Do we have a good one for you today – the new Sony Xperia Z4 goes up against the new LG G4…The Japanese smartphone everyone is hoping comes to the US…it finally left Japan and is headed to China and hopefully countries beyond…versus the popular new flagship from South Korea, the LG G4. Which one of these two popular smartphones have the specifications to win this comparison?
Both devices are solidly built and feel great in your hand, although they certainly take a different path to get there. The Sony Xperia Z4 uses metal and glass – front and back – to accomplish its elegant look. The LG G4 uses a slightly curved design and a removable plastic backing with a ceramic coating that looks like metal, as well as an optional $50 leather backing, complete with stitching. They both look elegant in their own way, with the LG G4 measuring slightly larger and heavier.
These two premium devices from different countries do have a few things in common. The displays are close in size with the Xperia Z4 using a 5.2-inch display and the LG G4 using a 5.5-inch display…both are of the IPS LCD variety and each manufacturer claiming their own methods and technologies for getting the best picture. Both uses a Qualcomm 64-bit processor, the Z4 uses the octa-core 810 and the G4 uses the hexa-core 808. You will find 3GB of RAM in each device and 32GB of internal storage and each has a microSD card slot for expanding the memory by 128GB. Sony has always had an excellent camera and the Z4 is no exception, while the LG G4 may have a smaller sensor (20.7MP vs 16MP), it offers up a few extra features. The batteries are close in size, with the non-removable 2930mAh in the Z4 just slightly smaller than the removable 3000mAh in the LG G4. They both have the usual suspects, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, are NFC compatible, an FM Radio and microUSB port for charging and data transfer.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Sony Xperia Z4
The Sony Xperia Z4 is their latest upgrade to the Xperia Z3 and we hope that rumors of it reaching the US will be a reality, especially since we just found out that it has been officially announced in China. Sony has always made a quality product, but often, by the time the device reaches our market, it is behind the technology of its rivals. The Xperia Z4 is still using a 1080p display rather than the newer 1440p displays of its rivals from Samsung and LG. Sony has always have put a great camera in their Xperia devices – most other devices even use Sony sensors – yet they refuse to add OIS. One of their biggest problems is still their distribution channels – they just seem to have troubles with their relationship in getting their devices to the US carriers, which has always baffled me because of all of the other products they sell to the US.
As is the case with Xperia models, the Z4 is a slightly updated Xperia Z3 – the main Xperia design is intact – your basic rectangle with rounded corners with its beautiful composition of metal and glass. There were minor improvements made on the outside edges – the charging port was moved from the side of the device to the bottom, and it no longer needs a sealed cover even though it is still waterproof. The magnetic charging pins that were on the side of the device are gone and the SIM card and microSD card slots are now consolidated into one port. While these changes, in and of themselves are small, they really help clean up and refine the device.
The Xperia Z4 sports a 5.2-inch FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI) versus the 5.5-inch QHD display on the LG G4 packing 538 PPI. The Xperia Z4 is using the popular 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz. LG opted for the 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor even after using the Snapdragon 810 in their new LG G Flex 2. Both devices pack 3GB of RAM and the Xperia Z4 offers you a choice of 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage with room for 128GB of expansion via a microSD card slot. LG uses just 32GB of built-in data storage, but also offers a microSD card to add an additional 128GB of storage.
The Xperia Z4 also carried over its excellent camera from the Xperia Z3, although Sony still refuses to add OIS. The main camera is 20.7MP with autofocus and LED flash and the large 5.1MP front-facing camera (FFC) and added a 25mm wide-angle that is great for selfies and video chatting. The LG G4 comes with a 16MP main camera and 8MP FFC. The Xperia Z4 sports a slightly smaller 2930mAh battery versus the 3000mAh in the LG G4, comes with dual, front-facing speakers and is IP68 certified making it dustproof and waterproof. The Xperia Z4 will come in Black, White, Copper and Aqua Green and will be running the latest Lollipop. Pricing looks to be about $630 off-contract and possible availability should be around May/June.
Once in a while, a manufacturer will do a redesign of a phone from the ground up – like Samsung did with their new Galaxy S series – but for the most part each year brings a few new refinements to last year's model, like the LG G4. The LG G3 already had a QHD display, but LG greatly improved the display by switching to a new IPS Quantum display technology. LG claims this allows for a 25-percent brighter display with a 50-percent increase in the contrast and 56-percent improvement to the color accuracy. This one upgrade makes a huge difference over the LG G3's rather dull looking display. The device is slightly larger and they added a slight curve too, but not near the curve of the LG G Flex 2, just enough to make it easier to hold in your hand. Along with the improved ceramic-coated metallic plastic backing, for an additional $50, you can also special order a real leather one in several colors…complete with stitching.
The LG G4 sports a 5.5-inch QHD LCD Quantum display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 538 PPI…a vast improvement over the Xperia Z4's FHD and 424 PPI. The improvements that I mentioned above make the G4's display a much brighter than last year's and the colors really pop out. LG decided to bypass the Snapdragon 810 found in the Xperia Z4, and LG used in its own G Flex 2, and instead opted to use the 64-bit 808 hexa-core processor. A slight step below the 810, but it is optimized for the LG G4 and should be kinder to its battery and offer the user a more consistent experience. It is packing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage as well as having room for expansion via a microUSB card – identical specs of the Xperia Z4.
The LG G4 continues doing a great job on their cameras and the LG G4 is first rate with a 16MP sensor, laser autofocus, dual-tone LED Flash, a wide f/1.8 aperture and OIS for their main camera. They also included a huge 8MP FFC with the f/1.8 aperture that should take excellent selfies and provide great video chatting. The Xperia Z4 does have a larger sensor for the main camera – 20.7MP – and a smaller FFC – 5.1MP, but the excellent features on the LG G4 should yield better overall results. It uses a 3000mAh removable battery, compared to the non-removable 2930mAh on the Xperia Z4, and both batteries should easily get you through an average day.
The LG G4 does offer optional wireless charging with controls that are easily accessible on the back of the device. It also incorporates some great software features in the camera app and uses knock-knock and split screen multitasking. The LG G4 is available in a variety of colors, is running the latest Lollipop, and will cost you about $200 on a two-year contract and about $600 off-contact.
…And The Winner Is…
We have to pick the LG G4 as the winner of this comparison – nothing major…except for the display…but many small things. From the subtle curve of the device and the way it fits in your hand to the rear mounted controls. The extra camera features, such as laser auto focus, dual-tone LED flash, OIS, the wide f/1.8 aperture and the large 8MP FFC that are becoming more popular/needed with the selfie craze that does not appear to be ending anytime soon. The LG G4 comes with great software for the camera area as well as the device. It comes with the optional wireless charging and the option for a great looking leather back, as well as a removable battery.
Yes, it is true that LG only used the Snapdragon 808 rather than the 810, but with persistent rumors of overheating and Qualcomm throttling the MHz to keep the heat a non-issue, may have prompted LG to go with the Snapdragon 808. Whatever the reason, LG worked with Qualcomm to optimize the processor in the LG G4 and it seems to be working just fine.
Both devices should satisfy their buyers, but with both of them costing the same price, you just seem to get a little more in the LG G4. Sony wants you to pay for their name and LG wants you to have features and options…no, you will not have the dust and waterproofing or dual front-facing speakers, but you will get a state-of-the-art device.