Nexus 4 vs. Sony Xperia Z

The Nexus 4, which launched in November of last year, is an extremely popular smartphone from 2012. The Sony Xperia Z, which Sony announced as its latest flagship smartphone just a few weeks ago, is an Android smartphone that is hoping to be amongst the most popular for 2013. So how do these juggernauts match up? Here, we take a look at the established LG Nexus 4 versus the up and coming Sony Xperia Z.

Until November of last year, Samsung had ruled the world of Nexus, the name given to Google’s developer phones which are blessed with things like swift updates and a pure version of Android dubbed “Google Experience.” The past two Nexus smartphones, made by Samsung, were dubbed Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus and both established themselves as viable Android options, even to average smartphones users.

And so, the anticipation for the 2012 Nexus was high, maybe higher than it had ever been in the past. Rumors cropped up in the months after Google I/O, suggesting that LG, and not Samsung or HTC, would be responsible for the new Nexus smartphone. Consumers and critics were skeptical, given that LG hadn’t produced a well-known smartphone for the U.S. for quite sometime.

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The Sony Xperia Z will be coming to several markets in Q1 2013.

Rumor proved to be reality though as LG was revealed to be the maker of Google’s new Nexus smartphone, a device that it calls Nexus 4. The Nexus 4 has some unique qualities that have made it one of the more popular Android smartphones in recent memory and an established option for those looking to get a solid, Android experience. The Nexus 4 though, won’t be without rivals in 2013.

One of those rivals will be in-house in the form of the Sony Xperia Z, a smartphone that Sony recently announced to not only compete with the likes of the Nexus 4, but with the iPhone 5, Galaxy S4 and HTC M7 as well. It’s maybe Sony’s most exciting smartphone in years, and it’s one that those searching to find a new Android phone will likely have on their list.

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Same goes for the Nexus 4. So how they compare to one another? Here, we dive in deep to give interested consumers a look at the Nexus 4 versus the Sony Xperia Z in terms of release date, pricing, hardware, software and more.

Release Date

The Nexus 4′s popularity have unfortunately been more of a gift than a curse as the device has been extremely hard to find, maybe the hardest phone to find, in the months since its launch.

Back in November, when LG and Google released the Nexus 4, it sold out on its first day of availability with many who ordered getting back orders due to the high demand. Google promised to clear up the mess in a few weeks time and it did. The Nexus 4 went up for sale again at the end of November, only, it sold out even quicker this time and subsequently saw its shipping times get longer and longer.

That is, until December, when both the 8GB and 16GB models both sold out through the Google Play Store. They have remained sold out since then in the United States and in various other regions around the world.

LG and Google have pointed fingers at each other in regards to the sell out. And while it has become a he-said-she-said kind of affair, it’s clear that neither company imagined the device selling as well as it did.

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The Nexus 4 has been sold out since mid-December.

LG has said that it should have the supply issues under control by mid-February which means that those looking to order the Nexus 4 might be able to do so in the next couple of weeks. At least through Google.

The unlocked Nexus 4 is also available in several other places including eBay, Craiglist and other third party retailers, though prices remain much more expensive than the Google Play Store.

T-Mobile also sells a carrier-locked version of the device in the U.S. for $199, but it too has seen sell outs since November.

Unlike the Nexus 4, the Sony Xperia Z still hasn’t hit shelves and likely won’t do so for a couple of weeks. At CES 2013, Sony announced that the device would globally launch in the first quarter of this year which should mean an arrival in January, February or March.

Europe already has February 18th rumored as a release date but so far, no release date for the United States has emerged. That said, don’t expect the same type of supply issues that have affected the Nexus 4 to grip the Xperia Z.

It should be widely available to those seeking it when it does arrive.

Design

Those familiar with the Galaxy Nexus from Samsung, might, at first glance, mistake the Nexus 4 for the older Nexus. However, after getting closer and picking up the device, it’s clear that these are two different phones from a design standpoint.

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The Nexus 4 features a glass back.

The Nexus 4 does still use a plastic frame but that frame is also supported by a glass back that seems to glisten when put into certain light settings. The Nexus name is also much more prominent than it was with the Galaxy Nexus. As for specifics, the Nexus 4 totes a 9.1mm design with a weight of 139 grams which means that it’s both thicker and heavier than some current-gen smartphone models, including the iPhone 5.

Even though it is a little thicker and heavier than many current-gen Android smartphones, it still is a pleasure to hold with one hand and it can easily fit inside of a jean pocket for storage.

Just to get an idea of the size of the Nexus 4, below is a photo showing it next to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the iPhone 5.

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Like the Nexus 4, one of the features that is most striking about the Sony Xperia Z is its design, which as we have said in the past, is maybe Sony’s best smartphone effort yet. Sony has done an admirable job with the design of the Sony Xperia Z as it boasts a look that is both attractive and durable when it comes to its design.

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The Sony Xperia Z, the company’s latest flagship, has a massive 5-inch 1080p display.

Sony’s Xperia Z is comprised of a rectangular shaped design that possesses roundness around the edges. It features glass panels in both the front and back that help to give it a very modern look.

Due to its big display, the Xperia Z, like the Nexus 4, is fairly large which translates into a fairly sizable footprint, and much bigger than the iPhone 5. However, what Sony has done is keep it thin, real thin. The Xperia Z is sporting a 7.9mm frame which is close to the iPhone 5′s 7.6mm design and much thinner than many smartphones of its size including the Droid DNA.

At 146 grams, it does weigh more than the Nexus 4, but that’s expected due to the larger display that’s on board. As we mentioned, Sony has also ensured that the design is extremely durable. It’s both water resistant and dust proof and Sony proved this in a demo at CES 2013 wherein the device was left submerged underwater for nearly an hour without taking any damage.

  

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