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Sony Xperia Z1 Vs. LG G2 - War of the Super Droids

The LG G2 and the Sony Xperia Z1 are serious contenders for the title of the 'Ultimate Smartphone'. This Buzzle article looks at how things pan out in the battle of the Sony Xperia Z1 Vs. LG G2.
Xperia Z1 vs. LG G2
Bite into KitKat
Both Sony Xperia Z1 and the LG G2 are expected to be officially upgraded to Android 4.4 KitKat in early 2014.
2013 has been one of the most exciting years for smartphones. This year has seen some rapid strides been made in terms of hardware and also the design of phones. It is little surprise, then, that Android, which is the most preferred mobile operating system, is at the heart of this mobile revolution. Two such phones which have been leading the charge for the droids are the LG G2 and Sony Xperia Z1.

Both LG and Sony have long been the underdogs in the mobile industry, but with their latest phones, they have outshone some other heavyweights from far flung galaxies. We put these phones through their paces to find out which of these phones stake a claim to the bragging rights of being the ultimate super droid.

Image Source:
lg.com/us/press-media
blogs.sonymobile.com/press_release/


Sony
Xperia Z1
sony xperia z1
Click for
360° View
Operating System
Android OS, v4.2.2
(Jelly Bean)
Chipset
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
CPU
Quad-core
2.2 GHz Krait 400
GPU
Adreno 330
Memory
2 GB RAM
Storage
16 GB
Screen
5.0"
TFT Full HD Triluminos display
Resolution
1080 x 1920 pixels
(~441 ppi)
Primary Camera
20.7 MP
Secondary Camera
2 MP
Battery
Li-ion 3,000 mAh
Price
USD 649
LG
G2
lg g2
Click for
360° View
Operating System
Android OS, v4.2.2
(Jelly Bean)
Chipset
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
CPU
Quad-core
2.26 GHz Krait 400
GPU
Adreno 330
Memory
2 GB RAM
Storage
16/32 GB
Screen
5.2"
True HD IPS+ LCD
Resolution
1080 x 1920 pixels
(~423 ppi)
Primary Camera
13 MP
Secondary Camera
2.1 MP
Battery
Li-Po 3,000 mAh
Price
USD 380/450


Design and Construction

Sony Xperia Z1

sony xperia z1 dimensions

Designed to weather the elements.
The Z1 looks stunning even with its screen turned off. The entire body is made of specially treated shatterproof and scratch-resistant glass. This is held together in a metal casing that can be seen along the sides of the phone. It barely sports any curves, which, along with its large size, makes it rather cumbersome to use with one hand. The phone has the usual placement of hardware buttons along the sides, with Sony's signature power button further adding to the premium look of the device. It also has a dedicated camera shutter key, which has all but vanished from smartphones these days. The Z1 ends the crescendo with one final ace up its sleeve-IP58 and IP55 rating for being water and dustproof. Just like its competitor though, the phone is plagued by fingerprints and smudges.

Buzz Rating:

LG G2

lg g2 dimensions

Good solid construction.
At first glance, the G2 looks like any other plastic phone out there, in fact there's very little to tell the phone apart from the Samsung Galaxy S4. On closer inspection though, the differences really stand out. The device is almost all screen at the front, and does away with all hardware buttons from the front and the sides of the device. The volume rocker and the power key are instead, placed at the back of the device. This may seem a little odd at first, but with time, you would feel that this is where the buttons should have been all along, on all phones. The phone feels solid in the hand, and its small screen-to-body ratio (5.2 inch screen, 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm) really helps one-handed use. On the downside though, you would be constantly trying to get smudge marks off the phone as fingerprints are attracted to it like moths to a flame.

Buzz Rating:

Editor's Take
The Sony Xperia Z1 is an svelte phone which seems to ooze with class. It can also easily withstand most of the torture it is subjected to. The only downside to it is the all glass construction, which coupled with its tall construction make it rather difficult to handle one-handed. The LG G2, on the other hand, has an all-plastic construction with very little 'bling'. All the magic though, happens at the back with a very intuitive placement of the keys. We are slightly inclined towards the Z1 though, for its preimium looks and fantastic build quality.


