The Sony Xperia 5 V is official with a new camera set up, but it shares many specs and features with the larger Xperia 1 V.
Sony says the new phone is targeting “visual communicators and content lovers”, which I guess means people who use their phones to take photos and watch videos, which is everyone.
More specifically, the Xperia 5 V (that’s ‘five mark five’) has cameras with three focal lengths, an extra mic that prioritises voice capture, a video creator app for stitching together clips, and modes to give video a more cinematic feel.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Sony Xperia 5 V.
When will the Sony Xperia 5 V be released?
Sony announced the Xperia 5 V on 1 September, and says the phone will be available to buy “from late September”, without actually confirming a date. This is classic Sony behaviour.
How much will the Sony Xperia 5 V cost?
The Sony Xperia 5 V will cost €999 in Europe and £849 in the UK.
This is cheaper than the Xperia 5 IV, which cost €1,049/£949 and puts the phone in direct price competition with the £849 iPhone 14.
What specs and features does the Sony Xperia 5 V have?
Just like the Xperia 1 V, you get Qualcomm’s current high end Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, alongside 8GB RAM and 128GB expandable storage.
The 6.1in OLED refreshes at 120Hz and is Sony’s favoured 21:9 aspect ratio, designed so cinematic video can render in full screen landscape with no black bars. Although this is the smaller phone compared to the Xperia 1 V, the screen is still a decent size – this is not the Sony Compact phones of old.
A big year-on-year change for the Xperia 5 V is it now only has two rear camera sensors rather than three. It has lost the variable optical zoom lens from the 5 IV and in fact has no telephoto lens at all.
Instead, it uses a main 52Mp main lens that crops a 48Mp effective area to create zoom shots Sony hopes will be of good enough quality. The phone is still marketed at camera enthusiasts, so describes zoom in focal lengths; the main camera can shoot in 24mm and 48mm (the latter the same as 2x optical zoom), while the separate ultra-wide lens can shoot in 16mm.
There’s also a 12Mp selfie camera nestled in the top bezel. I like that Sony is one of the few phone makers left not to use a notch or cut out, keeping the screen uninterrupted.
Sony piles on the camera features here too. It has an S-Cinetone mode to give videos a cinematic feel akin to what can be captured on Sony’s Alpha cameras. In fact, other cool things such as real time eye auto-focus and tracking comes straight from those cameras too.
Like other recent Xperia phones, Sony will ship the Xperia 5 V with several different content capture apps including Video Pro, Cinema Pro, and Photography Pro. New is a Video Creator app that can stitch together video clips into a shareable montage, complete with music.
If music is your thing, there’s also the Music Pro app for recording audio to near-studio quality, Sony claims. The phone also supports wired and wireless Hi-Res audio via the 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth 5.3 respectively.
The Xperia 5 V will be available in grey, black, and blue, though sadly none have the excellent tactile etched glass back of the Xperia 1 V, which kept that phone premium feeling but free of fingerprints.
Sony doesn’t sell too many phones, and I’m not sure taking away a camera lens and churning out a near-identical model year after year is going to solve that. The company may well be frustrated that this tactic works for Apple and Samsung, though.
What Sony lacks compared to those rivals is software support. For a phone pushing £900, the Xperia 5 V will only get two years of Android updates and three of security patches. That’s two years behind Samsung on both fronts – it’s simply not good enough, and Sony has no excuses, particularly when it’s pushing an eco-agenda with the phones recyclable packaging and lack of charger or cable in the box. It’s a contradiction when the phone will only be updated till 2026.
I really liked the Xperia 5 IV when I reviewed it, but I can’t help but feel these 5-series phones would be more appealing to the discerning smartphone public if they were at least €200/£200 cheaper.