Every smartphone maker dreams of iPhone-like success, but only Samsung's Galaxy S series has approached the iPhone's popularity. One company hoping to move in that direction is Sony, with its high-end Xperia Z. Does it stand a chance next to the iPhone 5? Let's take a look.


The iPhone 5 is larger than previous iPhones, but it's still much smaller than the Xperia Z. Some customers find huge phones like the Xperia Z to be unwieldy, while others appreciate the extra screen real estate. We'd recommend handling both and deciding for yourself.


The iPhone 5 is much lighter. The Xperia Z draws extra heft from its glass back, which helps to give it a premium feel.


The Xperia Z joins the Droid DNA and Huawei Ascend D2 in the 440 pixels per inch (PPI) club. Is a 1080p phone overkill, or do those extra pixels really enhance the experience? The jury is still out.


The Xperia Z has the same Snapdragon S4 Pro found in the Nexus 4 and LG Optimus G. It screams.

Apple's A6 doesn't look as good on paper. But it zips through apps and media in iOS 6, giving iPhone 5 owners few performance complaints.


The Xperia Z doubles the iPhone's RAM, with 2 GB.


You can buy Apple's handset in multiple internal storage options, but you can expand the Xperia Z's 16 GB with a microSD card.


If your local carrier supports it, both phones will get speedy LTE mobile data.


The Xperia Z's battery holds more juice, but it also powers a display with over a million more pixels than the iPhone 5's. We'll need to wait for hands-on time with Sony's offering before drawing conclusions about battery life.


Megapixels are only one element of great pictures, but the Xperia Z soundly beats the iPhone 5 in that department.


The Xperia Z's IP55/IP57 ratings mean that it is dustproof and can soak in three feet (0.91 meters) of water for 30 minutes and keep on ticking. Perhaps this could come in handy if you spend lots of time at the beach or are clumsy with your beverages.

If your priority is portability, then the light iPhone 5 is your winner. It's 34 g lighter than the Xperia Z, a hair thinner, and has a much smaller surface.

Summing up

Which is better? The iPhone 5's simple, unified, and familiar experience? Or the Xperia Z's gargantuan size and raw power? Half the fun is in deciding for yourself.

If you're drawing blanks, then perhaps you'll want to cast your net wider, and include the Nexus 4 or Galaxy S III in you considerations.

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