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.

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    I think the Z5 has improved since updating to Marshmallow. Incorrect fingerprint scanning actually tells you what you did wrong, the camera loads up within 1-2 seconds, my wifi/data connection problems have all disappeared. I’m still disappointed that it’s taken this long for a decent phone to appear in my hands.


    I was super stoked to get the Green Z5 on release… but after many months I think I’ve come to the same conclusion has you people have. Which is a disappointment really! It’s made me wonder why I try to buy flagship phones in the first place, especially when this one was $1k.

    It could have been so much better and we’ll never know how much better… maybe after the Marshmallow update?

    Benjamin Dobell

    Agreed. I got the Green Z5 from Sony’s website delivered to my door launch day. The battery life has been *woeful*. Like beyond belief woeful. I’ve not once made it 36 hours on a charge. Since December 28th, I’ve been running GSam Battery Monitor. I’ve had an average full-charge on-screen time of only 2 hours and 40 minutes. That’s crazy bad. However, now I at least have some hope my unit is defective. I’ve been meaning to get it warranty replaced for some time now, it’s just a lot of effort. I’ve been hanging out for Marshmallow in hope that… Read more »


    I think an announcement along these lines would have been best made at the time rather than 6 months after the event. Just a simple “Sorry guys the review units Sony sent us had all sorts of problems that probably weren’t representative of the official retail product so we’ve had to go back to Sony to resolve. We’ll publish a full review once the review units have been replaced.” would have sufficed. Or “I’m afraid we’ve fallen behind a bit in coming up with our review of the Sony Z5 series phones but we haven’t forgotten and we hope to… Read more »


    I can’t disagree with what you’ve said; we should have kept readers in the loop. At this late stage, there’s no value in publishing these reviews. The product line has been cancelled, the handsets have not been reviewed favourably elsewhere either, and we’re adding nothing to the conversation.

    As I said in the story, we can only hope that Sony reinvigorates itself for the Xperia X line. More of the same simply won’t cut it anymore.