back to article Ah yes, Sony, that major player in the smartphone space, has a new flagship inbound: The Xperia 5 II

Hoping to regain ground lost to competitors in China and South Korea, Sony today unveiled its latest flagship smartphone: the €899 Xperia 5 II. Sony was once one of the first companies to get behind Android and pushed out a range of smartphones much loved for their design and features. But the days of the Walkman phone have …

  1. Martin Summers

    "Not including 8K video capture/recording is a huge oversight."

    Is it heck. Seriously where do these people get these ideas. I've got 8k on my S20. Do I use it? No. Am I ever likely to use it? No. I'll probably be too old to discern the benefit of it by the time playback equipment becomes properly main stream and I can afford it.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      ^This. Seriously – I have a 4K TV and 20/20 eyesight, yet I struggle to discern the difference between 4K and 1080p at normal viewing distances. Unless you happen to own a cinema, 8K is a marketing gimmick. To be honest, for most normal TV and living room sizes, so is 4K...

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        20/20 vision is just "normal".

        Just saying.

        1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

          Yes, yes it is. So... I'm just saying that 4K/8K are for people with the eyesight of a raptor* of some kind.

          *This may or may not include velociraptors. Nobody really knows.

      2. VBF

        To say nothing of the paucity of commercial content!

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      8k TV's are available in your local Currys at the price 4Ks were 5 or 6 years ago.

      But I still have a 1080p...so I'll wait until the 4k's are £150.

      1. seven of five

        > at the price 4Ks were 5 or 6 years ago

        Which is, bluntly, a shitload of money to replace a device at most 5 or 6 years old.

    3. Torben Mogensen

      Lenses

      I seriously doubt the tiny lenses used in smartphones are precise enough for true 8K video. So you could probably do just as well with intelligent upscaling of 4K or lower.

  2. just_some_dude

    Too damn tall

    Maybe it's just because I don't use my phone for games and movies, but I really hate this tall phone trend. My old phone was 16:9 which I felt was a good ratio. The next phone I got was 19:9 which broke single-hand operation for me and my hands definitely aren't small. It was impossible to comfortably reach the top of the screen with my thumb. 21:9 just seems insane (but so does dropping $1000+ on a flagship phone). Do people really want that aspect ratio or is this another case of phone designers running out of good ideas?

    1. Sin2x

      Re: Too damn tall

      I bet with a bit of practice you could fence with the thing!

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Too damn tall

        My S8 is taller than 16:9 and like it for reading text on web pages - less frequent scrolling is required. Also, more of the screen remains visible when the on-screen keyboard is present, quite handy for the Register's comment section.

        I haven't tried a tall Sony phone, but I wouldn't dismiss it as being only suitable for games and movies outright.

        1. JetSetJim

          Re: Too damn tall

          upvote for tall screens meaning less interference by onscreen keyboard. Just recently attempted to commission a small-ish phone for my youngest, and one app I installed had some config that was competely unable to be entered as the keyboard covered the area of the dialog for data entry, in particular a country selector to that the app server could be told a phone number to send a text to. Couldn't bypass by entering "+44" in the phone number field, as it defaulted to US and wouldn't accept it

          1. just_some_dude

            Re: Too damn tall

            I'd argue that smallish phone is becoming a casualty of the tall phone crusade. Phones get taller so devs layout UIs with tall phones in mind. Apps don't look right in non-tall phones, so you go out and buy a tall phone and the cycle repeats. I remain firmly in the anti-"big and tall" camp for now. I want somethign that I can confortably put in my front shirt pocket and be able to hold the phone and access the entire screen with one hand.

    2. fishman

      Re: Too damn tall

      A tall phone like this won't fit comfortably in my pants pocket. And my tend to fall out of some of my pants pockets.

    3. fuzzie

      Re: Too damn tall

      I initially also considered it a gimmick. Turns out that, for those who consume movies/etc on mobile, with 16:9 results in significant boxing. 21:9 fits the predominant movie aspect ratio. Combine that with a colour-accurate Cinema display mode. Personally, I can't see myself staring at a smallish screen for an entire movie. Just about every review I've seen on the 21:9 devices specifically called out how they anticipated it would be awkward, but that it turns out very comfortable and ergonomic. The narrower body makes it fit the hand and palm more like a TV remote and, since many applications presents long pages or contents as lists, you get more content on-screen. I've briefly fondled a display model in a shop once and it is indeed well balanced, not top heavy as I had expected. They've added some touch gesture support that allows you to tap the side of the phone and it shrinks/shifts down the page towards the bottom so you can stretch/reach with one hand.

      1. just_some_dude

        Re: Too damn tall

        Yeah, my tallish phone had that shrink feature. I didn't really care for it since it made the keyboard a bit too small. I'd rather the shrink feature just shrink the height but keep the width constant. Though, the change in aspect ratio would probaby require a re-layout of the UI and thus more lag when going in and out of said shrink mode.

