iPhone 5s vs Sony Xperia Z2 comparison review

iPhone 5s vs Xperia Z2 comparison: UK price

The SRP for the Xperia Z2 is £599, but shop around and you can find it listed for £550. The iPhone 5s of course costs £549 for the cheapest model, and there are no cheaper versions to be had shopping around. There is only one model of the Xperia Z2 ,while Apple's smartphone is available in difference capacities and prices. We explain more of this in the storage section. Suffice to say that on price alone the iPhone 5s and Xperia Z2 are well matched. Cost is no reason to favour the Sony over the iPhone, so what is?

iPhone 5s vs Xperia Z2 comparison: Design

The iPhone 5s and Xperia Z2 are very much the little and large of smartphones. The 4in iPhone is still much smaller than Android flagship devices. That may be a good thing if you like to use your phone with one hand.

Both the iPhone 5s and Xperia Z2 use a combination of aluminium and glass. They both feel like the premium smartphones that they are. The iPhone is probably nicer, with aluminium finish. But it is also a little delicate: you will want to use a case to keep your iPhone special. The Xperia Z2 dust- and waterproof capabilities so is more suited to the outdoors type of user or if you want to take photos underwater.

You do pay for this, however. The Xperia Z2 is on the unwieldy side of things and it weighs a lot at 163g; the svelte iPhone 5s weighs just 112g. Colour options are important and the Xperia Z2 comes in black, white and purple while the iPhone 5s is available in space grey, silver and gold.

There is no clear winner here, but the Xperia Z2 is more robust, but bigger. If you want a phone that can handle a beating, it may be a reason to choose Sony over Apple, here. (See all iPhone How To.)

iPhone 5s

iPhone 5s vs Xperia Z2 comparison: Display

And the size difference is for a reason: the Xperia Z2 has a much bigger display. The iPhone 5s has a 4in screen, but the Xperia Z2 has a whopping 5.2in display.

There are pros and cons to each. The iPhone's display is easy to use one-handed, but the extra real-estate of the Xperia Z2 makes tasks like browsing the web and watching video easier and better.

With a Full HD panel, the Xperia Z2 offers a higher resolution and pixel density to that of the iPhone 5s. The iPhone is no slough though and with a smaller screen, the resolution doesn't need to be as high. Its pixel density is still lower at 326ppi against 424ppi.

It sounds like a big difference but both screens are high-end so it's more important to pick the size which will suit you better.

If you like a big screen, there is no iPhone for you. Perhaps the Xperia Z2 should be your choice. (For more visit Macworld UK's iPhone and iPad spotlight, and read our Apple iOS 7 review.)

iPhone 5s vs Xperia Z2 comparison: Processor and performance

The iPhone 5s was the first smartphone to be equipped with a 64-bit processor. But don't let that fool you into thinking it can outperform Android rivals. The Xperia Z2 has a competent Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 under the bonnet. Both have decent amounts of RAM and powerful built-in GPUs.

You could argue that the iPhone 5s has one up on its rival thanks to the low-power M7 motion coprocessor which can count your steps, showing your performance with the Fitbit app. But in reality the Sony Xperia Z2 is a supremely fast phone. So is the iPhone 5s. Speed will not be reason alone to ditch your iPhone. (See also: iPhone 5 vs iPhone 5S comparison review)

iPhone 5s vs Xperia Z2 comparison: Storage

As we mentioned earlier, the Xperia Z2 only comes in a single storage capacity: 16GB. The iPhone 5s also starts at this amount but you can buy 32- or 64GB models if you're willing to spend more.

Sony's counter attack in this area is a microSD card slot which can accept up to 64GB cards. This means it has the potential to have more space than the largest iPhone and at a lower expenditure. Apple has never decided to offer expandable storage. There are reasons for this - Apple doesn't want to compromise performance by allowing for inferior storage. But the ability to add expandable storage is a good feature, and you may use it to justify choosing an Xperia Z2 over an iPhone. (See also: iPhone 5s v Galaxy S5 comparison review.)

Xperia Z2

iPhone 5s vs Xperia Z2 comparison: Unique features

With similar hardware hardware and performance on offer across the market, unique features are becoming more important to distinguish smartphones from rivals. The iPhone 5s' unique feature is its Touch ID fingerprint scanner which means you can unlock the device without inputting a passcode. It's embedded in the home button which is pretty cool.

In this comparison, the Xperia Z2 has its waterproof design and it also has stereo speakers (one driver at each end of the phone). Furthermore, it comes with noise-cancelling headphones (MDR-NC31EM) which are worth around £40.

You may also find the Xperia Z2's built-in NFC chip useful which the iPhone 5s does not offer.

iPhone 5s vs Xperia Z2 comparison: Cameras

Sony hasn't changed the camera in the Xperia Z2 compared to its predecessor so it keeps the 20.7Mp camera with Sony's Exmor RS sensor. We like the fact there is a dedicated camera button since you'll have to use the volume buttons on the iPhone 5s to take snaps if you want to avoid using the screen.

The camera is a force to be reckoned with and even though the iPhone is rated at 8Mp, its large pixels, backside illuminated sensor and dual-tone flash make for great photos and videos in different conditions.

For videos, both smartphones can shoot in slow motion and offer an HDR shooting mode for videos and stills. The Xperia Z2 has one up on the iPhone 5s because it can record (and output) video in 4k resolution (2160p).

Purely on the camera we would choose the Xperia Z2 over the iPhone 5s. But only if you really need that marginally better camera. Find out more about the iPhone's camera features here.

iPhone 5s vs Xperia Z2 comparison: Software

In the old days iPhone users could look down on their Android brethren with impunity. Those days are gone. We're going to assume that you are an iPhone user, and reassure you that making the switch these days is no big deal (so long as you are not worried about Google knowing what you are up to).

We've reached a point where Android and iOS are the best and most popular mobile operating systems available. Apple's iOS 7 is a big change from the previous version with a flatter, more colourful look with better multi-tasking. Like Android, there's a drop down notification bar and the Control Center gives access to settings like screen brightness, Wi-Fi and music playback. The App Store is excellent with developers putting high priority on the platform and the apps are both plentiful and generally high quality.

iOS has the advantage of simplicity and app support while Android has the benefit of customisability and openness – it still has a good app store and high priority for developers but apps are more hit and miss. The thing about Android is that the experience will vary depending on which manufacturer you pick since there is the culture of using customer interfaces, also known and skins or overlays.  

The Xperia Z2 comes pre-loaded with the latest version of Android, 4.4.2 KitKat and Sony's user interface still looks much the same as is it has done in the past. It's stylish, easy to use and comes with a good amount of decent wallpapers, widgets and the like. There's certainly nothing majorly wrong with it but there's arguably a lack of extra features – Sony keeps things simpler than HTC, Samsung and LG.

Android trumps iOS in that you can get access to multiple music and video stores. But unlike iOS you aren't entitled to an upgrade when the new software comes out. It's not a reason to avoid the Xperia Z2, but we can't say it is a good reason to ditch your iPhone. (See also: iPhone 5s vs Nexus 5 smartphone comparison review.)

OUR VERDICT

The Xperia Z2 offers expandable storage and a marginally better camera. It is water- and dustproof, offers stereo speakers and has an NFC chip. Moreover later versions of Android are not to be feared. We can't say that you should abandon iPhone and go for an Android, but if you are thinking of doing so you could do a lot worst than the Xperia Z2.

Find the best price

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£459
£536