Sony Xperia Tablet Z vs Google Nexus 10

by: Mike AndriciFebruary 27, 2013

Sony Xperia Tablet Z vs Google Nexus 10 aa 600px (4)

Android is doing very well in the smartphone market and leading in the OS wars, but up until recently, Google’s mobile operating system failed to impress many tablet customers. In this battle we have 2 of the current best Android tablets pinned up against each other to see which is superior.

The Google Nexus 7, manufactured by ASUS, was one of the first Android tablets that actually sold well, primarily thanks to its impressive bang for buck ratio. Unfortunately for Google though, the high-end Nexus 10, a device manufactured by Samsung, is not selling nearly as well, despite the fact that it features some amazing hardware and an attractive price tag.

Then we have Sony, who’s product lineup for the first half of 2013 includes, besides the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL, the high-end Xperia Tablet Z.

Can the Sony Xperia Tablet Z succeed where the Google Nexus 10 fell short? Or is the latter still the current king of 10-inch Android tablets? We’ll address this question in detail before we reach our conclusion, and we’ll do that by dividing this article into four equally important sections: display, design and build quality, internal hardware, and Android implementation.


The Sony Xperia Tablet Z has a 10.1 inch LED-backlit LCD that runs at 1920 by 1080 pixel resolution (also known as full HD or 1080p) and features a 224 PPI. The overall quality of the display on the Xperia Tablet Z is very good. However, its opponent features the best display currently available on a tablet.

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The Google Nexus 10 uses a 10.1-inch Super PLS display that runs at the whopping resolution of 2560 x 1600 and showcases a pixel density of 299. Consuming media, browsing the web, or playing a graphically intense game are all areas where the Google Nexus 10 display outshines any competition.

Verdict: The Google Nexus 10 features the best display available on an Android tablet.

Design and Build Quality

Many high-end mobile devices these days tend to adopt sort of an aggressive look, but the Google Nexus 10 is not one such tablet. Instead, the 10-inch tablet features very rounded corners and a body made out of rubbery plastic that make the tab seem more like a toy, a friendly device that anyone can come to like.

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The Google Nexus 10 measures 263.9 x 177.6 x 8.9 mm (10.39 x 6.99 x 0.35 in) and weighs 603 g (1.33 lb); it’s not the most compact tablet around, but we think most people will be okay with it.

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z measures 266 x 172 x 6.9 mm (10.47 x 6.77 x 0.27 in) and weighs in at 495 g (1.09 lb), meaning that it is noticeably slimmer and lighter than most competitors. The Tablet Z follows a totally different design language. Personally, I think that its aggressive, edgy design and sleek build make the Sony Xperia Tablet Z the better looking of our two contenders. Add the fact that the Tablet Z is dustproof and waterproof, and you get a new standard for high-end 10-inch Android tablets.

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Verdict: The Sony Xperia Z is slimmer, lighter, and dustproof / waterproof.

Internal Hardware


The Tablet Z is based on the same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset that you can find in Sony’s two other high-end devices of this spring, the Xperia Z and the Xperia ZL. The 1.5GHz quad-core Krait processor, Adreno 320 GPU, and 2 GB of RAM are more than enough for almost anything you can throw at it.

However, the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual chipset inside the Google Nexus 10 has been proven to be a little bit faster, especially at the GPU level. The 1.7 GHz dual-core Cortex A15 chipset and Mali T604 GPU are paired with 2 GB to make up one of the fastest chipsets currently available in the Android Universe.


Internal Storage, Data Radio

Although both the Google Nexus 10 and the Sony Xperia Tablet Z come with either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, only the latter can be extended with a microSD card (of up to 64 GB in size).

Furthermore, the Google Nexus 10 is currently available with Wi-Fi only, while the Sony Xperia Tablet Z also comes in a version that can run on LTE networks (depending on the region), as well as HSPA connections.


The Google Nexus 10 is the Android device with the biggest battery that we currently know of: a 9000 mAh beast that does all the hard work of powering up all those pixels and that power hungry A15 processor.

In the other corner, the Sony Xperia Z only uses a 6000 mAh battery, but given that we’re talking about a 6.9 mm thick (or is that thin?) device, some are willing to let this slide.

Verdict: The Google Nexus 10 is the faster of the two, but lacks microSD and cellular connectivity.

