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Sony Xperia Z5 vs iPhone 6S – Battle of Titans 2015

This autumn two of the most anticipated flagship smartphones will be available on the market. One is the highly talked about iPhone 6s and the other is the Sony Xperia Z5. The Z5 was unveiled on the 2-nd of September and is supposed to be available globally in October, while the Apple’s iPhone 6s has been available since the 25-th of September.

These are both impressive devices, beautifully crafted with metal frames that gives a nice look and feel. Some major differences regarding the frame of these smartphones are the fact the the 6S has curved edges while the Xperia Z5 has sharper edges and staying true to Sony’s “Omnibalance” principles has the power button placed on the middle of the frame. Both smartphones come with fingerprint sensors, this being a new feature to the Z family. Like its predecessors the Xperia Z5 is IP68 certified as dust and water proof.

The Xperia Z5 has a bigger display, it’s 5.2 inches with a pixel density of 428 while the 6S has a 4.7 inch display with 326 ppi. Sony’s Xperia Z5 has a better screen to body ration, it is 69.6% while iPhone 6S has a 65.6% ratio. Apple added a new type of input method for their smartphone called 3D Touch. This is a new type of multi-touch technology that measures how hard the user presses on the screen. Pressing harder opens different features and menus on the phone. Both smartphones use scratch resistant glass for their displays.

The iPhone comes with build in internal memory without the possibility to expand using a SD card. There are 3 models available 16 GB, 64 GB or 128 GB and all of them hace 2 GB of RAM. This is a disadvantage compared to the Xperia Z5 that has a 32 GB internal memory, micro SD support up to 200 GB and 3 GB of RAM. The SoC used on the Z5 is the Snapdragon 810 with the powerful Adreno 430 GPU and the Cortex A53 and A57 quad-core CPU. The 6S is equipped with the A9 which has a dual-core 1,84 GHz CPU and the six-core PowerVR GT7600 GPU.

The iPhone 6S runs on the new iOS 9.0.2  while the Xperia Z5 will come with Android Lollipop 5.1.1. There is still work to be done on fixing bugs on both operating systems.

The rear camera is the second new feature of the iphone 6S and the main one for the Xperia Z5. Apple upgraded from the 8 MP sensor to the 12 MP and improved the hardware and software for taking photos and video recordings. Apple also launched the Live Photo feature which records image and sound a few moments before and after taking the actual photo. This results is a cinematic content that is pretty much a short video. When viewing the gallery Live Photos will be still and will show a frame from the middle of the content ( theoretically being the moment you wanted to shoot)  and to activate it you just have to open the photo and press the screen.

The Xperia Z5 also comes with improvements in the camera department. The phone uses a 23MP sensor and the new Hibrid Autofocus. This feature helps the user take a photo faster than other smartphones so far. The camera focuses in 0.03 seconds, so no memorable moment is lost. Sony claims that their new camera is able to zoom up to five times without loosing image quality.The video capabilities are similar, both devices being able to film at 4K resolution. The front cameras are almost identical, both having a 5 MP sensor with full HD resolution. Xperia Z5 brings improvements to audio playback by its new feature the High-Res audio.

One of the most important aspects of a smartphone is the battery. It’s no use to have a device packed full with features if you have to be near a power source all the time. Xperia Z5 comes with a 2900 mAh that should give enough power for at least a full day of mixed use. The iPhone 6S doesn’t score that well then it comes to autonomy, Apple used a 1715 mAh battery. This means that iPhone users can’t go far away from a power source and should always have the power cable and adapter at hand.

Apple’s iPhone 6S slogan is: “The only thing that’s changed is everything”.  In my opinion that is an exaggeration, it’s mostly an improved iPhone 6. The new features that make it truly different from previous versions are the 3D Touch and the Live Photo function. Regarding the material used in the frame, Apple states that the aluminium alloy is like the one used in the aerospace industry. This might just be marketing, emphasizing the fact that it’s strong and will not bend like previous versions.

