Smartphone Smackdown: LG G2 vs Sony Xperia Z1

Smartphone Smackdown: LG G2 vs Sony Xperia Z1

Two smartphones have just been presented to the public and some fans are foaming at the mouth waiting to get their hands on either device. The LG G2 and Xperia Z1 are high-end smartphones, which in terms of hardware are state of the art, differ in small ways that are sometimes hard to tell. In today's smartphone smackdown, where each ''round'' has a victor, we put the two devices side by side to ultimately determine a winner and a loser. Will one really come out on top?

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Sony has gone down the same ''OmniBalance'' design path with the Xperia Z1 (hands-on review). A few recognizable features are the silver-colored power button, the angular form factor and the sleek chassis which is made from two glass plates, encased by one massive aluminum bezel. ''Massive'' really is the right word here, because the Z1 is a lot bigger than its predecessor and seems really clunky around the edges.

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The angular edges of the Z1 underneath and rounded form of the G2 on top. / © NextPit

LG thrust a new innovation onto the market with the LG G2 (hands-on review): the buttons found on the backside are real novelties and the entire design in itself gives the competition a run for their money. That being said, it's strongly reminiscent of the Galaxy S4 and even the Nexus 4 build by LG. The backside, made of a sleek plastic material, creates the look of something a bit cheaper, though it does feel good to hold. The front feature that stands out the most is the small frame encircling the display.

LG gets a point here in that they had the bravura to do something daring, as well as deliver a much sleeker and more compact design when compared to the Z1, despite the G2's huge display.

LG G2: 1:0 Sony Xperia Z1


Both devices are adorned with LCD panels with stunning Full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) though the G2's 5.2-inch display is bigger than the Z1's 5-inches. When directly compared, the only differences to be seen are quite minimal: with the exact same resolution making pixels invisible to the naked eye, the Z1 shines slightly brighter than the G2.

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The Z1 (left) is slightly brighter than the the G2 and offers clearer, more natural colors.  / © NextPit

The color presentation on Sony's device is more neutral and cooler than the G2, though the latter's color saturation is significantly higher, making it almost appear like Samsung's AMOLED display where a slight red tinge can be observed. The color tones and white balance can be altered individually with the Z1, options missing on the LG flagship. The Z1's weakest point is its viewing angle, which is significantly weaker than the G2. But when push comes to shove, both receive a point in this round.

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The G2 display offers a noticeably stabler color and contrast presentation. / © NextPit

LG G2 2:1 Sony Xperia Z1


Both smartphones run on Android 4.2.2, though both manufacturers have adopted their own user interface. In terms of the look and functionality that the G2 and Z1 bring to the table, neither differs greatly from its predecessors (stock Android vs Sony UI). A few new details have been integrated however.

For one, the color language with the Z1 has been altered, in that the darker menu background is replaced by a light gray, making the interface appear much friendlier. The folder symbols look nicer than those presented on the Xperia Z, though new functions were few and far between as the changes were mostly aesthetic ones.

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The LG settings menu reminds me of Samsung (left), Sony's interface has a nice and cleaned-up look. / © NextPit

On the other hand, LG yet again employs the same bright look for their user interface which doesn't quite fit the mold for high-end phones. The appearance of the UI contrasts greatly with the sophisticated functionality of the software, even more so than sometimes experienced with Samsung. LG granted its smartphone a stack of new  features. Though they aren't groundbreakingly innovative, some come in quite handy. An example of this is the customizable touch-key buttons under the display.

Here I need to give both a point yet again. The Z1 really impressed me with the design of its interface, while the G2 steals the show with its functions.

LG G2 3:2 Sony Xperia Z1

Processor and Performance

The G2 and Z1 come with the brand new Snapdragon 800 chipset by Qualcomm, flanked with 2 GB RAM. Any super big differences between the two top device's performances is not to be expected and as a matter of fact, both run at the same speedy tempo. In the AnTuTu Benchmark test, which should always be taken with a grain of salt anyways, the Xperia Z1 achieved 35,000 points while the G2 got about 34,500. Both devices therefore get one point.

