Sony Xperia Z vs HTC Droid DNA: Flagships Head-to-head

Sony Xperia Z vs HTC Droid DNA

Both HTC Droid DNA and Sony Xperia Z are set to become two of the overachievers in 2013 smartphone segment. Both fitting perfectly into the trend of 2013 high-end smartphone market: quad-core processors and full HD 5-inch displays, Xperia Z and HTC Droid DNA will have to withstand the pressure of other smartphone markers like Samsung or LG.

HTC Droid DNA is one of the first smartphones on the market to come with a full HD display, while the Xperia Z is the first Sony smartphone to come with a quad-core processor. They are both coming with 4G LTE connectivity, one of the major selling points on the North American market.

Since both the HTC Droid DNA and Sony Xperia Z will be two of the most powerful smartphones in 2013, we thought you’d like to see them fighting head to head in a Sony Xperia Z vs HTC Droid DAN specs showdown.

The smartphones are both running on one of the latest iterations of the the mobile platform developed by Google, Android Jelly Bean. They come with similar technical specifications, but sometimes the details are the ones that really matter and they will be decisive in the Sony Xperia Z vs HTC Droid DNA battle.

We will put Sony Xperia Z and HTC Droid DNA head to head in eight rounds judging their performance based on Dimensions, Display, Memory, Connectivity, Processor, Camera, Battery, and Operating System. The winner of each battle will be awarded one point, then draw a line and see which smartphone accumulated the most points. Let’s begin.

Dimensions

I’ve decided to start the Sony Xperia Z vs HTC Droid DNA with the dimensions battle, as many of the customers are choosing their smartphone based on their weight or profile.

The devices are similar when it comes to their dimensions as they are both accommodating a 5-inch display, therefore the differences between the two will be minor.

HTC Droid DNA is 141 mm tall, 70.5 mm wide and 9.7 mm thick, while weighing in 141.7 grams. On the other hand, Sony Xperia Z measures 139 x 71 x 7.9 mm, being 1.8 mm thinner than Droid DNA and one of the few smartphones on the market with a profile below the 8 mm threshold.

Sony Xperia Z is heavier than its rival, with a weight of 146 grams compared to DNA’s 141.7 grams.

Still, the Japan-based company is IP57 certified, being dust and water resistant, being able to survive in up to 1 meter deep water for 30 minutes.

Because Sony Xperia Z is one of the thinnest smartphones currently available on the market, the Dimensions round is won by the smartphone developed by the Japan-based company.

Display

It looks like most of the high-end smartphones that will rule the market in 2013 will pack full HD 5-inch displays, which has became the standard for the segment. Sony and HTC know this, and their super smartphones are fitting in the trend.

Some say that the 4.5+ inch devices require two hands to operate, but I am sure that many of you have handled such device and know that in real life the things are easier than they look.

Sony Xperia Z comes with a TFT display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, measuring 5 inches (diagonally). The display with a pixel density of 441 ppi is also protected by a shatter proof and scratch-resistant glass.

In the other corner, there’s the HTC Droid DNA with its full HD 5-inch display, packing the same resolution and pixel density as Xperia Z’s, protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 2 layer.

Both displays have multitouch capabilities, and Sony stated that the one installed on their flagship has support for up to 10 fingers.

Because the displays of Sony Xperia Z and HTC Droid DNA are similar in size, resolution and pixel density, the display round ends as tie and the score remains unchanged.

Memory

With the Google Play hosting a lot of 1+ GB games and HD content, the storage aspects of the modern smartphones have became a decisive factor in customer’s opinion. The amount of RAM also matters in order to be capable of handling Android’s multitasking.

HTC Droid DNA has 16 GB of internal storage and 2 GB of RAM, while Sony Xperia Z has the same amount of internal storage and RAM, but also comes with a microSD card slot that can extend it’s storage with up to 32 GB of storage.

The microSD card slot brings another precious point for the flagship smartphone of the Japanese company in the Sony Xperia Z vs HTC Droid DNA battle. +1 Sony Xperia Z.

Connectivity

Many of the customers want their high-end smartphones to be compatible with the 4G networks in their countries and both Sony Xperia Z and HTC Droid DNA come with support for LTE connectivity.

The 4G LTE chip integrated on the Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC underpinning the two flagship smartphones, is capable of providing download speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

Xperia Z and HTC Droid DNA are identical when it comes to the connectivity features list, both sporting Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, NFC, 3.5 mm jack, microUSB 2.0 and NFC support.

The devices also come with A-GPS support and GLONASS, and because there’s no difference between the connectivity features HTC Droid DNA and Sony Xperia Z are equally-matched this round.

Processor

The quad-core processors have conquered the Android market over the past year. HTC was one of the early adopters of the quad-core configurations, while Sony’s last year’s smartphones were stuck on dual-core CPUs.

When Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset based on Krait architecture it was the most powerful processing solution on the market. Things will change in 2013 after Qualcomm launches the Snadpragon 800, Nvidia debuts the Tegra 4, and Samsung fits the octo-core Exynos 5 Octa chipset on one of its smartphones, but until then the Snapdragon S4 Pro is the most powerful chipset on the smartphone market.

The two smartphones come with the same processor, the aforementioned Snapdragon S4 Pro based on four Krait cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and helped by an Adreno 320 GPU.

Because Xperia Z and Droid DNA are powered by the same CPU, we can’t make a difference between them and this round has no winner. Another tie in the Sony Xperia Z vs HTC Droid DNA battle.

Camera

The smartphone makers are also paying attention to the camera aspects of their terminals, constantly trying to enhance the performance of the camera units, especially by improving the software.

In the red corner is HTC Droid DNA with an 8 megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, packing company’s proprietary HTC Image Chip. It has support for full HD video recording at 30 fps with stereo sound recording and video stabilization. The secondary camera is a 2.1 megapixel unit, also with full HD video recording capabilities.

In the blue corner is Sony Xperia Z boasting an impressive 13.1 megapixel camera also with autofocus and LED flash. The camera mounted on the back of the Japanese flagship brings geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, HDR, sweep panorama and 1080p video recording with continuous autofocus, video light, video stabilizer, and HDR. The user-facing camera for video calls has a 2.2 megapixel sensor and is capable of recording full HD videos at 30 fps.

The 13.1 sensor and the continuous autofocus in video recording mode, brings the point allocated for the camera battle to Xperia Z, making the score 3-0 for the Sony’s flagship.

Operating System

The heroes of the Sony Xperia Z vs HTC Droid DNA battle come pre-loaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and both are planned for an upgrade to Android 4.2. The biggest difference between the two is the proprietary user interfaces developed by the Asian phone makers.

Xperia Z has the Timescape UI on top of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which packs a lot of Sony-specific multimedia services. Most of those services are provided as apps or widgets, and most of the users find them unuseful.

On the other hand is the HTC Droid DNA with the Sense UI, which is one of the most controversial user interfaces for Android smartphones. Some find it ugly, while others are in love with HTC’s Sense.

Personally, I can’t say I’m in love with HTC Sense, but I find it better than Sony’s Timescape UI, therefore I will give the operating system point to the Droid DNA.

Battery

One of the biggest problems of the modern smartphones is the battery life. Except for a couple of phablets and Motorola’s RAZR Maxx terminals the smartphones can’t stay awake for more than a day.

Sony Xperia Z brings a Non-removable Li-Ion 2330 mAh battery with a talk time of up to 13 hours. The Droid DNA also has a non-removable battery, a Li-Ion 2020 mAh unit, and the company says the smartphone has a talk time of up to 12 hours and 40 minutes.

In real life neither of the battery units will be able to get the smartphones through more than 1 day of normal usage, so because the difference between the two batteries are not significant, this battle also ends as tie.

Conclusions

The HTC Droid DNA vs Sony Xperia Z battle has now came to an end, and we must draw a line and see which smartphone has won the specs showdown.

The flagship smartphones were equally matched when it came to Display, Connectivity, Processor, and Battery, because of the similarities between the two.

HTC Droid DNA has only won one battle, the Operating System battle, courtesy of the HTC Sense UI, which, in my opinion, is superior to Sony’s Timescape UI.

Because of its microSD card slot, its 13.1 megapixel camera with continuous autofocus video recording support, and because it’s way thinner than Droid DNA, Sony Xperia Z won the Memory, Camera and Dimensions battle, scoring 3 points, enough to secure the win.

Do you think otherwise? Do you think the battle should have ended the other way? Please let me know in the comments section below.

  • Najum Wani

    Gotta vote DNA. The problems with the DNA you mentioned aren’t perpetual problems. Meaning sure the camera is better, but you’re not always using the camera. You are however always using the oem overlay, and like you said (and I agree), timescape falls short. I’ll give you the removable sdcard is limiting, but 1) people are downloading less and less games on their phones and leaving that to their respective tablets 2) people are using their phones for more information and information instrumentation and 3) the world itself is moving toward cloud storage which is making hd size decently irrelevant.

    As for form factor, the double glass is what does it for me. 2 glass sides instead of one matte is really problematic. While it’s a cool design choice glass sides are freaking slippery, and not having one to counter that is going to lead to a lot of dropped phones. And while the glass won’t break I hate dropping my phone. And while the thin is cool, the DNA is still pretty thin.

    • Your Mom

      Fucking loser… The Sony is clearly better… Eat a dick and die…

  • David Holden

    For the battery life on the Xperia Z the tests have all proven the talk time exceeding 16 hours which is 5 more than Sony lists. Also tests have shown that with stamina mode on the Xperia Z, it lasted well into a second day. I would check your facts and go off more then just spec sheets. I do agree with your conclusion for the Z and Wani is seriously flawed in his decision making for the DNA. And last time I checked you can’t install apps in the cloud and any phone without removable storage is simply fundamentally flawed.