Does the Sony Xperia Z5 get too hot?

It's fair to say the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 has led a life of criticism, sometimes warranted, when it comes to getting a little hot under the collar. But it's also at the top end of the CPU spectrum for smartphones and so new high-end devices are still using it.

Not all Snapdragon 810s behave in the same way, as pointed out by our own Russell Holly recently when examining the Nexus 6P. But thanks to the Internet and bad experiences elsewhere, heat remains a question on everyones fingertips.

So what about the Sony Xperia Z5? It has an 810 and a predecessor that got a bit too hot. Since I have one in for review it's something people are asking about and I've not had a definitive answer.

So I grabbed an infrared thermometer to see how hot the back of the phone was getting. This is neither as glamorous or extensive as our previous look at heat on the Nexus 6P and other devices ⸺ because I don't have a fancy thermal camera. But it does at least give some idea on how hot it gets.

During the test I started with the phone just sat after first boot up and it was giving a reading of 25.1C (77.1F). One of the biggest offenders in making the Z5 heat up at all is shooting 4K video and using the AR effects in the camera.

After 2 minutes of shooting 4K the temperature on the back of the phone had risen to 31C (87.8F). After 5 minutes it was up to 35C (95F), a rise of 10C in 5 minutes. Importantly it's also tolerable to actually hold.

Sony Xperia Z5

So I just left the phone for around 25 minutes in a moderately cool room with 4K video shooting. I'm actually amazed that it recorded a 25 minute clip without closing the app ⸺ it actually shut down because it had drained the last 25 percent of battery in that time. At this point is the hottest I've been able to get it and the thermometer was reading 40.5C (105F). I wouldn't be holding it too long at this temperature, but it also wasn't burning my skin.

My initial reaction to the Z5 was much worse than this. My first experiences of the phone were while roaming in Asia, and a combination of this and 4K video shooting seemed to make the temperature rise much quicker. I'm also not seeing too much heat on the back of the phone when it's charging, either. It warms up a little, but not a massive amount.

So, does the Xperia Z5 get too hot? Not in my opinion. It does heat up on the rear between the camera and the Sony logo, but it does take some seriously intensive use over a prolonged period to get things to that point. It gets a little hotter perhaps than some other phones, but it's not necessarily horrific. Most of the time the phone only seems to be using 5 cores, too, shutting down to 4 when things start to get a little warm.

So if heat was a fear of yours, don't worry about it too much. It's fine.

