Who would come out on top in a fight between the Sony Xperia Z and the Apple iPhone 5? We could give the Sony phone a Roman catapult, the Apple handset Edward the first’s giant trebuchet known as ‘Warwolf’… Then watch to see which one eventually flattens the other with a hefty boulder. Or we could let the specs decide over 10 tech rounds? Let’s do the latter. Let’s run those numbers…
Round #1 – Connectivity
The Xperia Z is well-specced and includes NFC, 3G/HSDPA, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP connectivity. It can also accelerate to 4G speeds. The iPhone 5, meanwhile, boasts 3G/HSDPA/CDMA2000 1xEV-DO, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP. 4G networking is also supported. But the Xperia Z just edges it in this opening round.
Score: +1 to Xperia Z (1-0)
Round #2 – Size & Weight
How big do you like your phones? The Xperia Z measures 139.0 x 71.0 x 7.9mm, while the popular iPhone 5 is 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm in comparison. Overall, the Xperia Z is the bigger phone. The Xperia Z carries more weight than the iPhone 5. Compare the two and Sony’s phone is 146g and iPhone 5′s’ handset is a more lightweight and pocket-friendly 112g.
Score: +1 to iPhone 5 (1-1)
Round #3 – Cameras
The Xperia Z comes packing a built-in 13.0 Megapixel camera with advanced features such as: autofocus, LED flash, face/smile detection, touch focus, image stabilization and 1080p video recording. For video calls and self portraits, there’s also a front-facing camera (2.2 Megapixels).
In this round, the iPhone 5 has to settle for second place. Despite autofocus, LED flash, touch focus, geo-tagging, face detection, panorama, HDR and 1080p video recording, its 8.0 Megapixel camera isn’t up to the standards set by the Xperia Z. Like Sony’s phone, an extra camera on the front is ideal for Skyping and Facetiming. The resolution is 1.2MP.
Score: +1 to Xperia Z (2-1)
Round #4 – Screen/keyboard
The Xperia Z features a touch-sensitive Reality Display, a massive 5.0 inches across and with a quoted resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. Jamming 2073600 pixels into this screen size gives the Xperia Z an unbeatable pixel density of 440.6 pixels per inch (PPI).
Measuring just 4.0 inches, the iPhone 5′s touch-sensitive Retina screen looks and feels considerably smaller. Some big-screened phones go for size without upping the resolution. But that’s not the case with the Xperia Z. In comparison, the iPhone 5 boasts a lower resolution (only 640 x 1136 pixels) and the pixel density of 326.0 pixels per inch here is less than the huge 440.6 rating awarded to the Xperia Z.
Score: +1 to Xperia Z (3-1)
Round #5 – Processor
These days, speed is crucial. The iPhone 5 uses Apple’s own dual core A6 CPU, rated at 1.2GHz. It’s fast. But the Xperia Z’s engine is a 1.5GHz quad core Qualcomm APQ8064 processor. That whooshing sound you hear is the Xperia Z opening up a three-point lead…
Score: +1 to Xperia Z (4-1)
Round #6 – Software
Sony’s handset is based on Android 4.1.2, while Apple’s phone uses iOS 6. Both operating system have their haters and their die-hard fans. Bias aside, it’s hard to separate the two and so we won’t try. A point to each phone.
Score: +1 to both phones (5-2)
Round #7 – Applications
What about apps? How do the Xperia Z and iPhone 5 compare? According to the latest numbers, the iPhone 5 has the biggest app library in Apple’s App Store. It numbers over 700000 apps compared to Google Play, which has in excess of 675000 apps.
Score: +1 to iPhone 5 (5-3)
Round #8 – Storage
The next round is all about storage. The Sony Xperia Z offers buyers 16GB of storage as standard, with no other options. The iPhone 5 comes with multiple storage options, offering either 16, 32 or 64GB capacities. As you can see, the best iPhone 5 incorporates 64GB versus the default 16GB capacity of the Xperia Z. Of course, the Xperia Z also boasts a microSD slot to increase the maximum capacity to 48GB. The storage on the iPhone 5 can’t be extended, as Apple believes in memory card slots like grown-ups believe in the tooth fairy.
Score: +1 to iPhone 5 (5-4)
Round #9 – Battery life
And now, onto the battery life… Sony claims an impressive 14.0 hours of talktime for its Xperia Z, versus 8.0 hours for the iPhone 5. The standby times are 530 hours for the Xperia Z and 225 hours for the iPhone 5. So it’s a last-place finish for the iPhone 5 here. And just when it was starting to mount a comeback…
Score: +1 to Xperia Z (6-4)
Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.
Round #10 – Extras
In this final round, the Xperia Z includes GPS/A-GPS, NFC, an accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, stereo FM radio, TV-out, Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2, DLNA and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality.
In comparison, the iPhone 5 features GPS/A-GPS, an accelerometer, digital compass, Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, gyroscope and that Siri digital voice assistant, which works some of the time.
Score: +1 to both phones (7-5)
BPF Verdict: The Sony Xperia Z wins!
Where did the iPhone 5 lose this fight? It lost it in the connectivity round (no NFC), the camera round, the processor round and, most surprisingly, the screen round. Apple’s iPhones haven’t always had the biggest displays, but with the development of the Retina panel, they were certainly the sharpest and clearest. But Apple is slowly evolving the iPhone rather than revolutionising it and the Xperia Z’s huge, high-res display delivers a real knock out punch.
See if these two phones make our Top 20 Best Smartphones list…