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Thread: Sony Xperia Z5 Compact on AT&T (GoPhone)

  1. #1
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    Sony Xperia Z5 Compact on AT&T (GoPhone)

    After upgrading to bigger and bigger phones over the years, I decided to go smaller:

    http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_z5_compact-7535.php

    Basic information:
    * 4.6 inch screen
    * Snapdragon 810
    * 2 GB RAM
    * 32 GB storage w/SD card slot
    * Supposed to work on all US AT&T bands (and most of T-Mobile's)

    When doing my research on smaller phones, there were not very many on the market that were small and powerful. A lot of low-end, budget phones, but higher-end phones were few. And the reviews seemed to always point to the Z5 Compact as the best of breed.

    My other choice was the Moto G4 Play, mainly because I do like Motorola phones and at $149 it can be hard to dismiss right away. But, other than the slightly larger screen, the specs on the G4 Play are almost the same as the older Moto E, and a low-end quad-core phone is still low-end. I thought about the 5 inch Google Pixel for a second, but because I would need the 128 GB version, the $750 price tag is way too much right now.

    Having gone from the Moto E, Moto X 2014 Pure Edition, and my current Google Nexus 6P, the first thing you realize when opening the box is, "yep..... that's a small phone!" As time went on, I learned to appreciate it more and more. Being able to hold and use the phone with one hand is a big plus for me.

    Also, as I was updating the phone, and loading the apps that I personally use, everything was quite snappy. I'd say a little slower than the Nexus 6P, but I expected it to be. And, to be honest, unless you specifically put the phones side by side and looked hard, the difference in speed isn't all that noticeable. I might try some of the apps that test stuff like that, but not right now. If someone would like me to, just tell me which app you'd like and I'll post the results.

    It's a lower-end 720x1280 display, but still very sharp when watching videos.

    Love the front dual-speakers for music. Volume is pretty loud, and sounds decent enough.

    Battery life is pretty good. I've gotten through a day with it before charging. Quick charging works, but doesn't come with a quick charger in the box (WTH???). Good part is I have plenty of quick chargers around the house. Charging time from 10% to full is about an hour and 45 minutes.

    It comes with a 23 MP camera with basic flash. I don't need that much. I have mine set at 8 MP, and it does well enough. Not as good as the Nexus 6P, but I don't expect it to be - the 6P camera is a beast!

    The one thing that does bother me a little bit is the radio. At the places I live and work, there is a noticeable difference in signal strength being reported via the Network Cell and LTE Discovery apps. There is a -3 to -6db difference with the Xperia Z5 Compact compared to the Nexus 6P. On the plus side, it hasn't stopped my ability to use the phone at all. Calls still get to my phone fast, calls while driving aren't dropping, and I still get excellent data speeds, even with a -105 to -110db signal to the towers. I couldn't say the same thing when I was using Google Fi and the phone was on the Sprint network.

    The phone I have is the international version (E5823), so I was worried that the specs were more for show, and I would have issues using it on AT&T (GoPhone). Bands 4 and 17 LTE work just fine, and HSPA+ when on a call. All I say is so far so good. My trip up to rural northern WI this weekend will be a good test.

    If anyone has any questions on the Z5 Compact, let me know. If I can answer them, I will.
    Last edited by kb7qdi; 01-21-2017 at 08:35 AM.

  2. #2
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    After a weekend up in northern Wisconsin, I decided to return the Z5 Compact.

    First, as I was driving I noticed that the phone was switching between LTE and HSPA/HSPA+ a lot. Interstate-41 between Milwaukee and Appleton is solid LTE coverage with AT&T, so that confirmed my suspicions that even though the phone can handle AT&T bands, the radio itself doesn't seem to listen to those bands very well.

    NOTE: As I stated in the original post, this is the international version of the Z5 Compact. The US version might work perfectly.

    Secondly, and most importantly for me, the phone just does not charge well. In fact, it doesn't charge well enough to keep up with me running the Waze navigation app and Google Play Music playing over Bluetooth. This is with a dual 2.4V cigarette lighter charger in the car that charges perfectly on my wife and daughters Nexus 6s plugged in at the same time.

    Good part is the person I picked it up from at eBay has been quick with this responses. A 15% restocking fee not withstanding, I will just have to stick with my 6P until another option comes along.

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    Did not think the Z5C would have charging issues, but battery life is good though?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zijin_cheng View Post
    Did not think the Z5C would have charging issues, but battery life is good though?
    Under light and moderate usage, the battery worked just fine for me. I can't expect too much of a battery from such a small phone. From the other reviews, I guess it helps that they used a lower resolution screen, which was just fine for my eyes.

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    good compare to other..battery life good. more internal storage

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    Hey kb7qdi .. first of all thanks for the detailed review, I love small phones.. such as "Z5 Compact" (I've Moto X by the way).. here in Pakistan, Sony phones are quiet short but I will manage from somewhere.. well, I know everything is perfect in Z5 compact but I still want to ask some confusions to you

    - Battery Life after full 100%: what about it's battery life? how long it goes after full (just tell in normal using)

    - does it hang a lot while using more than 3 - 5 apps simultaneously? like Samsung does..

    thanks

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    Thanks for this thread. I had wondered about the new offering. A friend of mine was very happy with the Z3 Compact until it was damaged. Although the replacement wasn't the Z5 Compact, I always wondered whether it would have been suitable. I think that I removed it from the short list due to some reviews having concerns over poor heat management in its problematic chipset (which was mitigated in the full Z5). This thread makes me wonder whether heating caused it to limit internal power during your driving experience.

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    I just care about the battery...Sounds good!

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddie-tech View Post
    Hey kb7qdi .. first of all thanks for the detailed review, I love small phones.. such as "Z5 Compact" (I've Moto X by the way).. here in Pakistan, Sony phones are quiet short but I will manage from somewhere.. well, I know everything is perfect in Z5 compact but I still want to ask some confusions to you

    - Battery Life after full 100%: what about it's battery life? how long it goes after full (just tell in normal using)

    - does it hang a lot while using more than 3 - 5 apps simultaneously? like Samsung does..

    thanks
    I only had the phone for a few days before I returned it, but during that time the battery seemed to be reasonable. It's a small phone, so don't expect miracles. If you are on your phone all the time, you'll probably have to recharge it during the day.

    I never really used more than a couple apps at a time, so can't answer your second part.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb7qdi View Post
    I only had the phone for a few days before I returned it, but during that time the battery seemed to be reasonable. It's a small phone, so don't expect miracles. If you are on your phone all the time, you'll probably have to recharge it during the day.

    I never really used more than a couple apps at a time, so can't answer your second part.
    alright.. no issue

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