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Sony Xperia Z vs Google Nexus 4: spec comparison

MobileGuides
, 18 Feb 2013Guides
Sony Xperia Z vs Google Nexus 4: spec comparison

Along with form factor, battery life, and operating system, price is one of the biggest considerations for consumers hankering after a new mobile phone. Google's Nexus 4 made waves when it launched back in October 2012, offering a raft of top-notch specifications for a decidedly mid-range outlay. Sony's Xperia Z is a more straightforward high-end proposition, though it too can be considered a relative bargain in view of its impressive new-gen feature set. Which handset ultimately offers the best value? Let's find out.

Size and weight

Sony's Xperia Z is one of the most slender devices on the market, sizing up at just 7.9mm in depth and tipping the scales to the tune of 146g. The Nexus 4 has a larger girth of 9.1mm, but weighs marginally less at 139g. The Google handset is also a tad shorter at 133.9mm (versus the Xperia Z's 139mm).

Display

The Xperia Z features a 5in screen that looks like it's really going to please the retinas, offering a Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels at a stunning density of 441ppi. The 4.7in Nexus 4 offers a standard HD resolution of 1,280 x 768 pixels at a less impressive 318ppi.

Camera

The Xperia Z looks like it has one of the very best cameras in the high-end smartphone segment, sporting a 13.1-megapixel Sony Exmor RS sensor. This sets it apart from a lot of its rivals which - like the Nexus 4 - feature 8-megapixel primary snappers. The Z's 2.2-megapixel front camera also bests the 1.3-megapixel auxiliary shooter found on the Google device.

Processor and battery

Both the Xperia Z and Nexus 4 feature a Snapdragon S4 SoC, comprised of Krait CPUs clocked at 1.5GHz and an Adreno 320 GPU. Sony's new flagship packs a 2,300 mAh battery with a claimed 3G talk time of up to 11 hours, while the Nexus 4 purports to offer as much as 15 hours of jabbering courtesy of its 2,100 mAh battery.

Software

In the Xperia Z and the Nexus 4, the Android platform has two of its most tempting propositions. Die hard fans of Google's mobile OS will inevitably find themselves leaning towards the search giant's own-branded handset, which shows off Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and will surely be one of the first in line when Key Lime Pie is served up. The Sony handset ships with Jelly Bean 4.1.

Storage and memory

The Xperia Z and Nexus 4 both feature a hefty 2GB of RAM under the hood. Google's mobile can be had with either 8GB or 16GB of on-board storage, while Sony's latest hero phone comes in a single 16GB model. Media buffs will likely lean towards the Xperia Z, as it comes equipped with a microSD card slot so you can cheaply and easily up the storage.

Connectivity and wireless

The Sony Xperia Z is LTE capable and we fully expect it to feature on EE's UK 4G network, while the Nexus 4 supports the HSPA+ standard - furnished by most of Britain's major mobile operators. Both devices feature NFC technology.

Extras

Until the Xperia Z arrived, ITProPortal's spec comparisons didn't really need a section for special features, but the water- and dust-resistant Sony flagship changed all that. The Nexus 4 features integrated wireless charging, with the necessary accessory - the wireless charging 'Orb' - finally expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

Price, availability and opinion

Following its European launch at MWC in February, the Sony Xperia Z will hit the UK on 1 March. The device is up for pre-order via Three and pricing has been provisionally set at £450. It's no great secret that Google has struggled to keep up with Nexus 4 demand so far, but availability appears to be improving and both the 8GB and 16GB models are currently available via the Google Play store for £239 and £279, respectively.

With around £200 separating the Xperia Z and the Nexus 4, there's a fair bit for prospective buyers to mull over. For our money, Google's handset is probably the best value device on the market at the moment - its quad-core chipset, 8-megapixel camera, wireless charging, and 2GB of memory all speak to the high-end segment, yet it won't set you back much more than the Nokia Lumia 620.

Having said that, few devices can hold a candle to the Xperia Z. With a Full HD display, 13-megapixel camera, 4G LTE support, and extra durability, Sony's latest flagship is a true new-gen smartphone that looks like it's worth every penny. 

Of course, it's impossible to say whether high-speed downloads and extra pixels are worth £200. What's easier to quantify from an investment standpoint is the likelihood that the Nexus 4 will soon be supplanted by a Nexus 5 handset, possibly at Google's 2013 I/O conference in May. The Xperia Z, on the other hand, should still be one of the best devices around in a year's time. That's why we'd lean towards the Sony smartphone in this instance. But with payday once again a long way away, we wouldn't turn our nose up at the Nexus 4, either.

For more, why not check out how the Sony Xperia Z compares to large-screen rival the Samsung Galaxy Note 2?

 

Sony Xperia Z

Google Nexus 4

Display

   

Screen size

5in

4.7in

Resolution

1,920 x 1,080 pixels

1,280 x 768 pixels

Pixel density

441ppi

318ppi

Type

TFT LCD

IPS LCD

Processor and battery

   

Family

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4

CPU

Krait

Krait

Cores

Quad-core

Quad-core

Clock speed

1.5GHz

1.5GHz

GPU

Adreno 320

Adreno 320

Battery

2,330 mAh

2,100mAh

Claimed 3G talk time

Up to 11 hours

Up to 15h

Storage and memory

   

RAM

2GB

2GB

Internal storage

16GB

8 / 16GB

microSD

Yes

No

Camera

   

Rear

13.1-megapixel

8-megapixel

Resolution

4,128 x 3,096 pixels

3,264 x 2,448 pixels

Video

1080p @ 30fps

1080p @ 30fps

Front

2.2-megapixel

1.3-megapixel

Wireless

   

Standard

4G LTE

HSPA+

Wi-Fi

802.11 b/g/n

802.11 a/b/g/n

NFC

Yes

Yes

Bluetooth

V4.0

V4.0

Integrated wireless charging

No

Yes

Dimensions

   

Size

139 x 71 x 7.9mm

133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1mm

Weight

146g

139g

Operating System

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Price (off contract)

£450

£239 (8GB) / £279 (16GB)

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