The Sony Xperia XZ Premium and the OnePlus 5 are among the best smartphones money can buy right now, which is why we’ve decided to compare them side-by-side to see which one represents more bang for your buck. As you probably already know, the devices ship with cutting-edge hardware and, represent the very best their respective vendors have to offer right now. They both also come with premium design, although, Sony’s strikingly good-looking flagship unquestionably steals a march over the relatively staid-looking handset from OnePlus. However, with both devices packing similar hardware and running pretty much the same version of Android, does the superior styling alone justify the premium price-tag? Let’s find out!
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
The Xperia XZ Premium is not only one of the best-looking smartphones on the market today, but also boasts of some truly impressive hardware that includes a 5.46-inch Triluminos IPS LCD display which comes with a 4K pixel resolution (3840 x 2160) and is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5. The device is powered by the Snapdragon 835 SoC that comes with the Adreno 540 GPU alongside an octa-core CPU with custom Kryo 280 cores. While four of those cores are clocked at 2.45GHz, the other four run at a maximum frequency of 2.19GHz. The device comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded by a microSD card of up to 256GB in capacity.
The rear-facing camera on the Xperia XZ Premium comes with a 19-megapixel sensor with 5-axis electronic image stabilization (EIS), PDAF and laser autofocus along with the customary LED flash. The camera has an f/2.0 aperture, 25mm focal length and a 1/2.3″ sensor size, and can record 4K videos at 30fps and 720p videos at an astonishing 960fps, although only for very short bursts of about 0.15 seconds. The front facing camera is a 13-megapixel sensor that can record 1080p videos at 30fps and, comes with an f/2.0 aperture, a 22mm focal length, a 1/3-inch sensor size and 1.12µm pixel size. The handset carries a non-removable 3,230mAh Li-ion battery with support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0, while cellular connectivity includes support for 4G LTE, 3G HSPA and 2G GSM standards. In terms of software, the device comes with pre-installed Android 7.1 Nougat and is likely to receive the Android O update going forward.
While the Xperia XZ Premium is a decent smartphone in general, you’ll need to remember one thing if you’re planning to buy the device in the U.S. Like its recent predecessors, it also misses out on the fingerprint scanner in its U.S. variants, so in spite of the hefty price-tag, the device doesn’t even offer a standard biometric sensor that’s become commonplace even in $100 handsets these days. On the positive side, the Xperia XZ Premium is fully waterproof and dust resistant like most Sony smartphones, and comes with an IP68 certification that means it can be submerged in up to 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes at a stretch without any damage. Another big plus is the inclusion of the 3.5mm audio port, even though you still get USB Type-C connectivity for charging and data syncing.
The OnePlus 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Chinese tech startup OnePlus. The device features a 5.5-inch 1080p Optic AMOLED screen protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC that comes with the Adreno 540 GPU and an integrated 64-bit CPU with eight custom Kryo cores. While four of the eight CPU cores are clocked at up to 2.4GHz, the other four are clocked a bit lower at 1.9GHz. The base version of the device comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, while the more premium version ships with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage.
The OnePlus 5 sports a dual-camera module on the back with gyro-based EIS and a dual-LED flash. While one of the cameras incorporates a 16-megapixel Sony sensor with an f/1.7 lens, the other one comes with a 20-megapixel sensor that’s paired with an f/2.6 telephoto lens. The front-facing camera on the OnePlus 5 also comes with a 16-megapixel sensor, but with 1.0μm pixels and a lens that has an f/2.0 aperture. As far as videos are concerned, while the front-facing camera can shoot 1080p videos at 30fps, the rear-facing module can actually shoot 4K videos at 30fps and full HD videos at up to 120fps. On the software side of things, the device comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat pre-installed in the form of Oxygen OS.
Connectivity features on the OnePlus 5 include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA and Bluetooth 5.0, while cellular connectivity includes support for 34 different frequency bands. The device also supports GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS, while sensors include a fingerprint scanner, an NFC chip, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a proximity sensor and a magnetometer. The device ships with a USB Type-C port for charging and data syncing, but also keeps the 3.5mm audio port for backwards compatibility with older headphones and audio systems. The OnePlus 5 carries a non-removable 3,300mAh battery and, measures 152.2mm in length, 74.1mm in width and 7.3mm in thickness while weighing in at 153 grams.
And The Winner Is …
The Final Word
Unless you’re living in the U.S., the Xperia XZ Premium is a great phone to buy. It comes with great hardware, stunning design, premium build and the latest software, making it an enviable proposition whichever way you look at it. Unfortunately for the device, however, it’s takes its name way too seriously, and demands a price-tag that’s just too exorbitant. The Galaxy S8 from Samsung is also priced in the same bracket, but it's price can be somewhat explained - if not fully justified - by features such as the Infinity Display, the DeX Station, as well as an iris scanner, whereas Sony is still trying to figure out how to bring back the fingerprint scanner to its U.S.-spec models. All things considered, the OnePlus 5, in spite of its imperfections, still represents a much better value proposition than its more fancied rival, which is why it comes out on top in our comparison today.