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Screen comparison of Sony Xperia Z vs HTC Butterfly shows almost perfect calibration by HTC

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Screen comparison of Sony Xperia Z vs HTC Butterfly shows almost perfect calibration by HTC
If you are a screen purist, you will be interested in color calibration, viewing angles and contrast ratings a bit more than whether your mobile screen is HD or Full HD, where, for all practical purposes, the difference is negligible from a normal viewing distance.

In those three important categories the 5" Full HD 1080x1920 pixels screen of the Sony Xperia Z loses significantly to the HTC Butterfly, which is an HTC Droid DNA for the rest of the world, and the first smartphone announced with a Full HD display.

HTC, it seems, has done an iPhone 5-like job at screen calibration, as you can see in the last chart of the slideshow below, reaching an almost perfect color gamut representation and true white, whereas the Xperia Z boasts wider sRGB gamut than the standard, oversaturating the colors a bit, and displaying a "colder" 7500K white in comparison with the 6500K of the HTC Butterfly.

Not only this, but the tests also showed that HTC's handset, despite its lower 385 nits brightness, compared to Sony's 400-440 nits, depending on the screen area measured, has a higher contrast rating of 1153:1, against the Z's 570:1, which makes black appear grayish. The higher contrast and better reflective coating also make the HTC Butterfly more visible in direct sunlight than the Xperia Z.

When we add the viewing angles which you can see are inferiour on Sony's flaship without any specialized equipment, the best 5" Full HD title is going to HTC's screen calibration efforts, whereas Sony shows again that there's something to be desired from the screens with its Mobile BRAVIA Engine tech for some reason, regardless of how high their pixel density is - we had the same viewing angle issues with all its flagships last year. 

A very small percentage of users are screen purists, though, so if we put the Z's other virtues in one place, it would still tip the scale in its favor, but Sony should take note and improve the screens on its high-ends going forward anyway.

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posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:10 32

1. _Bone_ (Posts: 2125; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Terrible viewing angles on the Z, the HTC One will crush it.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:19 3

2. Emily1985 (Posts: 123; Member since: 08 Nov 2012)


viewing angles i do not care but poor camera
, poor video recording and very poor sound quality i do care.
And yes, higher resolution does not mean better screen or a better camera.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 07:47 10

35. timaustin2000 (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


Emily - there's nothing wrong with the camera! Phonearena were just being over-critical. I've done my own tests on it now: While there's nothing "next gen" or revolutionary with the camera on the XZ, neither is it noticably worse than any other high-end phone camera. Indeed, I prefer the saturation and white balance it offers to the competition. People are over-reacting.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:48 12

9. rgxVOiD (Posts: 433; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


Seriously, what's with the viewing angles? Do you not use the phone by looking straight at it? I'm not saying that Z is the best or anything here, I just don't understand people

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 07:00 11

29. _Bone_ (Posts: 2125; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


You likely have IPS or AMOLED screen on your phone and you'd be surprised how quickly viewing angle issues come up with TFT. You can't always hold the device looking straight at you face, but bigger issues come when it's on the desk, charging pad, bed, docking station, in the car etc., and all of the sudden you look at a low-contrast 441ppi mess and have to pick it up every single time.

We've been treated so well on the viewing angles front that many can't image it being a real issue, yet everybody at CES or picking up the review unit instantly noticed the problem. Don't burn $800 before you are absolutely convinced in the store that it's good enough for you, that's he most sound advice one can give.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 08:12 1

40. ubuntu (Posts: 40; Member since: 11 Jan 2013)


op op op f*ck u _Bone_ hahaha

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 08:19 6

42. _Bone_ (Posts: 2125; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Why me? I didn't make those lousy TFT screens hahaha.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 08:21 1

43. maccess (Posts: 598; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


i think you got a fan _Bone_ lol!!

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 09:22 1

49. SleepingOz (unregistered)


a butthurt one..

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:58 4

13. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


and yet, I think iPhone 5 will still crush both phones in any display comparison made by PA. tss.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:00 3

17. pwnarena (Posts: 879; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


no, samsung will. samsung rules here. not iphone.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 09:10 6

48. Commentator (Posts: 2394; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Only if Ray does the screen review.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 09:42 2

51. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


do you really want some strangers staring at your phone ?

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 09:52 3

52. emadshiny (Posts: 1131; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


if you look at your phone from angles, i suggest you to visit your doctor as fast as possible.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 22:18 1

60. harshithh (Posts: 12; Member since: 18 Feb 2013)


viewing angles doesnt ply a important role in mobile!!coz nobody gonna operate thier mobile keeping it slant of making it tilt.the just use thier mobile wen the eyes are parallel to screen!!!

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:20 13

3. maccess (Posts: 598; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


i think it's time for sony to move from TFT to LCD or even OLED.. i know they can make much better screen than the one on the Z.. i have walkman x series mp3 palyer which has an oled screen.. i think their oled screen is pretty good..