LG G2 4:3 Sony Xperia Z1


The 20 MP camera from Sony outdoes the LG's 13 MP in pixel count, though as we know, this doesn't count for everything. In fact, the photos taken with the LG G2 were able to impress me a lot more in our comparative camera test.

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Sony's Z1 with G Lens and 20 MP (left) vs. 13 MP und optical photo stabilizer on the G2. / © NextPit

Even though the G2 software significantly processes its pictures and therefore loses a lot of detail, the LG smartphone still takes better pictures for everyday usage and offers similar camera software to that of Samsung smartphones. While the latter offers an optical picture stabilizer, Sony takes a stab with its Augmented Reality function. Nevertheless, due to the better picture quality, LG is the clear victor in this round.

LG G2 5:3 Sony Xperia Z1

System Android 4.2.2 Android 4.2.2
Display 5.2-inches, LCD IPS, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 Pixel) 5-inches, LCD IPS, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 Pixel)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2.2 GHz
Memory 2 GB 2 GB
Internal Storage 16/32 GB 16 GB / durch microSD erweiterbar
Camera 13 MP (back) / 2,1 MP (front) 20 MP (back) / 2 MP (front)
Battery 3,000 mAh 3,000 mAh
Connectivity LTE, HSPA+, WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB 2.0 LTE, HSPA+, WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB 2.0
Dimensions 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm 144 x 74 x 8.5 mm
Weight 140 g 170 g
Price   599.99 USD (Verizon)  499.99 USD (Amazon)

5:3 for the LG G2: is this really a clear winner?

Sometimes to see the true advantages and disadvantages, it works well to get back to basics with your good ol' pro and con lists and that holds true even in the case of our smartphone smackdown. The G2 is in my opinion a clear winner. This was in fact not as evident to me before performing this test, since I am usually more of a Sony fan and often consider LG devices with a certain amount of skepticism. But in this case, it was clear to me how wrong this tendency is: LG did almost everything right with the G2, while the Xperia Z1 could still have been better in one area or another, especially considering its clunky design and wide bezel. The G2 is the winner!

But before you get started bashing my opinion in the comments, let me be clear: both devices are top devices and my decision is influenced by my own personal taste. This means that my conclusion will surely be disputed and other opinions on the matter surely exist. In any case, I look forward to seeing what you have to say!

What’s the better phone: Sony Xperia Z1 or LG G2?

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  • I'm looking at buying either phone and I have them pegged equally, obviously both have positives and negatives. At retail price of NZ $1000 for either phone I'm considering all reviews! Thanks for the review :) does it help? Kind of... but I think that that's just because both phones are so evenly matched! I've played with both phones and just cant decide... It's doing my head in trying to pick. The Z1 is prettier but so bulky while the G2 is smaller, with a bigger screen but not quite so sharp for a top end phone. Z1 has better memory options, but the G2 has option for a 32GB internal memory which is still quite big, the camera is better on the G2 but it can underperform in low light situations... I really cant decide... ah well, I guess I'll just have to keep playing with them both :)

  • You said G2's design is better ?! What the hell is on the earth.

    Z1: A glass + aluminum, well placed buttons, anti shatter, dust proof, water resistant.

    G2: A compact plastic, bad placed buttons

    Which of them has a better design? Only the water proof feature wins.

    If you're interested in G2, it's OK. But don't write such a terrible review.

  • Although both devises are good in every respect. i would vote for the G2. even thought both devises have same battery capacity, other reviewers have rated the G2 higher interms of rate of battery drain under data usage

  • Why is everyone here attacking the reviewer? After all he has done a great job on this comparison and given us a winner taking into consideration different views. Who would have known that the G2 has a better camera than the Xperia Z1 though the Z1 has more megapixels? Yes, the G2 is clearly a winner IMHO. If you like Sony's Walkman app then you can root the G2 and install it:P

  • I have been waiting patiently for a update on my note 2 .. everyone around me is getting updates ..when will we get one?

