Sony Xperia Z vs iPhone 5
We see if Sony's Xperia Z flagship can take down Apple's iPhone 5
We take a look at how Sony's flagship Xperia Z compares to the iPhone 5.
The iPhone 5 is the first of Apple’s smartphones to sport a larger display and, consequently, a larger chassis. However, by contemporary standards it’s still a diminutive handset and overall visually it’s very similar to its predecessors.
The style is Apple’s signature ‘candy bar’ slab with rounded corners and the only big change is the abandonment of the old glass back panel, which has been replaced with an aluminium unibody while retaining the glass front.
While visually not much has changed the iPhone 5 somehow manages to feel both more robust and yet considerably lighter in weight. Indeed it’s probably one of the lightest phones you’re likely to encounter.
If you can’t get enough of Jony Ive’s iconic designs then you’re going to be happy with the iPhone 5.
But if you’re now bored of it, or if you never were that taken with it in the first place, the iPhone 5 doesn’t have anything particularly special with regards to form factor.
While Apple has ditched the glass back panel, other manufacturers are now adopting it with gusto. Sony is one such phone-maker as the new Xperia Z features glass on both front and back.
This isn’t the usual Gorilla Glass, however, as Sony is introducing a new reinforced glass tech known as ‘Dragontrail’ which is allegedly six times stronger.
In terms of aesthetics, the Xperia Z is a larger handset with a 5-inch display, but it’s also very thin at only 7.9mm from front to back. The shape is fairly typical of what we’ve seen from Sony before, it’s quite angular with only very slight curvature at the corners and a narrow bezel on either side of the display.
The Xperia Z features smooth and uninterrupted surfaces and the edges have some interesting panelled detailing to compliment the silver trim and controls. There aren’t any buttons on the front of the handset as it uses on-screen controls via Android’s interface.
While arguably Sony’s Xperia T was a visually more interesting phone to look at the Xperia Z still shows Sony can fabricate excellent hardware when it wants to and the thin, large scale design does carry a certain premium quality - a factor further accentuated by the fit and finish.
Importantly, it’s also a much more appealing prospect than the now rather tired iPhone design.
Winner – Sony Xperia Z
Apple’s Retina displays are generally regarded as a yardstick with which to measure those of other manufacturers.
For a time, that was with good reason as they delivered unparalleled visual clarity.
The iPhone 5’s IPS LCD display is a little larger than earlier models at 4-inches but the resolution has been ramped up to 1136x640 pixels to keep the pixel density at 326 pixels-per-inch (ppi), meaning it’s more or less in-line with the iPhone 4 for sharpness. Colour and contrast remain excellent.
However, while the company’s displays are still up there with the best of them Apple is now getting outpaced fairly consistently by sharper screens from its rivals.
Sony is one such competitor which has leapt ahead with display tech on its handsets and the Xperia Z doesn't break the trend.
The 5-inch LCD features a 1920x1080 pixel HD resolution at a density of 443ppi delivering an incredibly sharp picture.
It doesn’t end with the sharpness, however, whites are highly vivid and Sony has installed the new Sony Mobile Bravia Engine 2 alongside OptiContrast technology. The combination of these means you get better saturation and richer colours as well as excellent contrast and deep blacks.
Sony has really pulled out all the stops with the display on this latest flagship.
Winner – Sony Xperia Z
The Xperia Z comes with 16GB of onboard storage and also has a microSD port for card expansion.
As with all iPhones, the iPhone 5 has options for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of internal capacity but has no card capability.
As usual, it’s something of a trade-off.
Apple offers a wider range of internal storage options with the top two choices granting double and quadruple the space of the Xperia Z’s solo model. But, you can’t expand the storage as you can with Sony’s device.
When it comes down to it, we rarely find we need more than 16GB on a phone anyway.
Winner - Draw