Sony Xperia Z vs HTC One Comparison

Sony Xperia Z and HTC One phones on a grainy background

In this article I will be comparing the Sony Xperia Z versus HTC One. Both phones are aimed towards the enthusiast market, those who are willing to pay more and get the best that today’s mobile phone technology has to offer. The Xperia Z has a 5-inch screen, the HTC One a 4.7-inch one. Both phones are built to the highest standards, each one with its own unique features that want to attract you to buy it. When buying an expensive phone,  you do need to make a bit of a research sometimes, making sure that you are picking the right phone for you. In this comparison review you will understand the key differences between the two phone. Hopefully after reading this post, you will have a good understanding of which phone to buy (or not) — let’s start!

 Sony Xperia ZHTC One
AnnouncedJanuary 7, 2013February 19, 2013
Dimensions139 x 71 x 7.9 mm (5.47 x 2.80 x 0.31 in)137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm (5.41 x 2.69 x 0.37 in)
HTC One and Sony Xperia Z size comparison
HTC One and Sony Xperia Z size side by side comparison (front)

Xperia Z is a bit taller, wider but thinner than the HTC One. Not a big noticeable difference though
Weight146 g (5.15 oz)143 g (5.04 oz)
Water & Dust ResistantIP55 & IP57 certified
- Protected against ingress of dust and its water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes
A big advantage to the Xperia Z here with its weather sealing protection, which is absent on the HTC One. This means that you can use your phone in a dusty environment without worrying that it will get broken. Furthermore, and this is the good part, you can use it underwater -- use it as an underwater camera!

One disadvantage of having a water-resistant phone is that loudspeaker, mic and earpiece losses volume and quality because of the covers.
Display5 inches Reality Display
1080 x 1920 pixels
~441 ppi pixel density

Shatter proof and scratch-resistant glass

(Dragontrail Glass back from Asahi Glass company, Corning Gorilla glass front) ** according to some online resource
1080 x 1920 pixels
~469 ppi pixel density

Corning Gorilla Glass 2
4.7 vs 5 inches Screen size comparison
HTC One 4.7-inces vs Sony Xperia Z 5-inches Screen size comparison

Both phones have Full HD resolution, which is very useful for playing Full HD videos or games that can take advantage of that resolution. You won't notice the pixels on the screen, even when looking up close. It's also great to browse the Internet with that resolution, you see more of the page, but non mobile optimized websites will result in a very small text which will force you to zoom to read it

It's not clear which glass protection the Xperia Z has, but from the what I've read in various places, both are about the same in terms of their durability. Checkout the post on to find more information about the Xperia Z display and rear glass cover.
Display Technologye-IPS TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colorsSuper LCD3 capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Both screen look bright and vivid but the HTC One image is much more saturated. From what I've seen on various videos, the viewing angles aren't that good on the Xperia Z but most of the time we look at the phone straight on so I don't see that as an issue. Xperia Z utilizes the Reality Display technology which allows the screen to show saturated images but without losing details and keeping skin tones natural at the same time. HTC One has much better viewing angles. It's better to view the video below to really get to understand the differences


Including BoomSound™ front-facing stereo speakers and power by built-in amplifiers for bigger sound and less distortions

- Beats Audio sound
HTC One wins when it comes to sound, it's really one of the best sound I've heard from any phone ever. You don't have to take speakers with you, the HTC One will give you rich, crystal clear sound without distortions

I like this video because you can get to know how strong the sound is in relative to the presenter's voice
Card SlotmicroSD (up to 64GB)N/A
Internal Storage16GB32/64GB
The HTC One doesn't offer a memory card slot so internal storage memory quota is not expandable. This is a shame, considering the phone is aimed towards high-end users. With a microSD card you can store more music files, photos, videos and apps. Some companies make quite a lot of money selling difference variations of their phone, each one with different amount of storage space. The Xperia Z is available with 16GB only, but you expand that memory by using a microSD card and even use more than one card if you like. A 64GB microSD card prices are around $25-$60 depends on the brand, speed and class of the card (buy microSD card from Amazon)

As for the time of writing this comparison, the HTC One 32GB costs $199.99 and 64GB costs $299.99 (both with a 2-year contract).

This is a big advantage for the Xperia Z in my opinion, at least for those who store a lot of data on their phone.
Wireless Connectivity- Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
- Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
- Infrared port
Both phones have NFC (Near Field Communication) support, which allows transferring data between two NFC-enabled devices by coupling them together. There are many more uses for NFC, like making payments, s tore your boarding pass, theater or movie ticket and transfer that information to a 3rd party NFC device that can read and process it. In the future most of the payments will be done using NFC and you will be paying using your phone device.

The HTC One also has an infrared port, the Xperia doesn't. It allows you to use your phone as a remote control for external device like TVs, DVD players, cable box and other devices that can read infrared transmission. If comes with a built-in app to help you configure the connection to external devices. Furthermore, developers can take advantage of that IR remote sensor and use it in apps, which means that we'll see more apps that take advantage of this sensor in the near future.

The HTC One s the first 802.11ac phone, which has much faster data transfer speed, 3 times faster than 802.11n. 802.11ac uses MIMO (multiple antennas for both reception and broadcast that enable greater data throughput. It's ideal for media streaming and of course more Wi-Fi bandwidth on your mobile device.