Hardware and Storage

Sony Xperia Z1

Top-of-the-line hardware.
Powered by the incredibly fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset and Krait 400 CPU clocked at 2.2 GHz, the Z1 is one of the most powerful phones in the market today. 2 GB of RAM also ensures that there are no hiccups along the way. With 16 GB of internal memory, which can further be expanded with a Micro SD card (up to 64 GB), you definitely aren't gonna run short of storage space on what is Sony's best smartphone till date.

Buzz Rating:

LG G2

A complete powerhouse.
This was one of the first devices to have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset with a 2.26 GHz Krait 400 CPU. The phone is ridiculously fast, and even LG's heavily customized skin does not seem to slow it down. For storage, the phone comes in 16/32 GB variants which effectively means, about 12/24 GB of user accessible memory. The phone has had to skip out on a Micro SD card slot to maintain its thin waist. Multitasking is a breeze thanks to the 2 GB of RAM on board the device.

Buzz Rating:

Editor's Take
Both devices are powered by the same insanely fast processor and are the fastest phones on the planet. Going purely by benchmark scores, the G2 just inches ahead of the Z1. The Z1, however, emerges as the winner of this round with the Micro SD card slot.


Graphics and Display

Sony Xperia Z1

Gorgeous display with X-Reality engine.
Sony surely went all out to make the Z1 standout from the ever-increasing crowd of smartphones. The beautiful display just screams for attention, and videos and images seem ready to pop out of the screen. The phone employs the company's proprietary Triluminos technology and has an X-Reality Engine, coupled with the might of the Adreno 330 GPU, that makes for an out-of-the-world multimedia experience. The 5-inch screen with a mind-boggling pixel density of 441 ppi underneath the shatterproof and scratch-resistant sheet of glass makes the Z1 seem like a window into another dimension.

Buzz Rating:

LG G2

If images were to be sharper than this, they would cut through the screen!
The G2 has one of the most stunning displays to have ever graced a mobile phone. IPS technology makes images seem like they are painted onto the phone's 5.2-inch screen. LCDs don't quite match up to the incredible contrasts seen on AMOLEDs, but the screen on this device gives you little to complain about. The Adreno 330 GPU handles HD games and videos like a pro. With Gorilla Glass 2 protection on top, the phone promises to smile back at you even through bumpy rides in your pocket with keys for company.

Buzz Rating:

Editor's Take
These are probably some of the most beautiful screens that we have ever come across with very little to choose between them. However, we are simply mesmerized by just how amazing the almost no-bezel screen looks in our hands. LG have produced an absolute gem of a screen. It is larger by a couple of inches in a frame that is about the same size as the Z1.


Camera and Optics

Sony Xperia Z1

The most powerful camera on an Android.
The Z1 has a mammoth 20.7 MP camera at the back which is right there amongst the best available on a smartphone. The G lens on the camera is very capable and shoots some brilliant images. The camera app has a wide variety of modes and settings and makes photography loads of fun. The dedicated hardware camera button is a real nice touch. At the front is a 2 MP camera which does a decent job with video calling.

Buzz Rating:

LG G2

OIS is a welcome addition.
The 13 MP camera on the G2 is ably assisted by OIS. This makes for some crisp images especially in daylight, and cuts out on a lot of motion blur in the images. Videos too, benefit greatly from the OIS, and aren't as shaky as those shot by most other phone cameras. You also have the option to shoot videos at 1080p@60fps, which capture an incredible amount of detail. The volume down button at the back doubles up as a hardware camera shutter button and is great for taking selfies. At the front is a 2.1 MP camera which also shoots at 1080p@30fps.

