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iPhone 6S vs Sony Xperia Z5 comparison: best-in-class clash

It’s September, and that means it’s time for an iPhone event. The launch of the iPhone 6S is over now, so we've got almost every detail now on what the iPhone 6S can do. So how does it compare to Sony’s newest flagship, which was only just released? Find out in our iPhone 6S vs Xperia Z5 comparison.

sony xperia z5 vs iphone 6 display
The Xperia Z5 has a full HD display; the iPhone 6S is expected to have a better display than the 6. / © ANDROIDPIT

iPhone 6S vs Xperia Z5 comparison: Design and build

Apple’s S models don’t get radical redesigns, and it’s business as usual here: the iPhone 6S looks like the iPhone 6, only slightly thicker, and there’s a new Rose Gold color option. It might look the same but it's tougher, with a 7000 Series aluminum shell that’s stronger than the shell of the iPhone 6.

As with the iPhone 6S, the Xperia Z5 doesn’t look much different to its predecessor, the Xperia Z3. It’s metal and glass, with Sony’s typically great build quality and sleek lines, and it’s water-resistant but not waterproof.

sony xperia z5 back
Sony's build quality is superb. It ain't bad looking, either. / © ANDROIDPIT

iPhone 6S vs Xperia Z5 comparison: Display

The iPhone 6S was expected to have an improved display compared to the previous model (a 4.7-inch screen delivering 2,000 x 1,125 pixels at 488 ppi), but it's the same. However, there's one important addition: 3D Force Touch. 3D Touch enables the iPhone to sense varying pressure on its screen, distinguishing between a tap, a press and a long press to perform different functions.

iphone 6s 3d touch 2
The iPhone 6s display now comes with 3D Touch. / © Apple

It's also why the 6S is slightly thicker than the iPhone 6. Although Huawei pipped Apple to the post with Force Touch on its Mate S, Force Touch isn’t a formal part of Android yet – but it’s baked into iOS for every user and potentially every app.

The Xperia Z5 has a 5.2-inch LCD display delivering 1,920 x 1,080 pixels at a density of 424 ppi. It’s full HD rather than rivals’ 2K, which helps its battery life enormously. The display is fantastically bright, good in direct sunlight and with excellent viewing angles and color reproduction. There’s also a 4K version if you splash out on the Xperia Z5 Premium.

iphone 6s
The iPhone 6S was widely leaked in the run up to its official launch. / © MacRumors

iPhone 6S vs Xperia Z5 comparison: Processor and storage

Every Xperia Z5 has 32 GB of on-board storage plus a microSD slot. The processor is octa-core, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 clocked at 2 GHz and 1.5 GHz, and it’s backed with 3 GB of RAM.

It’s impossible to do a like-for-like comparison of processors here, because Apple makes its own, but the A9 in the iPhone 6S delivers similar performance to top-end Android phones. The amount of RAM has now been doubled to 2 GB and you've got a nice selection of storage levels: 16, 64 or 128 GB (but no room for a mircoSD card).

iPhone 6S vs Xperia Z5 comparison: Camera

Apple has long concentrated on image quality rather than mere megapixels, but with the iPhone 6S the camera has been boosted from 8 MP to 12 MP. The front-facing snapper is expected to be better than on the previous phone too, with 5 MP.

Cameras have always been among Sony’s strong points and the Xperia Z5 has its best camera yet. The 23 MP rear camera has Sony’s highly regarded Exmor RS sensor and optical image stabilization, and the 5.1 MP front-facing camera gets the Exmor sensor too. 

sony xperia z5 camera
The Z5 has the best camera Sony's ever put in a smartphone. / © ANDROIDPIT

iPhone 6S vs Xperia Z5 comparison: Software

The iPhone 6S ships with Apple’s iOS 9, which is a relatively minor update: the headline features are improved Siri voice recognition and a Google Now-esque notification system called Proactive, but the real work has taken place under the hood to improve performance and battery life.

The Xperia Z5 comes with Android 5.1 Lollipop, although an Android M update is a given. Sony has tweaked stock Android to make it a little more stylish, and provides such apps as Xperia Lounge, Twitter, PS4 Remote Play, the Sony Entertainment Network and so on.

android m vs ios 9 hero
As ever, Apple's sticking with its own iOS.  / © ANDROIDPIT

iPhone 6S vs Xperia Z5 comparison: Battery

The iPhone 6S gets a smaller battery this year: 1,715 mAh compared to the 1,800 mAh battery in the iPhone 6. While iOS 9 has been optimised for battery life and performance, we can’t imagine that a smaller battery will deliver a better battery life than before, no matter how much Apple has tweaked it.

That said, we can’t imagine Apple would release the iPhone 6S with worse battery life than its predecessor either. We’re expecting the iPhone 6S to offer one-day battery life.

