Sony Xperia Z vs Google Nexus 4

Sony's Xperia Z is its flagship smartphone for 2013, but how does it stack up against Google's own Nexus 4? We take an in-depth look at these two Android smartphones in our Sony Xperia Z vs Google Nexus 4 comparison review.

Although these smartphones are pretty similar, there are areas which they are quite different and might cause you to sway to one particular handset.

After using both the Xperia Z and Nexus 4 for a while we've broken this down into different sections to you can home in on what's important to you.

Sony Xperia Z review

Google Nexus 4 review

Sony Xperia Z vs Google Nexus 4: Price

Choosing between the Nexus 4 and Xperia is difficult for a number of reasons. However, the price could be the best way of deciding. We're talking SIM-free prices since there are many, ever changing, contracts on offer. See also: Group test: What's the best Android smartphone?

The Sony Xperia Z will set you back the same amount as an iPhone 5, £529 putting it at the top end of the smartphone market. Google's Nexus 4 in stark contrast costs just £239 for the cheapest model meaning you could escape the shackles of a contract for a more flexible SIM-only deal.

It's less than half the price but you certainly don’t get half the specifications. If you're on a budget then the Nexus 4 is clearly the best option for you, but if you have a bit more cash to flash then the Xperia Z might have a few features you think are worth paying for.

Read on as we look into the specifications and features on offer from each smartphone.

Sony Xperia Z vs Google Nexus 4: Design and build

From our point of view, the Xperia Z and Nexus 4 both offer premium design and build. They are quite similar devices in a number of ways. See also: Google LG Nexus 4 vs Apple iPhone 5 comparison review.

Both of these phones look the part with glass used on the front and back, each has a rubbery plastic frame but we found the Nexus 4 the more slippery customer. You can choose which you like the look of more with the distinct square shape of the Xperia Z or more rounded contours of the Nexus 4.

While the Xperia Z is plain glass the Nexus 4 has a rear cover which is covered in tiny silver squares. The somewhat glittery finish might not be to everyone's taste.

Google Nexus 4

Both of these phones are thin and light devices – the Xperia Z at 7.9mm and 145g and the Nexus 4 at 9.1mm and 139g.

With a bigger screen the Xperia Z is slightly bigger than the Nexus 4 at 71 x 139mm compared to 69 x 134mm. Both are large handsets and our advice is to try and get your hands on them before parting with your hard earned cash.

Build quality of each of these smartphones is exceptional; we scored them both nine out of 10 in our individual reviews. Neither has a removable rear cover and as we've mentioned both use mainly glass.

The biggest difference to point out is that the Xperia Z is dust and water proof (to an IP57 certification) whereas the Nexus 4 is not. The flaps covering the Xperia Z's ports might get annoying sometimes but if you want a more durable and rugged phone, the Sony has one up on the Nexus 4.

Sony Xperia Z vs Google Nexus 4: Screen

As we've already mentioned, the Xperia Z has a larger screen than the Nexus 4. But at 5in and 4.7in respectively they aren't too different; both are big screens and good for web browsing, games and media consumption.

While both screens are decent quality, the Xperia Z does outperform the Nexus 4 thanks to its Full HD resolution of 1080 x 1920. This means it has a whopping pixel density of 441ppi compared to the Nexus 4's 320ppi with its still respectable resolution of 768 x 1280.

Sony Xperia Z Full HD screen

Sony Xperia Z vs Google Nexus 4: Processor and memory

Google's Nexus 4 shares the same internal core specifications as the Sony Xperia Z. Each has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro coupled with 2GB of RAM.

The Nexus 4 scored marginally better in the GeekBench 2 test with a score of 2009 compared to the Xperia Z's 1986. Neither did especially well in the SunSpider JavaScript test with scores of 1906ms and 1791ms. And in the GLBenchmark graphics tests both managed impressive results of 30fps and 39fps.

There's barely any difference in performance between the two phones so we can call it a draw on this front. Either device will deliver solidly good performance for a smartphone. They are two of the best we've seen to date.

Next page: Sony Xperia Z vs Google Nexus 4 storage, cameras, connectivity, software and battery life.

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