Head-to-head: iPhone 6s vs Sony Xperia Z5

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Head-to-head: iPhone 6s vs Sony Xperia Z5
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The iPhone 6s and Sony Xperia Z5 are two of the hottest phones out there at the moment. The 5.2in Xperia Z5 is priced at $999 and was listed for preorder on the Sony Australia site at the time of writing. But which one is the better handset?

We're about to find out. Here we silo each phone into individual sections – display, camera, battery and price – and pitch them against each other to get a clear view of each device's strengths and weaknesses.


Design

Aesthetically, the Sony Xperia Z5 is a refreshing change of tact from the tendency of manufacturers to ape the latest iPhone's design (yes, we're looking at you, HTC One A9). It isn't a grand movement from previous Sony flagships, but the Z5 sees the addition of an engraved Xperia logo on the left edge, squaring off the phone's metal frame. Sony also made a bold choice of placing the power button on the side of the handset with an in-built fingerprint scanner, directly in line with the user's thumb.

The Z5's glass back does come with its own issues. PC Pro's reviews editor, Jonathan Bray, managed to smash it after dropping it onto some gravel. That said, the edges are slightly raised, which helps to prevent the Xperia Z5 from sliding off every surface you put it on. While Sony's effort is all angles, the iPhone 6s is curves from top to bottom. Our review describes it as “achingly pretty”: while it looks much the same as its predecessor, it nevertheless remains a stunning combination of glass and metal.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus review: Rear panel

The iPhone's aluminium frame is built from a stronger alloy now – 7000 series aluminium to be precise. The screen glass has also been strengthened. We didn't try and throw it or the Xperia Z5 against a wall (and we don't recommend you do either), but the aluminium frame makes the iPhone 6s a sturdier device, especially considering the fragile back on the Xperia Z5. On the other hand, the Z5 is dust- and water-resistant (IP65 and IP68 respectively) so, while you can't exactly take it on underwater adventures, it does stand a better chance against accidental trips down the toilet.

Overall, we'd give the iPhone 6s a point here. Sony's handset mixes things up with power, camera and volume buttons on the side, but other than that it looks like generically handsome rectangle. The iPhone 6s might not be a major departure from the iPhone 6, but it's still a real looker.  

Winner: iPhone 6s


Display

Screen quality used to be an area where these two manufacturer's dominated. However, Sony's Bravia engine and Apple's Retina screen have since lost ground to Samsung's AMOLED displays. That sounds dramatic, but it's not really. Both displays on offer here are pin sharp and eye-wateringly bright. In terms of numbers, the Sony Xperia Z5 offers a 1,080 x 1,920-resolution IPS display, topped with unbranded tempered glass. In comparison, the iPhone 6s offers a 750 x 1,334-resolution display.

The iPhone 6s reaches a maximum brightness of 572cd/m2 and delivers an eye-popping contrast ratio of 1,599:1. The Z5 manages a maximum of 684cd/m2 (with adaptive brightness disabled), delivering a contrast ratio of 1,078:1. The Xperia Z5 has a higher brightness, but the contrast ratio is what will really make the display pop, and there's a sizeable difference here between the iPhone 6s and Sony's handset. Bottom line: the iPhone 6s gets a point.

Winner: iPhone 6s


Apple iPhone 6s review: Context sensitive menu in 3D Touch

Features

The feather in the iPhone 6s' hat is 3D Touch, which lets you bring up different options depending on how hard you press the screen. The Sony Xperia Z5 might not have a “Capital Letter Feature” like 3D Touch, but it does have a microSD slot and a side-placed fingerprint scanner.

Winner: Draw


Next: camera, battery and verdict

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