Call quality


When it comes to call quality, the Xperia Z1 manages to deliver an acceptable performance, although it's by no means exceptional with its OK loudness and average sound quality. The iPhone 5 is a whole other story, as its earpiece is on the stronger side, plus voices tend to sound a bit fuller when conversing using Apple's handset.

As we said in the previous section, the speaker of the Xperia Z1 is definitely inferior, but it's still good enough for conversing. However, if you happen to be in a noisier environment, the louder speaker of the iPhone 5 will do a better job.

Battery


Thanks to its beefier battery of 3000 mAh, the Z1 can theoretically last longer than the iPhone 5 and its tinier 1440 mAh battery. Stand-by time for the Xperia Z1 stands at about 35 days, while for the iPhone 5 it's at only 10 days. Estimated 3G talk-time for the Z1 is 15 hours, while for the iPhone 5 it's 8 hours. Of course, these numbers are theoretical, so the battery life you get out of your handset will vary greatly depending on your usage habits.

Having run our own battery test, which is designed to replicate typical real-life usage, we've noticed that the Xperia Z1 does manage to last a bit longer, though the difference isn't as great as the statistics from the manufacturers suggest. The Z1 lasted for about 4 hours and 40 minutes, while the iPhone 5 powered itself off after about 4 hours and 20 minutes. So, the bigger battery unit on the Z1 allows it to achieve a respectable result in our battery test, but the lower energy consumption of the iPhone 5's smaller screen helps it to remain close to its opponent, despite its significantly smaller battery.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z1
4h 43 min (Poor)
Apple iPhone 5
4h 22 min (Poor)


Conclusion


There's no denying that the iPhone 5 has lost some of its appeal – after all, this handset has been around for a year now, and it's only expected that new high-end smartphones will be able to offer better tech. Such is the case with the camera of the Xperia Z1, for example. However, the iPhone 5 holds up surprisingly well after all this time. The device is just as snappy, if not even faster than the Xperia Z1, all the while offering a premium design and great screen, as well as better call quality and speaker.

However, if 4” screens are starting to feel a bit small to you, then it's obviously time for you to consider an Android flagship such as the Xperia Z1. It'll offer you a great design, a large, 5” 1080p display and great performance, courtesy of the state-of-the-art Snapdragon 800 chipset. Still, there is one thing you shouldn't overlook and that's the bulkiness of the Xperia Z1. As highly-functional and good-looking as the Xperia Z1 can be, it's actually among the biggest handsets in its class. If that's an issue for you, you should probably take a look at some of the other Android flagships, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, or LG G2, which are all good alternatives.



Software versions of the reviewed devices

Sony Xperia Z1: Android 4.2.2; Build 14.1.G.1.518

Apple iPhone 5: iOS 7.0.2

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