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Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2

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Introduction


Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2
Question: what's the very best Android smartphone out there? Well, that's hard to tell. Labeling a phone as best in its class is no easy task, and that's especially true when the high-end category is concerned. But if we had to state our favorite top models, then the LG G2 will surely be among them. It is the Korean company's current flagship device – a phone that scored a commendable 9.4 in our review.

Now, however, we have a new contender for the crown. It is known as the Sony Xperia Z1 and it is shaping up as a beast of a phone. Like the LG G2, it is loaded with outstanding features, while its specs sheet will bring tears of joy to the eyes of any smartphone geek. And if that's not enough, Sony's new flagship is quite a looker with its glass-and-metal-made water-resistant body. Still, is it better than the LG G2? Perhaps a thorough side-by-side comparison between the two would provide the answer to that question.


Design


Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2
Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2
Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2
There's no denying that the Sony Xperia Z1 is the better-looking smartphone. It builds upon all that made its predecessor, the Xperia Z, stand out in the design department, and reinforces its statement with a solid metal frame. Its image is complemented by the perfectly flat front and back sides; made of tempered, shatter-proof glass, they instantly grab one's attention. Besides, let us not forget that unlike most other Android high-ends, the Sony Xperia Z1 is dust- and water-tight, so it will take photos even underwater, while the LG G2 isn't likely to survive if accidentally dropped in the pool.

However, the LG G2, despite looking a bit less inspiring, has a number of advantages over the Z1. For starters, it is more compact, even though its front is graced by a slightly larger screen (5.2 inches for the G2 vs 5 inches for the Z1). This has been achieved by trimming down the bezel surrounding the G2's display as much as possible. Also, the LG G2 is much lighter and fits better in the hand, which makes it easier to handle. But that's not all. While the Sony Xperia Z1 looks great, its otherwise beautiful glass body remains quite vulnerable; it might crack after the first drop on anything harder than your living room's carpet. The plastic-made LG G2, on the other hand, seems a little bit less fragile, although we doubt it would take much more beating than the Z1.

Like it or not, LG has placed the G2's physical buttons on its back. This should, theoretically, make them easier to reach as they would always be right under the user's index finger. But in reality, we're still finding it hard to get used to their arrangement. In fact, we don't see much of a benefit of them being placed where they are, other than allowing the phone to be very narrow for its size. Nevertheless, the notification light embedded in the power key looks kind of cool.

The physical keys on the Sony Xperia Z1 feel okay and provide good feedback, although we wish they were slightly bigger. A nice addition is the dedicated 2-stage camera shutter key, allowing one to snap photos quickly and comfortably.


Sony Xperia Z1
5.69 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches
144.4 x 73.9 x 8.5 mm
6.00 oz (170 g)

Sony Xperia Z1

LG G2
5.45 x 2.79 x 0.35 inches
138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)

LG G2

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Display


No smartphone can be regarded as a truly premium device if its screen quality isn't top notch. And we're glad to say that neither of these two handsets disappoints in that respect, although they both leave some room for improvement. The LCD screen on the Sony Xperia Z1 has adopted the company's Triluminos tech, found on its recent TVs, while LG has gone with a high-quality IPS-LCD panel for the G2. Both smartphones come with 1080p panels (1080 by 1920 pixels) so everything displayed on them looks perfectly smooth and sharp.

As we stated above, the LG G2 does come with a larger screen even though it is more compact than the Sony Xperia Z1. The exact figures are as follows: 5.2 inches of display real estate for the LG G2 vs 5 inches in diagonal for the one on the Z1. Clearly, both screens fall under the spacious category.

Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2
Something we noticed about the screen on the LG G2 is that it is clearer and more legible under broad daylight as it reflects less of the sun's rays. Its viewing angles are also better by a huge margin. But according to our measurements, the screen on the Sony Xperia Z1 has the upper hand when it comes to color accuracy. And sure enough, when the two are put side by side, it is clear to see that the G2's colors lean towards the colder side.

All in all, neither of these smartphones' displays has managed to achieve perfection, but nevertheless, most users would be more than happy with either one.

