Now that the Sony Xperia Z is out on shelves, it will finally be tugging at the hearts and wallets of consumes in regions around the globe. However, it won’t be alone. Apple’s iPhone 5, a device that is available in over 100 countries around the world, will also present itself as an option to consumers. And like all smartphones, each has its superior areas.
Apple launched the iPhone 5 back in September of last year. The device, which replaced the iPhone 4S, represented the company’s first stab at a larger iPhone and the first with 4G LTE data speeds. Previous iPhone models had sported 3.5-inch display and either 3G or HSPA+ data speeds, both of which are typically slower than 4G LTE.
The iPhone 5 also brought changes from a design standpoint as well. Apple ditched the glass back of the iPhone 4S and instead, rolled out a beautiful, industrial design that includes hints of glass and metal to go along with the iPhone 5’s smooth anodized aluminum back. The iPhone 5 is also one of the most lightweight and thin smartphones on the market checking in with a 7.6mm and 112 gram form factor.
It also includes a high powered camera, an HD front-facing camera and of course, Apple’s latest and greatest software, iOS 6, which has delivered more than 200 new features from the previous version, iOS 5. Needless to say, the iPhone 5 is one of the top smartphone options available and one that most smartphone shoppers will want to look at.
Apple’s device has competition though. While most of the attention have been lavished upon the Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony’s Xperia Z, which arrived back at CES 2013 in January, is a device that should be on smartphone shoppers lists as well.
From its beautiful glass design – which includes anti-shatter film on both sides, to its 13MP camera with Sony sensor, to its magnificent 5-inch 1080p display, there is quite a bit to like about the Sony Xperia Z.
However, much like the iPhone 5 does, it has its weaknesses and they are something that consumers should think about before taking the plunge on the new device.
Already, we’ve taken a look at 10 ways the Sony Xperia Z beats the iPhone 5 and now, it’s time to take a look at eight ways the iPhone 5 beats the Sony Xperia Z.
The Sony Xperia Z may feature a fantastic design, a slim form factor and more, but despite that, it’s a much bigger phone than the iPhone 5 is.
Sony has equipped the Xperia Z with a 5-inch display, much bigger than the iPhone 5’s 4-inch display. What this means is that the Sony Xperia Z, overall, is a much bigger device than the iPhone 5. It also means that it weighs a whole lot more than the iPhone 5.
While the Sony Xperia Z weighs 146 grams, the iPhone 5 is a much lighter 112 grams meaning it’s extremely nice to hold in the hand and doesn’t feel like one is lugging around a brick in the pocket. Those will smaller hands also may have a bit of trouble trying to operate the Xperia Z with one hand.
So for those that like their smartphone to be a little smaller and a little more pocketable, the iPhone 5 is a much better option.
Maybe the biggest draw back of the Sony Xperia Z, at least for those in the United States, is the fact that the device hasn’t been announced for any carriers in the U.S. What this means is that the device is not available with any sort of subsidized, on-contract pricing.
Customers in the U.S. looking to get the Xperia Z can in fact order the device from third-party retailers, however, the up front cost is going to be extremely expensive. Currently, retailers have the Xperia Z priced at over $800 and that doesn’t include shipping or tax.
On the other hand, the iPhone 5 is available for a variety of prices which include on-contract and off-contract pricing.
At AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, the iPhone 5 starts at $199.99 on-contract and that will net customers a 16GB iPhone 5. Those looking to get the device off-contract, which is how they would need to get the Xperia Z, Apple charges $649 for the 16GB iPhone 5 unlocked, much cheaper than the unlocked Xperia Z.
Quick Bug Fix Updates
One of the nice things about owning an iPhone is that owners always know that if there are issues, and there often are, that they will be ironed out in an extremely timely manner.
For instance, after the arrival of iOS 6.1, owners of the iPhone 4S started experiencing 3G connectivity issues. Apple fixed those with a quick update to iOS 6.1.1. Owners of other devices, including the iPhone 5 and iPad, saw battery drain issues with their devices after updating to iOS 6.1 due to a calendar bug with Exchange.
Apple moved quickly to tackle that issue as well and for many, it was patched up within a few weeks. This is not the time frame that owners of Android devices typically see when it comes to bug fixes.
