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Sony Xperia Z vs. Apple iPhone 5: Head-to-head

Ross Catanzariti | Feb. 7, 2013
Which is the better smartphone? Sony's upcoming Xperia Z or the Apple iPhone 5?

Xperia Z vs. iPhone 5: Display

Aside from its water resistant capabilities, the standout feature of the Sony Xperia Z is its 5in screen. It's a full HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080. Full HD screens are set to become the norm in 2013 and while Sony isn't the first to market with this technology (the HTC Butterfly and Oppo Find 5 came first), the Xperia Z will be one of the first to officially land on Australian shores.

The full HD resolution of the Xperia Z gives its display a pixel density of 441ppi, among the highest we've ever seen on a smartphone. This means it should display ultra crisp text with minimal, visible aberrations. The only potential downside to a full HD display is how much of an effect it will have on battery life, a question that can't be answered until we put the phone through its paces for a few weeks. Sony quotes just five and a half hours of video playback, which doesn't sound very promising.

The Sony Xperia Z has a 5in, full HD display.

Sony says the display on the Xperia Z uses technology it calls Mobile Bravia Engine 2. The feature claims to offer real-time contrast optimisation, increased colour saturation, noise reduction for video content and a sharpness filter. The company also says it has eliminated a layer in the construction of the screen, bringing the actual display closer to the glass surface. It's not exactly new -- we've seen this effect on many smartphones before -- but the result is usually an image that appears as if its floating on the surface of the screen.

The Xperia Z certainly has its work cut out in competing with the iPhone 5's display, which is one of the best on the market. It's larger than previous iPhone's at 4in, but it's the same width as the screen on every other iPhone, only taller. Apple says the decision to keep the phone at the same width ensures that the span of a user's thumb can reach all the way across the display when using the phone single-handedly.

The iPhone 5's display is one of the best on the market.

The iPhone 5's display is one of the best on the market.

Xperia Z vs. iPhone 5: Software

Sony will launch the Xperia Z with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) but the company has promised it will be upgraded to the latest 4.2 version "shortly after launch". Perhaps the most interesting software addition is what Sony calls "Battery Stamina mode". The feature prevents applications from running when the screen is locked, therefore saving power of the 2330mAh battery and apparently improving standby time "by at least four times". Sony says you can individually select apps to bypass this feature if you wish, so there's an element of personalisation.

 

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