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
Sony Xperia Z1 495
(Good)
23
(Poor)
1:1440
(Excellent)
7355
(Good)
2.08
5.29
(Average)
4.57
(Average)
LG G2 438
(Good)
8
(Good)
1:1338
(Excellent)
8109
(Poor)
2.25
4.27
(Average)
6.22
(Average)
View all


65 Comments
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posted on 27 Sep 2013, 07:51 6

1. mottykels (Posts: 371; Member since: 15 May 2013)


Battle of the best ;)

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 07:54 1

4. Commentator (Posts: 2387; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW-E0dOfdoc

For your listening pleasure while reading.

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 17:52

53. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3994; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


That song made this article the most dramatic read I've ever experienced.

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 04:27 1

50. jos_031 (Posts: 33; Member since: 12 Jun 2012)


The only reason i do not go for LG is they never provide updates..

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 11:23

64. LGisgood (Posts: 434; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


LG G2 WINS

Long lasting battery
better and bigger display
comfortable in hand
with OIS camera

more customized skin & LG UI
Rear keys is good...

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 07:52 12

2. maccess (Posts: 595; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


lg g2 for me..

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 08:53 4

8. Kevinphantom (Posts: 82; Member since: 17 Jun 2013)


galaxy note 3 is out of the game after sim lock

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 11:45 7

16. Immolate (Posts: 282; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)


Yeah the 1% of the people who care about sim lock are going elsewhere.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 12:29

19. MrKoles (Posts: 310; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)


Exactly

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 00:20 1

44. adrianzka (Posts: 25; Member since: 25 Apr 2013)


It's not sim lock if you only need to start it up with your region's sim card. After that you are free to use it with any sim card.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 11:46 1

17. kelvinbushan (Posts: 2; Member since: 08 Sep 2013)


I plan to wait on the HTC One Max before making my final decision. Note 3 is leading at the moment because of features (802.11ac, USB 3.0, infrared, SD Card)

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 07:53 13

3. Kurai (unregistered)


Wow very nice battle between the G2 and the Z1 . . . . Sony evolved so much and they brought amazing innovation and put it into one amazing piece of device. . . Sony might be the dark horse among the android ecosystem . . . .

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 14:15 1

29. cezarepc (Posts: 563; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


Sony is King in mid-range though.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 07:54 11

5. anleoflippy (Posts: 271; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


These 2 are arguably the best at the moment.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 08:24

6. mr.techdude (Posts: 543; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Don't like both brands but lg nailed it this time but only its cheap material, ugly ui and speakers are my drawbacks, with out them lg would have made $850 extra.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 09:12 4

9. sniper1087 (Posts: 365; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)


While I agree thanks to the UI, the phone is bloated that even the S800 cant handle it sometimes, and you see lag when you do certain things, like bringing the notification down at some points, there are youtube videos that show this, just youtube lg g2 lag.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 11:20

14. kozza3 (Posts: 574; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)


i hate it when my ipad mini does that

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 08:25 20

7. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Sony and LG probably not very successful in terms of sales and market share.

But no one can deny that G2 and Z1 is the best android phones on the market today.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 18:12 3

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


Not Success???
LG Q2 sales - 12M with 2.4Billion profit
SONY Q2 sales - 9.6M with 4Billion profit

Sammy and appy market share are starting to shrink

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 09:57

10. justsayit (Posts: 197; Member since: 09 May 2013)


lg g2 or lg newest version ui is slower compare to lg optimus g
i think it because the slide aside and knock on problem?
these make the system take sometime to "understand" your command
hope next update can make it more smooth :)

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 10:19 12

11. imnotascammer (Posts: 35; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)


Epic battle. Couldnt really see which one is the real winner here, but if I'm to choose, i'll give it to Sony Xperia Z1, due to its extra mile of water and dust resistance, plus, better camera.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 10:55 10

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


...and micro SD slot

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 12:44 3

20. Feanor (Posts: 304; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


I almost agree. Water resistance should also count for something so I rate the Z1 slightly higher. But I have played with the Z1 and I must say, the viewing angles are pathetic and they remove a lot from the premium feel. No way that I will cough out so much money for such el cheapo screen. Which is a crying shame considering how good the screen of the Z Ultra is. So in a way both best Android flagships suffer by some aesthetic problem. The Z1 has a great body but cheap looking screen, the G2 has a good looking screen but a boring body.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 14:17 2

