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Sony Xperia Z2 vs Apple iPhone 5s

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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.



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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