Skip to main content

What's the difference between the Sony Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact?

Sony launched its latest flagship smartphone in a variety of flavors again back at IFA, but just what is the difference between the Xperia Z5 and the Xperia Z5 Compact?

In past years the Compact version has been just a smaller edition of the 'big' Z phone of the year. We're now onto the third Compact after the Z1 and Z3, and the tradition has remained.

So, Xperia Z5 or Xperia Z5 Compact, how do you choose? Let's break it down.

The specs of the two phones are almost identical. Again, this is something traditional of Sony's Compact launches, so here's what we're looking at:

CategoryXperia Z5Xperia Z5 Compact
ColorsWhite, Graphite Black, Gold, GreenWhite, Graphite Black, Yellow, Coral
Size146mm x 72mm x 7.3mm127mm x 65mm x 8.9mm
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core 64 bit processorQualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core 64 bit processor
GPUAdreno 430Adreno 430
Weight154 grams138 grams
SIM CardNano SIMNano SIM
Operating SystemGoogle™ Android™ 5.1 (Lollipop)Google™ Android™ 5.1 (Lollipop)
Rear (main) camera23MP camera with Exmor RS™ for mobile image sensor, with fast autofocus
4K video capture and output
24 mm wide-angle G Lens
5x clear image, without loss of quality
HDR for photos and videos
ISO12800 Photo / 4000 Video
SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode
Superior Auto
23MP camera with Exmor RS™ for mobile image sensor, with fast autofocus
4K video capture and output
24 mm wide-angle G Lens
5x clear image, without loss of quality
HDR for photos and videos
ISO12800 Photo / 4000 Video
SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode
Superior Auto
Front camera5MP with Exmor R™ for mobile image sensor
Full HD 1080p for video chat
25 mm wide-angle lens
SteadyShot with Intelligent
Active Mode
Superior Auto
5MP with Exmor R™ for mobile image sensor
Full HD 1080p for video chat
25 mm wide-angle lens
SteadyShot with Intelligent
Active Mode
Superior Auto
Audio codec supportDNC, HRA, DSEE-HX, LDAC
Automatic headset compensation
S-Force Front surround
Stereo speakers
ClearAudio+
DNC, HRA, DSEE-HX, LDAC
Automatic headset compensation
S-Force Front surround
Stereo
Display Resolution5.2" Full HD 1080p (1920x1080 pixels), IPS display4.6" 720p HD (1280x720 pixels), IPS display
PPI428323
Glass panelChemical tempered glass + Anti-fingerprint coatingChemical tempered glass + Anti-fingerprint coating
Display TechnologyTRILUMINOS™ display for mobile, with Sparkling Contrast and Live Colour Creation
X-Reality™ for Mobile
TRILUMINOS™ display for mobile, with Sparkling Contrast and Live Colour Creation
X-Reality™ for Mobile
DesignIP65 / IP68 dust-tight & waterproof
Capless USB
IP65 / IP68 dust-tight & waterproof
Capless USB
RAM3GB2GB
Flash memoryUp to 32GBUp to 32GB
Fingerprint sensorSide-mounted, in power keyYes, in power button
Expansion slotmicroSD™ card, up to 200GB (SDXC supported)microSD™ card, up to 200GB (SDXC supported)
NetworksLTE (4G), LTE Cat6, GSM GPRS/EDGE (2G), UMTS HSPA+ (3G)LTE (4G), LTE Cat6, GSM GPRS/EDGE (2G), UMTS HSPA+ (3G)
Battery (embedded)2900 mAh (up to 2 day battery life) and Battery STAMINA mode2700 mAh (up to 2 day battery life) and Battery STAMINA mode
Quick ChargeYesYes
Image 1 of 3

Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact

Image 2 of 3

Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact

Image 3 of 3

Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact

As you can see, the specs really don't do much to separate the two phones. The internals are virtually identical with a slight change in battery size and less RAM being the only significant alterations on the Compact. The display has been shrunk to 720p, but it's also only 4.6-inches so it looks just fine at that size.

