Do we have a good one for you today – the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium goes up against the new LG G5. The glass and metal Z5 Premium versus the all metal LG G5 – build quality is top-notch, and they both look like a premium device. This matchup has all of the elements needed for a great comparison. Can the Xperia Z5 Premium, which came out in December, actually compete against the new LG G5 in specifications or technology? Let's take a look at what these two devices have in common, and then we will look at each smartphone in more depth.
The Xperia Z5 Premium and the LG G5 do have a few things in common – for starters, they are almost identical in physical size with the Z5 Premium just slightly larger all around and weighing in at 21 grams heavier. The both use the IPS LCD screen technology, and the displays are close in size – 5.5-inchs on the Z5 and 5.3-inches on the G5. They both use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, but different models. Both offer 32GB of internal storage, and both can expand that storage via a microSD card. They both have excellent camera areas but go about it in a much different way. The Z5 Premium and LG G5 each have a fingerprint sensor and fast charging batteries. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.1 on the Z5 and v4.2 on the G5), GPS, NFC, an FM radio and a microUSB port (Type-C on the G5) for charging and data transfer.
Please take a careful 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 device in greater depth 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
The Sony smartphone is defined by several parameters – the device will be a rectangle of metal and glass construction – it will have a premium look and feel – it will take excellent pictures – experience great battery life and by the time the device finally gets into the hands of the public, the technology may seem a little old. With the new Xperia Z5 Premium, we have pretty much that same recipe except Sony jumped from a 1080p display, bypassed the QHD display and went directly to a 4K display with 806 PPI. However, there is a caveat – it is in service only when needed and most of the time it is back to running at 1080p to conserve battery life. The rest of the device is the usual components used in early 2015 smartphones, but the Z5 Premium was not available until December. With the new Snapdragon 820 available in many flagships, Sony is once again back to the end of the line.
After questioning why Sony refuses to use a QHD display, Sony went a different route with the Xperia Z5 Premium – it is a 5.5-inch IPS LCD 4K with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 and an astounding 806 PPI. The 4K resolution is only 'on' when you are actually watching something that takes advantage of the 4K. The rest of the time – read that as most of the time – it operates in 1080p or Full HD mode. Sony still has something special against QHD displays – why not just use a QHD display that is on all the time – Sony would tell you to conserve battery life. The Z5 Premium uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz. The Z5 Premium uses 3GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB if internal memory but has the option to expand an additional 200GB via a microSD card.
Sony knows how to do a great camera in a smartphone, even without using OIS and the Z5 Premium has a new 23MP sensor with phase detection autofocus, f/2.0 aperture and an LED flash. For the FFC Sony used a 5.1MP with wide-angle for selfies and video chatting. When it comes to power, the Z5 Premium uses a large 3430mAh non-removable battery that Sony claims will get you through two days and the Z5 offers quick charging.
The Xperia Z5 Premium does have dual stereo front-facing speakers, high-res audio and is dust and water resistance with its IP68 rating. It measures 54.4 x 75.8 x 7.8 mm and weighs in at 180 grams. 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.
Whether you like LG or not, one has to admire LG for their bold redesign their LG G4. Unlike HTC that barely makes changes to their precious all-metal body, LG jumped in and changed everything – more so than what Samsung did last year in redesigning their Galaxy S6 and Note 5. Original LG G4 lovers may still be reeling, but they should be excited about this new design of their favorite smartphone. LG put some thought into its LG G5 – they went from plastic to metal body and yet were able to retain those features most important to users – memory expansion and removable battery. Not only that, but LG was able to whip a little innovated modular design as well.
The LG G5 sports a 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 554 PPI and incorporates the 'always-on' display feature. The LG G5 processor is the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor clocked with two cores clocked at 1.6GHz and two cores clocked at 2.15GHz with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory, expandable to 2TB via a microUSB card.
The LG G5 made big changes to their highly rated LG G4 camera area and went from a single 16MP sensor to one 16MP sensor and another 8MP sensor, along with new software. The 8MP has a wider angle allowing the user to capture more in the photo. The LG G5 retains the 8MP FFC from the G4 for selfies and video chatting. LG dropped the battery from the 3000mAh found in the LG G4 to 2800mAh, but it is still removable and has quick charge capabilities, but lost its wireless charging ability due to the metal case.
LG took a big step when they introduced modules that are used with the LG G5 – by pushing a button on the side you can slide out the bottom 'chin' of the device along with its battery and slide in different modules. One module adds more battery power and camera controls that make it easier to grasp and adjust the camera. There is another module by B&O for higher sound quality when you plug in your headset. It will be interesting to see just how many modules become available and at what price. Other questions many are asking – will the modules be compatible with future models and if they are, does that mean the design will stay stagnant?
LG kept its built-in IR Blaster and FM radio. LG finally added a fingerprint sensor at the expense of the rear set of buttons, although the sensor clicks inward and acts as an on/off switch as well. LG also followed Google's lead by starting to use the Type-C USB port on the G5. The LG G5 measures 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 159 grams and comes in Silver, Titan, Gold and Pink. It should be available in April on all major US carriers for approximately $625.
…And The Winner Is…
This decision is quite an easy pick today – the LG G5 is the clear-cut winner in this comparison. The Xperia Z5 Premium is a beautiful phone that is already dated because of its processor and it's very expensive to purchase. If you take away the Z5 Premium's display, which is rarely in the 4K mode, you have a well-built phone with IP68 water resistance that takes great pictures – but don't you want more?
The LG G5 is almost $200 cheaper, offers a QHD display all of the time, a much better processor, more RAM and more expandability in memory…up to 2TB, and it will work on all of the major US networks. The LG G5 sports a removable battery and its modular concept is fascinating and could prove to be very useful – more so than a display that responds to 4K. The LG G5 also takes excellent pictures with many more options and LG throws in an IR Blaster. With everything as good or in most cases better on the LG G5, and with a price tag of almost $200 cheaper, the LG G5 is the clear winner.