Last September, Apple released its current-generation iPhone, the iPhone 5, a phone that has been one of the best-selling smartphones on the market. However, 2013 is a new year and that means new smartphones to contend with and one of those devices is the Sony Xperia Z, a device that has arrived on the market sporting some fantastic features.
In January, CES 2013 kicked off in Las Vegas. And while many power players including HTC, Motorola and Samsung neglected to use the spotlight to announce their new flagship smartphones, Sony basked in it and revealed its current 2013 flagship smartphone, the Sony Xperia Z.
The Sony Xperia Z represents Sony’s latest in its Xperia lineup of smartphones and it’s an impressive specimen to say the least. In fact, we were so impressed with the Xperia Z that we gave it our Best Smartphone of CES 2013 award. The phone is not a slouch and it’s one of the best smartphones that we’ve seen from Sony in quite some time.
Whether or not that translates into millions upon millions in sales remains to be seen, an official launch in the U.S. would certainly help, but it’s clear that this is a phone that is certainly is a standout amongst the crowded smartphone marketplace. One of the devices that it will be competing against is Apple’s iPhone from last year.
The iPhone 5 arrived in the latter half of 2012 to great fanfare. Since then, the device has sold millions around the world and has found itself at the top of consumer shopping lists around the world. While popular, the iPhone 5 isn’t a perfect device. In fact, there are plenty of areas where phones like the Xperia Z beat it.
In fact, there are areas where we think the Sony Xperia Z bests Apple’s current-generation smartphone. Here now are 10 ways that the Sony Xperia Z beats the iPhone 5.
While the iPhone 5 had one of the better rear cameras available in 2012. 2013 is going to be a different story as companies look to push the bar even further. One of those companies is Sony which has included a gorgeous 13MP sensor in its Xperia Z which the company says is the first sensor to sport HDR video for smartphones.
The Sony Xperia Z camera is impressive beyond just the megapixels. The Exmor RS sensor has the ability to filter out the noise that often disrupts photos while maintaining brilliant color.
HDR Video allows users to capture video in high-contract environments. For example, when trying to shoot video of friends at a concert with the sun shining in the background.
it’s also got all of the bells and whistles including panorama shots, burst mode, extremely fast pinch-to-zoom, and Superior Auto which automatically ensures that the best quality photo is being taken.
The iPhone 5 camera is good, but the combination of the Sony Xperia Z sensor and its plethora of features makes it better. After all, there is a reason why Apple is rumored to be including a 13MP Sony sensor in the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5’s successor.
Water/Dust Resistant Design
Both the Xperia Z and the iPhone 5 feature stellar, modern designs. While the iPhone 5 features an anodized aluminum back with pieces of glass and a metal band holding it all together, the Xperia Z features both glass in front and in back and aluminum for the buttons.
They are both extremely thin as well with the iPhone 5 measuring in at 7.6mm thin and the Xperia Z at 7.9mm thick. However, one area that the Xperia Z has a leg up is with its durability.
The Sony Xperia Z features a water and dust resistant design that allows for it to be submerged underwater for extended periods of time. Sony claims it’s water resistant up to one meter in depth. It’s also resistant to dust which means that the design won’t be as impacted if left on a dirty desk or perhaps, dropped in sand.
Apple’s iPhone 5 has a durable design but it’s not going to survive a thirty minute stay submerged underwater, at least not without a case attached to it.
While the Droid DNA by HTC was the first smartphone with a 1080p display to hit shelves, the Sony Xperia Z followed right in its footsteps as Sony has attached a gorgeous 5-inch display to the Xperia Z’s design.
The Xperia Z features full HD 1080p resolution with 448 pixels-per-inch which will ensure fantastic looking photos, amazing video whether it’s a movie or television show and of course rich, crisp looking text when browsing the web.
While the iPhone 5 has a nice looking display, it’s 4-inch screen isn’t HD. It does come with 326 pixels-per-inch but the full HD quality of the Xperia Z’s display is going to be much better for those who watch a ton of content on their smartphone.
Of course, the resolution and pixel-per-inch count isn’t the only place where Sony’s Xperia Z display is fantastic. In fact, the company had its Bravia TV engineers work on the display to ensure that it not only looked great, but was extremely smart.
