Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5
Now that we've extensively reviewed Sony's latest flagship, it's time for us to start comparing it to the best smartphones that are available today and see just how well it stacks up against the competition. The first tough guy that we're going to compare the Xperia Z against is Apple's finest – the iPhone 5. Both smarpthones are among the very best out there, so this is bound to be an interesting clash. Now, let's see how the Z is going to fare against the status symbol!
We rarely have the pleasure of comparing two smartphones that are both outstanding in terms of appearance and construction. This is one of those rare occasions, though, so things are going to get quite interesting. Both handsets look spectacularly-well, so it will be up to you to decide which one you like better.
The Xperia Z has an all-glass design, similar to the iPhone 4 and 4S. As a result that handset is very seductive – much better-looking than what it would have been if it had a simple soft-touch plastic back. Sony really deserves credit here for going this way. In addition, both the front and back panels are perfectly flat making for a very clean and stylish appearance.
It's also worth mentioning that the iPhone 5 is much lighter and smaller than the Z, so people who do not enjoy very big phones should keep this in mind.
Sony has actually taken both the customers and the competition by surprise by giving the Xperia Z some rugged features. The Z is IP57 certified, meaning that it's dust- and water-resistant – something that no competing high-end smartphone can offer, including the iPhone 5.
The sides of the Sony Xperia Z (bottom, left) and the Apple iPhone 5 (top, right)
Aside from the obvious difference that the 5” display of the Xperia Z is much bigger than the 4” display of the iPhone 5, the Xperia Z has the advantage of the higher resolution – after all, it's a 1080p display that delivers a super-high pixel density of 441 ppi, compared to the iPhone 5's 326 ppi. Both pixel densities are extremely high and offer an incredibly crisp and clear image, with the Z naturally being a tad clearer.
However, when it comes to pure image quality, we actually find the iPhone to be superior. The displays of both phones are almost equally bright (the iPhone 5 has just a slight advantage there), but the Xperia Z's screen has a significantly lower contrast, and slightly less saturated colors, making it appear a bit washed out and not as vibrant as the iPhone 5's. Sure, the Xperia Z features the Mobile BRAVIA 2 engine, but that enhancement simply makes up for the difference between the two phones when you're viewing photos or watching video in the gallery. Do not expect it to blow the iPhone 5 out of the water.
In addition, the Xperia Z's viewing angles are quite poor – the overall image quality tends to degrade quickly as you start tilting the phone. Of course, some quality degradation is also visible with the iPhone 5, but to a much smaller extent.
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Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Apple iPhone 5||535
|Sony Xperia Z||440
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Sony Xperia Z||No data
|Apple iPhone 5||No data
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential (target) values.
1. hung2900 (Posts: 649; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)
As usual iPhone wins this game. We know that's from the beginning when visiting PhoneArena.
However I totally agree about the screen and camera. The camera of Sony's recent phones are very disappointing. But anyway Android is way better than iOS, so overall for me Xperia Z is much more superior than the flat boring iPhone.
4. tiara6918 (Posts: 1103; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
How exactly did the iPhone5 win against the xperia z?it's only better in terms of image,video and call quality but other than that xperia tops it all
6. hung2900 (Posts: 649; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)
Yes, that's exactly what I said, only the screen and camera (I don't care abt call quality) are two areas Xperia loses against iPhone, the the rest are not.
And the most important, it's running Android.
10. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4487; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
I don't think that iPhone 5 camera is better...
52. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2952; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Cool down boys...cool down!
Why don't we dunk, hell dip!!!, them two smartphones in the water and see who wins??
Ray S, please??? Can you try that?
We all know which phone is going to win hands down in real time challenge...
63. timaustin2000 (Posts: 30; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
I agree, PhoneArenaUser - check the focal length, people. The crop means that the Z's image is zoomed in far more than the 5's. Zoom both to the same framing or, better yet, frame them identically when you take the photograph. Now I'm not going to say that the Xperia ain't a little softer on detail, it is, but zoom the iPhone in to match the crop of the Xperia and you're going to get a mess of blocky pixels: no better.
And the video may be darker on the Xperia but i'm looking at the detailing - the window, the cracks in the road: they're both sharper on the Xperia.
This seems rushed to me.
65. timaustin2000 (Posts: 30; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
Hold on,... is it me or is the zoom tool used on the comparison shots a different size?! Open a couple of browser windows, guys: compare them. The zoom window used on the iPhone is clearly cropping a different ratio to the Xperia.
I'm more than happy to accept that the Xperia is inferior if the side by side comparison was fair. Forgive me, Phonearena, but there seems some jiggery-pokery going on, whether intentional or not.
13. gmracer1 (Posts: 646; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)
You are a smacktard. The iPhone 5 doesn't even have a full 720p screen. And Sony makes the iPhone's camera, btw.
Sigh...another clueless fanboy.
28. SleepingOz (Posts: 2009; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)
Dude, you are the "smacktard" here. A good screen is not just about dpi, you know. I'm not praising the iphone(God knows how I "love" the iphone) but it has one of the best display out there.
