Sony has released five Xperia X-range phones in 2016 but two of them have stood out above the rest as premium handsets. The Xperia XZ and Xperia X Performance boast top-end specs and a fantastic all-round user experience, but what’s the difference and which Xperia mobile is best for you?
Sony only just launched its Xperia XZ smartphone at IFA 2016, announcing that this shiny handset was its latest flagship mobile. However, the specs sound very similar to another phone that Sony released earlier this year, the Xperia X Performance, which was only released in select regions and bypassed the UK entirely.
So, what’s changed for the Xperia XZ compared with the existing Sony handset, and what improvements can you expect? Here’s our full Xperia XZ vs Xperia X Performance comparison – and check out our hands-on Xperia XZ review for more info on Sony’s latest flagship phone.
Sony Xperia XZ vs Xperia X Performance: Specs
|Phone||Xperia XZ||Xperia X Performance|
|Water resistant?||Yes||Yes (in some markets)|
|Processor||Snapdragon 820||Snapdragon 820|
Sony Xperia XZ vs Xperia X Performance: Design
Both of these phones are immediately identifiable as Sony handsets, rocking the now iconic rectangular design with a brushed metallic finish. The 5-inch Xperia Performance is a mite smaller than the Xperia XZ, which makes for slightly more comfortable one-handed use. But beyond that, there’s next to no difference.
The XZ is just as rugged and scuff-resistant as the X Performance, so you can throw it in a backpack without worrying about it coming out scratched and scraped. The all-new Alkeleido frame that Sony has used for the Xperia XZ doesn’t seem much different from the old one, with just as much shine. You can pick up the flagship in white, black or dark blue finishes.
Both handsets hide their SIM card trays away behind a pull-out flap, housed on the left edge. On the other side you get an edge-mounted fingerprint sensor, which is just as fast and accurate on either phone.
Xperia XZ vs Xperia X Performance: Screen and media
Although the Xperia XZ packs in a slightly bigger screen (5.2-inches compared with the 5-inch X Performance), there’s not much difference besides.
Both Xperias boast a Full HD resolution at 1920×1080 pixels. That may be less sharp than many premium rivals, which tend to cram in a Quad HD display, but the Xperia XZ and X Performance still produce crisp, good-looking images. Sony’s X-Reality software can artificially boost detail levels and the rest, while the Super Vivid mode is on hand to pump up colour vibrancy.
If you like your music, either phone here supports Hi-Res audio and can boost lower quality tracks. You also get microSD memory card support, to carry around a massive collection of movies and albums.
Xperia XZ vs Xperia X Performance: Battery life and performance
Both of these Xperia phones rock a Snapdragon 820 processor, one of the fastest mobile chipsets around, as well as 3GB of memory. That means you get a smooth everyday experience and can happily run the latest apps and games.
As for battery life, we’re yet to fully test the Xperia XZ, but we’re hoping to get over 24 hours of standard use per charge. Sony has added some smart new battery tech too, which wasn’t present in the X Performance. For instance, the XZ can learn your charging habits and keep the battery from overcharging when it’s plugged in overnight, to reduce long-term battery damage.
Xperia XZ vs Xperia X Performance: Cameras
If you’re after the very best Sony smartphone camera, then the XZ is the Xperia mobile for you. Although both the XZ and the X Performance boast a mighty 23-megapixel rear camera, Sony has crammed some impressive new features into its latest flagship phone.
For a start, you get a new laser-guide autofocus, which helps to keep your subject sharp even when lights are low. Sony has also added its smart 5-axis image stabilisation into the Xperia XZ, which means less blurry photos and shaky video caused by hand tremors and general motion.
The Xperia X Compact and Xperia Z5 Compact can also both shoot 4K video, for super-sharp home movie footage. Or you can drop down to Full HD to save some internal storage.
Check out our Xperia X-Series hub for our Xperia phone reviews, tips, comparisons and more.