Do we have a good one for you today - the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium goes up against the LG V10. Two giants will battle it out with large displays, great cameras and loads of glass and metal. Both devices are as premium as you can get in looks, materials and build quality, which means they will cost you a few of your hard earned dollars. The Z5 Premium is unmistakably a Sony device - a rectangle of glass held together by its full metal frame, although the sides are rounded to make it more comfortable to hold. The LG V10 is a beautiful piece of stainless steel with a silicone backing that helps in gripping the device and adds protection if dropped. Let's look at some of the similarities of these two devices before we look at each one individually.
For starters, both devices are very close in physical size and even display size - 5.7-inch on the LG V10 and 5.5-inches on the Z5 Premium. They both have a fingerprint sensor for security and making mobile payments and they are both running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and will upgrade to Marshmallow. The both use a 64-bit processor and both have the means to expand internal memory an additional 200GB. Both have excellent camera areas, but go about them differently with the Z5 Premium using more pixels. Both devices sport an upgraded sound circuitry for headphone listening.
They both have the usual suspects - Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.1, GPS, NFC, a microUSB v2.0 port for charging and data transfer, both offer a quick charge feature and both have a large battery (a removable 3000mAh in the V10 and 3430mAh non-removable battery in the Z5).
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 Z5 Premium
When you purchase a Sony Xperia device, you can count on a couple of things - a rectangle smartphone made out of metal and glass with a premium look and feel. Inside, the technology is not always 'cutting edge' especially by the time the devices ever see the light of day and you will pay a premium price. With the new Xperia Z5 Premium, we have pretty much the same recipe with one exception - Sony jumped from a 1080p display to a 4K display with 806 PPI, but there is a caveat - it is in service only when needed...most of the time it is running at 1080p to conserve battery life. The rest of the device is the usual components in the early 2015 smartphones, but the trouble is, the Z5 Premium was not available until December and in a couple of months the new Snapdragon 820 will be available in many flagships.
The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium comes with an unusual display - it is a 5.5-inch IPS LCD 4K with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 and an astounding 806 PPI. The 4K resolution only kicks in when you are actually watching something that takes advantage of the 4K. The majority of the time it actually operates in 1080p or Full HD mode. One has to ask if it would have been better to put it in a Quad HD display on all of the time. The QHD mode would stack up better to the 5.7-inch QHD IPS LCD display found on the LG V10 with 515 PPI. The Z5 Premium uses the much talked about Qualcomm Snapdragon octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz. The LG V10 uses the Snapdragon 808, a 64-bit hexa-core processor clocked at 1.82 GHz. The Z5 Premium uses 3GB of RAM and 32GB if internal memory, but has the option to expand an additional 200GB via a microSD card. The LG V10 packs 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory, which can be expanded to 200GB.
Cameras on the Xperia Z models never seem to disappoint, and the new Z5 Premium has a new 23MP sensor with phase detection autofocus, f/2.0 aperture and an LED flash, but still no OIS. For the FFC Sony used a 5.1MP with wide-angle for selfies and video chatting. It goes up against one of the highest rated cameras on a smartphone on the LG V10, which has a 16MP sensor and dual 5MP FFCs. When it comes to power, the Z5 Premium uses a large 3430mAh non-removable battery that Sony claims will get you through two days. The LG V10 uses a 3000mAh non-removable battery, and both offer the quick recharging feature.
The Xperia Z5 Premium does have dual stereo front-facing speakers, an FM Radio and is dust and water resistance as well as a fingerprint sensor for security and mobile payment authorization once Marshmallow hits the Z5. It will work on AT&T or T-Mobile networks in the US. It will come in Chrome, Black or Gold and cost you close to $800.
The new LG V10 is an unusual smartphone in that it is sculptured from stainless steel and silicone, secondly it has two 5MP FFCs, and lastly, it has a small, independent display sitting 'above' the 5.7-inch main display, which can be on even when the main display is off. Let's take a closer look at the new LG V10 and see just how it stacks up against the its Sony rival, the Xperia Z5 Premium.
While Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge or S6 Edge/Edge+ sport two displays - the main one and then the separate display off to the right - the LG V10 has two distinct displays. The main display is a 5.7-inch IPS Quantum QHD with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 515 PPI, along with a 1040 x 160 pixel display that 'sits' above the main display at the top. This secondary display can be on while the main display is off and is perfect for showing notifications, the weather, the time/date, app shortcuts and conserving power. This goes up against the 5.5-inch 4K/FHD IPS LCD display of the Xperia Z5.
LG chose the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.44 GHz and dual cores clocked at 1.82 GHz as the brains for the V10. The Z5 Premium went with the 64 bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor. The V10 is packing 4GB of RAM versus the Xperia Z5 Premium with 3GB of RAM. The LG V10 has only one option - 64GB of internal memory, but has a microSD card slot to expand another 200GB. The Xperia Z5 gives you one 32GB option with room to expand another 200GB.
The main camera areas should be very competitive if the LG V10 lives up to the LG G4's camera heritage. The V10 uses a 16MP sensor with laser autofocus, a large f/1.8 aperture, OIS and an LED flash, while the Z5 Premium uses a new 23MP Sony sensor. The LG V10 uses a dual 5MP FFC to add a wider field and more depth to the traditional selfie or video chat. The Xperia Z5 has the more traditional single 5.1MP FFC. The V10 uses a removable 3000mAh battery while the Z5 Premium uses a non-removable 3430mAh battery - both have a fast charge option.
The LG V10 included a fingerprint sensor with the NFC that will allow the V10 to approve mobile payments, once the V10 gets its Android 6.0 Marshmallow update. The LG V10 has a speaker on the bottom of the device and includes Hi-Fi circuitry for improved sound through the headphones. The available colors are Space Black, Luxe White, Modern Beige, Ocean Blue and Opal Blue. It is available on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile and priced approximately $650 - $700.
...And The Winner Is...
This was a very tough decision between these two powerhouses, but I am choosing the LG V10 as the winner of this comparison. I thought the Xperia Z5 Premium would be the winner in this comparison, however, as I examined the specifications in greater detail, I realized that other than the 4K display - that only works part of the time and most of the time you are subjected to a Full HD display of 1080p - and the dust and water resistance, the Xperia Z5 Premium is not that 'Premium.'
The LG V10 offers Quad HD display all of the time, has a fingerprint sensor, Hi-Fi circuitry, a more durable body that will hold up to drops, a great camera and all of this for $100 - $150 less than the price of a Sony Z5 Premium.
The Sony Xperia design is getting a little old and they just cannot leave that FHD display behind and move on - even when they put in a 4K display. Sure it can, on rare occasion, actually produce 4K displays, but for the majority of the time you are stuck with FHD, not even QHD. Yes, you have the dust and waterproof protection, but other than that I fail to see why the Z5 Premium should win this competition, especially considering its higher price.