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When you first look at Xperia 5, you’ll notice just how striking it is. From its sleek, metal frame made from durable Corning® Gorilla® Glass 6, to its 21:9 CinemaWide™ 6.1-inch Full HD+ OLED display – it’s no wonder the media are going nuts for it!

Packing in most of the clever technologies found in Xperia 1, Xperia 5 is slightly smaller than its big brother at 158 x 68 x 8.2mm, and is the optimum fit for your hand. While the device may be smaller, it’s a multi-tasking powerhouse allowing users to split screen two windows with ease.

We wanted to find out more about how these bold handsets were designed and the inspiration behind them, so we chatted to the brains behind the flagship, Murai-san.

Xperia 5 comes in four striking colours. How did you choose the colours: Black, Grey, Blue and Red?

I carefully considered and created a plethora of colours and textures, playing around with them to decide which would fit the Xperia’s theme of “Flow of Light”, found in different variations across some of Sony’s other smartphones. We made a number of mock-ups to help us pick our favourite colours.

Finally, I selected the four bold colours we have today. There’s Black or Grey for a bold handset with a classic feel, and Blue or Red for a vibrant splash of colour.* These four shades match perfectly with the product concept and offer something for everyone.

What cultural and design references influenced you when designing Xperia 5?

“Flow of Light” was a key theme throughout the whole design process. I designed Xperia 5 based on this. We brought the texture to life by ensuring that the colour, material and finish nodded to the brightness of light that overflows in everyday life.

Let’s take the blue handset, for example. If you tilt the phone one way, you will see deep navy hues. Tilt it the other way and you’ll notice strokes of light flashing across the body. All four colours were designed to shift and alter depending on the environment and angle – exactly as real light does!

How did you manage to create a device that looks striking and yet is still incredibly durable?

Xperia 5 has a sleek, symmetrical round shape, making it both neat and beautifully geometric. Yet, it’s still reminiscent of Xperia’s classic and unique square silhouette.

By combining the side metal frame with the front and back glass panels, we could ensure a firm, rigid body which fits beautifully in your hand. This was achieved by shortening the width by 4mm compared to Xperia 1.

What makes this design stand out from other smartphones on the market?

Xperia 5 is truly unique. It maintains the immersive CinemaWide™ experience inherited from Xperia 1’s eye-popping 21:9 display, yet it feels beautifully balanced and offers a compact design for those wanting a smaller handset.

Can you talk us through the different manufacturing processes to make each colour? Especially blue vs red and grey vs black.

In order to realise the beautiful design, it is processed with transparent vapour deposition on the back of the glass. This might sound technical, but it’s essentially a piece of ‘film’ that gives the Xperia 5 a light texture and polished frame – it helped us to achieve the “Flow of Light” feeling.

Can you talk us through the different manufacturing processes to make each colour? Especially blue vs red and grey vs black

In order to realise the beautiful design, it is processed with transparent vapour deposition on the back of the glass. This might sound technical, but it’s essentially a piece of ‘film’ that gives the Xperia 5 a light texture and polished frame – it helped us to achieve the “Flow of Light” feeling.

For the blue handset, we opted for a mysterious tone and achieved this by making the transparent vapour deposition bright in blue. This sits on the front of the phone. For the back, we used a calm tone of solid blue.

This might surprise you but the red handset was also created using glass in a bright blue. We achieved the red by printing in a solid red shade in multiple layers using a high saturation. The finished product is a gorgeous rouge shade.

The grey has a soft and shiny hue. We made this by making the glass surface shine a little bit stronger, using a neutral colour and printing a warm, solid gray on the back surface of the glass.

The black was printed using the blackest ink. We didn’t add any extra elements to the glass. This was matched with the colour of the polished frame to create a solid, dark shade.

Want to know more about Xperia 5? Check out our FAQs or Everything You Need To Know.

* Timing and availability will vary by market

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