30. cezarepc (Posts: 563; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


I actually like the G2's build but that's preference. I find plastic phones easier to hold because I have sweaty hands. And I like the soft-angular look on G2.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 15:38 1

33. TMach (Posts: 352; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Dude, I think you will find the review is about the Z1 and not the Xperia Z! The viewing angles onthis phone are absolutely and do not even degrade at extreme angles. Might not be the best but it is certainly not an issue and the screen full on is better than anything out there! Suggest you "can" the lame comments unless you actually have a relevant point to make!

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 17:15

36. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Let me tell you once again
Someone from esato forum who recently bought Z1
can give you solid proof
that Z1 screen doesn’t have problem with viewing angles.

http://www.esato.com/
board/viewtopic.php?
topic=206135&start=2535

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 17:17

37. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


http://www.esato.com/board/viewtopic.php?topic=206135&start=2535

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 03:14 1

48. Feanor (Posts: 304; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


Guys, I like Sony smartphones but I am talking after I played in a shop with both the Z Ultra and the Z1 (not the Z). I am talking about my experience. The Z1 has absolutely terrible viewing angles, exactly like the recent comparative on Xperiablog.com shows. If others are reporting good viewing angles on the Z1 then Sony is taking the mickey and putting different quality screens on the same model. Which I'd say it's the worst way to treat customers. I prefer to believe that all Z1s have actually bad screen.

posted on 30 Sep 2013, 08:09

57. cheetah2k (Posts: 804; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


If the Sony Z1 had IPS LCD I would buy it... but instead the screen is 5hit.. I had both devices side by side and bought the LG G2

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 11:08

13. mayur007 (Posts: 409; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


yeahh no sd slot is a deal breaker for me

i really like the camera and the sound zoom

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 11:21 2

15. dmn666 (Posts: 194; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Both phones are superb. Great job, LG! Might pick up a G2 to join my Z1. I just need to get used to those rear buttons first - already tried it out for few hours, but looks like it'll take me more time to get the hang of it :(

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 11:48 2

18. Immolate (Posts: 282; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)


The Sony would be a competitor if it wasn't for it's ugly-girl bezels. The G2 is a much better design. The Z1 is a glass rectangle, bulky and awkward looking.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 12:53 6

23. Feanor (Posts: 304; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


Everybody has become here a professional designer here; to your information big bezels have only one disadvantage and this is extra bulk. They do have some advantages too though like better grip on landscape mode (the preferred mode for many during texting) and actually better aesthetics because they make the handset look longer and slender. The 5 inchers with minimized bezels look a bit awkwardly square. So, stop bashing bezels as if they were the defining design trait that distinguishes good looks from bad looks. The iPhone has always had the biggest bezels and still most people consider it the prettiest smartphone.
And of course the Z1 is much better looking than the G2 because it looks more solid, expensive and with super attention to detail. Big or small bezels are a practical trait, not an aesthetic one.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 14:46 2

31. Mittal (Posts: 427; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


Not to me ... Top/bottom bezels should be in limit and minimum side bezels look really good...... Z1 has fat side bezels for a flagship. i Love G2s narrow side bezels...
But yes... if you justify the bezels as a tradeoff for the water/dust resistance, then i will think it worth it

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 14:52

32. Feanor (Posts: 304; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


Minimum side bezels may look good, satin aluminium frame with shiny polished facettes looks better.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 16:09

35. papss (unregistered)


Then it gets ruined when you leave your house and can't see the screen due to terrible visibility you get in the sun

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 01:47

46. Mittal (Posts: 427; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


so i know who is getting your money :)

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 12:45

21. snowgator (Posts: 3205; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


I understand sometimes it is hard to put call quality into words, but can someone please tell me how the Sony got docked for being too "boomy"??? What does that mean?? Sony handsets have ALWAYS had amazing call quality in my experience, and that is important in my purchase decision. Would bum me out if Sony has gone backwards with that.

