Sony Xperia Z vs BlackBerry Z10

Vs Paul Briden 13:27, 5 Feb 2013

We take a look at how the two top smartphone compare with the Sony Xperia Z squaring off against the BlackBerry Z10

The Sony Xperia Z flagship is a large 5-inch smartphone with a powerful processor, a sharp and colourful display, Android Jelly Bean and a custom UI overlay.

Meanwhile, the BlackBerry Z10 is more conventionally sized with a 4.2-inch touchscreen, but it still has plenty of good internal hardware and a brand new operating system with BlackBerry 10.

Sony Xperia Z: Key specs and what’s hot

There’s a lot to like about the Xperia Z.

The display, as is usually the case for Sony hardware, is pretty incredible. It’s a 5-inch slab of Dragontrail reinforced glass with LCD technology underneath and the resolution clocks in at 1920x1080 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 443 pixels-per-inch (ppi).

Not only are visuals sharp, but OptiContrast technology ensures deep blacks and plenty of ‘pop’, while the Sony Mobile Bravia Engine 2 delivers fantastic colours, though at the cost of viewing angles (for us, this isn’t an issue). Brightness and white purity are also both excellent.

If having good quality imaging is a priority for you then the Sony Xperia Z is well worth a look.

Sony’s camera sensors have a bit of a reputation and this phone uses the new generation Exmor RS back-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor in a 13-megapixel setup. This also includes HDR mode, panoramic sweep, face detection, LED flash and video light, digital stabilisation and 1080p video capture.

There’s also a 2.2-megapixel snapper on the front capable of 1080p video.

The exterior build of the Sony Xperia Z is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand we’d say Sony has made more aesthetically interesting phones before - this is essentially a flat slab, though we appreciate larger display devices do tend to become tricky for experimentation.

On the other side of the coin though, there are plenty of great little details and design decisions which contribute overall to a nice looking and premium feeling handset.

Sony’s device also has IP57 certification meaning it has water and dust resistant and a level of waterproofing sufficient to save it from a drop in the bath.

The back panel uses the same Dragontrail glass as the display, meaning it’s extra tough, has a premium finish and lends some visual flair to the rear of the device.

The phone is remarkably thin at 7.9mm, the edges have a neat, contoured shape to them with a really cool panelling effect into which the flashy silver buttons are embedded - this gives the phone some cohesion with Sony’s other electronics as it has the presence of a high end stereo or TV.

The bezel is quite thin and the upper and lower screen surround evenly spaced for a sharp look - there are no buttons on the front as the phone uses Android’s on-screen touch controls.

Speaking of Android, it currently runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean but an upgrade to the latest version, 4.2, is expected in due course.

Perks include a choice of over 700,000 apps along with a slick interface, great multitasking and smooth, reliable operation in general use.

The Xperia Z runs Sony’s custom interface overlay, which is a big improvement on predecessors but fans of stock Android may want to download a launcher.

For full details of how the Sony UI experience stacks up check out Basil’s article here.

Lastly, processing power is pretty top-notch owing to the high-grade Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core APQ8064 chip seated within. It’s clocked at a hefty 1.5GHz with 2GB of dual-channel RAM and an Adreno 320 GPU.

All of this means Android runs brilliantly, multitasking is a doddle and intensive apps, games and multimedia are most assuredly on the menu.

Power from the sizeable 2,330 mAh battery pack also puts the Xperia Z out in front of the BlackBerry Z10’s 1,800mAh in terms of lifespan on a single charge.

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