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iPhone 6s vs Xperia Z5: in-depth specs comparison

Posted: , by Paul K.

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iPhone 6s vs Xperia Z5: in-depth specs comparison
Apple's iPhone 6s has finally been announced, bringing a much welcome hardware bump, packed in a well-known chassis design. The iPhone 6 represented the largest incremental increase in an iPhone screen diagonal in the franchise's history, and the iPhone 6s now brings some more noteworthy upgrades – a 12 MP camera (up from 8 MP), 3D touch, and possibly 2 GB of RAM, though, the latter is yet to be confirmed.

How does it stack up against the Android competition, and namely against Sony's Xperia Z5, with which we had a close encounter at the IFA expo just a few days ago? Let's see...

Design


The iPhone 6s is very slightly thicker than its predecessor, but its still a pretty compact handset – measuring at 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches (138.1 x 67 x 7.1 mm). The Xperia Z5 has a generous screen-to-body ratio of 71%, but a 5.2” display still takes its toll and makes the phone noticeably larger than the iPhone 6s, measuring at 5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 inches (146 x 72 x 7.3 mm). Still, we wouldn't say that Sony's phone felt difficult to handle, especially since its frosted glass back finish gets rid of the slipperiness that we've learned to expect from the Xperia line. Still, users who put compact first will perfer the iPhone 6 in this comparison.

Sony's handset can be submerged in five feet of water without any problems, while Apple's creation eschews the water-resistant certification altogether. Moreover, Sony offers two front-firing stereo speakers, stylishly hidden near its top and bottom borders. The iPhone 6s still carries a single speaker, though, given Apple's history, we'd expect it to be a loud and clear one.

Apple iPhone 6s
5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches
138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)

Apple iPhone 6s

Sony Xperia Z5
5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 inches
146 x 72 x 7.3 mm
5.43 oz (154 g)

Sony Xperia Z5

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
5 x 2.56 x 0.35 inches
127 x 65 x 8.9 mm
4.87 oz (138 g)

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

Samsung Galaxy S6
5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches
143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
4.87 oz (138 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6


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

Displays


Both Sony and Apple refuse to put their flagship smarthpones on the QHD bandwagon. Apple's phone packs a 750 x 1334 resolution stretched across its 4.7" screen, resulting in a 326 PPI density. The Xperia Z5 has the more orthodox 1080 x 1920 resolution, which culminates in a sharp-looking 424 PPI density over its 5.2" display. While the iPhone's panels are famous for their accurate color representation, Sony's Triluminos tech tended to be a bit more vivid and saturated. We did notice the Xperia Z5 at IFA 2015 to be a bit more tame, with a more natural color temperature, so jury is still out.

Interface


Sony doesn't skin the stock Android too much, and doesn't offer as many features as the overlays of Samsung, LG or HTC, but it's still a well-rounded UI with immediately recognizable branding. Even though its flagship handsets have been updated to Androud 5 Lollipop, Sony's app visuals haven't really been overtaken by the Material Design philosophy, so some of them may contrast with the stock Google apps, which you will inevitably use on the phone. Overally, though, the interface is smooth, simple, and good-looking.

The iPhone 6s sports the newest iOS 9, which makes no changes to the flat look, but adds numerous functionality enhancements to Apple's phones – a touchpad function for the keyboard, much better Notes app, battery life enhancements, et cetera. Needless to say, aside from running perfectly smooth on the hardware that it has been built on, we expect that, thanks to its new features, iOS 9 will also fare quite well in a match against its current competitors.

Processors and memory


Outfitted with a Apple's own sparkly-new A9 processor, the iPhone 6s offers 64-bit computing and specialized coprocessors. While its yet-unknown core clock and count will probably trail behind the 2 GHz octa-core Snapdragon 810 in the Xperia Z5, it certainly won't fall in cross-platform benchmarks against the Z5, and the typical iPhone/iOS synergy would yield splendid interface behaviour, too. Apple also touted a 90% improvement in the graphics department, so 3D games will run without a hitch on both handsets. The iPhone is also rumored to have been treated to a 100% RAM increase, finally bringing the Apple handset's memory up to 2 GB. However, Apple traditionally doesn't like to talk about memory specifics, so we will have to wait a while before that can be confirmed. The Xperia Z5 comes with the regular 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, expandable via microSD – the latter can't be said about the iPhone 6s.

Cameras


Apple finally updated the 8 MP resolution of its camera to a 12 MP one, outfitting it with a brand-new sensor, which also improves image quality by restricting photodiode cross-talk. The video capture has been improved, too, with slow-mo available in 1080p resolution, and 4K recording finally making it to the iPhone platform. The Z5 shooter's 23 MP resolution might sound impressive, but we can't say that we were too awestruck with its image quality when we had our hands on it at IFA. Still, the Z5's hybrid autofocus system is, indeed, lightning-fast as promised, and the Xperia's snapper is in no way bad, plus the dedicated shutter button makes using the phone as a camera a second nature.