I am a Sony fan. I just think their devices are well designed and excellent performers. So, LG would really have to wow me. I will give them props for putting out a handset that is something different, though. Tough to take a chance in this copy cat world.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 13:04

25. Feanor (Posts: 304; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


It could actually be that the latest Sony flagships have somehow worse call quality because of waterproofing that covers speakers and microphones. But as the smartphone is primarily an outdoors device, I think it's worth it to tolerate a small drop in call quality in favour of water and dust resistance.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 12:48

22. papss (unregistered)


The Sony is priced 150.00 over the G2 and doesn't appear that much better... The G2 is the winner here.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 18:13

40. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 398; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)


True but MANY sites offer Z1 with sony smartwatch 2 for free so its an amazing bundle value. But if you are on a tight budget getting G2 is amazing too, great phone, For me beats the crap out of S4.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 12:54 10

24. jaisix (Posts: 13; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


No doubt the winner is z1

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 13:17

26. HalaMadrid (Posts: 92; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)


Battle Of Beasts

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 13:42 9

27. Amir1 (Posts: 262; Member since: 20 Aug 2013)


Z1 any day of the week!

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 13:55 1

28. softfurryanus (banned) (Posts: 232; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


The Z1 would be a no-brainer to me if not for the cost/US availability, which puts it even to the G2 for me...

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 15:43 4

34. TMach (Posts: 352; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Z1 all the way...,..! Now for non water proof Sony phones.........!!

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 17:36 1

38. anleoflippy (Posts: 271; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


The Z1 is actually cheaper compare to the G2 here in East Malaysia.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 18:33 2

41. Adrian38 (Posts: 123; Member since: 05 Nov 2012)


Definitely the LG. Bigger screen on a much smaller body :)

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 20:06

42. vgyliu (Posts: 6; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)


I would of got the LG but without a SD card slot killed it for me

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 20:21

43. Mube007 (Posts: 95; Member since: 24 Sep 2013)


Sony plzzzzz minimise the bezel other than that u r rocking.i m not teasing! its just my wish

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 00:45 1

45. Taters (Posts: 2872; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Not even close to being interested in the Z1, too many deal breakers. The G2 is the much better phone by far. I'll pass on both and hope the Nexus 5 has 1080p with great viewing angles and a S800 chip set.

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 03:05

47. N-fanboy (Posts: 538; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)


The Z1 does it for me. super sexy! But i don't understand why LG put the volume and the power buttens on the back perhaps the designer was drunk while designing it!

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 03:24

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


One of these two will be the best phone of 2013
No place for Sammy and iPhone this time.

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 22:31

54. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Nopes, the Note 3 is actually leading in this segment,

posted on 29 Sep 2013, 01:31

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


Although i love note 3, i don't think so.

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 05:10

51. tiara6918 (Posts: 1391; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


G2 for me. Z1 is just a minor improvement from the z and I believe Sony will release their true beast next year

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 16:45

52. theaztech (Posts: 49; Member since: 13 Sep 2013)


We will see what happens come october and the new Nexus 5 is out.
Hopefully all the rumors, or at least most of them, are true and its a beast of a phone.

posted on 30 Sep 2013, 02:12

56. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2591; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Great just great! Both are super cool and same devices at the moment. G2 has good ergonomics while Z1 has an inch better due to water and dust proof. But Sony needs to reduce the bezels.

posted on 30 Sep 2013, 08:27

58. R-vjn (Posts: 161; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


IF YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED THIS.
Check the time and battery percentage of both the phones in the begininng and ending of the video. Z1 have 92% at the start and drains to 76% in the end & LG have 100% at the start and 91% in the end.
Also, the Z1 will feel sturdier in our hands but doesn't that phone look too similar to the L-Series phones from LG.
But I'm so happy to see these two phones dethroning the Galaxies..!

posted on 29 Oct 2013, 20:23

62. FCB-Eto (Posts: 27; Member since: 17 Aug 2013)


I realised that as well but what none of you realise us the fact that these phones use two completly different batteries. I mean yes theoretically they both have 3000mah batteries but the G2 uses the better Li-Po battery whereas the Z1 uses Li-Ion that's where the difference lies.

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