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Sony Xperia Z1S vs Apple iPhone 5s

Sony Xperia Z1S vs Apple iPhone 5s

Sony Xperia Z1S vs Apple iPhone 5s
Sony Xperia Z1S vs Apple iPhone 5s
Sony Xperia Z1S vs Apple iPhone 5s
Sony Xperia Z1S vs Apple iPhone 5s

Sony been slowly getting the ball rolling with its unique set of Xperia devices – with the Z1S being the latest one. Based on the Z1 that launched last year, this T-Mobile flagship is known for its glass waterproof body and 20-megapixel camera with bigger than average image sensor. It’s a good idea to pit it against Apple’s iPhone 5s – arguably one of the best in the space currently. There’s a lot to love about the two devices in this particular comparison, but it’ll be especially titillating for those T-Mobile customers who can’t quite make a definitive choice on which handset to go with.


Luxury is the name of the game with these two flagships, as they sport eye-catching designs that are complemented by their premium choice materials. Lovely from head-to-toe, it’s rather difficult to say which of the two designs we prefer more – mainly because they have their own set of delectable traits. The iPhone 5s continues the trend from its predecessor by making generous use of glass and brushed aluminum for its casing, but the Xperia Z1S also shines for its hard lines and glass surfaces. Equally so, the construction of the two smartphones are top-notch, showing that there’s a lot of love placed into their designs. However, we have to be mindful and point out the IP58 rating of the Xperia Z1S. Having that in tow, it’s able to survive being dunked in 4.9 feet of fresh water for 30 minutes without any damage. Come to think about it, how often do we come across a flagship that we can use right in the shower or tub?

Without a doubt, we like the form-fitting nature of the iPhone 5s, which looks miniscule in comparison to the larger sized Xperia Z1S. As much as adore the glass finish on Sony’s pride and joy, it just feels too slippery in the hand – and it’s also prone to getting dirty very quickly.

Nowadays, it seems as though more and more flagship phones are stripped of various ports and buttons that otherwise used to be standard. Sure, we have dedicated power buttons, volume controls, and charging ports with the two in question here, but the Xperia Z1S benefits by featuring a microSD card slot, a spot for a lanyard, and a dedicated shutter key – all of which help to give it some flexibility. With the latter, it becomes handy when it’s used under water where it’s impossible to interact with the display.

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)

Sony Xperia Z1

Apple iPhone 5s
4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches
123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm
3.95 oz (112 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

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


Quickly glazing over the two, it’s obvious that the Xperia Z1S’ 5-inch 1080p Triluminos display dwarfs the smaller 4-inch 640 x 1136 Retina display of the iPhone 5s. Doing the math, the Xperia Z1S churns out the higher pixel density of 441 ppi – easily beating out the 326 ppi figure of Apple’s baby. Honestly speaking though, the detail superiority is hardly noticeable unless we’re looking very up close and personal to their screens. In fact, from a normal viewing distance, it’s almost indistinguishable which of the two is sharper.

iPhone 5s has very good display, with accurate tones, while the Z1S in comparison looks slightly blueish and washed out. Outdoor visibility is really good with the two of them, seeing that their respective screens are able to obtain a very high level of brightness. Looking at them squarely from a 90-degree angle, they produce vivid colors that don’t disappoint in attracting our eyes, but the poor viewing angles of the Xperia Z1S is a sour point.

Sony Xperia Z1 360-Degrees View

Apple iPhone 5s 360-Degrees View

  • Options

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:10

1. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2226; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

Great phones. Great review (here).

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:10 9

2. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

Z1s...no question!

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:12

3. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

I'd have to say it's a tie.. The camera on the Z1S vs. speed and Touch ID on the 5S.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:29 6

6. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

The speed on Z1S is great as well, so it has an overall edge here.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:31

8. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

iPhone 5S is super future proof. iPhone 5 runs great on iOS 7, imagine how the 5S would run on iOS 7, 8 and 9 with the 64-bit processor.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:40 8

13. sgogeta4 (Posts: 394; Member since: 02 Feb 2011)

The Z1S is just as future proof since its processor is equally as fast. Just because the 5S has a 64-bit processor, doesn't mean squat. 32-bit OSes will be around for a long time. And even if a 64-bit OS comes out, having a 64-bit processor doesn't mean that the it will be enough to run the OS smoothly.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 08:01

15. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

I agree with you, but as more apps start to be developed with 64-bit support, the benefits are greater than being written in 32-bit. On a defense, iPhone 5S will get software support for 3+ years, which actually meets the price to experience ratio imo.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:30

7. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

I just noticed that's probably the first Sony phone I've seen that has five signal bars instead of four. It should be a standard instead of four.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:23 2

4. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

Look at the screen size different :D

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:26

5. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Screen sizes??? iPhone is looking like having only 3" or 3.5" screen. :)

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:31 5

9. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Z1S has more value for the money!

