Do we have a good one for you today – the new LG V20 goes up against the new Sony Xperia XZ. The LG V20 is an all-metal device crafted from aircraft quality aluminum and the Sony sports an all-metal body with that familiar Sony 'look' to it. The new US version of the Xperia XZ does have the fingerprint sensor on the device but would need the firmware update from the UK version for it to work in the US. Let's see just what these two smartphones have in common and just how much they differ.
The LG V20 and the Sony Xperia XZ do have a few things in common. Both displays use the IPS LCD technology, but they use a different resolution and size – 5.7-inch on the V20 and 5.2-inch on the Xperia XZ. They both use 64-bit Snapdragon 820 processor and both use the same Adreno 530 GPU for the most intense graphics you can throw its way. They both have 32GB/64GB variants, and they both offer expandable memory. Both devices offer an excellent camera area, but they go about it in a different fashion. They both have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a Type-C reversible port 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.
Many users liked the original chiseled edges of the LG V10 as it gave it a more macho kind of look, but the new aircraft-grade aluminum gives the LG V20 a smoother and more elegant look. LG removed the silicone coated back and replaced it with silicone 'bumpers' at the top and bottom of the LG V20. The V20 still uses a dual display – a 5.7-inch primary display and smaller secondary display over the top, although it is much brighter this time around. The LG V20 does not contain modules like its cousin the LG G5 but is designed for those individuals that are interested in experimenting with photography or that want a device with a great sound through earphones.
Most people understand the concept of an 'always-on' display. Rather than go that route, LG decided to use two displays – a primary IPS Quantum QHD display that measures 5.7-inches with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 513 pixels-per-inch (PPI) as well as a secondary display that is a 1040 x 160-pixel display that is also 513 PPI. The secondary display will help save the battery by allowing the primary display to stay off while the smaller display stays on and feeds you your notifications. LG seriously brightened the secondary display this year making it easier to read the notifications, time, and date. The LG V20 uses a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores running at 1.6GHz and dual cores running at 2.15GHz. The LG V20 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 internal storage with room to expand.
The LG V20 uses a dual camera arrangement with a primary 16MP sensor from the LG G5 and another 8MP wide-angle lens that operates independently from the main camera. The V20 with use the 16MP for routine shots, but for those scenic shots or group family shots when you would like a wider view, the 8MP wide-angle can step in. LG included laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF,) added a large f/1.8 aperture on the primary camera and f/2.4 for the 8MP sensor, OIS, and a dual-tone LED flash. For the front-facing camera (FFC) LG decided to go back to a single 5MP FFC with a f/1.9 aperture for selfies or video chatting. The LG V20 packs a 3200mAh removable battery that should last you throughout the day. Quick Charge 3.0 makes for a fast charge, or you can just replace it with a new battery.
Another highlight of the LG V20 is in the sound design with four DACs (Digital-to-Analog Convertors), which is a first in a smartphone. LG then provided an EQ with left/right balance controls that are B&O Play certified. When they designed all of this high-tech sound gear, they forgot to add dual front-facing speakers to blow us away with their sound. However, if you get a good set of earphones, you can certainly appreciate the work that LG put into the V20. The LG V20 was given the MIL-STD-810G certification because of its rugged build. The V20 measures 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm and weighs in at 174 grams and cost about $670. The LG V20 is available in the colors Titan, Silver, and Pink. Last, but certainly not least, the LG V20 will be running Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box.
Sony Xperia XZ
Is it asking Sony too much to provide us with a QHD display, service on all major US networks, NFC, and a fingerprint sensor? The Xperia XZ did find its way to the US quicker than usual, but no fingerprint firmware that enables it to work in the US, nor on any networks that are not GSM – AT&T or T-Mobile – so that means no Verizon or Sprint customers can purchase one without flipping carriers. If you are brave enough to flash the UK firmware to the US Xperia XZ, you can use the fingerprint sensor in the US, provided you are on a GSM network. The Xperia XZ retains the new all-metal design, its unmistakable rectangle shape, and large top and bottom bezels. At a price of $699, it should have all of the bells and whistles – including a fingerprint sensor and the ability to work on all US networks. Why does Sony continue to make it so difficult for the US to use their devices?
The Sony Xperia XZ sports a slightly small 5.2-inch IPS FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 PPI. Sony did use the excellent 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz, but it packs only 3GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 64GB of expandable internal memory.
Sony incorporated its new 23MP Sony lens in the Xperia XZ with an aperture of f/2.0, 24mm angle, phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and laser autofocus, EIS (gyro) and LED flash. Could Sony's new electronic image stabilization, lead the way towards using OIS? Sony included a large 13MP FFC with a f/2.0, 22mm to give you great selfies or video chats. The Xperia XZ is packing a 2900mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0 to provide a rapid charge.
Besides the basic look of a Sony smartphone, the Xperia XZ continues the tradition of its IP68 certification for dust and water resistance. Another Sony trademark are the good sounds it produces with its Hi-Res audio and its dual front-facing stereo speakers – something the LG V20 is sorely lacking. The XZ measures 146 x 72 x 8.1MM and weighs in at 161 grams. It comes in Mineral Black, Platinum, Forest Blue, or Deep Pink. Sony is asking $699 for its newest flagship.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
This was an easy selection – the LG V20 is the winner of this comparison. For less money, you get a larger display, a QHD display, and the secondary display for notifications. You get more RAM, more camera options, 4 DAC for terrific sound, B&O Play certified, IR Blaster, FM radio, a removable battery, MIL-STD-810G certified – not to mention it is running Android Nougat out of the box.
The Sony Xperia XZ does have the IP68 dust and water certification and the dual front-facing stereo speakers, but it does not have a fingerprint sensor for the US version, and it will only work on GSM networks – AT&T or T-Mobile. There is no compelling reason to spend more money on the Xperia XZ and receive fewer specs and options.