So two advantages in favor of the HTC One in wireless connectivity
System ChipQualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T
ProcessorQuad core, 1500 MHz, KraitQuad core, 1700 MHz, Krait 300
Graphics ProcessorAdreno 320Adreno 320
The two phones utilize Qualcomm's Snapsdragon chipset, but different models. The HTC One performed better in all benchmarks that I've seen on the web, including BenchmarkPi, Linpack, Geekbench 2, AnTuTu, Quadrant, GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt (1080p off-screen), Sunspider, Epic Citadel and Vellamo.

The HTC One CPU is clocked faster and we can see that in GLBenchmar 2.5 Egypt (1080p off-screen) the HTC One is 17% faster (6 fps difference). The HTC One is more powerful device there's no doubt about it. It's not a huge difference but we can see that the HTC One's newest generation hardware shows its strength in all benchmarks. It doesn't make the Sony Xperia Z a weak device, not at all, it's just that the HTC One is better. On both devices you can run the latest 3D games without hiccups and UI will run smoothly without any lags.

CameraFront: 13.1MP (4128x3096 pixels) + image stabilization
Rear: 2.2MP

1/3-inch Exmor RS (BSI) sensor
f/2.2 autofocus lens
- LED Flash
- Photo HDR
- Panorama shots (Sweep Panorama)
- 1080p video recording for both cameras
Front: 4MP (2688x1520 pixels) UltraPixel + Optical image stabilization
Rear: 2.1MP

1/3-inch BSI sensor (2µm pixel size)
f/2.0 autofocus lens (same as the HTC One X)

- LED Flash
- ImageChip 2 image signal processor
- 1080p HDR video recording
- Photo HDR
- Panorama shots (Sweep Panorama)
- Simultaneous HD video and image recording
- 1080p video recording for both cameras
- Zoe (capture 3-second 1080p clip with JPEG pictures that result in unique clip and it's previewed as animated thumbnails in your photo gallery)
- 4-5 fps in burst mode
Xperia Z camera has much higher resolution, but the HTC One has bigger pixels which makes the sensor of the HTC One around 3 times more sensitive to light. This theoretically should lead to much better low-light performance and improved image quality.

One of the biggest advantages of the Xperia Z is that you can shoot with it underwater (up to 1 meter), and this makes the Xperia Z an underwater camera in this regard.

At the end of the day we want our images to look great, and when we put all those fancy techie words and specs aside, we want to see in our own eyes which camera perform better. There are many Sony Xperia Z vs HTC One camera test on the web, and I will sum it up in a few sentences.

- I was expecting the HTC One to have much less noise, but apparently it's not the case. This is reported by many mobile phone reviews' websites

- HTC One does tend to overexpose and I've seen in in many sample images and videos too. The Xperia Z on the other hand does a very good job in maintaining a web exposed images.
- With the option of taking photos while shooting videos, the HTC One does a better job, capturing full res photos compare to 1MP on the Xperia Z. In burst shots, the Xperia Z captures 9.6MP images and HTC One at full-res (4MP).
- HTC One capture wider field-of-view compare to the Xperia Z in burst mode
- HTC One produces more accuraet colors compare to the over-saturated one of the Sony Xperia Z
- Sony Xperia Z capture more details and that's due to its higher resolution

The HTC One camera produces beautiful videos, vivid and crisp and the image stabilization works great. I like the rendition of the HTC One video better than the Xperia, both in term of colors, contrast and sharpness.

Overall the Sony Xperia Z camera did a very good job, better than the HTC One in my opinion -- opposite of what I was expecting.

*** based on various online comparison resources. Also note that HTC has released a new software updated that improves the HTC One camera performance by quite a lot, especially the sharpness.

Battery2330 mAh (non-removeable)

Talk time: 11 hours | (3G) 14 hours
Stand-by time: 550 hours | (3G) 530 hours
2300 mAh (non-removeable)
According to, the HTC One battery life is better than that of the Sony Xperia Z. Having said that, reported the HTC One having poor battery. Android Central reported decent 14 hours battery life of heavy use. I personally don't think it's that bad if you can work with its all day.

AS you can see from the comparison table above, each phone has its cons and pros. Many people might be upset with HTC not including a microSD slot which is a bummer I have to admit. However, the HTC One has a very high-quality display, amazing sound, Infrared port, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, more powerful than the Xperia Z in all benchmarks and it takes good pictures and even better looking videos. The Sony Xperia Z has a microSD card slot, has a water-resistant construction, great display (although see my notes above), it’s slimmer than the HTC One, has a very good camera and takes good quality videos.

Both phones will run any app or 3D game that you throw at it without any issues whatsoever. I think that choosing between the two shouldn’t be too hard considering the differences.  If you spend a lot of time outdoors or working in a rush environment, you should consider getting the Xperia Z due to its dust and water-resistant design. The HTC One is a very tempting device with its IR blaster, better video capture, amazing sound quality, better performance and excellent display.

If I had to choose between the two, I would probably had gotten the HTC One because all the reasons I’ve stated above. Watching videos on this device is just awesome with the Full HD resolution, vivid colors and amazing sound. Games should look and sound great too.  This is just what I need and it’s time for you to make your own decision.

Which one do you like better? — Share your opinion by commenting below

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