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Sony Xperia XZ vs HTC 10: What’s the difference?

Sony’s latest flagship phone, the Xperia XZ, has just launched at IFA 2016. Boasting impressive new camera tech and premium specs, the Xperia XZ is a serious contender for best mobile of 2016, but how does it compare to HTC’s own flagship handset, the HTC 10?

We’ve already had a good long play with the Xperia XZ, and so far it’s shaping up to be the best Sony phone of the year. Question is, how does the XZ stack up against the brilliant HTC 10, one of the most impressive HTC handsets in recent times?

Here’s our full Xperia XZ vs HTC 10 comparison review.

Xperia XZ vs HTC 10: Specs

Phone Sony Xperia XZ HTC 10
Weight 161g 161g
Screen size 5.2-inches 5.2-inches
Screen resolution 1920×1080 Full HD 2560×1440 Quad HD
Water resistant? Yes No
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes 
Processor Snapdragon 820 Snapdragon 820
Memory 3GB 4GB
Storage 32/64GB 32/64GB
microSD? Yes Yes
Battery 2900mAh 3000mAh
Cameras 23MP + 13MP 12MP + 5MP

Xperia XZ vs HTC 10: Design

HTC and Sony haven’t exactly taken any risks when it comes to the design of their latest flagship phones.

The HTC 10 is once again a solid slab of metal with a nicely rounded rear, for a comfortable fit in the hand. Those chamfered edges add a touch of style, but it’s basically business as usual.

Likewise the Xperia XZ doesn’t look or feel too different from the Xperia X before it. It’s a similar size and weight to the HTC 10, featuring Sony’s new Alkeleido finish, and both of these blowers feel reassuringly rugged.

The XZ has one advantage over the HTC 10 however, as it’s fully water resistant. Dunk it in the bath or soak it in the shower and it’ll be fine, whereas the HTC 10 will most likely drown.

Both phones boast a very responsive fingerprint sensor, for quickly unlocking to your desktops and keeping out thieving miscreants.

Xperia XZ vs HTC 10: Screen and media

Both the HTC 10 and the Xperia XZ pack in a good-sized 5.2-inch screen. On paper the HTC 10 is the champion, as it boasts an impressive Quad HD resolution compared with the Xperia XZ’s Full HD panel. However, in reality we found that both displays produce perfectly sharp, detailed images.

The Xperia XZ can pump out rich, vibrant colours with Sony’s Super Vivid mode activated, while the HTC 10 also offers full control over colour warmth and gamut. Both handsets also offer strong brightness levels and viewing angles.

The HTC 10 also boasts more impressive built-in speakers. Both phones have a dual speaker setup, but HTC’s BoomSound blasters are more powerful and produce crisp, clear audio. The Xperia XZ isn’t far behind however and Sony’s phone has the advantage of supporting Hi-Res music, for extrememly detailed output.

Either phone accepts microSD memory cards, so you can carry around a massive collection of music, movies and the rest without worrying about storage space.

Xperia XZ vs HTC 10: Performance and battery life

When it comes to performance, the Sony and HTC mobiles both offer a smooth user experience. A Snapdragon 820 processor is packed into each mobile, which means you can run the latest apps and games without a worry. Android Marshmallow runs like a dream on both phones, and the everyday user experience is perfectly smooth.

Battery life is decent on the HTC 10, offering a day and a half of life between charges as long as you don’t hammer it with non-stop media streaming. We haven’t had a chance to check out the Xperia XZ’s battery life, but we’re hoping to get over a day of play from the 2900mAh cell.

Sony has also added some smart new Knovo battery tech to the Xperia XZ, which helps to prevent long-term damage. It does this by learning your charging habits and only filling the battery to full capacity shortly before you usually disconnect from the mains. In this way, the Xperia XZ avoids being overcharged which can impact battery life over time.

Xperia XZ vs HTC 10: Cameras

The HTC 10’s 12-megapixel camera is one of the stronger mobile snappers of 2016. In most cases except for low light situations, the HTC can produce photos that are as attractive and detail-packed as shots taken with the Galaxy S7. You can shoot full 4K video and results are again impressive, with crisp visuals and stabilisation to cut down on judder.

Likewise, the Xperia XZ packs in Sony’s latest camera tech, for pleasing results. There’s a laser-guided autofocus, just like on the HTC 10, which helps to keep your shots nice and sharp. That’s bolstered in the XZ by Sony’s predictive autofocus, a feature that’s supposed to cut down the time it takes to snap a photo by judging the trajectory of your subject.

More impressive is the 5-axis image stabilisation, which helps to keep your snaps blur-free even in low light conditions. It’s good news if you like to shoot movies while on the move too. And like the HTC 10, you can once again record in Ultra HD 4K resolution.

Video: Xperia XZ vs HTC 10 hands-on review

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