Instead, devices like the Verizon Galaxy Nexus have had to wait months for bug fix updates. And while Sony’s track record has been a bit better than other Android manufacturers, we just haven’t seen the type of timing that we’ve seen from Apple in terms of fixing major and even minor issues.
Tons of Accessories
Since the iPhone, and the iPhone 5, are extremely popular amongst consumers, they are lucrative to third-party accessory manufacturers. And because of that, the iPhone dominates the accessory market.
What this means is that there is an almost unhealthy amount of iPhone 5 accessories available to consumers. From water proof cases, to cases that extend battery life to car docks to docks for music, the iPhone 5 has no shortage of accessories available to those that buy it.
And while the Sony Xperia Z may prove to be popular with consumers, it likely won’t have the same type of availability as far as accessories are concerned, particularly in the United States where the phone isn’t officially available.
This means that owners in the U.S. will have to buy most, if not all of their accessories online before trying them out, something that could wind up being a waste of money and time.
Better Customer Support
After buying an iPhone 5, consumers are treated to a one year warranty. This means that if something happens to the iPhone 5 that isn’t caused by user damage, Apple will replace the device for free.
Those looking for more support can upgrade to something Apple calls AppleCare+ which adds further support for the iPhone and extends the warranty to two years, the length of a contract. iPhone users can also bring their device into an Apple retail store in order to have a Genius diagnose an issue with the iPhone.
This type of support is not extended to unlocked devices like the Sony Xperia Z. Besides not having physical retail locations to take the phone to for instant service or repairs, retailers that sell this phone often take themselves out of the equation when it comes to warranties.
For instance, GSMNation which sells the Sony Xperia Z to customers in the United States, says that most brand’s offer a one year warranty from the OEM, in this case, Sony. However, it also says that it’s “not responsible for any service issues 10 calendar days after the receipt date.” This means that if there is an issue, owners will have to go through Sony.
This could prove extremely timely as it will mean calling or emailing customer service and perhaps having to ship the phone. While Sony might fix the phone, it could be a big hassle getting it do it. Those that wish to avoid this will want to look closely at the iPhone 5 and Apple.
Those looking for continual major Android updates for the Sony Xperia Z should be weary.
While Android manufacturers have gotten better about updating older phones with new Android software, those who have bought an Android phone know that major updates can be unpredictable. For instance, those who bought 2011 Xperia smartphones likely bought the phones thinking they would get Android updates for the year or years to come.
Instead, Sony decided that they would be left on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and would not be getting Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a piece of software that arrived in July of 2012.
Sony has been good about communicating with customers about timing of updates but it still hasn’t proven that its devices are long-term solutions for customers.
Those that buy the iPhone 5 will run into no such difficulties. Apple keeps its phones consistently upgraded throughout the duration of a contract and beyond and the iPhone 5 will likely continue that trend.
For example, the iPhone 3GS, which was released more than three years ago, was updated with iOS 6 back in September. That’s the type of support that iPhone owners have come to expect from Apple.
Those looking for a smartphone with a ton of on board storage space will find them in both the Sony Xperia Z and the iPhone 5. However, those power uses that need all the space they can get, will likely want to take a close look at the iPhone 5 and its 64GB model.
While the most space that the Sony Xperia Z allows is 48GB, 16GB plus a 32GB microSD card, the iPhone 5 comes in a 64GB model that is perfect for those that shoot a ton of video, use a lot of apps, and generally just take up a lot of space on their smartphone.
48GB is a lot but many users will need more space, something that the Xperia Z doesn’t offer.
LTE in U.S.
And finally, the last way the iPhone 5 beats the Sony Xperia Z. The iPhone 5 is the first iPhone to utilize 4G LTE data speeds. What this means is that it can pull down data that can be 10 times as fast as standard 3G and is generally faster than HSPA “4G” speeds.
Those unfamiliar with that terminology can think of it as having Wi-Fi speeds without having access to Wi-Fi. It’s simply that fast and is perfect for streaming video, browsing the web and more whilst on the go.
The Sony Xperia Z, while sporting a 4G LTE radio, will not work, at least as is, on 4G LTE networks in the United States.
It features 4G LTE bands for 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20. AT&T and T-Mobile, the GSM carriers in the United States that would be the ideal destination for customers buying the Xperia Z, support LTE bands 4 and 17. That incompatibility means that users will be stuck on 3G or 4G speeds or worse, EDGE, with the Xperia Z.