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:33 6

10. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)

Z1S wins obviously.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:35 5

11. muqtadir (Posts: 7; Member since: 17 Dec 2012)

Z1S is value for money.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:38

12. sergiobr (Posts: 713; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)

Andoid anytime ! No iOs or WP ! But the photos on ircphone are better ! Sony is too much overprocessed, in any mobile. Please Sony correct it immediately !

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 07:44

14. N-fanboy (Posts: 543; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)

Waiting on a comparision bn the Z1c and the 5s... Not for the sake of finding out which one is better tho... Just to find out 'by how much?'.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 08:03 1

16. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

iPhone 5S. Z1C has a leg up in the camera department (outdoors) but the 5S is better with low light photos. They'll both run fluid and fast, but for those two, it comes down to whether you want Android or iOS.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 08:52

21. darkkjedii (Posts: 25052; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Dude, my wife loves your profile pic. She adores Mickey Mouse, she saved it and made it her lock screen pic. +1

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:19

24. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Mickey Mouse is probably my all time favorite character besides the Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry characters. Steamboat Willie started it all haha. Glad she's enjoying it!

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 08:11 5

17. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

Z1S without a doubt here.

The biased in these articles is so humorous. The authors bang on phones like the Moto X for not having a 1080p display, but when it comes to the iPhone and not even sporting an HD display "there's relatively no difference." HA!

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 08:46 1

19. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Guess who wrote the article.

Any who, the display on the Moto X and iPhone 5S is beautiful. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:11 1

23. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

They are, but the difference in the displays when compared to a 1080p phone ARE noticeable. I have a Droid Ultra(same 720p display as Moto X), and the display compared to my G Pad is not on par at all, the same goes for me comparing my Droid Ultra to my Z1S. Just like my 720p on my Ultra is sharper and nicer than any iPhone I have ever owned or seen. To say otherwise is nothing more than fan boy crap. Ray Charles could see the difference in the displays.

Love the new Avatar Smurf. Ditched the Retina eyeball already huh?

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:24 3

25. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Well of course 1080p vs 720p or 640p is going to be noticeable.

Yeah I did. Steamboat Willie is my favorite cartoon character, so it was a no brainer to me. It's pretty much perfect.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 08:15 1

18. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

Sony makes a nice piece of kit.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 08:50 1

20. darkkjedii (Posts: 25052; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

One thing all these iPhone haters fail to realize, and it's one of the iPhones greatest assets, is resale value. We don't keep these phone anymore than a year or two. What phone do you think will be worth more, when upgrade time comes around and you decide to sell it? Not ragging on the Z, it's a great phone, but won't be worth a dime on eBay, gazelle, or Craigslist when you're ready to sell it. The iPhone is by far the most valuable phone on the market...like it or not. Specs wise the Z wins the comparison though...specs wise.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:26

26. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

iPhone 5S has a leg up with Touch ID and being 64-bit. Z1S has the camera advantage (for outdoor photos) and the extra RAM for multitasking, which Sony has gotten a lot better with on the newer Xperia models.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 08:58 1

22. byazatt (Posts: 298; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

Sony is the most complete package here, but iPhone will win the status symbol trophy anyway

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 10:17 1

27. MarkArigayo (Posts: 240; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)

Xperia Z1 Compact would be the most possible challenger for iPhone. The 5 inch of Z1's screen was notably larger than iPhone's that of 4 inch.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 14:50 1

28. Kishin (Posts: 706; Member since: 30 May 2013)

The iPhone is so sexy.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 16:30

29. darkkjedii (Posts: 25052; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Like Alicia Keys.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 20:14

30. Isitforyou (banned) (Posts: 11; Member since: 19 Jan 2014)

Looks like a bot

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