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 07:28 7

32. o7o (Posts: 58; Member since: 26 Jun 2009)


You do know that TFT is a LCD, right?

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 07:50 3

36. maccess (Posts: 598; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


i know it.. maybe i should say super lcd instead just said lcd.. but sometimes sony keep makes me confuse by keep saying TFT while other manufacture already use "LCD" words for their display technology..

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 15:44

62. o7o (Posts: 58; Member since: 26 Jun 2009)


Yeah, that makes sense now. :)

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 08:50 3

46. SonyXperiaNexus (Posts: 374; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)


yeah, i think its time to switch over to OLED. I luv deep blacks and saturated colours. sony should put some more muscle in oled display R&D.

posted on 22 Feb 2013, 12:49

64. mobiuspizza (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)


Actually, What Xperia Z needs is IGZO screen. With that, the phone is near perfection.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:25 5

4. AshishRomea (Posts: 145; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


use Z screen caliberation and get saturation right !

and yeah no htc can crush sony just coz viewing angles are great , Z is just more than specs !

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:28 8

5. pwnarena (Posts: 879; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


I agree with this one. That's really a good article there. Somehow, the general biases of phonearena don't manifest when Sony is pitted against Samsung and Apple.

Sony should really improve their displays. What's wrong with this company? I thought they're offering the best of Sony in this smartphone. Makes you cringe at the thought of how good their other products are if the XZ is the best they can offer.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:01 1

20. pwnarena (Posts: 879; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


imean the general biases of phonearena don't manifest when Sony is pitted against HTC or Nokia...

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 08:53

47. SonyXperiaNexus (Posts: 374; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)


i agree with u there... i hv to give htc credit over here.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:35

6. lee480 (Posts: 174; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


lol Only people who is not alright will be concerned about screen viewing angles. Unless you are not mentally alright, there is 100% no need to tilt your phone while viewing.
Needless to say, Galaxy S3 cannot even display whites properly. Oddly, PhoneArena is always praising that highly saturated screen.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:39 1

7. maccess (Posts: 598; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


as far as i know it turns out the opposite.. phonearena never really like the oversaturated screen of super amoled.. they tend to prefer the more natural one like super lcd or ips screen..

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:48 7

8. lee480 (Posts: 174; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


Read the comparison between Xperia Ion and Galaxy S3.
PA said S3's screen got the edge as the screen has punchy colours, compared to the fairly accurate ion.

Anyways PA is anti Sony. Even CNET praises Xperia Z's screen. In fact between CNET, PA and GSMarena, only PA said Sony's camera were not impressive unlike the rest.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:55 3

11. maccess (Posts: 598; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


yeah but in other comparison like the s3 vs one x or s3 vs optimus g PA simply prefer the slcd on the one x and the ips on the optimus g..

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:58

15. lee480 (Posts: 174; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


This simply shows PA is biased against Sony. They immediately loved the over saturated screen when comparing with Sony.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:01 1

18. maccess (Posts: 598; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


haha.. no comment about that..

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:49 3

10. MistB (Posts: 571; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Where in the article is the s3 being mentioned, the droid DNA > Xperia z display yet you felt the need to bring in an almost 1 year old phone for comparisons sake. Inferiority complex from the Sony Camp as always, I like Sony but as always their diehards are the most vocal alongside Nokia who don't like any hint of criticism or others that don't agree with them.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:01 3

19. lee480 (Posts: 174; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


Nah. I'm not a Sony die hard fan. I have criticisms of Sony. But the biasness by PA is too hard to ignore.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 09:26 1

50. SleepingOz (unregistered)


+1 MistB

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:57

12. yero789 (unregistered)


I wouldn't take any of these two phones,because the screen is not as bright as I would want to,because I use my phone outdoors very much,and I need a phone with very bright screen.I mean even if they are very bright,the fullHD screen with full brightness would eat the battery life for instance,I've had Xpera S and I always turned on the power saver with the display being 0% because it was eating battery life!

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 05:58 7

14. IU_Lover (Posts: 35; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)


IM STILL BUYING THE Z COZ IT LOOKS SOOO PWEETY

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:00

16. Yeahman (Posts: 33; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


Contrast 570:1? That's really bad, even compared to Sony's old Xperia S.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:03

21. pwnarena (Posts: 879; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


or something could be wrong with that unit. though i'm really almost convinced that's just how the final xz really will be. really disappointing. this coming from someone who hopes sony makes a comeback.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:04 5

22. pwnarena (Posts: 879; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


sony fans please be objective. if we continue to act like there's nothing really wrong, sony will never realize that they need to fix something. you are not helping the company by making them think everything's just fine when it's not.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:16 1

23. lee480 (Posts: 174; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


Yes. I'm very objective. There's nothing wrong. Let's be factually normal. We do not tilt phones by more than 30 degrees to view the screen. Unless there's a problem with your brain processing images.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:26

25. rgxVOiD (Posts: 433; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


Could just be a pre-production software, or just this phone. It always happen when the test unit have problems.
Yes there is something wrong, and what do you want me to do. Just not buy a phone that I like?

