Sony puts a high emphasis on sound, which is why the presence of important audio solutions is not surprising: there is a high resolution sound, there is a 3.5mm minijack and stereo speakers placed forward. They are strong and they ensure rich tones, a perfect stereo sound and Atmos surround system and a sound full of details – from bass to higher notes.
The Dynamic Vibration System technology complements stereo speakers – it is supposed to enhance the experience of using the phone. The smartphone analyses played sounds and synchronizes appropriate vibrations with them. This function works independently from the currently running app – we can activate or deactivate it from the settings menu and we can control it from the volume control section. And I think that it can only be useful for gamers – in other cases it is useless and it does not enhance our feelings while using multimedia. We can listen to music through stereo speakers or through earphones – wireless or with an 3.5mm audio plug.
While viewing multimedia we can use Dolby Atmos sound settings, optimized in cooperation with Sony Pictures Entertainment. The improvement of the digital music, from streaming services with music and videos as well, is ensured by the DSEE Ultimate technology. The 360 Reality Audio decoder is responsible for the high quality of sound.
Photos and video
When it comes to cameras, the Sony Xperia 5 II model is almost identical as the bigger Xperia 1 II. It has a camera with three lenses, ZEISS optics and ZEISS T* coating, known from reducing reflexes:
- ultra wide-angle camera: 16 mm 12 MP 1/2,2" dual-PD AF,
- main camera: 24 mm 12 MP 1/1,7" dual-PDAF, OIS,
- telephoto camera: 70 mm 12 MP 1/2,4", 3-krotny zoom, PDAF, OIS.
From technical novelties it is worth mentioning the Real-time Eye AF technology, which sets the focus on human or animal eye in real time, there is a large 1/1.7” image converter and noises reductor in the Bionz X for Mobile image CPU. There is no ToF sensor, which, according to the manufacturer, can translate into a slightly slower focus while taking photos in weaker lighting or for detecting a photographed person in the portrait mode. But in all other cases the autofocus works instantly, especially that there is a constant focus, which sets the AF/AE parameters 60 times per second, based on 247 points. Thanks to this we can take and save 20 photos (20 frames per second) with a high precision, perfectly set focus and optimized exposition.
And how do these cameras work in practice? Regardless of the selected photography mode, photos are full of details, with a great contrast and natural colours. They are basically identical to those from Xperia 1 II. We can even say that photos look more natural than those taken with cameras from its competitors – it is because of a more neutral tonal range, which software for processing images does not enhance them with stronger and more saturated colours, then they are in reality. The camera deals with unevenly lighted scenes, by using the HDR mode, though there are some shots in which it overexposes the brightest parts of the shot – mostly the sky. With the help of this reviewed model we will not achieve as impressive photos as those from Huawei or Apple – mostly due to the lack of a dedicated night mode.
More photos can be seen in the gallery .
Those who only use the auto mode and do not want to dwell into ISO, white balances, exposition times and other nuances, will enjoy the basic camera app. It has a simple interface and it offers basic functions, and the dedicated camera app works great for an everyday usage.
Besides the standard camera app, among the preinstalled soft we can find Photo Pro – which is an app with an interface known from the Alpha series cameras, thanks to which we can adjust all parameters of the shot and save photos to the RAW DNG format. The second of advanced apps is Cinema Pro, in which we can record in slow motion in the quality of 2K and 4K with 120 frames per second. These apps can use the maximum potential of cameras, especially in hands of professionals, but the hardware is the limit – and no one can beat this.
The camera can record videos with the 4K quality (with 24/25/30/60 frames per second) and 1080p (30/60/120 frames per second). Basic modes are available in the main camera app – less typical and those that require a higher knowledge – are in the Cinema Pro app. The quality of videos is great, both when it comes to details, smoothness and natural colours.
The 8 MP camera at the front is responsible for selfies, it has an f/2.0 brightness lens and the possibility to record videos in the 1080p quality of 30 frames per second. Photos can be taken in the standard or the portrait mode, available from the level of the icon on the app screen – in the latter we can complain about the inexact bokeh effect, which sometimes does not blur the background, but it blurs hair. Regardless of the selected mode, we can see that the camera does not deal too well with a bright background – it usually overexposes it. Sometimes it does not focus on the photographed face as well.