Buzz Rating:

Editor's Take
The camera on the G2 is a great shooter and is amongst the select few smartphone cameras with OIS. The Z1, however, with its superior camera and well laid out camera UI wins this round in spite of lacking OIS.


Software and Customizations

Sony Xperia Z1

Jelly Bean is hidden under a rubble of Xperia UI.
The phone runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Xperia UI on top. It has some useful features that are also found on most of the Xperia lineup. The pity here is the fact that there is little to differentiate the software on board Sony's flagship phone from the rest of the company's lineup of smartphones. The phone is set to get a taste of KitKat soon, which should also bring in software improvements.

Buzz Rating:

LG G2

Heavily customized Android experience.
LG have packed their flagship with all the best features found on the top smartphones and have thrown in the kitchen sink along with it. The phone features some rather useful tweaks like KnockOn, QuickRemote, Guest Mode and QuickMemo. Most other features are gimmicky and aren't really very practical. The heavily skinned Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean is pretty much at par with Samsung's TouchWiz UI, and over time, doesn't seem all that bad. With an upgrade to KitKat around the corner, things should get better for the phone.

Buzz Rating:

Editor's Take
Neither of the software implementations on these phones impressed us, and sadly, we are left to pick the lesser of the evils here. The LG G2 just about makes it across the finish line mainly because of the handful useful tweaks it brings along.


Battery Life

Sony Xperia Z1

Plenty of power to go around.
The Li-ion 3,000 mAh battery on the Z1 powers the phone through a day of moderate use with minimal fuss on a single charge. The large size of the battery should more than make up for the fact that it is non-removable.
Buzz Rating:

LG G2

Power-packed performer.
The phone is powered by a non-removable Li-Po 3,000 mAh battery. The phone easily makes it through a day of moderate usage with plenty more to spare on a single charge.

Buzz Rating:

Editor's Take
Now, this is where things look great again after an abysmal run for both the phones in the software segment. It is wonderful to see phone manufacturers finally paying attention to the demands of the users, and producing phones with larger batteries. Both these devices comfortably make it through a day of heavy use on a single charge. This one is a little too close to call and both phones share the honors in this department.


The Good

Sony Xperia Z1

sony smart tags
The phone comes with a IP58 certified dust and waterproof construction.

  • Fantastic Triluminos display with Sony's X-Reality engine.
  • Top-of-the-line hardware.
  • Great 20.7 MP camera with G lens.
  • Great build quality.

LG G2

lg g2 back
The innovative back-mounted button layout on the LG G2.

  • Some handy software tweaks
  • Great battery life
  • Almost edge-to-edge screen
  • Intuitive hardware button layout
  • Great camera with OIS


The Not-so-good

Sony Xperia Z1

  • Fingerprint and smudge magnet.
  • Too large for one-handed operation.
  • Sub-par speaker output.
  • Outdated UI.

LG G2

  • Loads of bloatware
  • An absolute fingerprint magnet
  • No assurance of continued software upgrades


Final Thoughts

Both LG and Sony are heavily banking on the success of their respective flagships and have undoubtedly gone all out to make them as future-proof as possible. For us, the LG G2 emerges victorious after an epic battle. The Sony Xperia Z1 is a very worthy opponent and only just falls short. The G2 edges ahead of it for having a larger screen, intuitive hardware key placement, and some neat software tweaks. The phone is touted as one of the best phones of the year, with popular tech site Stuff.tv crowning it the smartphone of the year and also gadget of the year.

At the end of the day, these phones pretty much live up to what they claim to be, and deliver a lot more. The LG G2 surely has learned a thing or two from you, making almost everything seem possible now, while the Xperia Z1 undoubtedly showcases the best of Sony all in a smartphone. Whichever one of these phones you choose, you are in for quite a treat with either of them. Enjoy the ride then. Cheers.

Disclaimer: Prices mentioned are subject to change according to offer and location.
Which of these would you say is the better phone?
Sony Xperia Z1
LG G2
By
Published: December 9, 2013
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