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Home > Android Phone Reviews > Sony Xperia Z1/Z1S vs. LG G2 Comparison


Sony Xperia Z1S vs. LG G2 Comparison Smackdown


Posted January 28, 2014 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

Sometimes it's really hard to choose between two top smartphones. In this case, I'd have a hard time picking! The Sony Xperia Z1S is T-Mobile's latest flagship Android smartphone, while the LG G2 has been available on the carrier for a few months. To be fair, the Xperia launched as the Z1 overseas in late September 2013, so they're not that far apart in terms of release dates. Both run on the same 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU with Adreno 330 graphics, have 2 gigs of RAM, 32 gigs of storage and big full HD displays. So how do you choose?

Sony Xperia Z1s and LG G2

Design and Ergonomics

The LG G2 is an oddball phone with volume and power buttons on the rear. They're supposed to be easier to reach when holding the phone with one hand. They are in fact easy enough to reach, but I still find myself turning the phone over to make sure I press the right button (nothing is more annoying than being engrossed in a video and accidentally putting the phone to sleep rather than raising the volume). The phone is glossy plastic, available in your choice of black or white. It's not a bad looking phone, but as with Samsung phones, the glossy plastics do nothing to make it look classy. In the LG's favor, its curves are perfection and it feels great in the hand.

The Sony Xperia Z1 and Z1S have attractive looking glass backs (black on T-Mobile) and that angular, modern minimalist Xperia OmniBalance design. It doesn't look like other phones and it looks like an expensive phone. Though we haven't heard of a plague of breaking glass backs (the design dates back to the Xperia Z, so we have older phones to go by), some folks might feel glass is vulnerable. It loves fingerprints, as does the LG G2, but you can wash it. This is a waterproof and dust resistant phone.

Both have batteries that are sealed inside. The Xperia pulls ahead with a microSD card slot, which the LG G2 lacks.

Winner: Sony Xperia Z1S


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Sony Xperia Z1 Unlocked:


Sony Xperia Z1S vs. LG G2 Comparison Smackdown Video


Sony Xperia Z1s and LG G2


Horsepower and Software

It's a tie for CPU, graphics and RAM. They're running on the same internals. Sony goes with a very lightly customized version of Android 4.3 that we enjoy. LG uses their LG UI on Android 4.2.2, which customizes the look and feel as much as Samsung's TouchWiz does. There's a handy multi-tasking feature for some apps, easy customization of the home screen and you can select icon styles. Which is better? That depends on you: if you like clean Android the Sony will appeal, but if you enjoy lots of added software and enhancements you'll prefer the LG.

Winner: Tie.

Sony Xperia Z1s and LG G2


Much has been made of Sony's Triluminos full HD display. It's pretty but viewing angles aren't as wide as some IPS displays. Ironically, the LG G2's IPS display doesn't have wide viewing angles among the IPS competition. I really enjoy both displays: the LG G2 has great contrast and pleasing colors. The Xperia Z1S has a warm and cinematic feel with better color calibration and a very wide color gamut. Personally, I prefer the Z1S display, but I generally look at my phone head on and don't regularly share the screen with others. The Sony may strike you as prettier, while the LG may look sharper thanks to strong contrast.

Winner: Tie. I suggest you look at them both and see which one appeals more to you.


Sony steals the show here with the highest megapixel count on an Android phone as of Jan. 2014. The 20.7 MP camera with a fairly large Exmor RS sensor and good Sony G f/2.0 lens steals the show. It's not perfect, but it's an excellent camera that captures more detail than the very capable 13MP shooter on the LG G2. Captured colors are particularly pleasing and vibrant on the Xperia Z1S, and we enjoy the variety of modes including AR (augmented reality) and background blur. For 1080p video recording the LG G2 fights back with optical rather than digital image stabilization--important to those with shaky hands. Still, the Xperia Z1S overall has the best camera.

Winner: Sony Xperia Z1S.


  Quadrant 3DMark Ice Storm AnTuTu Sunspider JavaScript Test
Sony Xperia Z1S 21589 16,135 (unlimited) 35,008 837
LG G2 19,762 9803 (extreme) 32,990 823

Geekbench: close enough to call a tie


There are of course more points to cover, so watch our Sony Xperia Z1S vs. LG G2 Comparison Smackdown video above to see them all. Which phone did I personally pick? The Xperia Z1S, but I did have a chance to enjoy the LG G2 for several months before picking up a Z1S (ah, the attraction of new and shiny toys).


Price: varies by carrier, similarly priced on most carriers including T-Mobile US


Related Reviews:

LG G2 Review

Sony Xperia Z1S Review


Sony Xperia Z1s and LG G2



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LG G2 Specs:

Display: 5.2" IPS display, 424 PPI. Resolution: 1920 x 1080. Gorilla Glass 2. Has ambient light sensor, accelerometer and proximity sensor.

Battery: Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable. Battery is not user replaceable. 3000 mAh.

Performance: 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) quad core CPU with Adreno 330 graphics. 2 gigs RAM and 32 gigs storage.

Size: 5.45 x 2.79 x 0.35 inches. Weight: 5.04 ounces.

Phone: GSM quad band world phone with HSPA+ 3G and 4G LTE (GSM models). CDMA with EV-DO Rev. A 3G (CDMA models).

Camera: 2.1MP front camera and 13MP rear camera with BSI, HDR and LED flash. Can use front and rear cameras simultaneously.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated dual band WiFi 802.11ac, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 LE.

Software: Android OS 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

Expansion: No microSD card slot. Has USB host.


Sony Xperia Z1S Specs:

Display: 5" Triluminos display. Resolution: 1920 x 1080. Has ambient light sensor, accelerometer and proximity sensor.

Battery: 3000 mAh Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable. Battery is not user replaceable.

Performance: 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU with Adreno 330 graphics. 2 gigs RAM and 32 gigs internal storage.

Size: 5.74 x 2.91 x 0.34 inches. Weight: 5.71 ounces.

Phone: Quad band GSM, pentaband 3G HSPA+ (850/900/1700/1900/2100MHz), LTE 4G on T-Mobile's band 4 and 17 (Sony Xperia Z1 unlocked is sold with a variety of 3G and 4G bands). Has WiFi calling and mobile hotspot features.

Camera: 2.1MP front camera that can shoot 1080p video and 20.7MP rear camera with LED flash, Sony G f/2.2 lens and Exmor RS sensor.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, ANT and NFC.

Software: Android OS 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Expansion: 1 SDXC microSD card slot. Supports USB host (requires optional USB OTG adapter cable).


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