        I'm fine with tall phones being made for people who like them. My issue is the general tallification of all new phone models. Same goes for phone size in general. I just want more "small" phone options.

  3. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I am surprised Sony hasn't leveraged the PlayStation brand more to sell handset to those who use their phone for gaming. They could ship phones with a case with some analogy sticks and buttons with an official Playstation emulators installed and support for streaming PlayStation now games, and would make a nice portable gaming device as well as a phone.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      They have done. Sony phones from the Xperia Z3 range would stream PlayStation content from the console on the same network, and an phone holder that clamped into the Dual shock controller was available.

      Has Sony's PlayStation + Phone efforts been optimal? Probably not, but some efforts have been made.

      1. fuzzie

        For several years now the phones all have DualShock 4 drivers. So you can pair your controller with the phone and play games that way. They even have a DualShock attachment so you can clamp the phone horizontally onto the controller. From the Xperia 1 II they also have a power passthrough mode for when you're playing games. If you plug it into the wall, instead of charging the batteries while playing, it simply just powers the phone from the wall, bypassing the battery. The intent being that charging the battery produces heat which results in thermal throttling which impacts game play, i.e. take power straight from the wall and you can play indefinitely at full performance without heat and extends battery life.

  4. Anna Logg

    How long?

    "These are 16mm, 24mm, and 70mm respectively,"

    I assume those are 35mm equivalents? Those don't sound feasible in a phone otherwise. As an old git I'm fine with 35mm equivalents but I do suspect they're becoming less relevant as 35mm as an actual format fades away.

    1. sw guy

      Re: How long?

      Given the size of image captor on a phone, I assume even plain 16mm focal could be called super-tele.

      Also, even if 35mm format totally disappears one day (sigh), I assume it will stay used as reference, so as to allow comparison whatever the year of models. BTW, I also assume there is no point trying to get size of captor on a phone as a reference, as this size is prone to change at high pace.

  5. ivan5

    The big question ...

    is it a fondle slab or a phone? From this report it appears to be neither.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: The big question ...

      > is it a fondle slab or a phone? From this report it appears to be neither.

      At that length it's more of a fondle plank

  6. Inkey
    Thumb Up

    MY xz3

    they are neat fones and do every thing you would want a phone to do with less bloat and in my case any way a decent price ...

    Agree about the 8k resolution being over kill

    Also Sony are no slouchers when it comes to updates.... and they have a half decent support with regard to thier kit.....

    Their dev site is great and play nice if you want to root the phone... have good advise and how to's etc... there's even some library's and help with drm on a rooted phone .....mine came with an app that creates 3đ models from the camera....

    It's my first andriod and while not a massive gamer I have played on it and it worked well.. the battry life was one of rhe reasons for getting it and it has not dissapointed me there's even inbuilt battry maintenance apps.... I watched both seasons of Altered Carbon on it in 2 sit ins .....

    Im supprised they are'nt more popular

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: MY xz3

      I have used Sony's for years now after HTC lost the plot and have also found them to be pretty good. My Z5 lasted for years and I only changed it when I needed Hearing Aid Control. The XZ2 has been pretty good and looking at these, I see no reason why it will no be the same.

      The other thing is just how robust they are. I have then in a simple plastic case and it has survived multiple drops and dunks in moisture with no issue.

      Heck even my teenage daughter had a Z5 compact for that lasted years without busting it. The battery like suddenly dropped of a cliff and we replaced it earlier this year with an Xperia 10.

    2. Falmari Silver badge

      Re: MY xz3

      Thanks informative I am looking out for a new phone and Apple or Android each have have big minus points for me. I know I will have to choose one or the other but this is nice to know "there's even some library's and help with drm on a rooted phone"

  7. ghp

    I might take it, my Z Ultra's probably 6 years old. Only problem: there's nothing wrong with it.

    1. fuzzie

      I also have one. A great phablet... when 6.4" was still considered large. Love the charging stand with the pogo pins for charging. A pity it got stuck on Lollipop.

  8. RyokuMas
    Facepalm

    "The display is 120Hz, allowing smoother UI animations and gameplay."

    Great! That'll reall improve all those ads that seem to infest every single mobile money gougergame out there...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not including 8K video capture/recording is a huge oversight.

    huge indeed, given that the absolute and BARE MINIMUM this month is 32K video capture AT LEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. JDPower Bronze badge

    Why are they using promo pics with a phone that appears ro have a faulty screen?

  11. Emir Al Weeq

    Ratios

    If there a reason that phone dimensions are expressed as a ratio to 9, ie 16:9, 18:9, 21:9?

    The first makes sense to me but shouldn't the other two be 2:1 and 7:3 respectively?

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