Sony Xperia Z1 vs HTC One: First look

Sony Xperia Z1 vs HTC One: First look
Now that the Sony Xperia Z1 has finally landed in our itchy hands, it is time for us to pit it against some of the smartphones it will be competing with. The HTC One is definitely among them, being the best that the Taiwanese company currently has to offer. And boy is it a tough opponent to beat! 


For starters, the HTC One is a premium smartphone that has a character of its own. As it is made of machine-milled metal, the One feels great to the touch. Sony's Xperia Z1 is also a sleek, great-looking handset, and it will surely attract buyers with its appearance, just like the HTC's flagship. We must note that the HTC One feels a bit more compact than the Z1, which doesn't come as much of a surprise since it has a smaller screen. On the other hand, the Sony Xperia Z1 has an excellent set of physical buttons, including a dedicated camera key, while the HTC One's keys can be difficult to reach and operate.


Both the Sony Xperia Z1 and the HTC One come with excellent 1080 by 1920 pixel displays, delivering an outstanding level of detail. The screen on the Z1, however, is slightly bigger with its 5-inch diagonal, while the One's panel measures 4.7-inches. Since the quality of both panels is outstanding, it would be very hard to say which one of the two is better. Both exhibit very accurate color reproduction, that we can say for sure.


Under the hood, the Sony Xperia Z1 packs a Snapdragon 800 SoC, which is definitely more powerful than the Snapdragon 600 chip found on the HTC One. Therefore, Sony's newest flagship is not only faster in terms of raw processing, but should also be considered more future-proof. Still, we're expecting the real-life performance of both handsets to be at a very similar level. 


Currently, 4.3 is the latest Android version that is available, yet it isn't found on neither the Sony Xperia Z1, nor the HTC One. Nevertheless, we're expecting them to receive software updates sooner than later. As for the UIs running on these two handsets, Sony has spiced things up quite a bit, but not to an extent where an experienced Android user would be lost. The HTC One, on the other hand, comes with Sense 5 UI, which is far more detached from the stock Android experience, having a news and notifications feed instead of the traditional home screen. Yet HTC's interface solution isn't bad at all, so ultimately, it would be up to the user, or potential buyer, to decide which UI looks and feels better.


Sony has put a lot of effort in outfitting the Xperia Z1 with an excellent camera – a 20.7MP module with G Lens optics and an Exmor RS sensor. The HTC One, on the other hand, has a 4MP "Ultrapixel" camera. While we haven't examined samples from both smartphones' cameras side by side, things aren't looking good for the HTC One as it hasn't really fared that well in our recent camera comparisons. Chances are that a user who demands a top-notch camera on their smartphone would be much more satisfied with the Sony Xperia Z1.


Clearly, the Sony Xperia Z1 is a device that should not be underestimated. It has many of the ingredients a smartphone needs in order to become a best-selling device, especially if the company's marketing department gets its job done well. Should HTC be worried? Perhaps. While the HTC One is an awesome handset, it might have a hard time holding its turf against Sony's newest flagship. Of course, it is too early to draw any final conclusions as to which of the two smartphones is better, but we'll surely know the answer to that soon after the Sony Xperia Z1 is released this month.

Related phones

Xperia Z1
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(15h 3G talk time)
  • Display 4.7" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 4 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2300 mAh(18h 3G talk time)



1. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

You must have compared the sound quality. Z1 must have great sound quality. thats a great feature which is forgotten in all comparisons.

9. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Regarding sound quality, i really doubt it will be better than the One because of the hardware amplifier it has, sound through headphones is very loud and powerful while keeping it all clean, the Z Ultra according to GSMArena while having great quality is let down by the volume.

2. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

I have already the red htc one..and im looking forward on getting one of sony's newest flagship! If only the htc one got the sony z1 camera then that would be a perfect phone! :)

3. GTR722

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 20, 2012

Both are beutiful phones But the Z1 is the best android phone in specs right now, best CPU, Best camera (1020 aside), best screen...Man I want the Z1

11. davitdavtyan

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

how can u compare htc and z 1 ? sony does not make good quality UI. but htc sense 5 is so fast that you cannot compare with sony laggy ui at all.

15. Zakriya

Posts: 11; Member since: Aug 05, 2013

First Use A Sony Phone And Then Brag About It. 4.2.2 UI in My Xperia Z Is very Clean Simple and Fast Unlike Touchwiz. I Also Like Sense 5 which is also Great.

16. TMach unregistered

The Xperia Z does not lag but guess you've never used one so not sure why you are spouting uninformed comments. Sony's skin is close to vanilla android whilst HTC One uses Sense engage brain! Oh by the way, former owner of XZ and proud owner of the HTC Google Play Edition because I can't stand Sense 5! Have regretted getting rid of my XZ with a view to buying the Z1 ever since but happier now the Z1 is on its way....!

4. monkeytown

Posts: 125; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

right after the G2, yeah

5. mrblah

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 22, 2013

lol already on the charger

6. Rehankhan

Posts: 323; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

i will take htc one anyday over z1 hate those huge ugly bezels

7. TheLolGuy

Posts: 483; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

Don't they both have pretty big bezels?

8. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

At least on the HTC its because of the dual speakers.

10. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

And Z1 is because of huge camera sensor at the top, huge speaker at the bottom, 800mAh more of battery and watter and dust proof functionality. now whats your idea?

17. TMach unregistered

Try something please! put the Z1 next to the iP5, which is a smaller phone by the way and then come back and talk about bezels! Those bezels should be great when watching a film in landscape mode.

12. davitdavtyan

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

sony ui is awful and htc sense 5 ui is the best ever as far as now. sony is so slow even though sony has higher specs i am sure htc sense 5 will beat sony defintely.

13. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Sony uses a light skin over Android, while Sense 5 is a much heavier skin. The Snapdragon 800 also obliterates the 600. You were saying?

18. TMach unregistered

Why are you trolling? Is something missing in your life or are you such a pathetic fanboy? Jeez, the phone is not even released yet and you certainly have never even got within sniffing distance and yet all these inane, baseless verbiage........!ffftttttttttt

14. SonyCraperiaSucks

Posts: 25; Member since: Aug 30, 2013

HTC One way better, not some thick bezels for no reason and still poor screen and design..pass plz..even 2013 Q1 HTC WAY better

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