Interface and Functionality

On one hand, there is the Xperia Z1 with its customized Android 4.2.2 experience, while on the other, we have the iPhone 5 and its new iOS 7 reality.

There's nothing particularly new about Sony's UI for the most part. Things follow the normal way of operation for Android – you have a number of homescreen pages where you can place various app shortcuts, widgets and folders, while the main menu — which can be sorted in different ways — gives you access to all of your apps. Sony's personalization hasn't missed all the core OS apps, such as the phonebook, calendar and so on, giving them a more unified look that suits the rest of the UI.

On the iPhone 5, the brand new iOS 7 stays true to the roots of iOS, meaning that everything happens in almost exactly the same way as before. Aside from the light and flat new look of the operating system, users can now take advantage of the new Control Center feature that provides quick access to frequently used settings such as the toggles for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, as well as brightness and some others. Overall, we wouldn't say that we love the new iOS appearance, but it's OK and it gives the system the much-needed refresh.

Processor and Memory

Being a new high-end Android smartphone, the Z1 is equipped with one of the best pieces of silicon available – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC (system-on-chip), which offers a quad-core 2.2 Ghz Krait 400 CPU and the Adreno 330 GPU. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5 is powered by the Apple A6. On paper, this system chip seems much humbler, as it "only" features a dual-core 1.3 GHz Swift CPU, along with the PowerVR SGX543MP3 GPU.

As far as user experience goes, both handsets run perfectly smoothly, though the iPhone 5 is noticeably snappier in some apps, such as the browser, in terms of response time. Third-party apps and games are also running perfectly well on both devices. It's worth noting that the Xperia Z1 has to feed a significantly power-hungrier screen, so the extra horsepower of the Snapdragon 800 chipset isn't going to waste.

When it comes to system memory, the iPhone 5 has 1 GB, while the Xperia Z1 ups that to 2 GB. Once again, we haven't noticed any issue with regards to performance on either phone.

Internal storage on the Xperia Z1 is 16 GB only, but thankfully, if you need more, you can always install a microSD card. Things are a bit different on the iPhone 5, where you don't get the option to install a microSD card, but you can purchase the device with 16, 32 or 64 GB of internal storage.

Sunspider Lower is better
Sony Xperia Z1 746.2
Apple iPhone 5 712.7
Basemark X on-screen Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z1 17.007
Apple iPhone 5 17.961
GFXBench Fill Rate off-screen Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z1 1372.3
Apple iPhone 5 1779.7
GFXBench T-Rex HD off-screen Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z1 21
Apple iPhone 5 6.8
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z1 23
Apple iPhone 5 13
Mozilla Kraken Lower is better
Sony Xperia Z1 7636
Apple iPhone 5 13888

Internet and Connectivity

The default browser on the Xperia Z1 is Google's Chrome, while what you'll find on the iPhone 5 is Safari. Both browsers work very quickly and fluidly, though the lightning quick response of the Safari browser remains unsurpassed to this day. The text-size inflating feature of Safari also seems to work better in certain scenarios. As you probably know, Flash Player is not supported by any device.

Both handsets feature LTE connectivity, but in theory, the Xperia Z1 can achieve faster speeds with its LTE Cat4 downlink of up to 150 Mbit/s, versus the iPhone 5's LTE Cat3 downlink of up to 100 Mbit/s. Of course, HSPA+ is there for those users who don't have access to LTE yet, which, we guess, is most users out there.

GPS and Glonass are supported by both devices, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 and all the latest Wi-Fi protocols, except for '802.11 ac', which is only supported by the Z1. NFC and DLNA are only available on the Z1, though right now there isn't really that much use for them.

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