The two also look and feel almost identical barring the size. The Compact is a little more 'plasticky' on account of the frame and it's also a bit thicker, which given what's inside it you can certainly forgive. You still have the same button placement, front speaker and a dedicated camera shutter button with half push to focus. The camera button on the Compact doesn't feel quite as good as it does on the big Z5, though, as it's a little smaller.

Then, there's the price. In the UK there's around £100 price difference between the two depending on where you're buying. Whichever way you look at it, that's a lot of money. But the great thing is that even when you spend less and get the Compact, you're still getting virtually the same, high-end smartphone. RAM and display aside, it's a wash. It all comes down to whether you want a big phone or a little phone. Thanks, Sony, for giving us the choice.

60 Comments
  • I wish LG made a smaller version of the G4, I'd get one in a heartbeat!
  • It's called the G4c. Don't get it though. It's crap.
  • It's almost the same than my G2 mini, except that is a Snapdragon 410
  • "a smaller version of the G4" to me means the exact same thing the G4 offers but in a smaller size. What the OP was asking - and I second it - is for a "G4 Compact". Just like Sony does with their Compact line.
  • Impressive they fit a 2700mah battery in a phone that size. I'd think the SD810 pushing a 720p phone with that battery would have pretty darn good battery life. If everyone that cried they can't get small, flagship phones doesn't jump on this... Lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • No, people will bitch no matter what.
  • 100% truth. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Now if only it would work on Verizon... Posted via the Android Central App
  • We can only wait and ...
    Wait via AC App on
    VZW Moto X DE/N7
  • Mostly everyone that's crying about small flagships are still crying because Sony is limiting the phone's availability.
  • That is true and unfortunate that Sony isn't pushing in the US more. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's amazing, I have a Z3 Compact and I can get 2 days of battery life easily, although the phone uses way to much battery in standby for my taste(around 9% over one night but you still can get 2 days( with stamina mode that is). Also performance is amazing despite having the "older" Adreno 330, performance is rock solid even with stamina mode. Edit for typo
  • I think most that are complaining of not being able to get a small flagship are on Verizon. Verizon doesn't have this phone or any of the past Xperia compacts.
  • Nor does Sprint, which is my carrier. But I'd gladly jump to T-Mobile or something else if Sony would just bring the Z5 Compact to the US. Hear that, Sony? I will adapt to this phone if you just make it available to me. Please bring the Z5 Compact to the US! Posted via Android Central App
  • EVERY manufacturer needs to do it this way.
  • Exactly! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I really like the compact, but why did they put the volume rocker down there? It's ridiculous.
  • When it's in your left hand you can access it easily one-handed with your middle finger or ring finger. In your right hand you admittedly have to do some thumb gymnastics. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's not really that bad. Thought it would be an issue, but it isn't
  • Would have been a nice Nexus 5X here...either one.
  • yes please give us more sub-5" phones.
  • I have had the Z3 Compact for 14 months and love it. I have never run out of power. It came off the charger this am and is showing power for 2 d 11 hrs according to Battery Widget Pro. I consistently get 2 days. Love the phone the size and the experience. I dislike the flaps for charging so the capless usb on the Z5C would be welcome. Not sure about button placement. The Z3C has a central power with volume rocker below it. The Z5C moving the rocker lower looks awkward. It has been a great phone for me.
  • two days? that's a lot of juice, what kind of use are you talking about here?
    Taking mine off the charger at 7AM i usually can get to 11/12AM the next day if i don't use Waze on my way to work (then i'm on the 20/22 hours range). About the flaps, i bought a knock-off dock cable on ebay: the magnet is a little weak and the cable gets disconnected quite easily if you use the phone while charging but it beats opening the flaps every time.
  • Stamina mode. It can get a bit wonky with my smart watch and with pushbullet sms but otherwise it's fantastic. It's pretty much what Marshmallow does now.
  • The z3 series is the king of battery life. Posted via the Android Central App
  • ClearAudio+ is also on the Z5 Compact. Right?