Sony’s Xperia Z5 slogan says: “Your Story Never Looked So Good”. To me it seems that the focus point of their device is the rear camera. The new Hibrid Autofocus combined with a 25 MP sensor looks promising.

Overall both devices have pros and cons. The 6S is more eye- catching, a lot of time and effort was put in creating a very elegant design that sets it apart from all the other smartphones out there. There is no doubt that the iPhone is the most recognizable phone on the market. Every aspect of its exterior design from the material used to the finishing touches give’s the iPhone premium look and feel. Apple has a history of introducing new technology to the mobile phone industry and with the 3D Touch they succeed in doing it again. This new type of interaction is an easy way to access different options and features of the OS or an app. But besides looking good flagship smartphone should have the most up to date hardware. In my opinion the iPhone 6S falls a bit short of its rivals. It does bring something new to the table, but the battery is a major drawback.

The Sony Xperia Z5 has the hardware needed to be at the top of the market, an impressive camera, the new Hibrid Autofocus, removable micro SD card and a decent capacity on the battery. I only wished Sony would have put a little more effort in the design. It doesn’t have anything to set it apart and looks kind of dull. But maybe future smartphones will come with some improvements in that aria. In my opinion the phone’s capabilities and features make up for the design.

About Calin Andreescu

I have always been eager to try out any gadget I could get my hands on. I became a tech journalist so that I could always be around technology and see the newest devices. I use gadgets every day to make my work and life easier. I have enough experience to know If a device is actually improving my activity, offers something useful or new. I will post my honest opinions and judge a device as objectively as I can.

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  1. Xperia Z5 wins hands down. Sorry Apple.

  2. The iPhone is ugly. Those bezels from 2007. The hideous lines on the back, and the ugly camera bump. The Z5 is much better looking. Honestly, if anybody else made the iPhone other than Apple, it wouldn’t even be considered midrange. The Apple delusion is strong in tech journalism.

    • “The Apple delusion is strong in tech journalism.”

      Define “delusion”

      • There is absolutely zero excuse for Apple’s substandard design and materials in 2015. There is no excuse for their 4.7″ phone to be the size of a 5″ Android phone, or their 5.5″ phone to be the size of better designed 6″ Android phones. I’m sorry. The tech press loves carrying water for Apple. The reality is, again, if anybody other than Apple made the iPhone and put their name on it, it would get called out for being the mediocre yawn it is.

        • “There is absolutely zero excuse for Apple’s substandard design materials in 2015″

          That would be true, if the premise that Apple uses substandard design materials in 2015 was true. However, in this case that is just your opinion that consists of wishful thinking rather than is based on facts.

          IPhone6s+ in 2015 has a casing that can withstand twice of what Galaxy S6 can withstand. But for some reason you ignored that inconvenient fact.

          ” I’m sorry.”
          You should be, considering that you apparently regularly mistake your opinion for facts.

          • I’m sorry, I was just reading about how both of the new iPhone models appear to just shut themselves off for no reason at all. People are PISSED. It’s being called shutdowngate. The valley press is ignoring it of course.

            I mean, not that they shouldn’t already be pissed about the fact that 4000 iOS apps got hacked in the Apple App Store, the worst hacking in the history of modern computing, and over 200 million people were potentially comprormised. Even better, Apple STILL hasn’t released a list of the infected apps, or a tool for you to CHECK if you are hacked. Because they don’t care about you. At all. They care about profit margins. So you have no way of knowing if your iPhone is hacked right now, and nothing you can do about it.

          • “I’m sorry, I was just reading about how both of the new iPhone models appear to just shut themselves off for no reason at all. People are PISSED. It’s being called shutdowngate”

            Yeah, and before that there are flashgate, bendgate, beard-gate and many other “gates”.

            “that 4000 iOS apps got hacked in the Apple App Store”
            More like 26.

