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

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.

Related phones

Xperia Z
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13.1 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Quad-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 2330 mAh(14h 3G talk time)
Butterfly
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Quad-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 2020 mAh

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65 Comments

1. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

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

2. Emily1985

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 08, 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.

35. timaustin2000

Posts: 42; Member since: Feb 15, 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.

9. rgxVOiD

Posts: 440; Member since: Aug 30, 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

29. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 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.

40. ubuntu

Posts: 40; Member since: Jan 11, 2013

op op op f*ck u _Bone_ hahaha

42. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

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

43. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

i think you got a fan _Bone_ lol!!

49. SleepingOz unregistered

a butthurt one..

13. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

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

17. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

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

48. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Only if Ray does the screen review.

51. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

do you really want some strangers staring at your phone ?

52. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

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

60. harshithh

Posts: 12; Member since: Feb 18, 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!!!

3. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 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..

32. o7o

Posts: 114; Member since: Jun 26, 2009

You do know that TFT is a LCD, right?

36. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 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..

62. o7o

Posts: 114; Member since: Jun 26, 2009

Yeah, that makes sense now. :)

46. SonyXperiaNexus

Posts: 374; Member since: Oct 01, 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.

64. mobiuspizza

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 22, 2013

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

4. AshishRomea

Posts: 145; Member since: Aug 09, 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 !

5. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 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.

20. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

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

47. SonyXperiaNexus

Posts: 374; Member since: Oct 01, 2012

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

6. lee480 unregistered

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.

7. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 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..

8. lee480 unregistered

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.

11. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 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..

15. lee480 unregistered

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

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