Richard Devine
  • 25 minutes 4K video recording before it shut down, not because it got too hot, but because it drained the battery. That is impressive! How did other phones that you reviewed fare on this department?
  • What's the hottest the phone gets with normal use? Doubt a ton of people will get it just for the 4k recording. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've made it get hot on purpose. During regular use it's fine. I've tried to make it as hot as possible to illustrate it's not really an issue. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Good to know it got better! Unfortunately for Sony, after having my Z3C suddenly die for no reason whatsoever after just 1 year (and at a time when I wasn't even using it as a daily driver any more) and putting up with their horrendous customer service (well, or lack thereof) I'll be dead before I ever buy another Xperia.
    Even if they fix the crappy cameras, I'm never putting up with another Ericsson disguised as a Sony product. Which also explains why Sony Mobile is sinking. They're clearly still more Ericsson than Sony. So here's to hoping Nokia hurries up returning or LG learns how to make a proper Compact flagship phone!
  • Here's a video on how to cool down your computer. You could apply the same technique to this phone, I think.
  • Cool! Thanks! I'm going to try that little trick on my vista laptop from 2007. Posted via the Android Central App
  • LOL.
    What can I say - you caught me on a bad day, but at least it doesn't freeze now.
  • I don't know if it's a page views kind of thing, in which case more power too AC since you do good work, and need revenue streams, but... Could we do without the misleading / suggestive titles? I the article's conclusion is "everything's OK", does the title really need to be "is this device f'd?"
  • The title isn't misleading?? What are you on. It says. Does the z5 get too hot? It's a legit question considering it has the 810 inside of it so he did testing. Do you lack brain cells? Pls Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's a legit question that is answered in the article. It gets you to read the article which is the point of writing one. Should the trailer to a movie be the ending? +++ Insert witty signature, watch as others not get it, profit +++
  • +1 Posted via the Android Central App from my LG G4
  • Of course it should be, screw sitting around for 2 hours. Pants
  • How is it misleading? The title is "Does the z5 get too hot? which they go on explaining the tests they did and temps it got up to. Lay off whatever you're smoking. 
  • Isn't the problem how much throttling does it do to keep the temperature in check? If the 810 is slower than the 805 then that's a problem. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That should be the next test.
  • Yeah all of a sudden the narrative is being changed. We know they do not get that hot anymore because of necessary measures but it is the impact of the measures we need to focus on. +++ Insert witty signature, watch as others not get it, profit +++
  • Exactly. People like to complain about flagships using the 808 but I never heard one heat related issue/throttling measure being made to get the best performance out of it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • How do these readings compare to other phones? Do you have an S6 or Note 5 to compare with in the same testing environment?
  • Q
    Just measured my melting hot OG Moto X (charging while talking) and it shows 110F. Battery is after market, but I still wanna know the damage it can be caused. via AC App on
    VZW Moto X DE/N7
  • That ain't hot. Nobody had a hot phone unless they had a Rezound back in the day. Mine hit 150F per the battery on quite a few occasions. It also got reurned a few times. That was such an awesome piece of crap. Pants
  • You win my favorite phrase of the day award for "such an awesome piece of crap". Unfortunately the award is just me telling you that you've won the award, but feel free to treat yourself to a cookie just the same. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol
    Good then. I guess the plastic makes it feel much hotter than it is - as if it's gonna burn my hand or something.
    Still, I don't think it's normal to get this hot on the charger - even without using it. via AC App on
    VZW Moto X DE/N7
  • I don't think the temperature issue is brought up because phones are uncomfortable to hold rather because high temperatures affect the life of the battery and the speed of the processor.
  • I think it's a great phone. I just wish it was easier to buy. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I am assuming these findings hold good for the compact version as well. Also wondering how much the device is throttled.. actively looking for sub 5 inch or 5 inch based flagship devices with microsd slot and great battery life... AC@OPO
  • No matter how throttled, it will fly when 720p are pushed via AC App on
    VZW Moto X DE/N7
  • "At this point is the hottest I've been able to get it and the thermometer was reading 40.5C (105F). I wouldn't be holding it too long at this temperature, but it also wasn't burning my skin." I just looked it up, and 105° F is on the high end of lukewarm water. Now if we were talking about 120° F, then I could understand, that's about where most water heaters are set for their top end. But the same temp as lukewarm water? I think anyone would be OK.
  • That's just a few degrees warmer than normal body temperature. I would not worry about it either... Posted via the Android Central App
  • 40.5°C is nothing. These phones are designed to maintain normal operation well into the high 70s with minimal throttling. People are so overly concerned with heat. Yes, the 810 gets hotter than many chips, but not even remotely to unsafe temperatures even without any throttling. Unless the phone reaches 90°C+, there is no cause for concern.
  • What about the summer months? That's when it could become a major annoyance. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Considering my Z3 would only record for 5 minutes before it overheated, I'm impressed. That was the only reason why I hated the phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • My Moto X gets as hot and even hotter when recording or playing video.
  • Who is recording in normal k let alone 4k for longer than a few minutes? What is a phone meant to do before ppl have to rip it to shreds... Sony has come a long way developing their handsets, to an extent it is upsetting the apple cart of Samsung and Nexus users world over. Forums are great for opinions and advice, but ppl don't care for biased reviews, slatings, over opinionated comments. He did a test, it worked well and that's it's. Spurs (UK football) are the best team in the word, my kids are the smartest and best looking and my wife (now ex) is hotter than yours.. Brap Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sure, the SONY Z5 is alot better. Far better.
  • Just admit it - Snappy 810 is a failure. Exynos won this round. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I like that you guys are doing this in the wake of the debacle that is the Snaptoaster 810. However, I can't help but think that you're missing a key point. The Snapdragon 810's poor reputation wasn't just the fact that it overheats. It's what OEMs have to do to tame that heat that mainly gave it such a bad reputation. Simply put, OEMs have to put in very aggressive throttling to keep the SoC under temperature limits. Performance difference can sometimes be 50% in worst cases. What I think you should do is instead of just taking exterior temperature with an heat scanner, get some data on the temperature of the internals (battery, chipset, anything) and also processor clockspeed. You can also do a benchmark test to get a visual look on performance, but really, I feel that benchmarks don't necessarily translate to real-world use. TL;DR, it's not just the fact that it heats up. It's the throttling due to that heat that gave it that rep. By comparison, the Snapdragon 808 on my LG G4 gets up to 149 degrees Fahrenheit while browsing Facebook AND playing video at the same time at 45% brightness and with LTE turned on. Despite that, performance was top-notch. All phones get warm. What matters is the way the phone manages the heat.
  • What about an intensive display use app like Waze? I've had a Xperia S, a Z1 Compact and Z3 Compact with different results, being Z1 and Z3 a lot better thanks to brightness reduction. This is one of that useful apps that drains your battery and heats the phone a lot. Although the battery drain is largely due to the fact that you have the display working all the time, the intensive use of GPS and maybe the drawing of the maps in realtime on screen makes my phone too hot sometimes. I think a comparison between Z5 and other phone in this scenario would be very useful.
  • Sony Z5 overheats badly. I had THREE brand new Z5 phones in a matter of weeks replaced due to overheating issues just using the normal camera...not even in video mode.
    Any summer day with ambient temperature approaching 30 degrees celsius or more the phone shuts down within minutes. Might be ok if you live in cooler climate. After returning 3 x Z5 phones for overheating I guess they were sick of handing out new Z5's just for them to do the same thing. Released me from my two year contract at no cost allowing me to re-contract a new phone of my choice. Make no mistake about it...the Z5's WILL overheat badly if you live in a country with a hot climate. It is entirely to do with the ambient temperature. The phone would get too hot to even handle it or pick it up.
  • My son has one of these and it constantly overheats when gaming (shutdown) , on skype (shutdown) or video recording (shutdown)
    In my view Sony have done nothing to remedy this problem and they should recall all overheating phones. My son bought this crap to play games on and the one thing he can't do on it is play games. I am disgusted at the avoidance of responsibility by Sony.
  • Just bought the Xperia Z5 compact Spent hours transferring Apps and this is the same **** I'm dealing with! Shutts down in 4 1/2 mins! On 4k wtf! After all the fake reviews online recording a blank scene, viral bs about not overheating ..Sony and Qualcomm can kiss my ass.This is unacceptable..I will now be getting a A9 IPhone 6c.F you Sony mobile div ,and Kaz and Qualcomm. Shame on you and what your shoveling to us loyal techies..
  • You lucky.. My z5 premium only can record less than 1 MINUTE. And then force close.. :-(