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Sony Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact Tips & Tricks

How to get the most from your Sony Xperia Z5 or Xperia Z5 Compact phone with our tips and tricks help guide, including extending battery life, enhancing the display, boosting security and allowing your kids to play safely.

How to make your Xperia Z5’s screen more or less colourful

If your Xperia Z5’s screen isn’t colourful enough for your liking, head to Settings > Display and then tap ‘Image enhancement’. Here you can turn on Sony’s X-Reality software rendering, which cleans up images and keeps them sharp, or the Super-Vivid Mode, which boosts a photo or video’s colours to make it really stand out.

Sony Xperia Z5 screen

Read next: How the Xperia Z5’s screen compares with rivals the LG G4, Galaxy S6, iPhone 6s

How to use apps side-by-side (proper multi-tasking)

At the bottom of your desktops you have three virtual buttons in a row – Back, Home and Recent Apps. If you tap the Recent Apps button, which is basically a square, you’ll notice a row of icons pops up just above. This is the Small Apps tray, which allows you to open a selection of apps in rescalable windows.

Tap the up arrow icon to the left of the tray for even more apps which can be opened in windows, and drag your favourites into the tray for fast access. Open one and you’ll see that you can move the window around by dragging the top edge, or resize by dragging the bottom right corner. And, of course, you can open more than one Small App at once.

Sony Xperia Z5 multitasking apps

How to extend your Xperia Z5’s battery life

The Xperia Z5 already boasts decent battery life, generally lasting a day and a half between charges, but you might still find yourself caught out with no means of charging and your battery meter stuck in the red. In that case, head to Settings > Power Management.

From here you can activate three different power modes that can stretch out your last remaining bit of battery life. They are:

Stamina Mode – The ‘Extended Standby’ option disables WiFi and mobile data when phone isn’t in use, but the phone will behave normally when the screen is on. The ‘Extended usage’ option restricts general usage and power consumption when the screen is on. You can choose to have one or both features enabled at once.

Ultra Stamina Mode – This basically slashes most of the Xperia Z5’s functionality, in case you desperately need to preserve the final dregs of battery life for emergency calls or texting.

Low Battery Mode – A mode that can be set to automatically activate when the battery level drops to a set figure. You can custom select which features are automatically switched off, including Bluetooth, GPS and image enhancement.

Sony Xperia Z5 battery management

How to unlock your phone with your fingerprint or bluetooth accessory

Rather than using a PIN code or password to unlock your Xperia Z5, why not make use of that fingerprint scanner? Just head to Settings > Security and then tap Fingerprint Manager and follow the instructions to register your print – and you can set up more than one if you want a family member to have access, or you switch hands a lot.

In addition, you can set your Xperia Z5 to automatically unlock if it detects that one of your Bluetooth accessories is paired up. Head back to Settings > Security and then tap Smart Lock. After confirming your PIN, you can tag any paired headsets, watches and other Bluetooth accessory as a trusted device.

How to unlock your Sony Xperia Z5 phone

How to safely allow your kids to play with your Xperia Z5

Your kids might want to borrow your precious Xperia Z5 to stay entertained on a tedious trip, but what if they decide to blow all your Google Play credit on a Peppa Pig game or call your mates for a lark?

No worries. Just go to Settings > Users and then either select Guest Mode or add them as a new user. They won’t have access to your SIM card or any of your accounts, so you don’t have to worry about them getting up to mischief. However, bear in mind that they can’t access your media or installed apps either, so you’ll need to separately add anything they want to use.

Parental controls on Sony Xperia Z5

How to smartly control when your Xperia Z5 hibernates

If you head into Settings > Display and then scroll down to the Sleep function, you can set exactly how long the Xperia Z5 waits from the last input it received before automatically turning the screen off. It’s a good idea to set this quite low, so you don’t accidentally leave the phone turned on when it’s not in use.

Of course, if you set this to just a minute or two, then chances are the Xperia Z5 will occasionally fade to black when you’re busy reading an email or checking out a photo. Sony’s Smart Backlight Control feature is a handy way of making sure that your screen stays on if you’re actively using the handset, overriding that turn-off time as long as the front-facing camera detects your eyeballs.

Sony Xperia X5 sleep functionality

To turn the Smart Backlight Control on, just go to Settings > Display > Smart Backlight Control and flip the virtual switch.

Check out our full Xperia Z5 review and Xperia Z5 Compact review