The high-end Android smartphone market is very crowded this year with lots of smartphones battling to raise to the top. Like usual, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is the crowd’s favorite, but there are lots of powerful competitors out there, with Sony Xperia Z1 and LG G2 among them. In fact Sony’s and LG’s flagships have were launched in the second half of the year, thus they have the advantage of more powerful hardware.
Sony introduced the Xperia Z1 in September and released it on the market the same month, as it comes to replace the Xperia Z launched in February 2013. Xperia Z1 fits in the design language introduced by the Xperia Z1 and, in the same time, borrows the water and dust resistant body.
On the other hand, the LG G2 was announced in August and made available for purchase in several countries as of September. The smartphone’s particularity is the position of the volume and power buttons, which are no longer on the sides. The G2 has attracted the public’s attention after the rumor mill speculated that LG and Google will use its hardware platform to underpin the highly-anticipated Nexus 5.
You probably know from our previous Versus articles that the battle will have ten rounds where we will be judging the smartphones’ performance when it comes to Dimensions, Display, Processor, Memory, Connectivity, Camera, Operating System, Design, Price, and Battery Life.
The smartphone that wins a round is awarded one point and, after all ten rounds have come to an end, the smartphone that managed to grab most points will be named the winner of the Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2 battle.
The full HD screens have become the standard for the high-end Android smartphones and the Xperia Z1 and LG G2 make no exception.
The Sony Xperia Z1 packs a 1080 x 1920 resolution 5-inch Triluminos display with X-Reality Engine and a pixel density of 441 ppi, while the LG G2 comes with a 5.2-inch True HD-IPS + LCD screen with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels and a pixel density of 424 ppi, both smartphones coming with on-screen software buttons.
Even though Xperia Z1’s screen sounds great on paper (5-inch full HD), the TFT panel is less battery friendly than other units currently on the market. Moreover, when we got our hands on the Xperia Z1 we’ve seen that the viewing angles are almost very poor, which becomes pretty annoying at some point.
The IPS + LCD screen of the G2 has great brightness and contrast and sharp color reproduction making it one of the best screens ever used for a smartphone.
Because the LG G2 has a display round goes to the Korean flagship.
With smartphone makers constantly increasing the screen size the overall size of the phone is increasing as well. Let’s have a look at the dimensions of the smartphones involved in today’s battle.
The Sony Xperia Z1 is 144 mm tall, 74 mm wide and 8.5 mm thin, while having a weight of 170 grams.
Even though the LG G2 has to accommodate a slightly larger display it’s a bit shorter and narrower than its rival, measuring 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm. G2 is 27 grams lighter than the Xperia Z1, weighing 142 grams. How did LG managed to make the G2 smaller, despite its larger screen? They have narrowed the bezel size as much as possible.
Since the LG G2 is more compact and lighter than the Xperia Z1, LG terminal wins another point.
When Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 800 in February, the US-based chipset maker announced that the later one will start underpinning smartphones as of second half of the year. Well, both the Sony Xperia Z1 and the LG G2 are powered by the same processing unit.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset is based on a quad-core Krait 400 CPU and an Adreno 330 GPU, the only difference between the two Snapdragon 800 units underpinning the Sony Xperia Z1 and the LG G2 being the clock speed of the Kriat 400 cores. While the Xperia Z1’s CPU runs at 2.2 GHz, G2’s processor is clocked at 2.26 GHz.
Because the processors of the two smartphones are almost identical, this round ends as tie.
As of July 2013 there are over 1 million applications available in Google Play, so you will need a lot of storage on your smartphone. Not to mention about your photos, music collection, or movies.
The Sony Xperia Z1 has 16 GB of micro-USB expandable storage. With the help of an external card you can increase the storage with up to 64 GB, which results into a total of 80 GB.
The LG G2 doesn’t have a microSD card slot, thus you will be limited to either 16 or 32 GB of internal storage.
Both smartphones come with 2 GB of RAM, so the multitasking experience will be pretty much the same, but the Xperia Z1 can store more data, that’s why it wins this round of the battle.
The 4G LTE support is one of the main selling points for the modern smartphones and the manufactures know it. But there are other connectibity features that are just as important.
Besides LTE, the Sony Xperia Z 1 comes with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and microUSB 2.0.
The LG G2 packs LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, IR blaster and microUSB 2.0.
As you already noticed the main difference between the two is the infra red port of the G2, but it’s not enough to earn another point for the LG flagship. That’s another round that ends as tie.
I know all of you used your smartphone’s camera at some point and I also know you like to take high-quality photos, that’s why we are now comparing Xperia Z1’s and LG G2’s camera units.