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:40

26. pwnarena (Posts: 879; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


of course not. please buy it. what i'm saying is sony fans are a captive market. what we want is to increase sony's share of the market. we can't convince other people to buy sony if that would mean offering them something that is inferior (according to their standards).

the sales figures of other manufactures would show that there is preference for displays with wider viewer angles. after all, not all of them buy their phones for practical uses. most of them buy it for the bragging rights.

the xz looks good with the screen turned off but with the display on, the way the colors fade simply discourages potential buyers that we would have wanted to choose a sony.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:47 1

27. redmd (Posts: 882; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Sony phones all have bad viewing angles since their 2010 flagships with the Xperia Arc then with the Xperia S and now the Xperia Z. They have not improved unike HTC using IPS tech on their Super LCD2. They should move to IPS tech or use OLED instead.

lee it seem to me you have yet to get your hands on the HTC One X or the Galaxy S3 or the iP4/4S/5. Viewing angles matters.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:26 6

24. harshithh (Posts: 12; Member since: 18 Feb 2013)


phone arena always shows negative aspects of sony!he never highlights the positive aspects of sony. whereas he hides all negative aspects of samsung,htc nd other brands.nd shows only positive character of them .he is too biased.!!! gsmarena is much better than phonarena!

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 07:27 4

31. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


should they lie to satisfy you?

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 07:55 5

37. GALAXY-STORM (Posts: 328; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)


I think you need to read sxz's review in gsmarena which says display was a disappointment apart from being the current benchmark king. Accept the truth.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 11:02 1

54. SonyXperiaNexus (Posts: 374; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)


i think you hv misunderstood his comment. i dont think he is saying that he disagrees with any con but is saying that they only tell you the con, that too smtimes exaggerated, and dont focus on the good stuff.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 06:49 2

28. redmd (Posts: 882; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Slide number 4 says it all.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 07:40

33. troutsy (Posts: 257; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)


I was going to reply back with a snarky, "No it doesn't, none of the slides say anything at all--including titles, axis descriptions, values, etc." But I have to agree with you about #4.

Still... label the damn charts. 8th Grade science/math fail.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 14:53 1

58. oyalinkaya (Posts: 19; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)


Yeah, but it tells me that "screen-purist" have their heads tilted 45 degrees backwards. Otherwise there is no need to use that phone in such a wierd angle.

They are called handsets for a reason: They are bound to be in one's hand.

On the other hand, that viewing angle of Z is weaker when it comes to left-right tilts. So, people cannot read what you are reading/writing unless they are looking over your shoulder. ^_^

That's why I love TFT's. And by the way, read the last sentence of the review. The author has definitely praises Bravia engine...

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 07:23 1

30. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


another reason for sony's fans to weep

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 07:45

34. pyradark (Posts: 767; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


My guess xperia Z is on default adjustment, there is a display calibration to make things more saturated and adjust other stuff. I hope they show sample on it. There is no cure on viewing angle!! Hahaha
Cant wait to get one

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 08:03 1

38. GeekMovement (Posts: 1501; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


News after news the Xperia Z is making me more disappointed. I'm still considering it though. I'll see how I like it against the HTC one, Samsung Galaxy S IV, and the LG Optimus pro.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 08:39

44. PunyPoop (Posts: 715; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


Because that's the way PA wants you to see it mate.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 08:09

39. ryq24 (Posts: 486; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


So far all the reviews I read are critical of the camera and the viewing angle thing. Making me confuse wether to buy it or not. Might as well wait and see what htc one has to offer and which comes out first and of course the price.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 08:16 1

41. Eonnaydra (Posts: 204; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


HTC's quality is over Sony's.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 11:44 1

56. Taters (Posts: 2917; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Sony products are way better than HTC. My two Xperia S had the yellow tint and the screen wasn't as nice as the specs would suggest, but at least they were well built and everything worked great. The Xperia keyboard is actually the closest to swift key and the Z10 keyboard.

The two One X and 8x I have owned. Terrible. I already gave them 4 shots at different times. You know the M7 is going to have some type of big issue.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 08:43 1

45. PunyPoop (Posts: 715; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


Really PA. You're like the movie INCEPTION you keep on injecting trashes in our minds that Xperia Z isn't a good phone. Sony didn't pay enough bucks to you right?

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 09:54 2

53. emadshiny (Posts: 1131; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


look at third image. Z has better sun legibility as we can see more vivid colors on its screen.

posted on 18 Feb 2013, 18:17

59. pyradark (Posts: 767; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


yeah look closely at imge #3, they have the same color quality thanks to bravia engine, i expect they make those chart on the menu screen that's why its a let down.

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