Sony Xperia Z full review

Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5

Sony's new flagship smartphone for 2013 is the Xperia Z, but how does it stack up against the iconic iPhone 5? We take a look in our Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5 comparison review.

Sony’s Xperia Z is one of the most talked about smartphones of the year but it’s got to go up against the extremely popular iPhone 5.

The Xperia Z was announced at CES where we spent a short amount of time with it. Therefore, this article focuses on the specifications of each phone with comment where appropriate.

A full Xperia Z review will be online as soon as we can manage it but for now check out the following articles.

Sony Xperia Z hands-on review

iPhone 5 review

Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5: Price

There isn't an official price for the Xperia Z from Sony but many online retailers have it pegged for about £520 SIM-free. Provided this price remains the same, it will be only marginally cheaper than the iPhone 5 which starts at £529 from Apple.

See also: Sony Xperia Z goes up for pre-order.

Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5: Design

With a bigger screen size, it's the Xperia Z which is the larger handset at 71x139mm. The Apple iPhone 5 is 59x124mm. Despite its large size the Xperia Z is almost as thin as the iPhone 5 at 7.9mm compared to 7.6mm.

It's unsurprising that the iPhone 5 is lighter, then, at 112g. Meanwhile the Xperia Z weighs 146g which isn’t too bad for its size.

The two smartphones arguable look similar with square designs. Each uses high grade materials including glass aluminium and glass fibre. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but the Xperia Z is dustproof and water-resistant (IP57 certified) which the iPhone 5 is not.

See alsoGroup test: What's the best smartphone?

Sony Xperia Z screen

See also: Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia Z comparison review

Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5: Screen

Apple increased the size of the iPhone's screen to 4in with the iPhone 5. However, most other high-end smartphones on the market have larger ones still. The Sony Xperia Z is no exception with a display an inch bigger at 5in. In the world of smartphones, this is quite a difference.

The Sony Xperia Z has a Full HD resolution of 1080 x 1920 which is higher than the iPhone 5's 640 x 1136. The screen is larger on the Sony but the high resolution still makes its pixel density higher at 441ppi compared to 326ppi.

Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5: Processor and memory

Apple uses its own A6 chip based on the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture, it's a dual-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz. The Sony Xperia Z uses a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM – twice the amount of the iPhone 5.

Considering the specifications of the Xperia Z are the same as that of the Google Nexus 4, we expect it to beat the iPhone 5 in the GeekBench 2 test. The Nexus 4 scored 2009 and the iPhone 5 scored 1650.

Sony Xperia Z vs iPhone 5

Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5: Storage

Sony has only made the Xperia Z with 16GB of internal storage but the iPhone 5 comes in its usual 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options.

Although the iPhone 5 has more internal storage on offer the Xperia Z has a microSD card slot which is a cheaper way of adding storage. However, the expansion slot can only accept cards of up to 32GB meaning the Xperia Z maxes out at 48GB.

It's swings and roundabouts on this subject.

Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5: Cameras

The iPhone 5 has what was a typical high end camera resolution for last year at 8Mp. However, but if the Xperia Z is anything to go by then 13Mp is a new standard. Each camera is able to record video in full HD 1080p quality but the Xperia Z's Exmor RS sensor promises higher quality results, according to Sony.

The Sony Xperia Z offers a higher resolution front facing camera at 2.2Mp compared to 1.2Mp. It can shoot video in Full HD 1080p while the iPhone 5 is limited to 720p.

Look out for our Xperia Z review for a proper look at the camera.

Apple iPhone 5

Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5: Connectivity

Both of these smartphones have typical connectivity features including Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and digital living network alliance (DLNA) certification. The also both support 4G LTE networks.

Once of the main differences is that the Xperia Z has near-field communications (NFC) but the iPhone 5 doesn't. Another difference is that the iPhone 5 uses Apple's proprietary Lightning connecter whereas the Xperia Z uses the common microUSB.

Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5: Software

Software is a massive difference between these smartphones. Apple's iPhone 5 runs its own iOS 6 software while Sony's Xperia Z uses Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. We could write an entire article comparing the two operating systems so check out our reviews via the links below.

What is worth saying now is that both operating systems are a very good choice. They are by far the two most popular on the market at the moment. Both have a lot in common but iOS is simple, easy to use and promises reliability while Android is more customisable and has more features as standard. Both have affluent stores in which to buy apps, games, music, films and magazines.

iOS 6 review

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean review

Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5: Battery

The iPhone 5 has a 5.45Wh capacity battery and the Xperia Z has a larger 8.6Wh (2330mAh), both of the non-removable variety. The iPhone 5 gets through a day with moderate use and in theory the Xperia Z can go further with is higher capacity and a Stamina Mode which can improve standby time by four times. We'll have to wait and see whether this is the case or not.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.


Sony Xperia Z: Specs

  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS
  • 5in Reality Display (1080x1920)
  • Sony Mobile Bravia Engine 2
  • 1.5GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage
  • 13Mp rear camera AF with LED Flash
  • 2.2Mp front camera
  • Video recording at 1080p
  • HSDPA, 42 Mbps
  • HSUPA, 5.8 Mbps
  • 4G LTE, Cat3
  • 2330mAh battery
  • 71x139x7.9mm
  • 145g

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