the benefits of premium materials by blending crafted metal with pristine glass. Samsung has been more ambitious than Sony in this pursuit by moulding the materials to a shape that is more ergonomic.
Samsung's Super-AMOLED panel has self-illuminating pixels. This means the lighting of a pixel can be turned off for deeper blacks.
Sony has taken another route by increasing the resolution of its screen. The Xperia Z5 Premium is the first smartphone in the world to have a 4K screen, which packs more pixels than most household televisions. Sony claims an upscale engine is used to format content to the higher resolution.
The Note5's camera is inherited from the Samsung Galaxy S6 and testing reveals it is one of the best cameras in the market. Ironically, the imaging sensor used in the Note5 comes from Sony, which has introduced its first "completely re-imagined” camera module since the Xperia Z1.
Aperture & IOS
The last time Samsung made a smartphone water resistant, it bloated in size. Adhering to a strict design philosophy has helped Sony keep its smartphones both slender and attractive.
Samsung has ingeniously given the
S-Pen a spring loaded clicky top,
similar to those found on pens housing a retractable ink cartridge. The small
move makes the stylus easier to slide out of the smartphone, as a press of the
button causes its head to poke out, while giving a subtle nod to its ancestor,
the humble pen.
The S-Pen can be used to illustrate diagrams, jot notes or for precise navigation; notes can be jotted down when the screen is in standby. The Note5 then will appeal to a select few professionals in need of the versatility afforded by pen and paper.
Not coming in larger memory variants or having expandable storage really hurts the Note5. Older models excelled in both multimedia and productivity, but the limited storage makes the Note5 ideal only for only the latter.
Wireless fast charging is an innovation introduced by Samsung. The optional wireless fast charger is an $89.95 optional extra, but it'll charge the large battery in 2 hours — that's half the time.
Samsung's Galaxy Note5 goes on sale in Australia tomorrow, 4 September, while Sony's Xperia Z5 Premium is expected to begin a global roll out in November.