Sony Xperia Z5 vs Apple iPhone 6: first look
Sony's Xperia Z5 is the Japanese giant's answer to its competitors, which have been at large while Sony's fans patiently waited for a true successor to last year's Xperia Z3. Whether the Xperia Z5 is just what consumers have been waiting for remains to be seen, but undoubtedly, the handset will face the tough competition coming from the probably most successful device currently on sale - Apple's iPhone 6. The latter's record-breaking sales during the roughly one year it's been available are effectively a force that most Android manufacturers need to reckon with. Is the Xperia Z5 the device that will steal away the spotlight from the iPhone? Let's delve into the problem.
The iPhone 6 is similar in terms of design philosophy - it's sleek and straightforward, with nothing unnecessary added. With its aluminum unibody, Apple's bestselling flagship became exemplar in terms of design and a large number of manufacturers took hints from the phone's exterior. In reality, the iPhone 6 feels a bit more comfortable in the hand than the Xperia Z5, due to the former's more rounded edges.
Size-wise, the iPhone 6 is more compact than the Xperia Z5. With dimensions of 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches (138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm), it beats Sony's new flagship which stands at 5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 inches (146 x 72 x 7.3 mm); the iPhone is also noticeably lighter at 129gr, while the Xperia tips the scales at 154gr.
However, Sony has successfully crammed a 5.2-inch display on the Z5, while the iPhone 6 comes with a "merely" 4.7-inch one. In reality, this means the Xperia Z5 has a better screen-to-body ratio of 71% versus 65.71% on the iPhone.
Unlike the iPhone, the Xperia Z5 comes with a dedicated shutter button. Yet, both phones come with fingerprint scanners - the iPhone has its embedded in the home button, while Sony put the fingerprint scanner of the Z5 at the side, on the power button.
pixel density of 424ppi. Just as most of Sony's devices, the display of the Xperia Z5 is a Triluminos one, with an X-Reality for Mobile features, as well as a Dynamic Contrast Enhancer. We will have to test it before we can say whether Sony has nailed the display qualities this time.
It will certainly face a tough rival in the face of the iPhone 6, which employs one of the better LCD displays around. With a size of 4.7 inches and a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels, the display of the iPhone is not as sharp as the one on the Xperia, but the rest of its properties are top-notch. It's exhibiting excellent contrast, gamma, brightness, and color temperature, but this doesn't mean it's unbeatable. It remains to be seen how the Xperia Z5 will stack up against it.
Interface and functionality
With Android 5.1 and Sony's Xperia UI on board, the Z5 brings forth the flexibility and almost limitless functionalities. All of this is rounded up in a UI that is not overwhelmingly crammed up with features - on the contrary, Sony's interface is one of the lighter ones around, closer to stock Android than many of its competitors.
In the Apple's camp, the iPhone 6 boasts iOS 8.4. While it can't hold a candle to Android's limitless functionalities, iOS is traditionally more intuitive and user-friendly. The platform is a prerequisite for getting close and intimate with Apple's rich ecosystem.
Processor and memory
The Sony Xperia Z5 is powered by Qualcomm's most powerful chipset at the moment, the controversial Snapdragon 810 which is surrounded by controversy due to its overheating and throttling issues. It's a 20nm, 64-bit octa-core chipset racing at 1.9GHz, comprising four Cortex-A57 and another four Cortex-A53 cores under the big.LITTLE configuration. The GPU unit on board is an Adreno 430 one. We can only hope that Sony has tamed the beast and effectively hindered the Snapdragon 810's heating desires.
The iPhone 6 comes with a dual-core 1.4GHz Apple A8 SoC that usually beats most of its Android rivals in single-core benchmarks and tests. This hardware setup is perfectly sufficient for the software needs of the iPhone 6 - thanks to the optimization of iOS, Apple's flagship feels snappier and more powerful than most of its Android rivals.
The Xperia Z5 has 3GB of RAM, as well as up to 32GB of on-board storage that are expandable via a microSD card. The iPhone comes with 1GB of RAM and is available in either 16, 64, or 128GB versions.
One of the highlights of the Xperia Z5 is its rear camera. The 23MP camera unit at the rear makes use of Sony's 1/2.3" wide-angle Exmor RS sensor. The Xperia Z5 is touted as the phone having the world's fastest autofocusing camera, which is allegedly able to lock down the focal point in merely 0.03 seconds.
It's also able to make use of a light sensitivity of up to ISO12800, which will theoretically aid the low-light photography capabilities of the phone.
The Apple iPhone 6, despite not as impressive on paper as the Xperia Z5, is usually a tough nut to crack in the camera race. The Apple iPhone 6 has an F2.2 8MP rear camera, with its sensor being 1/3" in size and boasting 1.5 μm pixels. With such a setup it's able to give most of its rivals a run for their money photography-wise.
There's a 5MP wide-angle selfie camera at the front of the Xperia Z5. It makes use of Sony's Exmor R sensor and comes with a software stabilization feature that will come in handy should you decide to shoot videos with it. The iPhone 6 comes with a 1.2MP front-facing camera.
The Xperia Z5 is going to have a tough time on such a saturated and competitive market as the Android one. On top of it all, the iPhone 6 is lurking for unsuspecting prey (beware, Xperia Z5!). Jokes aside, we suppose that the new Sony flagship will be a worthy successor to all previous Sony flagship devices. While each phone has a host of pros over the other, it's impossible to deny that either is a viable option for all those looking for a well-built high-end smartphone.