  • Yes I can confirm it is. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I would love it if the Z5c 1). had a more US presence, and 2). was the exact same internals but a 5" 1080p screen (of course, it'd be slightly larger but if it's still smaller than the 5x, that'd be great!)
  • You're saying you want a standard Z5 with little to no bezel basically?
  • It'd be too close to the regular Z5 at that size. But yeah, 5" with small bezels is the perfect size for me too. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Kinda wished the Z5C had 3GB of RAM, but that's about my only gripe. I mean, sure, it has the Snaptoaster 810 (which I still very much hate) but so far, from what I've heard, it doesn't seem to overheat as badly as the Z3+.
  • I have the phone and I agree. It only gets a little too warm for comfort when charging. Rest of time I have no absolutely no issues regarding heat. I do agree about the RAM but apps are not reloading any more frequently than with the Nexus 5 so that's reassuring. Posted via the Android Central App
  • One is big and one is small?
  • Wrong again. One is small, it's the other one that's big.
  • It really is a lovely little piece of hardware that will really come into its own when the Marshmallow update is released. Can't wait for the more Nexus-like build of Android that Sony is preparing. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's running well on my z3c so far.
  • Where Do i get this build?
  • £100 off outright with "selected' 12 month sim only plans at CPW, though I can't remember what those prices were from 10 minutes ago in a store, lol.
  • Correction: £50 off to £399 with 12 month sim plan.
  • I don't get it, why not make the comparison table color coded with Green and Orange to visually indicate where there are differences and where there aren't?
  • Show me how to do that with a markdown table and gladly! Posted via the Android Central App
  • http://stackoverflow.com/questions/26197579/set-background-color-for-spe...
  • The compact doesn't have the dual heat pipes as the other z5's do.
  • That's only the Z5 Premium that has the heat pipes. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I want one of these. Where's the best place to get one in the US?
  • Z5 compact http://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=http%3A%2F%2Frover.ebay.com%2Frover...
    Z5 http://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=http%3A%2F%2Frover.ebay.com%2Frover...
    They have the Z5 but no compact in stock: http://www.expansys-usa.com/
    Someone here mentioned these guys: http://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=http%3A%2F%2Frover.ebay.com%2Frover...
  • So far, you have to import it from the UK. Not sure which carriers it would work on -- probably AT&T with partial coverage on T-Mobile -- but it would cost almost US$800, so... yeah... I'm waiting until Sony puts it up on their US site -- if they ever do -- for a more reasonable price. Posted via Android Central App Edit: I guess you can get it from Asia for a bit cheaper on eBay. I'd still rather wait to see if I can get a better price on Sony's own store or something.
  • So what the difference in the Z5 premium? Posted via the Android Central App
  • If you're asking why that wasn't included in the comparison, good question. If you're asking because you want to know, the quick answer is: the display and the battery. 5.5" display at 2160x3840 and a 3430 mAh battery to power all those pixels. Oh and the bigger display makes it bigger too, but of course it does. Other than that, same CPU, memory, (int/ext) storage, camera, etc.
  • More the fact that a) the Premium isn't yet available and b) as a result we don't have one. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I really kind of want one of these. Maybe T-Mo will be nice and sell me one . . .
  • I wish there was a Z5 Ultra to go along with these two. I miss the awesome of my Z Ultra. :/
  • Z5 Premium?
  • Too small. The Z Ultra was 6.4". It was perfect. When I had it around, my Nexus 7 never got any use. It was truly a phablet.
  • This is how you make a smaller version of a flagship!!! Dont make people pick a larger phone because of performance of features being taken away from the smaller device. I love it!!
  • Why are display sizes usually listed in inches and phone sizes usually listed in millimeters?
    Can't both be one or the other? Posted via the Android Central App
  • the other one is smaller ...
  • Seriously!
    In such a well known website, was this article even needed? Posted via the Android Central App on my Galaxy S3 Neo Dual Sim which thankfully doesn't have S-pen and does not have a horrible metal body.
  • I love how Sony uses the same processor in the smaller phone, however i think the smaller option should be 5.2 and the larger 5.7
  • The Z5 Compact is available unlocked via eBay and Amazon. I got mine on eBay and I am loving ithe phone.