  • It's sad that I need to remind users about insulting, hateful and disrespectful comments on our website. We at AndroidPIT respect every opinion but do no tolerate abuse and direct attacks on editors. Please take this into consideration with any future comments. Thank you.

  • @Atticus R.: I am not the slightest bit ashamed of myself for writing my review. There's is nothing wrong with it, in no kind of way.
    Subjective? Yes. Journalistically wrong? No. I write as a reviewer, I write a review of two smartphones andf how they stand up against each other. Like I said before, it is impossible to write a review like this and stay completely objective. If you want a neutral comparison, go ahead and read the specs.

    But, Atticus: You should be ashamed of yourself for writing such an insulting, disrespectful and immature comment. If you want to criticize my review, feel free to do so, I would gladly discuss with you. But if you're only here to dump your mental diarrhea, I am kindly asking you to do it elsewhere. Thanks!

  • @ Bojan m, he already stated that it was his opinions. but he also has stated some nice differences that some will look to for advice. so you bashing and being an ass doesn't even need to be in here. don't read about it if you don't like it otherwise shut the hell up.

  • It isn't even worth trying to convince you how wrong and utterly wrong you are. You have completed the test for the most subjective and journalistically incorrect formats. I'm judging you by your incredible ignorance found in your writing.

    Your review has exhausted me - it is complete loose stool water and ass gravy of the worst kind. I hope you're ashamed of yourself

  • Rolfhu Sep 20, 2013 Link to comment

    Everyone that voted for the Sony should take a G2 in the hand. A super mobile. I like the Sony too, but it isn't comfortable in the hand like the G2.

  • Xperia is beautiful.

  • Samu Sep 19, 2013 Link to comment

    Hey Johannes. Thanks for the review and your own opinion. I also like it! Cheers

  • lg g2 is a beast .

  • Wallet don't take them serious! I'm pretty sure, none of them haven't even touch LG phone in their life's... I've owned four till now, and my wife has two Sony phones, so I'm aware of these devices in details! Currently I use HTC One but when I've seen the new LG G2 I've got a bit envy. I like your review and I think it's helpful...

  • I would have to some what agree with Bojan - Design is more a personal preference yes both are good looking phones but in their own ways. Yes LG was dared to be different by putting buttons on its back but that's only a little part of its design feature overall the phone still constructed in quote "sleek plastic" which has been attempted before like other android mobiles and yet Its design fails to pack in a Micro SD card??

    I would say the Z1 design overall went above and beyond the plastic material by using shatter proof glass wrapped in a aluminum band. At the least a point should have gone to both phones. Well that could then be my personal preference as I pointed out before.

    I would agree the G2 display wins over the Xperia Z1

    One thing that could be missing on this comparison is "Durability" this would be important to some people - the Z1 would most likely gained a point on this as waterproofing and dust proof was never mentioned. This would have made both phones with level points and just came down to would consumers spend an extra $100 over the Z1 with no memory expansion??

  • @Bojan M.: No review is ever fully objective when it comes to comparing other things than just plain technical specs. And comparing technical specs on this level is, well, boring and pointless because both devices do extraordinarily good.

    Did you read my article? I claimed something and I provided evidence for it, so there is no reason for me to shut up.

    You want an example? I compared the design of the two devices and decided to give LG a point because they did something new with the G2, while Sony followed its well-proven design. I like it, but I found the being the more daring of the two.

    You want another example? I compared the displays, and the viewing angle of the Z1 is just below average and way worse than that of the G2.
    Or the camera: I took test shots, and even though the Z1 has the more powerful lense on paper, I found it to be less well performing than the camera of the G2.

    You know, just read my article carefully and you will find all the evidence that you ask for. It's all there. I tried to do my review as objectively as I could. If you don't trust my words, go ahead and try the phones yourself. Then we can discuss about it.

  • Vote for Xperia Z1 ..
    It's design and camera is amazing..!

  • H.T Sep 18, 2013 Link to comment

    Xperia z1 clearly is a better choice, talk about design I like it, buttons on the back; fishy.

  • of course,the xperia z1 is my choice.

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