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Sony's Xperia 5 V phone comes with a flagship 52-megapixel sensor

It also has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and heat diffusion shield for gamers.

Sam Benard for Sony

Sony has unveiled the Xperia 5 V smartphone with some nice high-end features and one fewer camera, along with a slightly lower price tag. The company also promises an "extraordinary music and video experience" thanks to the HDR display, updated speakers and more — all at a slightly lower price than the previous Xperia 5 IV model.

Sony smartphones are all about the cameras, and there's good news in that regard, despite what looks like a worse camera array. The Xperia 5 V (yes that's "five five") has the same 52-megapixel Exmor T backside illuminated (BSI) Type 1/1.35-inch stacked sensor as the Xperia 1 V, meaning it's very fast and very good in low-light. In addition, Sony has improved the AI-powered "bokeh mode" to get pictures "closer to the standards of interchangeable lens cameras," the company said.

Sony's Xperia 5 V smartphone comes with a flagship camera sensor and processor
Sony's Xperia 5 V smartphone comes with a flagship camera sensor and processor (Sam Benard for Sony)

As the photo above shows, though, there's now only two rear cameras — the 48-megapixel Exmor T and a 12-megapixel 16mm ultrawide — rather than three as on the Xperia 5 IV. However, the primary sensor has much higher resolution than the previous 12-megapixel telephoto camera, and can dynamically switch between 24mm and 48mm (around 48mm and 96 mm 35mm equivalent) focal lengths, so you still get an equivalent 2X optical (lossless) zoom that should take much sharper images.

As before, you can shoot 4K video at up to 120fps in HDR, and it comes with optical image stabilization, along with 5-axis gyro-powered electronic stabilization for maximum smoothness. Other features include HDR recording, eye-tracking, "Creative Look" color presets and a new Video Creator app that automatically creates a final video based on your choice of shots and music. And for audio creators, it has a dedicated voice recording mic "that picks up your voice even with other voices and environmental sounds in the surroundings," Sony says.

Sony's Xperia 5 V smartphone comes with a flagship 52-megapixel sensor
Sony's Xperia 5 V smartphone comes with a flagship 52-megapixel sensor (Sony)

It's also designed as an entertainment machine, starting with the 6.1-inch OLED HD+ (1,080 x 2,520) display (the same specs as the last model). For watching movies, it comes with Sony's TV Bravia X1 image quality engine for mobile, along with a newly developed front stage speaker system that offers "powerful deep bass" and negates the need for external speakers, Sony claims. And thanks to the power-saving tech, the 5,000mAh battery can go over 24 hours on a charge and maintain 80 percent or higher capacity after three years, according to the company. (That's a subtle dig at Apple's iPhone 14, in case you didn't notice.)

The Xperia 5 V should also be solid for gaming, thanks to the flagship-level Snapdragon 8 Gen2 processor, 120Hz display refresh rate and a larger heat diffusion sheet (it's available with 8GB or 12GB of RAM, plus 128GB of expandable storage). Meanwhile, the game enhancer adds features like an audio equalizer, voice chat mic and a screen recording function.

Despite a small drop in price in Europe, the Xperia 5 V isn't cheap. It's priced at £849 / €999 in the UK / Europe, with availability in "late September." There's no word on US pricing or availability, but we should hear something soon — and as a reminder, the Xperia 5 IV cost $1,000 at launch.