Sony is a company that Apple founder Steve Jobs truly admired, but ever since Apple entered the smartphone arena, Sony (back then it was still Sony Ericsson) has been having great difficulties surviving in this market. However, we've finally reached a moment when the Japanese have finally managed to catch up with the companies that benefited the most from the modern smartphone era. Not in terms of profits, but in terms of tech. With the most recent flagship of the company, the Xperia Z1, Sony can rival all the other high-end Android smartphones out on the market right now. But what about the iPhone 5? How does the Z1 stack up against iOS 7 and Apple's former flagship phone?

Let's see if the bigger size and newer internals will help the Sony Xperia Z1 deliver a better user experience than the Apple iPhone 5!

In the box of the Sony Xperia Z1:

  • USB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Handsfree earphones with clip (MH750)
  • Screen protector
  • Small cleaning cloth

In the box of the Apple iPhone 5:

  • USB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Handsfree earphones (EarPods)
  • SIM removal tool


Luckily, what we're dealing with here are two well-made smartphones with classy and sturdy designs. Both feel quite solid in the hand, with the iPhone 5 making generous use of both glass and metal for its casing, while the Xperia Z1 sticks with glass for the front and back panels, combined with a nice aluminum frame. It'll be up to you to decide which one you like more, but in our opinion the iPhone 5 has an edge in the looks department over the Z1's slightly more ordinary visuals.

There is a huge difference in terms of dimensions. The Sony Xperia Z1 is among the biggest phones with 5” displays with its 5.69 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches. In comparison, the Apple iPhone 5 is way more compact with its dimensions of 4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches, making it much more comfortable to hold and use. The same thing goes for their weight, as the Xperia Z1 weighs the impressive 6.00 oz, versus the much lighter 3.95 oz of the iPhone 5.

The power/lock key, volume buttons and camera shutter of the Xperia Z1 aren't bad, but the power/lock and volume keys of the iPhone 5 are better. With a more pronounced and clicky movement, using those keys on the iPhone 5 feels more satisfying.

Sony Xperia Z1

Sony Xperia Z1


5.69 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches

144.4 x 73.9 x 8.5 mm


6.00 oz (170 g)

Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5


4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm


3.95 oz (112 g)

Sony Xperia Z1

Sony Xperia Z1


5.69 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches

144.4 x 73.9 x 8.5 mm


6.00 oz (170 g)

Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5


4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm


3.95 oz (112 g)

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


Obviously, it's the screen size that sets these two devices apart the most. With its massive 5" TFT LCD screen, the Xperia Z1 simply dwarfs the iPhone 5's 4" IPS LCD one.

In terms of resolution, the Xperia Z1 sports the now-standard Android flagship res of 1080 x 1920 pixels, resulting in a sky-high pixel density of 441 ppi. Everything is extemely fine and clear on the Z1's display and you'll never notice even a hint of pixelization. With the iPhone 5, we're treated to a resolution of 640 x 1136 pixels. While this doesn't seem so impressive on paper, pixel density stands at the satisfying 326 ppi, which means that the iPhone 5's display is also great as far as legibility goes. Sure, it's not as perfectly clean as that of the Z1, but it won't cause you any discomfort in that respect.

As we mentioned in the beginning of this section, the Xperia Z1 doesn't utilize the so popular IPS LCD technology, and instead goes for a TFT screen powered by Sony's so-called Triluminos tech, which attempts to create a more 'intelligent' backlighting for the display through the use of 'quantum dots' - extremely small particles that emit light at preset wavelengths. The ultimate goal is to enable the reproduction of a wider array of natural colors.

The Z1's average color temperature of about 7000 K (kelvin) is slightly better than the iPhone 5's 7300 K, as the reference point is considered to be 6500 K. However, Apple's managed to get the gamma right with the iPhone 5 – all the different levels from very dark to very white are just as bright as they should be, while the same cannot be said about the Z1, where the highlights tend to appear a bit brighter than they should, potentially causing a bit of lost detail.

The Xperia Z1 sports a more than decent maximum brightness output of 495 nits, so outdoor visibility is very good. The iPhone 5, though, can get slightly brighter (535 nits), which helps it achieve a slightly easier to view image when outdoors.

Probably due to the lack of IPS (in-plane switching technology), the LCD screen of the Xperia Z1 has terrible viewing angles. Meanwhile, such problems aren't present with the iPhone 5, and while it does lose a lot of its brightness when viewed at an angle (which happens with all other LCD screens out there), the image remains fine and perfectly readable.




Posts: 99; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

This isn't even two devices in the same league. The 5 is yesterday.

24. MRamki7

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Xperia Z1 is really powerful in all departments.....


Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 02, 2013

Of all the phones out or coming out anything beats the IPHONE 5. Talk about a cult following of an antiquated device. I have tried out many great phones and IPHONE is the only one I didn't care for. They keep you hostage with all of their rules. Everything costs money and the phone is anything but entertaining. No flexibility whatsoever. It is a great phone to use for phone calls and that is it. Hard to believe all these case companies who have put all of their eggs in one phone basket. Androids today like the LG G2 - MOTO X - NEXUS 5 - SONY Z. They all blow the IPHONE out of the water. APPLE has been sitting on its dwindling billions while other phone companies are stripping APPLE to the core of the overhyped A7 chip rendered useless unless you are into extreme gaming on that tiny little outdated screen. If APPLE does not get itself a new CREATIVE MINDED CEO in a hurry they will see their once massive empire crumble. Like it hasn't already begun.

21. Lampriya

Posts: 245; Member since: Oct 05, 2013

iPhone 5 still beats that bulky sony phone. Apple is the best!

22. Miracles

Posts: 560; Member since: Aug 31, 2013

I'd like to disagree with that statement. Don't get me wrong, I own both an iPhone 5 and the Sony Xperia Z. I like my Z better than the iPhone. I'm not talking about the Z1, but the Z leaves iP5 in the dust. So this comparison between Z1 and iP5 is meaningless, it only goes to show how much this article is biased.

20. morozsean

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 04, 2013

LMAO! You are comparing the Sony Xperia Z1 with the iPhone 5!? I just don't know what to say anymore..

19. Finest

Posts: 90; Member since: Aug 16, 2013

This is article is so Bias. Biassed bastard too obvious

18. azafirster

Posts: 44; Member since: May 01, 2012

Seriously this is a bad review, theres so many biased opinion that i would say bull to the whole thing, AND I AM AN IPHONE 5 USER HERE SAYING THIS. Clearly, your battery test needs a whole revamp overhawl shakeup. Please iPhone5 cant last half a daylight without me plugging it to the wall socket, i had to buy external powerbank just so that it could last a whole working day, and another round of juicing up for the life after work damn it. I get all type of smirks when having to juice up, having most of the drain on just five 5 whatsapp channel, when compared to a friend using android lasting the whole working day without pluggin/external batt extention (the whole iOS 7, doesnt even change the whatsapp keyboard to look like iOS 7, maybe dev problem, i dont know, im just a user, sidetrack story). Please, the screen, iPhone 5 screen has pixelization, and dont think users cant see it, you think we are that dumb not to see it. I've put my iPhone next to a Z1, clearly the Z1 is prettier and better, and that reps iPhone 5s, if you trying to hide that fact too. Im happy with my iphone cos i got it cheap cos i was a loyal customer of my telco, so im not changing anytime soon, but credit needs to be given where its due, and the Z1 trumps iPhone 5, hands down.

16. romeo1

Posts: 825; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

Really??? the iphone 5 has a better speaker than the z1? XDXDXD Better call quality cause it goes louder? XDXDXD The camera of the z1 blows every phone away only the lumia 1020 is a bit better. the iphone can't compare not in daylight or in nightshots. this is a real ray s review iphone can't lose or at least not by a leap.

15. Miracles

Posts: 560; Member since: Aug 31, 2013

Wow. Way to make a comparison between an OLD iPhone 5 and the NEW Z1. So what about the 5S? Totally biased article. Considering the software problems iOS has...Sony's Android is pretty good and they don't release updates until they are know its perfect. Software matters too, not just Hardware.

13. oOps..

Posts: 34; Member since: Jul 26, 2013

looks like mother and son

8. misiu9091909

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 02, 2013

Ok, old iPhone 5. But for example in my country (Poland) Xperia Z1 is only a little bit more expensive than the iPhone 5 (about 680$ and 640$). iPhone 5s is not officially available yet, but we can buy it for about 1000$.

7. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Only a fool would choose an iPhone5 over the z1

17. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Call me a fool I guess

6. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

huh huh haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.. POOR Z1 LOST TO THE iPHONE 5....... Historical..!

11. buccob

Posts: 2981; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

according to who?

5. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

Crap. I didn't notice that phonearena was comparing the Z1 to a year old iPhone 5 until midway into the article. And I own the 5s.

10. buccob

Posts: 2981; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

what does that tell you about 5 and 5s differences?

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 31797; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Wow that's a trip. Never tried the Z1, so I can't speak on it. The 5 is a great phone though.

3. BuyOS

Posts: 7; Member since: Sep 18, 2013

wdf z1 vs 5??? so 5s wouldnt even compare??? get a life!!! Review sites are seriously dissing Z1, apple fapboys everywhere.

2. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013


1. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

Seriously, why iP 5 ? You seriously think someone will hesitate between the old iP5 and new Z1 instead of the 5S ? ...

14. Diazene

Posts: 129; Member since: May 01, 2013


* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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