We published our combined review of Sony’s Xperia Z5 series today, and the astute amongst you will note that this is a review of devices released almost six months ago; indeed, they were announced at IFA last year (early September) and available locally not long after.
Ausdroid does not typically take six months to write a review. In many cases, we take two weeks or so, and where a more detailed review is required, it might take a little longer.
There are some reasons why the Xperia Z5 review took significantly longer, and I’d like to be completely transparent about them; without explanation, it isn’t a great look, and we think you guys — and Sony — deserve to know of our rationale.
- First and foremost, we experienced a number of issues with our early review units. Rather than file a dud review, we worked with Sony to rectify many of those issues. They appeared to be the result of software issues, and potentially having a very early batch of handsets (hardware-wise).
- In fact, we gave Sony six A4 pages of feedback about the models we received, with issues including UI lag, exploit vulnerabilities that had been fixed elsewhere, phones crashing and rebooting, issues with the camera, significantly poor battery life, and issues with the Bluetooth stack. Many of these issues were fixed in later review units that we received closer to November.
- Once most of these issues were rectified, we set about starting the review process essentially from scratch. While we found the critical issues had been fixed, the phones didn’t really impress; camera performance was not significantly improved, and battery life remained a concern.
- Once the Z5 Premium was released to the public in December, we began reviewing that device, and decided to combine the reviews of all three models — they are, after all, significantly the same device, with minor variations.
- Coming into January and February, with CES and MWC coverage, the reviews were not prioritised. We were reluctant to just rush the reviews without taking time to find the positives and present a balanced report.
- Now that the Q1 conference season is over, we’ve had time to finesse the reviews and publish them. Part of the delay has been with us personally, which we regret, but we hope that you will appreciate us taking some extra time to present the best, most balanced review we could in the circumstances.
We are very excited to see what Sony makes of the new Xperia X line of devices, and we trust that the shortcomings of the Xperia Z5 will be left behind in the rebranding. Indeed, the demo units on show at MWC last month showed us that Sony can still do things right, and perhaps the Xperia Z5 series was just an aberration.