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Android Version

As most of you guys well know, Google’s Nexus devices are the first ones to receive new Android updates (usually, all Nexus devices are updated to the new Android version in less than a week following the official announcement of a new Android flavor). The Nexus 10 makes no exception to this rule, as it is currently running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and is expected to be updated to Key Lime Pie as soon as the new version comes out.

In the other corner, Sony (just like most other Android manufacturers) is not a company that’s renowned for speedy Android updates, although there are signs of improvements in this section for the Japanese company. Currently, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Another noticeable difference is that the Google Nexus 10 uses the stock (vanilla) Android UI, while the Sony Xperia Tablet Z runs on Sony’s proprietary user interface, one that doesn’t really bring any noticeable improvements to the UI, but is used mostly as a marketing move.

Verdict: The Nexus 10 wins this round thanks to the priority at which it will receive new Android versions in the future.

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Hands-on video


Make no mistake about it: these are the two best Android tablets currently on the market.

However, although although the Sony Xperia Tablet Z features a very impressive design (probably the single best looking Android tablet out there) and top-end hardware, the fact remains that the Google Nexus 10 is the undisputed king of the Android tablet space: blazing fast Exynos 5 Dual chipset, ultra high resolution display, and vanilla Android (flavored with the promise of timely Android updates).

Another thing that you should take into consideration is that the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is more expensive than the Google Nexus 10, although availability for the latter was found to be an issue as well, as was the case with all of Google’s Nexus that were launched during 2012.

What do you guys make of this battle? Is the design enough to make the Sony Xperia Tablet Z preferable to the Google Nexus 10? Or are the hardware specs of the latter just too good to pass on? Share your vision via the comment section below!

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  • I suspect that tablet from Sony has a potential dealbreaker with the battery life, but I want to be wrong here.

    • Jordan Anderson

      I agree. Lower battery life with a higher price tag, and slower Android updates seems to me like a bad combo. I think the Sony looks sexy and the dust/waterproof feature is very attractive, but I cant help but think that after countless times unplugging and re-plugging the covers over the headphone jack ect, how waterproof will it really be? And even if this feature doesnt ware out, its still only good for up to one meter of depth. Again I really think Sony has something here, Im just not personally convinced that it beats the Nexus 10.

      • alex podolinsky

        actually, in battery tests, the sony battery lasted longer

  • where is camera comprasion ?

  • Joshuab

    Seriously; what is the point of the comparison …

    The preferred version of the Nexus 10 ( i.e. the 32 GB because 16 GB is a pathetically to small joke storage space were quality internet access is guaranteed ) … Nexus 10 has not been available in Australia since a couple of hours after launch, given I tried to buy it on opening day and several times since.

    If the Sony is made readily available at various retail outlet in a reasonable price range ( say that of the Samsung Note 10.1 ) then IMHO the Sony is superior to the dreamy performance of the Nexus 10, because currently the Nexus 10 is just that, a mystical dream machine not available to the market and hence does not exist.


    • tBs_Battousai

      here’s hoping that whoever makes the next nexus 10 makes enough to go around!!

  • The screen resolution for the Xperia Tablet Z is 1920*1280. So it is 1200p not 1080p. You did have the PPI correct because it is 224.

  • Tigon

    Wait a minute gsmarena have the xperia tablet z benchmarks up and on all the tests Google nexus 10 is way behind the tablet z?

    • sxs

      yes, you are quite right.
      Actually, for some time now AndroidAuthority has become “SamsungAuthority”.
      be it whatever from Samsung, its always on top for “SamsungAuthority”.

      examples can be seen in ALL their articles.

      • ufa_uffa

        read this, I wonder if that’s gonna be mentioned…!msg/mobile/VFYnt7uN9d0/JpZ-WiVVVQcJ

    • No doubt on that, Z was only 1920×1200 resolution where Nexus 10 was 2560×1600 resolution. The extra resolution need more powerful processor + GPU to handle it. Which such high resolution, Nexus 10 still can perform such performance was brilliant and proof how powerful the processor+GPU are.

      • Flad R

        but Qualcomm krait, S4 pro is more powerfl then Exynos 5 Dual!

  • mark

    One massive downside of the Sony having got one is that I am unable to download videos to the device and only have the option to stream them. So what is the point of having expandible memory when you can’t even use it!? Really wish I’d bought a samsung tab now as on my s4 its so easy to do this as it gives you the option to this or stream the video when you click on it. No such luck with the poor sony unfortunately