And so what's with sony making the iphone's camera?! Doesn't change the fact that the iphone's camera is better than the one on the XZ.
44. gmracer1 (Posts: 646; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)
LMMFAO I love when people try to talk sh*t and don't even have a clue. Do you what DPI even means? DPI = Dots Per Inch. When did I ever talk about DPI, in my comment?
Yeah, the Retina display is nice, but the ONLY good looking thing on the iPhone screen is the icons.......and that's it. Go compare a YouTube video on both the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3. You will see such a difference. The S3 (which has a full 720p screen) shows a gorgeous playback--without the fuzz and color fade that the iPhones show. Hell, even my Razr Maxx has better video playback quality than the iPhone.
I work in this business, pimpslice. I deal with these phones every single day. Until you know exactly what you're talking about, please refrain from commenting.
And here are a few fun facts for ya:
Computer monitors use the DPI measurement. Cell phones use the PPI (pixels per inch) measurement.
iPhone 5 screen = 640 x 1136 @ 326ppi
Galaxy S3 screen = 720 x 1280 @ 306ppi
Razr Maxx screen = 540 x 960 @ 256ppi
75. daftastic (Posts: 87; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)
Your argument fell upon itself. The denser the screen the better the picture.
e.g. 720p on 3.5 inch screen will always look better than 720p on a 13.5 inch screen.
79. gmracer1 (Posts: 646; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)
You would really try to cram 720 lines on a 3.5" screen? It would look blotchy. It's like when someone tries to shrink an 8MP picture into a thumbnail--trying to maintain all quality. It looks like crap until it's blown up into a larger picture. Even comparing my Nexus 7's screen to the S3's (both 720p), I find the Nexus' picture to be finer. If the Nexus' pixel count was higher, it would be even better.
Another great example is on tv's. Ever see the 20"-32" range tv's that have a supposed 1080p resolution? They look like crap. Compare those little tv's to ones in the range of 50" and higher (both 720p and 1080p).
80. daftastic (Posts: 87; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)
Not literally of course. The point is the denser the screen the better. A 128DPI screen playing a 720p video would look worse than a 300+PPI playing the same video right? Which is why 720p videos look crisper on mobile devices than laptops/computers.
I dunno about you, but text in my 1080p 22" Samsung LED show chromatic aberration compared to my 13" Macbook LCD screen.
82. gmracer1 (Posts: 646; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)
Have you recalibrated your tv--if even possible? I know it's usually a problem with the lens(es).
127. tokyojo (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Mar 2013)
just read your post.. im in tokyo just about to buy a new smart phone!! iphone 5 xeperia Z or Eluga?? which would you choose ? and why thanks! justin
130. KazutoR7 (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 May 2013)
both screen and camera are better on xperia z
76. giri555 (Posts: 95; Member since: 15 Mar 2012)
I have received 2 "WARNINGS" from Moderators Of PA, for Speaking Truth....by highlighting how Poor, Biased and Flawed these Reviews are....
108. sonykov (Posts: 7; Member since: 22 Nov 2012)
the point is whatever is being compared to the piece of sh*t (iphone), phonearena will make the iphone win
55. giri555 (Posts: 95; Member since: 15 Mar 2012)
Poor Review, followed by Poor Comparison...Thumbs down PA...you are losing credibility, among people who read tech reviews, and know a thing or two about technology, the real smartphone users...
iPhone users don't read reviews, they blindly follow, so this dosen't matter to them though...
84. dynamo.one (Posts: 62; Member since: 14 Feb 2013)
worst screen ever from sony..not a fun of apple but the retina display looks better..
111. dynamo.one (Posts: 62; Member since: 14 Feb 2013)
Low contrast display with below-par viewing angles
92. XperiaPrince (Posts: 108; Member since: 25 Dec 2012)
iPhone 5 better than xperia Z? Im not suprised that iPhoneArena would say this. But i checked out other sources they said that xperia Z is better and in my opinion, Xperia Z is clearly a better and more capable phone.This comparison is nonesense. comparing a sexy rugged smartphone to a brick phone.
2. emadshiny (Posts: 757; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
Xperia Z all the way.
for the attention of those who criticize Sony's camera. just take a look at pictures taken by both devices and see how Sony put Iphone into shame.
3. Savage (Posts: 431; Member since: 28 Jul 2012)
So Xperia Z is not reliable and capable?
Well done Ray.
72. GTR722 (Posts: 193; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)
Just look at this: "The CPU is accompanied by the Adreno 320 GPU, which is also quite powerful" and now for the iPhone: "The GPU is the powerful PowerVR SGX543MP3". PhoneArena = Apple and Samsung slaves.
5. aokde (Posts: 184; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)
ofcourse, according to iphonearena iphone 5 is not beatable. i really don't understand you ray, iphone is passé.
11. lee480 (Posts: 141; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)
Wait!!! Didn't Sony make Apple's camera sensors??
62. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 5170; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
he's just too damn stupid and a idiot he's stlil in love with his iphone and don't even know SONY makes Apples camera. Ray is a biased SOB
12. emadshiny (Posts: 757; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
what we see here is a phone which has a 8.5 score can defeat a 9 point scorer. thats interesting.
