Introduction


Sony's flagship refresh in the Xperia Z2 entered the scene just recently, offering a level of refinement that exceeds the company's previous efforts. The Z2 is more polished, powerful, and feature-full than ever. Obviously, however, the competition is not about to sit idle, and will have refined offerings of their own.

When we say competition, at least in the context of the Z2, however, we usually think Android. It would be wrong, however, to exclude Apple's iPhone 5s from the race, especially given how it continues to sell by the thousands daily. Indeed, the iPhone 5s is an unlikely competitor for those looking for the larger form-factor of the Xperia Z2 and the likes of it, but that's not necessarily true for your Average Joe, who's simply looking for the phone that he likes best.

Let's see what each of our contestants today have to offer, and where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

Design

It isn't often that we get to handle an Android device that rivals the iPhone 5s' design and feel. The Sony Xperia Z2 is the glass-and-metal-bodied exception to that rule.

It's not often that we have a phone in our hands that can successfully spar with Apple's iPhone 5s in terms of design, but the Sony Xperia Z2 sure is an exception. Its rectangular, glass-and-metal build doesn't just look stylish and premium – it actually feels that way in your hand. But the slightly thinner (7.6 vs 8.2 mm) iPhone 5s is that and more – its industrial design has an edge over the Z2 when it comes to pure aesthetics, as it's not as cluttered with flaps, buttons, and openings. Indeed, the aluminum shell of the 5s feels less encumbered in comparison, but, then again, it comes without the Z2's water- and dust-resistance.

At the sides, we have a shutter key, followed by a volume rocker and the home button on the Xperia Z2's right, but only that last one proves clicky enough for liking. The rest are a little sticky, and provide unsatisfying tactile feedback. The iPhone 5s does things a bit differently – it's relatively low height allows it to stick the home button on the top right side, while the two volume keys and the mute slider occupy the left side. This time around, we have a far more refined, clicky movement of the keys, and they definitely communicate a higher-end experience.


Sony Xperia Z2

Sony Xperia Z2

Dimensions

5.78 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches

146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5s

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.95 oz (112 g)

Sony Xperia Z2

Sony Xperia Z2

Dimensions

5.78 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches

146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5s

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

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


Display

Sony took a big step forward with the IPS display of the Xperia Z2, but the iPhone 5's panel still outclasses it.

With the Xperia Z2, Sony finally caved in and made the switch to from TFT LCD to the superior IPS tech. The effect is telling: the Xperia Z2's 5.2-inch, 1080 x 1920 screen (424 ppi) screen offers livelier colors than before (Z1) and viewing angles are finally good enough. The screen has a very good color temperature of 6909 K (6500 K is the reference point here), meaning that whites and the differing intensities of gray are rendered without an overpowering blue tinge. Gamma, at 2.59, is less optimal, and peak brightness is alright at 458 nits. Overall, the Z2 has a fairly accurate color reproduction, though both primary and secondary colors are over-saturated, and especially red and green.

Looking at the much smaller, 4-inch (640 x 1136, 326 ppi) IPS screen of the iPhone 5s, we have to admit that it still outclasses the Z2's panel. Color temperature is less optimal at 7144 K, but gamma (2.21) is excellent and maximum brightness is in another league, at 587 nits. When it comes to color reproduction, as seen from our measurement charts below, the iPhone 5s has the considerably more accurate colors. They deviate minimally from their targets, and saturation is excellent and very natural.

Of course, it does come down to size in the end. The iPhone 5s may very well have an edge in terms of quality, but the Xperia Z2 does offer the more captivating experience.



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69 Comments

1. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

No still no clear winner here, but still iPhone all the way.

2. leftheodo

Posts: 108; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

hahahahaha.......Wait, that wasn't a joke?

3. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

no it was a PA style writeup.

5. AJagtiani

Posts: 466; Member since: Apr 24, 2014

PA is still better than that David guy at The Verge, who can't seem to call anything other than his stupid iPhone 5S any good. The Verge is worse than PA. They all seem to be sucking Apple's backside.

19. FaisalWibowo11

Posts: 166; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

The verge give android flagships a score of.. Well.. Not even 80, and they give iphones 86-93. Which is a total bull

20. cheetah2k

Posts: 2300; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Ok lets drop the iPhone 5s and Z2 in the toilet. The one that survives is the winner :D

27. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

If iphone survives, i'm sure the owner will kiss it first before washing. :-P

9. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

LOL! I see what you did there! :D +1

28. buccob

Posts: 2980; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Wait till Apple finally release the 6 with a bigger screen... its going to be the most "perfect size, display, ergonomics, looks" that PA has ever seen... Anyway I always look at the User Reviews for a more accurate rating ;-)

58. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

They'll never let apple loose . Just a tie. Same old review.

60. craigy72

Posts: 41; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

I agree - iPhone is a clear winner! After reading this I went straight out a purchased the iPhone 5c - absolutely beaut of a phone.

62. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

This article was about Sony Xperia Z2 and Apple iPhone 5S not about Apple iPhone 5C. :)

4. Mr.Torture

Posts: 25; Member since: Apr 15, 2014

Heh, look at that crippled little thing. It's always cute however, seeing these kind of comparisons. Between top Android flagships and this little Apple product. Pretending that there is something to compare...

7. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

There is, it's called user experience and overall performance.

64. buccob

Posts: 2980; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Whats up with all your Sony hating?... I get that you don't like them... but you don't have to bash every article, every post and every phone... when it comes to samsung vs apple, you favor Samsung... but when it comes to anything related to Sony you hate it... Sony's user experience is actually very good, and the overall performance too... given that you have similar specs to what you are comparing... actually the Xperia UI is way lighter than Touchwiz... I have had them all and even if the Xperia is getting a little boring, it is still the one I would pick... simpler, good features, nice looking... the iPhone has the least features, but its the smoother... and touchwiz is full of features but also too bloated, nos as simple and can become sluggish... You are one of the least objective Android commenters on this site. sometimes worse than blind apple fans that post stuff here...

6. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Between these two I'd say z2 is the winner. But sadly the 5s will still sell more units

8. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

In one quarter than Sony sells all year.

11. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

You Proud bro?

45. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Yes I am thank you for asking

10. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Sony Xperia Z2 is better.

12. mokhtar

Posts: 405; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

U cant compare a maybach with ford focus.. Z2 blow away i5s in every specs

33. FaisalWibowo11

Posts: 166; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

the 5s is a ford focus with a maybach prize tag to be exact :)

13. number29

Posts: 185; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

The Z2 looks rather commically huge and toy like, but iOS just still can't be beat. iPhone 5S still the top end smartphone on the market today. Maybe when competitors stop throwing Android devices out there and come up with a better OS the situation might finally change?

14. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

smokin eh or PA style comment.

15. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

"iPhone 5S still the top end smartphone on the market today." Maybe only in US. Also in wich way iOS is better OS?

29. buccob

Posts: 2980; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

iOS is better for people with Stockholm Syndrome...

36. adecvat

Posts: 659; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Because it has no lagzzz

40. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Not true :P

57. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

It still lags and stutters aseell as force closes, time to time

66. iushnt

Posts: 3160; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Even Nokia 1100 has no lags..

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