Back in August of 2020, we had a chance to look at the Sony Xperia 1 II, which was at the time, Sony’s flagship. While that phone was fairly impressive, it had a few strikes against it that kept it from being perfect. The main issue for me was the less than flagship display which sat at a less than impressive 60hz refresh rate. Months later, we’re now checking out the Sony Xperia 5 II which for the most part is just like the Xperia 1 II, but smaller. Does Sony finally get it right or is this just another imperfect clone in a smaller package?
The new Sony Xperia 5 II looks very much like the original Xperia 5. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to notice the difference, even upon close inspection. Sizing seems to be the same, button layout the same, and even the camera elements on the back seem to be the same. The only real difference I see here is that on the camera on the back, it says ZEISS on it.
Not to say that’s a bad thing because the design of the Sony Xperia 5 II is pretty nice. It’s got curvy edges, rounded corners, and glass on both the front and rear. Like with most Xperia phones, all the button are located on the right hand side. This includes the volume buttons, the combo power/fingerprint reader, camera button, and Google Assistant button. Some people might not like all the buttons on one side, but it does make them easier to reach with just your thumb.
I’ve said this before, but I wish other manufacturers would have a dedicated camera button on their phones like Sony does. It just makes photo taking more natural and more like a regular camera.
The Sony Xperia 5 II also brings back the audio jack for those who are still using wired headphones and earbuds. The original Xperia 5 had removed this, but it’s back again like it was on the Xperia 1 II. The speakers on the Xperia 5 II have also been moved where both speakers are now front facing, making this better for media consumption without headphones.
While I haven’t had time to dive deep into the Sony Xperia 5 II just yet, initial handling seems promising. It might not look it, but it is much smaller than the Xperia 1 II and much smaller than practically every Android smartphone out there right now. Its tall, narrow body makes it so comfortable to hold and you should have no problem at all using it one-handed. It’s actually been a good long while since I’ve used a smaller phone and I have to say, I miss it.
My phones somehow keep getting larger and larger and it’s honestly getting to the point where they’re also getting harder and harder to hold properly. They don’t really fit comfortably in my pockets anymore and I’ve dropped them plenty of times on my face when in bed. The Sony Xperia 5 II seems like it’ll be a refreshing change of pace to have something noticeably more manageable now, at least for the next couple of weeks.