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:

Category Xperia Z5 Xperia Z5 Compact
Colors White, Graphite Black, Gold, Green White, Graphite Black, Yellow, Coral
Size 146mm x 72mm x 7.3mm 127mm x 65mm x 8.9mm
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core 64 bit processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core 64 bit processor
GPU Adreno 430 Adreno 430
Weight 154 grams 138 grams
SIM Card Nano SIM Nano SIM
Operating System Google™ Android™ 5.1 (Lollipop) Google™ Android™ 5.1 (Lollipop)
Rear (main) camera 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
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 camera 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
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 support DNC, 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 Resolution 5.2" Full HD 1080p (1920x1080 pixels), IPS display 4.6" 720p HD (1280x720 pixels), IPS display
PPI 428 323
Glass panel Chemical tempered glass + Anti-fingerprint coating Chemical tempered glass + Anti-fingerprint coating
Display Technology TRILUMINOS™ 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
Design IP65 / IP68 dust-tight & waterproof
Capless USB
IP65 / IP68 dust-tight & waterproof
Capless USB
RAM 3GB 2GB
Flash memory Up to 32GB Up to 32GB
Fingerprint sensor Side-mounted, in power key Yes, in power button
Expansion slot microSD™ card, up to 200GB (SDXC supported) microSD™ card, up to 200GB (SDXC supported)
Networks LTE (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 mode 2700 mAh (up to 2 day battery life) and Battery STAMINA mode
Quick Charge Yes Yes

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.

Buy the Sony Xperia Z5 at Amazon UK Buy the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact at Amazon UK