The Xperia Z5 has a 2,900 mAh battery, which is expected to deliver two days of battery life.

sony xperia z5 vs iphone 6 back
Both phones are minor updates to their predecessors, the Xperia Z3 and the iPhone 6. / © ANDROIDPIT

iPhone 6S vs Xperia Z5 comparison: early verdict

If you care about looks or cameras, the Sony’s arguably the more attractive phone here. But let’s face it, you're probably not a disinterested observer in the Apple vs Android wars. If you’re an iOS fan, the iPhone 6S is like the iPhone 6, but slightly better; if you’re an Android fan the Z5 is like the Z3, but slightly better.

And if you’re neither? The iPhone offers the better experience – not just the usual Apple polish, but crucial things like a fraud-free app store and OS updates you can get instantly instead of waiting for the manufacturer to get round to it – but the Xperia is likely to cost less, especially after a couple of months have passed.

What do you think? Would you consider switching from one smartphone side to another – and if you would, are these the phones to make you do it? Let us know in the comments.


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  • Mikio 9 months ago Link to comment

    Z5 is more than a phone camera. It is amazing to think that Z5 can soak in the water without damaging it. I consider the XPERIA Z5 to buy.
    ~Still looking for a job to get some bucks😂

  • 2

    transfer data between iPhone and android phones

  • Can you do a z5 to z2 comparison, alot of people will likely be upgrading from older hardware.

    Alot of comparisons to whats on the market which is great but think of the users who have older hardware like you usually do

  • well,some like iPhone,i will say always that that company is a fraud and make crapy smart phones,there is nothing more that u can do with that stupid smartphone than call and send texts,never will be even close to an android phone that gives u more than just calls and txts,gives u powerful cams,powerful graphic cards for playing,and r so many games to play with fantastic graphics,u have lot of options to make the phone enjoyable every day by changing the way it looks when u turn it on,more options to see the weather instantly and many more internal things that an Iphone will never have,how can they even try to make a comparition between powerful android phones and the crapy iPhone ? bleah ,no matter how much they will work on that iOS will never get even close to the power of the android,iOS is like MSDos and android is like Windows and that will be forever

  • ratacit Sep 10, 2015 Link to comment

    Water-resistant and dual SIM => Z5. OTG capabolity as well. Iphones are beautiful great machines though. I currently have a Z3 so I really really need to consider whether the capless usb and the new camera will be enough to spend the cash for an upgrade. The SD 810 heating issues are also a bit of concern.

    I will recite the I DON'T NEED TO UPGRADE MANTRA and hope I can wait at least till tests are out :)

  • I don't think I will switch to iPhone 6S/Plus 6S from my S6 Edge+. I'm quite satisfied with the device.

    • Steve Sep 9, 2015 Link to comment

      Does the S6+ Edge live up to all the reviews? I am still undecided about this device. Any info would be appreciated.

      • Hi Steve, I've seen some mixed reviews but I'm in love with my S6 Edge+. It's a gorgeous device with some of the finest hardware available. Camera is superb and Quad HD display is simply stunning. Battery backup isn't that great but it's still better than my brother's S6 Edge. I don't care about the removable battery and expandable storage.

      • Steve Sep 9, 2015 Link to comment

        Hi Rodger. Thanks for your reply. I was a bit concerned about the battery. Is it powerful to last all day? I use mainly for Internet and texting and some calls. Moderate use I would say. Would get the 32k model if I was to get one. Does OS take up much space? Sorry for all the questions :)

      • Don't worry, you'll easily get full day battery backup. In battery benchmark testing by Phone Arena, S6 Edge+ managed to outdo the score of Galaxy Note 5. The S6 Edge+ came out of its process with 9 hours & 29 minutes while the Note 5 did 9 hours & 11 minutes, despite of having eventually identical hardware, battery and 5.7 inch screen.

        You will get around 22-23 GB of free space on 32 GB model. I also have the 32 GB S6 Edge+. Hope it helps!

      • Steve Sep 10, 2015 Link to comment

        Thanks again for all the info. Much appreciated. I think you have made my mind up for me and S6 Edge Plus is the next phone for me. Got to wait till next Feb though for my upgrade. Then S7 will be due lol. Cheers, Steve

  • Steve Sep 9, 2015 Link to comment

    Having been with Android and Samsung phones and tablets I am fancying a change to iPhone 6S to see what they are like.

  • I'm thinking about switching back to Apple. I'm tired of my Note 4 freezing up.

    • I was thinking of doing the same thing and for the same damn reason. But Don't do it ! I got an iphone 6 from my job and I absolutely Hate the OS, no true multitasking and Note 4's camera in my opinion is better. Android is just so much better than iOS. I love the keyboard on the Iphone but that's not enough for me to switch. I cannot multitask like I can on the Note 4. I am waiting for Z5 or HTC One M10 to come out to really see how good of a phone they are.

  • z5 of course!

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