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.


Taking a page straight out of Samsung's book, the Xperia Z5 arrives with metal accents on the sides and a matte glass back, entwined and singing together in a unibody concert that praises Sony's sleek OmniBalance design. 

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.


Just as we mentioned, the Xperia Z5 employs a 5.2-inch 1080p LCD display, which features a 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. 

Related phones

Xperia Z5
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 23 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2900 mAh(17h 3G talk time)
iPhone 6
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1810 mAh(14h 3G talk time)



1. yann

Posts: 612; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

iPhonearen, you should compare Z5 compact to iPnone 6! This is stupid comparison. The iPhone 6 is is so less advantage than Z5, so you can't even compare both devices. So stupid article.

2. tahnik

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 17, 2011

I feel sad for iPhone 6 :(

4. strawhat67

Posts: 66; Member since: Jul 16, 2015

So look on sales and you won't be sad

13. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Because that's all you got. Because with the iPhone you can't brag about anything else but sales. Slow CPUs, outdated cameras, outdated displays and boring outdated UI. Of course all phones use outdated UI's, but at least some OEM's try to spice them up with skins.

5. darkkjedii

Posts: 30955; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Why would you feel sad for the iPhone, when people love it, and in one month it'll sell more than the Sony will in a year? How could you feel sad for that type of success?

8. Xperia14

Posts: 1207; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Because the Z5 has got much better specs in my opninion for less money. Much bigger battery, IP68, micro SD, front-facing speakers, probably a better camera etc. etc. Most people buy an iPhone because they see it as a status symbol. They don't even know all the specs. Just look around: most people I see with iPhones are fashion-minded females and they don't know about any alternatives. Of course there are people who prefer the specs of the iPhone over the (android) competition, and there is nothing wrong or sad about that. Choice is allways good. Just my observations and my 2 cents.

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 30955; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Bro the bottom line for Sony, is the same is it is for Apple...profit margin. Sony is loading up this phone to make it more attractive to potential buyers. The iPhone 6, that everyone feels so sorry for, due to its subpar specs, is gonna eat it alive in the marketplace, and let's not even talk about the 6S . That's not trolling Sony, it's a plain fact.

11. Xperia14

Posts: 1207; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

That's true, but that is because Apple has got a much bigger fan base that mainly consists of people who will buy it anyways, regardless of the specs. The Xperia brand is not well-known among these people I mentioned, but I think that will change because Sony did an amazing job with the Z5-family. What's your opinion about Sony's latest Z family DJ?

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 30955; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

My honest opinion is: I think it's beautiful, powerful, and a top notch device. On paper, much better than the 6, but the end user experience is what counts the most. Sony is on the rise for sure. They just have two juggernauts in Apple and Samsung to deal with.

16. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The problem with Xperia is availability. Its not avail at enough carriers. I've never seen one in the USA, so I don't even think it is sold here. Even if you got one, it would only work on ATT and T-Mobile. Further shortening its chances. In the USA, Sony just doesn't carry the weight as it once did. When sony was king of TV's with the Trinitron which was basically a cheaper smaller version of the JumboTron, and after Apple took over the digital player market, and then Microsoft got fans for the Xbox, Sony is just finished. Sony of Japan is simply not the powerhouse they once were. The PS is a joke, no one buys their TV's as Samsung has that market along with Vizio and LG and their phones only avail in Asia and Europe. Basically in this electronics race, if you don't have the USA as your buyer, you are basically a nobody.

35. Aloka

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Sony mobile has lot of advantages in contrast to Iphones with cheap price. But they are still struggling in the market place because lack of marketing promotions. My honest opinion is for Xperia Z5 to set up some attractive product promotional campaigns. Cheers!

12. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Except, Sony wont even sell half as many phone as Apple.

38. pt020

Posts: 157; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

I understand you own Apple... A good customer will think what is good for him.

32. sissy246

Posts: 7060; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

People love it so they can say, look at me ,I have a iphone see my little apple on the back.

3. rsiders

Posts: 1931; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

The iPhone 6 Plus has OIS. Not the 6.

30. gaming64 unregistered

iAuthors are too excited to bash any Android flagship.

6. donrox

Posts: 201; Member since: Jul 18, 2014

"Taking a page from Samsung's book, the Xperia Z5 arrives with metal accents on the sides and a matte glass back" You sure know how to ignite the comments section PA!

10. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Well look at the facts. Sure Apple is one of the first to use a dual glass design on the iPhone 4/4S. However, it had Gorilla Glass 3 on the front, and some cheap knockoff piece of crap on the back. Samsung was the first to use Gorilla Glass on both sides which actually makes the device far stronger. Even fact designers of the iPhone 6 Plus stated that a larger phone would break easier do to more surface that can make contact vs a smaller device when they were testing sapphire glass. With the Note for example and the S6 Edge Plus and the Z5 being so big, you cant afford to use some cheap ass no name glass like Apple did. So in this regard, yes I would say the Z5 is more like Samsung vs Apple. Apple did it first, Samsung did it best on the design. You know the thing iFans claim that Apple doesn't do something until they can do it right? Well that hasn't been the case since the IPhone 4 with exception of the 5S. God knows if the 5S design was used for the iPhone 6 models, especially the 6 Plus, I would have bought it in a heartbeat.

21. Feanor

Posts: 1346; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Sony has been using tempered glass for front and back always, Gorilla glass or Dragontrail. What are you talking about? First mobile with metal frame and glass front and back was the iPhone 4 which was created when Steve Jobs requested from his designers to imagine how Sony would make a smartphone ( I think around that time Sony had a walkman player with glass back). So Sony copied Apple, who copied Sony. And Samsung copied them both.

22. Feanor

Posts: 1346; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

It's the Sony Walkman X series from 2009 that the iPhone 4 copied and then Sony claimed the design back when they started doing smartphones.

25. sunjay140

Posts: 118; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Xperia P had an aluminum unibody before the iPhone 5.

7. Feanor

Posts: 1346; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Taking a page from Samsung's book when it comes to design? Are you serious Phonearena? Please correct.

17. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

See post #10

14. czytoon

Posts: 14; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

oh my, this phone is great. waterproof, with card slot and front facing stereo speakers, quite an achievement, which others failed to deliver!

18. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

That display comment is a joke. The Z3 display trashed the iPhone 6 display and this should be even more lopsided. Acting like the iPhone 6 display is something special is a complete joke.

20. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Notsureifsrs. You got something to back that up brosphine?

27. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Yeah it's called eyesight.....put them both next to each other and watch a Pixar movie or any 4k video or nice pictures. The Z3 display absolute murders the pixels yellow tinted iPhone 6 display.

28. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Lol no. Z3's Kelvin is close to 1OK. Do your homework. Nice try but your BS didn't pass this time.

33. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I am aware of all the reviews that suck Apples you know what. There is a lot more to a nice display then colour temperature. It's probably something you are too dense to understand.

31. gaming64 unregistered

Haha. Yellow tinted display? I have seen the 6 with my own eyes and what you are saying is the product of iLove and obvious, stupid trolling. Go back to tinkering with Sammy phones.

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