IFA 2019: Sony's Xperia 5 is Here, and it Seems Long Thin Phones are Here to Stay

By Tom Pritchard on at

When it comes to smartphones there aren't any gimmicky things left to work with. Multi-lens cameras are everywhere, as are bezel-free (ish) screens, and the loss of the headphone jack. All we really have are foldable screens, though without any concrete plans Sony has opted for a longer phone - and with the launch of the Xperia 5 it seems they're here to stay.

For those that don't understand what I mean, Sony released some skinny phones (Xperia 1, 10, and 10 Plus) with a 21:9 aspect ratio earlier this year. Normal phones used to have a 16:9 aspect ratio, but the newer wide-screen phones are roughly 18:5:9 because they're a little bit wider. Sony's grand experiment took it one step further, and now it's heading to another phone.

The aspect ratio is officially called the 21:9 CinemaWide Display, with the goal of offering more screen space for everyone to use. Which is nice, because experience tells us that people actually do like larger phone screens as a whole. This one is a 6.1-inch OLED with Full HD+ resolution, and HDR. While that's not as fancy as the Xperia 1's 4K OLED, it'll do I guess.

Other features include a triple lens camera with 12MP sensors, image stabilisation, and a bunch of other enhancements from Sony's Alpha camera range. That includes letting you shoot burst photography at 10fps with autofocus and auto exposure tracking, and better low light image quality thanks to a f/1.6 lens, 1.4μm pixel pitch, and RAW noise reduction. Plus 2x optical zoom, 5x digital zoom, and 'photography advice' that warns you when you do something stupid like cover the lens with your finger. I'm guessing that's some form of AI doing that work for you.

There's also Dolby Atmos, an 8MP front camera, the Smart Stamina battery saving technology, a 3,140 mAh battery, USB PD fast charging, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, microSD support up to 512GB, IP68 waterproofing, and a Snapdragon 855 processor. Like all Sony phones it also has PS4 remote play, and sadly it only runs Android Pie out of the box - so you'll have to wait a bit for the Android 10 upgrade. If it ever arrives.

The phone goes on sale in the UK on 4th October, but will be available to pre-order from 18th September. If you do pre-order you'll get a free pair of Sony's new WF-1000XM3 truly wireless Noise Cancelling headphones if you order via EE or Carphone Warehouse.

It'll be available in Blue, Black, and Grey.