15. affandi (Posts: 77; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)
Haha, as soon as I read the word "superior", I pronounced it in my mind with the accent of Ray, and in an instant I knew that the Xperia was lost.
16. kobainez (Posts: 263; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
So where's the screen comparison? I bet if there's a screen comparison Iphonearena wouldn't turn on the bravia engine. I think this xperia Z is not the retail one just a pre production unit. Other sites the xperia Z camera is superior to Iphone 5 camera. This site is the most biased site ever!
20. kobainez (Posts: 263; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
Now all of U xperia Z haters look at this and tell me which one better. This is screen comparison from other websiteshttp://i582.photobucket.com/al
bums/ss269/netbookc/XB1/viPhonXperia screen is superior to Iphone 5 screen and im nt just saying there's the link e5_2.jpg
39. _Bone_ (Posts: 1741; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
A low-res dark room photo from the front is hardly doing any justice, you'll use it mostly under heavy light and mostly a bit off perfect viewing angle, and that's where the TFT suffers. Look at black levels and contrast here:
In any case I'd easily pick up the Sony between the two.
46. kobainez (Posts: 263; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
Stop posting protoype unit of the Z. Xperia Z screen is better than most of them only the viewing angles is a lil bad. I dont watch my phone sideways like most Crapmoled fans would do
49. _Bone_ (Posts: 1741; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
not a prototype unit dummy, it has the release HW & SW and produces the same results your certified official reviews mention heh
It has a TFT screen. Deal with it.
47. kobainez (Posts: 263; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
78. daftastic (Posts: 87; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)
Don't mean to be the bearer of bad news, but the viewing angles of the Xperia Z are terrible and fall flat against S-LCD etc.
Just pointing it out looking from your link, but otherwise the screen beats the others. Just not in viewing angles.
17. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 454; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
I don't understand why reviewers point out that the Iphone's OS is easier to use. Obvously, there is such thing as a manual for all phones, including Android, for those that find it hard to use (which I don't see why anyone would), so I don't see what makes it harder to use.
61. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 5170; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
we should VOTE & petition too GET RID OF RAY for his unbiased reviews HE should moved to this biased blog site ibgr.com
18. RobotMan (Posts: 119; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
Every reviewer forget to mention that you have to pay for flash browser in ios but you can get it for free in android.
19. pyradark (Posts: 624; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)
Wait a minute, they say xperia z average contrast and saturation, did the reviewer forgot that this phone support display calibration. Means they can adjust saturation, so they dont brag the bravia engine is only for photo and video!!
My god theres so much features in this phone and yet they judge it biased.
68. pwnarena (Posts: 438; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
even lowering the brightness can already make a world of difference. the greying of the on-screen capacitive buttons already shouts excessive brightness of the display.
21. 2beornot2be (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
I don't understand how this guy still does tech reviews. What is the point? I already know what he is going to promote.
22. pwnarena (Posts: 438; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
hints that the reviewer is indeed biased:
1. the display comparison shows the xperia z at high brightness with the awful homescreen that uses a faded image. look at how the on-screen capacitive buttons grey out. in the actual device, those are supposed to be as black as they could get. evidences avallable at the xda xperia z thread. the IPHONE display is ADMITTEDLY SUPERIOR but the xperia z's isn't as inferior as what the reviewer wants to make it out.
2. the camera still and video samples are dubious. photos and videos posted by those who have already bought the xperia z (in japan and singapore in particular) show brighter and clearer results.
3. comparison of loudspeaker does not make sense. what i know is most people listen to their smartphones' music through earphones. the people i know who listen to music through their loudspeakers are those who can't afford to buy good enough speaker systems. it's a different issue if the loudspeaker is used for communication. in this case, a very loud output is not that necessary.
the reviewer is basically nitpicking to make the iphone look better or the device being reviewed is not what the actual xperia z really is. if sony gave them such a defective device, it's sony's fault. i can't really believe those are photos taken by the z when many other photos uploaded online are significantly better.
24. kobainez (Posts: 263; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
Its a seriously stupid screen comparison from phone arena. Why dont they compare the screen with the same pictures? Why they compare the home screen with different wallpapers? super biased if u asked me!
27. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4487; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
And that's why I never trust photo and video samples from single source because they easily may be "corrected" by biased reviewer!
37. giri555 (Posts: 95; Member since: 15 Mar 2012)
these guys got it wrong from the start...i dont know if this is real bias or lack of ability from them to fairly compare the two devices.....
99. vincelongman (Posts: 350; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)
Also the Xperia Z has a better music player compared to the iPhone 5, because it has more features like equalizer (iPhone 5 has a preset equalizer, but the Xperia has preset and manual equalizer) and 3D surround (with studio, club or concert Hall modes)
32. pwnarena (Posts: 438; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
well s3 will win definitely. it's phonearena after all. the scores the site has given is enough hint.
120. anig_98 (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Feb 2013)
bitch dont even try to compare SIII with Xperia Z ..Z simply wins :P