Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs Apple iPhone 5S
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is making a serious play for small screen supremacy by combining top notch specs with a 4.3 inch display. The only company that poses a real threat to it is Apple and the Z1 Compact has already trounced the iPhone 5C in our showdown.
But can it repeat the trick against the iPhone 5S, Apple’s flagship phone? Read on to find out.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs Apple iPhone 5S – Build quality
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is almost as premium in its build as the full fat Xperia Z1. It has a one-piece aluminium frame and an aluminium power button, giving it a high end look. It’s also both waterproof and dust resistant, so it can withstand the elements far better than most of its competitors. On the other hand at 9.5mm thick it could certainly be slimmer and it has a plastic back rather than the glass back of the Xperia Z1.
The Apple iPhone 5S is a similarly stunning piece of craftsmanship. It’s built from aluminium and looks every bit as high quality as the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. It’s slimmer too, coming in at just 7.6mm thick. However it’s not waterproof or dust resistant, so while it looks just as good if not better, it’s not as durable.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs Apple iPhone 5S - Display
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact has a 4.3 inch 1280 x 720 display with a pixel density of 342 pixels per inch. It’s a high quality, high definition screen and it uses Triluminos technology which does a good job of replicating natural colour shades.
The Apple iPhone 5S has a 4 inch 640 x 1136 display with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. It’s both smaller and marginally lower resolution than the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact’s screen, but not enough to be an issue. The overall quality of images on the iPhone 5S’s display is every bit as good in fact and the only major difference between the two is that the iPhone 5S is true widescreen 16:9, which is great for watching videos on but takes a little getting used to for everything else.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs Apple iPhone 5S - Power
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact has a 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 32 bit processor and 2GB of RAM. It’s an enormously powerful phone, right up there with the likes of the LG G2 and the Sony Xperia Z1.
The Apple iPhone 5S uses a 1.3 GHz dual-core Apple A7 64 bit processor and 1GB of RAM. While that may sound worse it’s actually one of the most powerful handsets on the planet and should easily be able to match the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact for performance.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs Apple iPhone 5S - Camera
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact has a 20.7 megapixel main camera, complete with a number of shooting options, such as HDR and burst mode. The combination of an Exmor RS sensor and wide angle G lens ensure that it lets in more light than most other phones and at the same time reduces noise, allowing it to capture sharp, detailed images.
The Xperia Z1 Compact also has a 2 megapixel front facing camera and can shoot 1080p video.
The Apple iPhone 5S only has an 8 megapixel camera. However it has a large active sensor area and uses a ‘True Tone’ flash, which ensures that pictures have natural colours. It also has a 1.2 megapixel front facing camera and can shoot video in 1080p.
Both phones are great for photo fanatics, but the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is the better of the two.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs Apple iPhone 5S – Battery life, memory and connectivity
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact has a 2300 mAh battery which Sony claims can last for up to 670 hours on standby, 18 hours of talk time or 94 hours of music playback, all of which is pretty impressive and puts it well above average in the battery life stakes.
The Apple iPhone 5S has a 1560 mAh battery which can manage up to 250 hours of standby time, 10 hours of talk time or 40 hours of music. That’s rather less impressive, though still reasonable.
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact has 16GB of built in memory along with a micro SD card slot with support for cards of up to 64GB, which can be used to further expand that. The Apple iPhone 5S has a choice of 16, 32 or 64GB of built in storage but no micro SD card slot. So if you pair a 64GB card with the Z1 Compact it will have more storage than the iPhone 5S is capable of, but the 5S can potentially come with far more built in storage.
The Xperia Z1 Compact supports Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. The iPhone 5S doesn’t support NFC but otherwise it has the same set of connectivity options.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs Apple iPhone 5S - Conclusion
While the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact easily outmatches the iPhone 5C, it’s a closer run thing against the iPhone 5S. The Z1 Compact is more durable, has a slightly better camera, longer battery life and NFC support, but the iPhone 5S can come with a lot more built in storage, arguably looks slightly better and more or less matches the Xperia Z1 Compact for power and screen quality.
However that still means that the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact ticks more boxes. It’s also substantially cheaper, coming in at around £450, while the starting price for the iPhone 5S is around £550 and to get a 64GB model you’re looking at over £700.
Price aside the two phones stack up pretty well against each other and they’re both among the best handsets around, but as the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is roughly £100 cheaper than the Apple iPhone 5S it’s the clear winner and an easy recommendation.
Interested in a new compact smartphone? You might want to checkout:
- Our comparsion of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and the more-affordable iPhone 5C
- Or Our face-off between the HTC One Mini and the iPhone 5C here.
Looking to buy the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact or Apple iPhone 5S?