The LG G2 packs a 13 MP camera with autofocus, LED flash, optical image stabilization, simultaneous video and image recording, geo-tagging, face detection, HDR, and support for 1080p@60fps video recording. The handset also comes with a fornt-facing 2.1 MP camera with full HD video recording capabilities.
The Xperia Z1 boasts about the an impressive 1/2.3” 20.7 MP rear-facing camera with G Lens, which brings autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, HDR, panorama, and 1080p@30fps video capture. The user-facing camera has a 2 MP sensor, also capable of recording full HD videos.
Sony Xperia Z1’s camera is one of the best smartphone cameras on the market and it has proved its abilities in low light conditions, as well. The camera round has to go to the Japanese device.
Both the Sony Xperia Z1 and the LG G2 come pre-loaded with Android 4.2.2 so you might be tempted to say that there’s no point in comparing their operating systems. Well, you probably know that most Android manufacturers are customizing the interface of their devices and that’s what we will compare next.
The Z1 has the so-called Xperia UI applied on top of Android 4.2.2. The most appealing features of the Xperia Z1 are related to its camera and I’m talking about Social Live, Info-Eye, and Timeshift-burst, and AR Effect, the latter one allowing the user to add some fun animations to pictures.
The Xperia UI looks nice all around, but it’s also full of useless Sony bloatware like Sony Playstation, Sony Music, Walkman, and other apps that you will barely, or not use at all.
The custom interface of the LG G2 introduces a few really cool features, as well. One of the most interesting features is the Owner Mode/Guest Mode which enables you to controll which apps and capabilities are available depending on which mode you enable. Moreover, Audio Zoom lets you zero in on a specific audio source by zooming in on your subject while recording video, while KockOn allows you to wake your device by tapping twice on the screen.
Among other features integrated in LG G2’s interface you will find Dual Recording/Dual Camera, Text Link, Plug & Pop, Clip Tray, or Tracking Zoom.
LG G2’s interface is probably one of the most innovative currently on the market, so the point allocated for the Operating System round has to go to Korean smartphone.
There are lots of good-looking smartphones out in the wild and the Xperia Z1 and LG G2 are two of the finest.
Even though it employs plastic, the Korean handset brings a glossy finish that makes it look premium. One of the smartphone’s particularities is the placement of the volume and power buttons. While all other smartphones have the said buttons on one side, LG has placed G2’s buttons on the back, right below the camera.
Though you might be tempted to think that it’s not handy to have the volume and power on the back, you wouldn’t need more than a few hours with the device to get accustomed with the new position. Moreover, after that you will find that’s more natural to have them located there.
In regards of design, it’s also worth mentioning that the LG G2 has very thin bezels, which make it look pretty cool.
On the other hand the Xperia Z1 borrows the design language introduced by Sony at Xperia Z’s debut. With sharp edges and flat surfaces, the Xperia Z1 is what you would want to call an elegant smatphone. The premium look is assured by the glass you will find on both the front and the back.
Anyway, it’s also worth mentioning that the Sony Xperia Z1 is water and dust proof, that’s why the design round goes to the Japanese smartphone.
Since we are facing two premium smartphones here, the price will be one to match. The Sony Xperia Z1 isn’t available through any of the US carriers, that’s why we will be talking unlocked price here.
On Sony’s official website you will find the Xperia Z1 listed at $649.99.
LG G2’s unsubsidized price in US is somewhere bellow $600 depending on the retailer.
It’s pretty simple. The G2 is cheaper, thus it wins the price round.
Both smartphones come with 3,000 mAh non-removable batteries. While the Xperia Z1 is using Li-Ion technology, LG G2’s cell is based on Li-Po.
We’ve got our hands on both devices and we are glad to announce you that they are both able to get through a full day of moderate usage without the slightest effort. The battery life differences are almost insignificant when you compare the Xperia Z1 and the G2, so it’s another tie round.
That was the final round of the Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2 battle so it’s time to find out which smartphone scored most points.
We’ve had three rounds where the smartphones were equally matched: Processor, Connectivity, and Battery Life because both sport the same Qualcomm chipset, because they both come with similar connectivity features, and because the are able to stay awake through about 24 hours of usage.
The Sony Xperia Z1 has won three points after winning the Memory, Camera, and Design rounds. The Japanese device has more storage, a better camera, and has an ellegant water and dust proof construction.
The LG G2 outmatched its rival when it came to Display, Dimensions, Operating System, and Price, therefore scoring four points. G2 has a higher-quality display, is lighter and more compact, is cheaper, and its user interface brings loads of interesting features.
The Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2 battle has been won by the latter smartphone, but that’s just our opinion. Feel free to let us know if think otherwise in the comments section below.