Expectations


If we do a direct, spec-for-spec comparison of the Xperia Z5 with the iPhone 6s, Apple's handset would certainly lose the fight. The Z5 sports a larger display with higher resolution, a higher CPU clock count, more cores, and more RAM memory, plus it has a bigger camera resolution, and more capacious battery.

Apple's way of doing things, however, is not by stuffing a bucketload of powerful, marketable hardware in the iPhone, rather taking advantage of the fact that it develops both its software and its hardware. This allows it to have its operating system work in strong synergy with the hardware, and the user experience is often difficult to beat.

Sure, the Xperia Z5 has a good amount of things going for it – a facelifted design, which still looks great, water-resistance, larger screen, stereo speakers, snappy, clean Android experience – it's easy to see why some people would fall in love with Sony's newest flagship and stick by it.

But we expect that the iPhone 6s will beat Sony's flagship in the camera department, while providing an extremely fluid iOS experience, and being a bit more compact and manageable than the Xperia.

20 Comments
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posted on 09 Sep 2015, 14:55 1

1. SirYar (Posts: 351; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


Let the stupid Phone #1 vs Phone #2 comparisons begin!

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 14:57 18

2. Biernot (unregistered)


sony z5

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 15:50 1

10. DoggyDangerous (Posts: 1001; Member since: 28 Aug 2015)


although I am not impressed with Z5 but Z5 is clearly a better phone. who dont want a great battery?

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 14:59 14

3. Plasticsh1t (Posts: 2063; Member since: 01 Sep 2014)


Z5 all the way.

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 22:47

17. techbuttcheex (Posts: 145; Member since: 25 Jul 2015)


you need iphone for apple watch though

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 15:00 1

4. roldefol (Posts: 4364; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


At least the iPhone has been redesigned in the last two years.

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 15:09 14

6. buccob (Posts: 2714; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


every single iPhone from first gen to latest looks the same from the front...

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 18:45

14. roldefol (Posts: 4364; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


That's called design language. They look pretty different from the side and back.

Also not saying their design language is great. Top bezels on the 6 and 6+ are ridiculous.

posted on 10 Sep 2015, 09:00 1

20. sunjay140 (Posts: 118; Member since: 19 Mar 2015)


Sony also has design language.

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 16:53 2

12. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Every iteration of the Z series has been redesigned. Haters might not see it but the Z3+ is quite different from the Z3, so much so that it was too thin and overheats.

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 15:02 4

5. abeauchamp (Posts: 27; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


I can bet that the person that made the comparison has an IPhone also…

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 15:21 5

7. LionStone (Posts: 843; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


Trippin hard here if they think the iPhone camera "beats" the Sony! They both take fine pics, but the iPhone lacks in durability and other features, like water/dust proof and can the iPhone record live to YouTube? And then PA says iPhone will beat the Sony because of compactness and manageability!? Hellooo! Sony makes a COMPACT version, ohhh the irony!

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 15:42 3

8. rsiders (Posts: 1073; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)


So what then if Sony's camera beats the iPhone's camera? The Z5 has so much more to offer than the iPhone 6S that a slightly lesser camera quality is more than negligible. I don't buy into the it's great because it's an iPhone argument which seems to be the side PhoneArena will lean to despite everything else.

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 15:46 1

9. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


I hate to admit it but this is pretty even thanks to Sony using the dated SD810 instead of delaying and waiting for the SD820. Good job Sony....

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 16:10 5

11. Xperia14 (Posts: 913; Member since: 01 Sep 2015)


Z5 for me. I'm not willig to pay more for less features. Z5 over 6S: beigger battery, IP68, stereo speakers, expendable memory, FM-radio, camera button, etc. 6S over Z5: ???

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 17:05 1

13. CamaroSS (Posts: 173; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)


Home button. Doh! All joking aside, 6S is going to have higher single Core & GPU performance. That's pretty much is it - I guess. I'd still take Z5 over 6S.

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 20:57 2

15. SonyOwner (unregistered)


Lol, Paul K, you need some neurons too.
Iphone never defeat Sony in terms of camera.
Maybe in this site review.

If you are intelligent enough, you will know how to use the Xperia Camera the right way.
I understand you're not.

posted on 09 Sep 2015, 21:48 2

16. Kal-el (Posts: 96; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)


IF people like Z5 picture Sony wins....if people like iphone pictures sony wins ...both are sony lens -__- LOL

posted on 10 Sep 2015, 04:43

18. dil2abu (Posts: 315; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


Z5 for me..

posted on 10 Sep 2015, 05:04

19. wg1234 (Posts: 23; Member since: 09 Sep 2015)


I hope you can compare Sony Z5 Compact with iPhone 6S, they are about the same size and have similar screen res.

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