The display comes with Sony’s Bravia Engine 2 which helps the display adjust automatically in certain situations. For instance, in high contrast areas, the screen will automatically darken the darkest parts of the content to help bring out more detail. When watching low quality content, particularly on YouTube, the screen will automatically reduce noise for a clearer video.
It also automatically applies a sharpness filter so that content on the display looks detailed and rich.
Again, the iPhone 5’s Retina Display is good, but what Sony has done with the display on the Xperia Z helps to enhance the look of content on the display even further.
More Color Options
For some time now, the iPhone has only been available in two color options, black and white. While customers can tack on their own colored case or even get it colored, that costs extra money.
There are rumors that the iPhone 5S might be coming in different colors but the iPhone 5, at least right now, is only available in two color options.
The Xperia Z on the other hand is available in three color options right from the get-go including both black and white, as well as a brilliant looking purple design.
While it’s not exactly a hefty amount of differing color options, there is nothing that says that Sony won’t release some other colored Xperia Z models down the road. At the very least though, there are three, one more than the iPhone 5.
Battery Stamina Mode
The iPhone 5 arguably sports some of the best 4G LTE battery life of any smartphone. The Xperia Z also looks to have good battery life with its 2,330 mAh battery on board. However, the Xperia Z also goes beyond just a battery life meter and metrics shown in the Settings.
Sony has installed something it is calling Battery Stamina Mode which should help to ensure high quality battery life for Xperia Z owners.
Battery Stamina Mode is smart as it turns off smartphone functions that aren’t necessary when the display is turned off. The device still keeps notifications active and will restore functionality once the display is turned back on. Furthermore, it also kills Wi-Fi and data traffic when the phone is in standby.
As we’ve seen with the iPhone 5, owners have issues with battery drain when in standby and while the Xperia Z may still run into some problems, the Battery Stamina Mode should help to mitigate those.
The Sony Xperia Z is a Sony smartphone and one of the benefits to that is that it’s PlayStation Certified. Think of it as a PlayStation Phone, though much better than the Sony Xperia Play from many moons ago.
This means that the device can access the PlayStation Store and download from a catalog of games. While older people might find this nostalgic, the younger crowd will find that this is a neat little addition to the games that are already found on the Google Play Store.
Indeed, there are many games available on the App Store for the iPhone 5, but the iPhone 5 is not a PlayStation Phone and thus, does not have access to the content on the PlayStation Store.
Near-Field Communication may one day come to the iPhone but it isn’t available with the iPhone 5. NFC support allows for phones to be used like mobile wallets and most Android phones come with the functionality on board.
The Xperia Z is no different. It comes with NFC which means that it will be compatible with mobile payment services like Google Wallet, though, the compatibility may differ carrier to carrier.
What’s more is that it is compatible with smart tags and the Smart Connect application for Android. Smart tags can, when touched, put the phone into certain modes. For instance, if an Xperia Z owner taps the Active smart tag, it will play music, start GPS, and bring up a sports app automatically.
All in all it’s an easy way to streamline Xperia Z usage on a daily basis and better yet, it’s something that the iPhone 5 doesn’t have access to because of the lack of NFC.
The iPhone 5 doesn’t feature a microSD card slot and instead, offers three storage variants including a $199.99 16GB, $299.99 32GB model and a larger $399.99 64GB iPhone 5. This means that those who buy the smallest model with the cheapest price are stuck relying on cloud storage for their photos, videos and more.
The 16GB Xperia Z on the other hand sports a microSD card slot that can be outfitted with a 32GB microSD card. microSD cards are extremely cheap and that means that Xperia Z owners can expand the device from 16GB all the way to 48GB for cheap.
Not to mention the Xperia Z can also take advantage of cloud storage as well.
And finally, customization. While the iPhone 5 runs a closed operating system in iOS, the Xperia Z utilizes an open operating system in Android. What this means is that users are going to have a far easier, far more pleasant time when looking to personalize a device.
An IPhone 5 jailbreak, needed to customize the phone, is currently available but it won’t be available forever. Apple works to patch up the jailbreak and once that patch is released in the form of an iOS update, users who are jailbroken are left with two choices. Stay on the previous version of iOS or unjailbreak.
Android owners are backed by a huge development community that caters to their every need. Whether it’s an major update that has leaked early or a custom skin for a custom look, Android owners have a ton of options to take advantage of, options that won’t just disappear once a new update arrives.
In fact, new updates are welcomed amongst the Android community.