Do we have a good one for you today – the Sony Xperia XZ takes on the OnePlus 3T. Both smartphones use an all-metal design, although the OnePlus 3T would get the nod in looks. Sony still does not understand how to market a smartphone in the US and left off the firmware to activate the fingerprint sensor – and it will only work on AT&T and T-Mobile. The OnePlus 3T is identical in looks to the OP3, only the insides have been improved, and this combo makes for a great device. Let's see just what these two smartphones have in common and just how much they differ.
The Sony Xperia XZ and OnePlus 3T do have a few things in common, including physical size with the OP3T just slightly larger and weighing in at only 3 grams heavier. The displays are close – Xperia XZ at 5.2-inches and the OP3T at 5.5-inches – and they use the same Full HD resolution but different technology. Both use Gorilla Glass for screen protection against scratches and drops. They both use a Snapdragon 820 or 821 variant (OP3T) and an Adreno 530 GPU for superior graphics. Both have a 64GB internal memory option, but only the Xperia XZ allows for expansion. The camera areas are both terrific, but they use a very different means to achieve their results. They both use non-removable batteries, although the OP3T has a much larger capacity, and both offer rapid charge capabilities. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and the newer Type-C reversible port for charging and data transfer.
Please take a thoughtful 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 XZ
The Sony Xperia XZ retains all of the newer and some older Sony characteristics – the new all-metal design, its unmistakably the Sony rectangle shape, and it must have large top and bottom bezels. The Xperia XZ did find its way to the US quicker than usual. So fast that Sony forgot to include the fingerprint firmware, that enables it to work in the US. Sony still only covers GSM networks – AT&T or T-Mobile – so that means no Verizon or Sprint customers without jumping carriers. However, at a price of $699, it should have all of these features already built into the device.
The Sony Xperia XZ sports a small 5.2-inch IPS Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a respectable 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Sony did choose the excellent 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz, but then uses only 3GB of DDR4 RAM and added 32GB or 64GB of expandable internal memory.
Sony loves to show off a great camera and they redid the camera area in the Xperia XZ and included its new 23MP Sony lens with an aperture of f/2.0, 24mm angle, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), and laser autofocus, EIS (gyro), and LED flash. Sony included a large 13MP front-facing camera (FFC) with a f/2.0, 22mm to give you great selfies or video chats. The Xperia XZ packs a 2900mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0 to provide you with a rapid charge.
The Xperia XZ continues some traditions a Sony smartphone by keeping its IP68 certification for dust and water resistance. Sony also continues its excellent sound from its Hi-Res audio and its dual front-facing stereo speakers. It makes a great listening experience while watching a movie or YouTube video. It would be nice if Sony rounded the sides and back and lightened up on the bezels. 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.
Many people are scratching their heads and asking themselves why did OnePlus 'upgrade' their OP3 so soon? The OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T are identical except for a subtle color change to a Gunmetal color, a slightly faster processor (10-percent), a larger battery (3000mAh to 3400mAh), a better primary camera, and changes in storage capacity. The changes are certainly an improvement over the OP3 – a larger battery or better camera are always nice to have. Maybe OnePlus wanted to beat the holiday sales rather than wait until the usual spring launch date. We are looking at an all-metal device that has excellent build quality, but how does it hold up to the Sony Xperia XZ?
OnePlus is another company seems to follow Sony in their quest to keep away from QHD displays and the OnePlus 3T does not deviate from the path of Full HD. It does sport the OnePlus 3T's new 5.5-inch FHD Optic AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 PPI. The new AMOLED display offers much better color contrasts than the old LCD panel and is a step in the right direction. Although OnePlus used the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor for their OP3 they decided to up the stakes here on the OnePlus 3T to include the new Snapdragon 821 with the same sized dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz and running an Adreno 530 GPU for excellent graphics. OnePlus then packed in a full 6GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 non-expandable internal storage, although you can now order 128GB of internal memory.
OnePlus has done a great job upgrading the camera area on the original OP3 and now, again, on the new OnePlus 3T by using a new 16MP sensor, with fast PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), LED Flash, a large f/2.0 aperture, and they threw in OIS for extra stability. The FFC camera increased from 8MP to an incredible 16MP with a f/2.0 aperture for terrific social selfies and video chatting. The OnePlus 3T has a non-removable battery that jumped to 3400mAh in size that includes their rapid charge they call Dash Charge that will give you up to a 60-percent charge in only 30 minutes.
OnePlus decided that it is okay to include both a fingerprint sensor and NFC chip on their devices starting with the OnePlus 3, and thankfully, it carried over that decision to the OnePlus 3T. This finally allows the device to make mobile payments and Android Pay purchases with a swipe of your finger. It runs mostly stock Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out-of-the-box with OnePlus' OS called OxygenOS on top with the promise of Nougat to come. The OnePlus 3T measures 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm and weighs in at 158 grams. It will cost you about $450 USD for the 6GB/64GB model. There is a choice of Gunmetal now, and Soft Gold is to come out in December.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
This selection was an easy one this time around – the OnePlus 3T is the clear winner in this comparison. It has a nicer build, larger AMOLED display, faster processor, more DDR4 RAM, bigger battery, DashCharge, a fingerprint sensor that works, an excellent camera area, and the North American model that will work on all US networks. No, there is no room for expansion, nor IP68 certification, but for $450 for 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory you are getting quite a bargain.
The Sony's only has an IP68 certification and the ability to expand memory in its favor. It has a smaller LCD display, slower processor, less RAM, and no fingerprint sensor to merely unlock the device or authorize mobile payments. None of those features and they have the nerve to charge $700.