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Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5S: What’s the difference and which should I buy?

Sony’s getting serious with the arrival of the Xperia Z2, but Apple’s iPhone 5S is aging gracefully and still delivers a comparable flagship smartphone experience, so which will serve you best?

On paper things are very different; physical size, screen size, internal hardware and operating system centre on different philosophies. The Xperia Z2 is the lesser-known quantity in this equation, whilst we’ve all seen the iPhone tested to kingdom come.

It may simply boil down to whether one fits in your pocket and the other doesn’t or you’re more of a Google person than an Apple aficionado.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5S: Design

Beauty is more than skin deep with both of these phones, but that doesn’t stop each one from being beautiful on the outside anyway. The iPhone is incredibly lightweight and boasts a predominantly metal body polished to perfection, whilst the Xperia uses toughened Dragontrail Glass on the front and back to sandwich a milled aluminium edge where all the hardware controls live.

The 5S is obviously the more pocketable phone here. That 4-inch screen means you can just about make it to the top corner one-handed and it’s the thinner too at just 7.6mm. The Touch ID fingerprint scanner in the home button, which lets you unlock the phone and download paid apps in place of a password, is arguably it’s most unique feature.

Z2 detail5s detail

The Z2 meanwhile is a bit of a fingerprint magnet, but makes up for it with a big display, a dedicated hardware shutter key and dust and water-proofing. Playing with your iPhone in the shower is asking for trouble, but with the Z2 you can rest easy.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5S: Screen

Unless the smaller size of the iPhone is what you’re after, the screen of the Xperia Z2 unquestionably takes the cake. Sure that 4-inch Retina LCD is bright, vibrant and clear, but the Z2’s 5.2-inch panel rocks pin sharp Full HD resolution, pushes out better viewing angles than its predecessor and as a result is arguably one of the best smartphone screens on the market.

screen comparison Z2 5s


Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5S: Performance and battery life

It doesn’t make sense to put the specs on paper side by side here. The Snapdragon 801 quad-core chip and 3GBs of RAM are great to compare against other Android devices, but iPhones have always been the masters of optimisation.

Lag on both phones is pretty much non-existent and the app experience is slick and smooth across the board. If you’re Sony inclined, you’ll appreciate pre-installed services like Music and Video Unlimited, not to mention the extra connectivity and storage options like NFC and MicroSD expandability.

z2 performance

If you like things simple, the 5S has you covered. A clean interface in iOS is easy to learn and easy to use. Developers typically design for iOS first, so you can grab your music from iTunes or Spotify and you’ll never be pushed outside of a premium smartphone experience. iOS 7 also brought AirDrop to the table, so whilst you can’t send stuff to everyone all that easily, other iOS users can receive files over-the-air in a heartbeat.

The bigger phone with the bigger battery was always going to trump the smaller and whilst the iPhone will give you a day of general use, just, the Z2 can stretch to almost a day and a half on a single charge.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5S: Camera

If you want a Swiss army knife, the mammoth 20.7 megapixel sensor in the Z2 can offer up augmented reality shooting modes, a library of effects and even a dedicated Vine mode for six-second video fun times. It plays catch up to the iPhone with slow-motion recording, but also offers 4K video for resolution junkies out there.

Z2 low light5s low light

Z2 artificial light5s artificial light

The iPhone meanwhile is perfectly balanced; image post-processing isn’t as aggressive as the Z2 and the true-tone dual-LED flash both help offer up more natural shots. It’s also the originator of slow-motion video recording in the current smartphone line-up and has one of the cleanest, simplest camera interfaces around, not for lack of trying on Android’s part.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5S: Verdict

If you’re already an Apple fan, stick with the iPhone 5S, it has some great features and it’s more pocket friendly, but versatility, battery life, not to mention a killer camera experience make the Sony Xperia Z2 our champion.


The Sony Xperia Z2 is available SIM free for £599 direct from Sony, the iPhone 5S meanwhile comes in three flavours of storage 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions starting at £549.


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