The Xperia XZ and iPhone 7 are the best phones Sony and Apple have ever made (with the possible exception of the iPhone 7 Plus). They’re high-end handset, but they’re big improvements on what went before, making them great buys for fans of either brand.
But what if you’re not a fan of one brand or the other and just want the best phone? Then things get a bit trickier, as while both handsets tick a lot of boxes, from great cameras to premium designs, they’re also quite different.
So, to help you decide between the Sony Xperia XZ and the iPhone 7 we’ve put the two phones head to head, comparing their design, display, power, camera, battery life, memory and price.
Xperia XZ (146 x 72 x 8.1mm) vs iPhone 7 (138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm)
The Sony Xperia XZ has a metal back, just like the iPhone 7, but it’s a millimetre thicker and has a more rectangular shape, where the iPhone 7 is slightly curved.
In fact, the overall shape is the most significant difference between the two designs, and it’s subjective as to which is better aesthetically, though the curved edges of the iPhone 7 make it slightly more comfortable to hold.
Other key differences in the design include the placement of the fingerprint scanner, with the Sony Xperia XZ putting it on the side, while the iPhone 7 has it on the front. That front position is slightly easier to reach when you’re not holding the phone, but arguably the button-free front of the Xperia XZ looks better.
Then there are the colour choices, with the Sony Xperia XZ coming in Mineral Black, Platinum, Forest Blue and Deep Pink, while the iPhone 7 is available in Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold.
One great feature of both phone’s designs is that they’re dust and water resistant, but the Xperia XZ has the edge here, with IP68 certification meaning it can be submerged up to 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes, while the IP67 certification of the iPhone 7 allows it to be submerged just 1 metre deep.
Xperia XZ (5.2-inch 1080 x 1920) vs iPhone 7 (4.7-inch 750 x 1334)
Neither of these phones are anything close to phablet size, but the iPhone 7 has a fairly compact screen at just 4.7 inches, while the Sony Xperia XZ is a more standard 5.2 inches.
Both handsets have an IPS LCD display, but the resolutions differ, with the Xperia XZ coming in at 1080 x 1920, for a pixel density of 424 pixels per inch, while the iPhone 7 is just 750 x 1334, for a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch.
Both phones have sharp screens though, so you’re unlikely to miss the extra pixels on Apple’s handset, and the great colours and contrast make up for any loss in sharpness.
The main choice between these two screens is how small a display you want. The bigger screen of the Xperia XZ helps with videos and displaying more text on web pages, but the iPhone 7 is more comfortable to use with one hand.
Xperia XZ (quad-core Snapdragon 820 3GB RAM) vs iPhone 7 (quad-core A10 Fusion 2GB RAM)
There’s a lot of power in both these phones, with the Sony Xperia XZ winning out on paper but not in practice. It has a quad-core Snapdragon 820 chip with four cores clocked at 2.15GHz and four at 1.6GHZ. This is a flagship processor and the best mobile chip made by Qualcomm other than the brand-new Snapdragon 821, which is only marginally faster.
The Xperia XZ also has 3GB of RAM, which is 1GB less than a lot of flagships, yet 1GB more than the iPhone 7, which just has 2GB of RAM. Where the iPhone 7 excels though is with its processor, as it uses a quad-core Apple A10 Fusion chip and in benchmarks beats just about every Android phone on the market.
In real world use both phones have more power than you’ll likely have any use for though, so while the iPhone 7 has the edge it’s only a minor point in its favour.
Xperia XZ (23MP rear 13MP front-facing) vs iPhone 7 (12MP rear 7MP front-facing)
Both the Xperia XZ and iPhone 7 excel for photography, but for different reasons. Starting with the Sony Xperia XZ, it has a 23MP snapper on the back, which is a high megapixel count, allowing for detailed photos that still look great even when viewed on a large screen or printed out.
The XZ also has both phase detection and laser autofocus, allowing it to focus incredibly fast, so you never miss getting a moment on camera. The front-facing camera is worth a mention too, as at 13MP it’s a higher spec than most front-facing cameras.
The iPhone 7 on the other hand has just a 12MP main camera, but it has optical image stabilisation, so photos are sharp, even when there’s camera shake or less than ideal lighting.
It also has a quad-LED flash, allowing it to pump out a lot of light, brightening up otherwise dark images, but it’s also a dual-tone flash, which helps keep the colours natural. The Xperia XZ just has a single LED (and single tone) flash.
The iPhone 7’s 7MP front-facing camera isn’t quite as impressive, but it’s still above average. As for the main camera, you should pick the Xperia XZ for speed and detail, or the iPhone 7 for sharpness and low light performance.
Xperia XZ (2900mAh 32/64GB 4G) vs iPhone 7 (1960mAh 32/128/256GB 4G)
There’s a huge difference in the size of these phone’s batteries, as the Xperia XZ has a 2900mAh one, while the iPhone 7 has just a 1960mAh one, of course the Xperia XZ also has a larger, sharper screen to power.
But the Sony Xperia XZ is the longer lasting of the two, comfortably getting through a day and beyond on a single charge, while the iPhone 7 should just about last a day of moderate use, but will sometimes need a top up in the evening.
Memory comes in at 32GB or 64GB on the Sony Xperia XZ and 32GB, 128GB or 256GB on the iPhone 7, so the iPhone 7 can have far more built in storage, but it doesn’t have a microSD card slot, which the Sony Xperia XZ does.
Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC on both phones (though the NFC only works for Apple Pay on the iPhone 7).
The Sony Xperia XZ costs around £550 SIM-free or, at time of writing, from £32 per month with £149 upfront on a Three contract. The iPhone 7 meanwhile starts at £599 SIM-free or from £36 per month plus £149 upfront, so both handsets are expensive in other words, and up there with other flagships, but the iPhone 7 is the slightly more expensive of the two.
Both the Sony Xperia XZ and iPhone 7 are great phones and among the best handsets of 2016. There’s no clear winner between the two, but they do have different strengths and weaknesses.
The Xperia XZ has a larger, sharper screen, can take more detailed photos with both front and rear cameras, has a microSD card slot, longer battery life and marginally better waterproofing. It’s also slightly cheaper.
The iPhone 7 on the other hand has an arguably more stylish design, and is certainly more comfortable to hold, it’s also more compact, better for low-light photography, can have more built in storage and is slightly more powerful.
Then of course there’s the biggest difference: the Xperia XZ runs Android Marshmallow, while the iPhone 7 runs iOS 10. Looking at these differences you hopefully won’t find it too hard to make a decision.
©Copyright 2017 www.3G.co.uk - All Rights Reserved