            ” over 200 million people were potentially comprormised”

            Ehh,,,nope. Apps have already been pulled of the Store and their certificates – revoked. Something that you can’t do on Google Play.

            “. So you have no way of knowing if your iPhone is hacked right now”

            Sure, that is why the malware infection rate Android:iOS is about 95:1 among all infections. That is the reality – again. What you are talking about is not reality.


            You need to stop now. Your zealotry is becoming pathetic.


            Huh? If you really read those forums, you would see that the majority of people couldn’t understand, who in their right state of mind seat on a phone.

            It is like to put a S-pen by the wrong side into the Note5. Oh, wait…

          • yup no one in the right mind will seat on a phone. but by accident it can happen.

          • It’s ok, you aren’t very bright so I’ll explain it using smaller words.

            Apple has a place where good people go to talk about the bad things going wrong with Apple’s crappy products. At the crappy product talking place, the good people are sad and angry because the crappy new iPhones are doing bad things. They are all complaining. That is the SOURCE OF THE STORY YOU IDIOT.

          • “Apple STILL hasn’t released a list of the infected apps, or a tool for you to CHECK if you are hacked”

            1. They pulled the apps and their certificates.
            2. None of those apps were doing anything wrong apart from being compiled with non-genuine Xcode.

          • Um, WHAT? Those apps were communicating with a command and control server for SIX MONTHS. It could install any software it wanted on your device. It could replace legit apps with fake ones. It could grab iCloud account information, and anything in your clipboard. Even better, it could send fake popups as Apple.

            “Please re-enter your iCloud password. Your fingerprint token has expired” <— IT DID THAT.

            You could be hacked right now and you'd have no idea. None. Anybody that owns an iPhone could be hacked right now. Tim Cook could be hacked right now. He'd have no idea. That's iOS security in a nutshell.

        • “The reality is, again, if anybody other than Apple made the iPhone and put their name on it, it would get called out for being the mediocre yawn it is.”

          That is called – reputation and it is a result of previous success. If you were to make an airplane under Boeing branding, that will sell much better comparing to when if you would call it “Tupolev”. And that is for the same reason – reputation matters.

  3. Design-wise, sony has won awards for their design. It is not “dull”.

  4. z5 > iPhone. And the z5’s design is not “dull”. What are you smoking?

  5. So I could have just gone on gsm arena and compared the specs side by side. Pointless article.

  6. Iphone 6s it’s a bad joke VS the amazing SONY Z5.

    • comparing it that way is a bad joke in itself.
      iPhone6s GPU is 75% faster than what is installed on Z5. (GFX Bench)
      in a single core score iP6s has 2400+ , while Z5 has 1300+.(Geekbench)

      Indeed a bad joke, iPhone6s is a bad joke.

      • in real life both phone will run smoothly.. the extra features of the sony z lines which is waterproof is a big plus… try to bring the iphone in the pool or the shower and see if it will survive.

  7. So reading that Sony wins unless you have lots of battery packs with you. It’s funny when you turn up to work and all the apple users have their phones plugged to the wall and I can walk around with my z1.

  8. I own a sony xperia z and i have to say sony sucks. Lollipop update sucks so did 4.4.4.
    Iphone may look ugly but it works.
    Grabbing an iphone again after 8 years!

    • well maybe you shouldn’t be comparing a phone that’s almost two years old to android 5.0 lol

      • “well maybe you shouldn’t be comparing”
        Or maybe he should just get a phone that gets updates immediately after the release, instead of “almost immediately” (after months).

        • He’s even lucky Sony gave him the latest update. No one would expect Samsung or HTC to update a 1st gen phone at the same time as the current gen – don’t be ludicrous.

    • My sony z3 is working perfectly after the update. I miss some features like the x load. The sony z line are great phones.

  9. Z5 wins and please it dosent looks “dull” infact iphone does look dull if compared to z5

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