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Sony Xperia X vs Apple iPhone 6s

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.

Sony Xperia X vs Apple iPhone 6s

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.

Sony Xperia X vs Apple iPhone 6s
Sony Xperia X vs Apple iPhone 6s

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.

Sony Xperia X
5.63 x 2.72 x 0.3 inches
143 x 69 x 7.7 mm
5.36 oz (152 g)

Sony Xperia X

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

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!

Sony Xperia X vs Apple iPhone 6s
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.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Sony Xperia X 536
Apple iPhone 6s 554
View all

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posted on 24 Jun 2016, 09:10 6

1. eN16HTMAR3 (Posts: 253; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)

"Rich and quality app ecosystem" has nothing to do with the actual phone. Google Play is just about as well rounded as the Apple App Store and shouldn't be considered a "plus".

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 09:39 5

3. sgodsell (Posts: 4855; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

iPhone arena keeps calling the 650 Qualcomm chip a mid range CPU. However the 650 is sporting 2 cortex-A72 cores which are faster than A57 cores. Not to mention the 650 is actually faster than a SD 808 processor and it's GPU is comparable to a SD 810. So this processor is no slouch. I always shake my head when they do graphics benchmarks with displays from a lower resolution iPhone 6S. The Xperia X is pushing more than two times the number of pixels on its full HD display. Plus phonearena has always given Sony a bad rap.

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 09:47

4. ibend (Posts: 6675; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

SD650 is mid-ranger nowadays, since its noticeably below flagship level (SD 820)
just like last year's SD808 compared to SD810

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 09:53

6. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14501; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Agree with most of that. But Sony gets a bad rep because their on phone give Sony a bad rep.

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 10:25 1

8. deviceguy2016 (banned) (Posts: 826; Member since: 16 Jun 2016)

I agree with you on ppi!!!!!! +100 sgodsell my Xperia Z5 premium has 881 ppi no device out there has that, that I'm aware of?? And the 4K display is flawless not bad for a unlocked version i think t mobile should had jump on this device!! Funny thing I have t mobile the Z5 out does my iPhone 6S plus and my iPhone is from t mobile, the representative at the store saw my Z5 and offered to buy from me i say nope!! also with my SD card in the Z5 beats my memory in my iPhones 128 gab but i had the Z1S and Z3 in the past and kinda gave up with Sony as t mobile did but the Z5 was a shocker from Sony, ya lots of Sony haters out there but try the Z5 and think twice, I reall don't favor iOS or OS or a device maker or the looks of a device, if a device performance is good I'm on it no matter iOS or OS I'm thinking Samsung note 7 too and even iPhone 7 pro 256 gb if that pans out true but won't know till September's apples say!!

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 09:52

5. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14501; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

I agree. when you are talking about physical comparison of a phone, the applications are not part of that deal. We are just comparing the hardware capabilities heads up.

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 13:07 1

14. kiko007 (Posts: 5383; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)

I hate to burst your righteous bubble, but iOS apps are indeed better than their Android counterparts. Case in point examples: Pinterest updated it's iOS app months ago with several new features which have yet to be released on Android. Case in point #2: There are over 100 enterprise apps exclusively available on the App Store (important in corporate setting). Let's be real here....app selection is a major part of your phone experience. Appleo offers better quality apps whileA Android offers better hardware.

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 15:37 2

15. darkkjedii (Posts: 24899; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

I have almost all the same apps on my Note, and IPhone, and can say with 100% certainty...the iOS versions kill the android versions. It's a known fact, devs develope for iOS first over android, for financial preference, and it's easier.

The eco system may not be the actual phone, but it sure as hell ties into massively. These trolls know that, but try to tear down Apple in any way they can. That said, they're two great devices, with the two best eco systems.

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 17:48 2

17. ColinW (Posts: 254; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)

I hate to burst yours but there is no proof that IOS apps are better than their Android counterparts, lots of Apple propaganda to try and uphold one of the last remaining iPhone, IOS myths maybe, but no proof.

For every app that is in the Apple store and not in the Android, there is one in the Android and not in the Apple. If you take that comparison to the natural conclusion Android wins because it has more apps.

