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Sony Xperia X vs Apple iPhone 6s



Sony introduced a new portfolio of phones earlier this year, aiming to take a new direction from the aging Z-series. The Xperia X sits right smack in the middle of the new X-line in terms of specs, but not in price, so on paper it's not really the value-for-money proposition.

The phone does sport the new design wrapping, and the new autofocus tech from Sony, but at the same time it costs just a Benjamin less than the more popular iPhone 6s choice.

What does the Xperia X have to offer against Apple's finest? Read on to find out, as we are clashing it with the venerable iPhone...


Both flaunt scraggly screen-to-body ratio, but the Xperia feels like a plumpy slab compared to the thin and light unibody of the iPhone.

With the Xperia X, Sony doesn't gulp the new metal chassis trend hook, line and sinker. Granted, the phone does sport a solid metal rim, but the back is made of plastic painted in the same color, while the iPhone 6s flaunts an entirely metal unibody that is still slimmer and lighter than the Xperia X. It is also more manageable in the hand, and not only because of the slightly smaller screen diagonal, but also due to the fact that the Sony phone feels like a thick, heavy slab in comparison.

Looking around the sides of the US model, we find out with a disappointment that the Xperia X doesn't have Sony's now-signature finger scanner that doubles as a power/lock key. International versions have it, but there are various theories as to why Sony is omitting a finger scanner in the US, which puts the Xperia X at a disadvantage in our comparison – not only does the 6s sport one in the home key, but it is also very quick and is linked to the Apple Pay authorization system.

In addition, the volume rocker and power key on the Xperia are a tad shallow in terms of tactile feedback, compared to the iPhone's, and their placement is uncomfortable. Well, at least Sony's phone has a dedicated camera shutter key, which allows you to take photos directly from a locked screen, which is neat. It also sports an LED notification light for missed calls, messages and other events, which is a small advantage over the iPhone.

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


Rejoice, gaudy cold colors, you are no longer confined to OLED displays, as the Xperia X has you!

The Xperia X and the iPhone 6s both come with latest generation of LCD display tech, and don't strive for record pixel densities. Sony put a 5” screen on its phone with 1080 x 1920 pixels, while the iPhone 6s counts on a 4.7” display with 750 x 1334 pixels. Pixel density is more than enough for the respective screen diagonals, and small details look crisp on both from a regular viewing distance.

As per screen quality, the iPhone 6s has an almost spot-on color temperature and saturation, referenced to the standard sRGB gamut, while Xperia X exhibits pretty cold and gaudy colors, as if it is equipped with an OLED display. Sony does give three screen modes to choose from, but even the most toned down one boosts the greens and reds way over the standard gamut boundaries.

Sony had the same thing going on the Z5 trio, and with them the explanation for this type of calibration was that people perceive cold colors as brighter. At 538 nits, however, the Xperia X is not brighter than the iPhone 6s, let alone than the Z5 with its nearly 700 nits. Quibbles on peak brightness levels aside, the Xperia X does sport low screen reflections, too, and has very good outdoor visibility, even a tad better than the iPhone.

As a big advantage of the iPhone 6s panel we now have to point out its 3D Touch display tech that can distinguish between a light tap and a harder press, and react accordingly in both stock apps, as well as compatible third-party ones. In iOS 10, the use of 3D Touch is greatly expanded, too, with full-scale widget previews popping up over icons that carry actionable info – so much so, that often you don't even have to go into the app, as all you needed it for is a harder press away.

Sony is one of the few phone makers that has hardwired a double tap for both waking the phone and locking the display, but still this extra feature can't measure up to the abilities 3D Touch brings. Moreover, iOS 10 carries the Raise to Wake option that lights up the iPhone's screen the second you tilt it towards your eyes – a more elegant and effortless solution than double tapping.


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