Sony’s last major flagship rollout included the Xperia Z3 and the Xperia Z3 Compact, two premium smartphones we praised for soaring in pretty much every category. When it comes to smartphones, Sony is somewhat of a niche player, but it’s always managed to produce stellar, thoughtfully-crafted devices that stand toe-to-toe with even the fiercest of competition.
The Z5 Compact is a 4.6-inch smartphone that looks and feels more sturdy than it does elegant, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The phone’s frosted glass backside is the only premium design flourish; the rest of the aesthetic elements are more functional in nature.
Ergonomically speaking, the Z5 Compact is comfortable to hold but not always practical to use.
It looks more sturdy than it does elegant, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Despite being 0.35 inches and more brick-like than pretty much any other mainstream smartphone, the Z5 Compact is remarkably easy to grip.
On the left side of the Z5 Compact is a partially-removable plastic flap that covers up the phone’s microSD and SIM card slots. It’s straight out of a bygone era in electronics design—like something off a 2003 cell phone—and frankly, it bugs me. To be fair, it’s one of the components that helps waterproof the device, but flaps like this aren’t really necessary anymore from an engineering standpoint—other smartphones are waterproof without them.