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Two years behind the curve: The Xperia 5 continues Sony's tradition of making poor camera phones

The Sony Xperia 5. (Source: Pocket Lint)
The Sony Xperia 5. (Source: Pocket Lint)
Sony makes some of the best smartphone camera sensors, so one would expect the company's flagships to offer excellent camera performance. That could not be farther from the reality of the matter, though, as Sony has consistently shown to be two years behind the competition in terms of real-world smartphone camera performance.

For a company that makes some of the best CMOS sensors in the world, it's amazing how Sony also manages to put out smartphones with pretty bad camera performance. When the Xperia 1 was launched earlier in the year, Sony claimed that it had removed the shackles that held back its smartphone cameras and now had its  Alpha line engineers working on its smartphone cameras. 

That hasn't been very effective.

The Sony Xperia 1 was put through the works at DxOMark and failed rather stupefyingly, earning an overall score of 94, a figure on par with those of two-year-old flagships like the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and iPhone 8 Plus. Sony released the Xperia 5 almost six months after the Xperia 1 and one would expect to see improvements but that doesn't appear to be the case either.

For one, the Xperia 5 flopped hard at our camera tests, with the reviewer having this to say about the phone's cameras:

Sony has equipped the handset with a trio of 12 MP rear-facing sensors that work well enough, but without impressing us in any sense.

The Xperia 5 has also made its way over to DxOMark. So far, only the phone's selfie cameras have been evaluated, and they fail to impress. The phone earned a selfie score of 79, just one more than the Xperia 1's score of 78. Again, one would expect better improvements than that, but Sony apparently just doesn't care.

A selfie score of 79 puts it on par with devices like the Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy S9+. Both of which are also effectively two-year-old devices at the point. There's a pattern here.

We're not sure why Sony completely fails at delivering competitive cameras, but the Japanese company will have to work on that if they're to ever regain any semblance of mainstream relevance in the flagship space.

Buy Xperia 5 now on Amazon

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 11 > Two years behind the curve: The Xperia 5 continues Sony's tradition of making poor camera phones
Ricci Rox, 2019-11-24 (Update: 2019-11-24)