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 19:56

20. deviceguy2016 (banned) (Posts: 826; Member since: 16 Jun 2016)

ColinW your right the apps in iOS and android some are the same but different when you use them I'm currently using a iPhone and LG V 10 and time to time a Sony Xperia Z5 premium and yes versions do differ from iOS and OS aka I use the same app on iPhone as android and most apps do differ

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 23:09

21. therealestmc (Posts: 469; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)

Anybody that's not a fanboy will tell you the iOS apps are more polished than the android. Oftentimes the android versions feel like straight port of iOS apps. There are no optimization whatsoever. You can deny that all you want by that is the truth.

posted on 25 Jun 2016, 00:29

22. EcoCare (Posts: 443; Member since: 30 Jul 2014)

I second that. I've been using Android since my very first smartphone and after playing with my friends' iPhones, I can really tell iOS apps are more polished and consistent with the whole iOS interface.

Even some Android apps are just port from iOS and it's slow and unoptimized.

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 09:29 2

2. deviceguy2016 (banned) (Posts: 826; Member since: 16 Jun 2016)

I'd say Apple on this one, but iPhone don't beat a Sony Xperia Z5 premium i have both the Z5 has 4K with 881 ppi Apple will never have, but I think Apple may get 4K soon and surprise us

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 09:53 3

7. ibend (Posts: 6675; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

mid-ranger vs flagship?
6/10 vs 9.3/10?
the only comparable thing here is their huge bezels, and apple get the "King of Bezels" title again this year

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 12:12 1

12. EcoCare (Posts: 443; Member since: 30 Jul 2014)

That's what you get for slapping flagship price on a midrange phone.

posted on 25 Jun 2016, 00:43

23. Settings (Posts: 2330; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)

So why not X Performance? It costs more than X.

posted on 25 Jun 2016, 04:13

24. EcoCare (Posts: 443; Member since: 30 Jul 2014)

Granted, both are uncompetitively priced, but X isn't that far from flagship price either. X Performance is even worse.

posted on 25 Jun 2016, 10:39

25. deviceguy2016 (banned) (Posts: 826; Member since: 16 Jun 2016)

Less bezels is Samsung they have improved on that, Apple needs help on that, ditch the menu button and than Apple got to first base for starters

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 10:43 2

9. Jkr284 (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Jun 2016)

1. Snap dragon 650 is brilliant and is no slouch. I don't think in the real world anyone would notice a speed difference. Games don't lag. Faster and better quality chip in iPhone you say? Then why leave out my second point?
2. In the audio department there's no mention of Sony Hires audio support? Built in noise cancelling support? Come on this creams the iPhone audio chipped. 192-256kbps might be alright on the bus but at home/gym etc it isn't for a lot of people.
3. Signal strength of the xperia x destroys the iPhone and even the Samsung s7edge. No mention of this.
4.the power button is easy to feel. It works! Its no different than feeling for the iPhone home button.

If your going to compare 2 phones the please learn to list the major pros and cons.

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 10:54

10. Hama22 (Posts: 53; Member since: 17 Jul 2015)

Are they even serious comparing these two?

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 11:59

11. deviceguy2016 (banned) (Posts: 826; Member since: 16 Jun 2016)

Just noticed something here? Looks like Sony has the curved edge like the iPhone lol uhhhh ohhhh will Apple sue Sony for this??? lol

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 15:40

16. darkkjedii (Posts: 24899; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

The main reason I'd never buy a Sony phone, is product support. Apples brick and mortar stores, combined with their product support kills it for me. I hate packing up stuff and shipping it. Walk into one of the 4 Las Vegas Valley Apple Stores, and walk out with a new iPhone...problem solved.

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 17:51

18. ColinW (Posts: 254; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)

For you that works, for the majority of people that's not possible. Where I live it iPhones are the most difficult to get fixed, phone support is hopeless.

posted on 24 Jun 2016, 19:50

19. Diezparda (Posts: 889; Member since: 23 Oct 2013)

Both Sony & Apple can't provide the best support & i live in Indonesia. Sony basicly has worst support while Apple is lacking support (no Apple stores here, & it's much more expensive than it should).

When it comes to tablet Apple is my fave, but when it comes to smartphone i think Android like Samsung/LG is the best option here.

posted on 25 Jun 2016, 14:34

26. darkkjedii (Posts: 24899; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Well I did say "the main reason I'd never buy". I'm smart enough to speak for me.

posted on 06 Jul 2016, 20:36

27. Zeekerpaul (Posts: 34; Member since: 15 Nov 2015)

Less bezels is Samsung they have improved on that, Apple needs help on that, ditch the menu button and than Apple got to first base for starters

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