Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2
Out of the box, both the Sony Xperia Z1 and the LG G2 come with Android 4.2.2, which is a bit disappointing since Android 4.3 has been out since July and the release of Android 4.4 is nearing. Hopefully, we'll see these handsets get the updates they deserve in a timely manner.
The user interfaces on these smartphones are quite different from what you'd find on a stock device. Sony has chosen to keep things a bit more down-to-earth, focusing on functionality over appearance. Plenty of widgets are included, as one might expect, and the handy small apps, accessible from the multitasking button, are a neat addition. Visual alterations are found in pretty much every screen and every panel, which adds consistency to the whole experience.
Things are a bit different on the LG G2. The company has thrown in a lot of eye-candy in the form of fancy transition animations and colorful UI elements. Some of the interface's features, such as the visual effects and the selection of buttons in the notification panel, can be customized, which is great to know. On top of app that, LG has thrown in a handful of unique features, including the potentially highly useful Slide Aside, which allows one to multitask better by saving up to 3 apps in their current state for future use.
Still, we lean in favor of what Sony has done to the interface of its smartphone. Its UI is more refined, less cartoony, and as a whole, more pleasant to use. We can't deny however, that the LG G2 also looks pretty good. Its flexibility when it comes to customization and its unique software features are definitely an advantage.
Processor and memory
Snapdragon 800 – that's the fastest mobile chip Qualcomm has to offer, and it is found under the hoods of both the Sony Xperia Z1 and the LG G2. To no surprise, the two smartphones deliver similar results when benchmarked, but we all know it is their real-life performance we should be commenting on. Well, we have great news for you, guys: the Z1 and the G2 are flawless in that respect, exhibiting no lag whatsoever when used. Multitasking is also smooth thanks to the 2GB of RAM available on both of them. With the Adreno 330 GPU, any modern 3D game will run beautifully no matter which of these two devices it is loaded on.
There are multiple variants of the LG G2, and the one you're going to find in the US or Europe has 32GB of built-in, non-expandable storage. (The variant with a microSD card slot is sold in Korea). On-board storage space on the Z1 is much less plentiful as it is limited to 16 gigs, but you get a microSD card slot capable of accepting cards of up to 64GB.
Phonebook and messaging
The phonebook on the Sony Xperia Z1 is pretty good as it provides all core functionality you'd expect of it. It would have been better, though, if the recent calls list wasn't obscured by the dialer pad, which takes up half the screen. The LG G2 has a feature-rich phonebook that can be customized to the user's liking. One is free to rearrange the taps on the top, which is neat. Also, we like having the option to dial a contact's number simply by tapping on the button next to it.
There is little to set apart the messaging apps and the on-screen keyboards on these two smartphones. For the most part, they are identical and equally comfortable to type on. The keys are big and well laid out so we can type quickly from the get-go on both of them. The two also have the option to attach a picture, video, location, and more to the message.
Well, we can't seem to find anything missing here. All the mandatory organizer tools are present on both the Sony Xperia Z1 and the LG G2, so regardless of which one you pick, you'll get the usual calendar, world clock, timer, stop watch, sound recorder, and notes apps out of the box. The Z1 has its Small Apps – quick tools accessible from the multitasking menu – and more of them are available for download from the Play Store. The G2 offers similar functionality in the form of its QSlide apps, placed in the notification panel.
Internet and connectivity
Chrome is the default web browser on the Sony Xperia Z1, and it runs beautifully. Pages are loaded and rendered quickly as we browse back and forth. The LG G2 comes with a capable browser as well, but the extra navigation bar at the bottom isn't necessarily needed. The option to switch to windowed mode, however, is kind of cool. Of course, the user is free to install an alternative browser from the Play Store, should the stock options not meet their expectations.