Quick look: Sony Xperia Z1 vs. LG G2

by: Brad WardSeptember 10, 2013

Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2_ Quick Look

Featuring a Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a wicked camera, the Sony Xperia Z1 is one impressive device, perhaps one of the best devices we’ve seen in years. But just how well does it fare against the recently released LG G2?

The Xperia Z1 and LG G2 are actually very similar in hardware, both featuring the Snapdragon 800 processing package. Beyond that, though, they’re two very different devices.

Let’s take a closer look, shall we? If you’re in a rush, jump straight to the video, otherwise, stick with us as we dig deeper into these two wicked performers.

Design and build quality

sony xperia z1 aa 2

Keeping with it’s tried and true design language, Sony made the Xperia Z1 out of solid aluminum, and then took it a step further by covering it in a layer of glass. It goes without saying, it’s a sturdy and well built device, but it’s also really stylish. However, it’s important to keep in mind that glass breaks easily, so drops could potentially be fatal.

LG G2 Review Hands On

In the other hand, we have the LG G2, sporting the traditional polycarbonate unibody. Of course, that’s not to say that this device isn’t well built. On the contrary, it feels really durable, and it’s probably not going to break at first fall.

The LG G2 is just 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9mm and 140 grams. The Xperia Z1 is 144 x 74 x 8.5mm and 170 grams.

The G2 is 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9mm and 140 grams. The Xperia Z1 is 144 x 74 x 8.5mm and 170 grams.

Verdict: Both phones are very well built, and they both look very stylish, but we’ve got to hand it to Sony; it’s hard to beat the sheer quality of the Xperia Z1.


sony xperia z1 aa 4

The Sony Xperia Z1 in all its colorful glory.

Sony’s Xperia Z1 features an impressive 5-inch Full HD LCD display with Triluminos and X-Reality technology. The screen is capable of 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, rated at a whopping 440 ppi. The Xperia Z1 has great viewing angles, and the colors really pop out. The brightness levels is also really impressive in this handset.


The LG G2 has a 5.2-inch Full HD IPS LCD display capable of 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, rated at an impressive 424ppi. The G2’s viewing angles are decent, and thanks to the IPS display, brightness levels are above average. Colors don’t pop as much as they do in the Z1, but they’re still enjoyable.

Verdict: On paper, the Xperia Z1 and LG G2’s display’s are fairly similar, but the Xperia Z1 pulls out the trump card with the TRILUMINOS and X-Reality technology.


sony xperia z1 aa 27

Sony’s Xperia Z1 sports a 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS CMOS image sensor with G Lens (27mm wide angle and F2.0 aperture). Sony is well known for producing great cameras, but the optics in this smartphone are wicked sweet. There’s also a huge selection of modes to assist you in getting that perfect shot, and taking full advantage of the great sensor.

At the time of this writing, it isn’t likely that you’ll find a better smartphone camera in the Android world. We weren’t able to do a whole lot of testing, but from what we can tell, picture quality if fantastic, color reproduction is amazing, and the sensor is able to capture a great amount of detail.


Looking at the LG G2, we have 13-megapixel camera optics with OIS functionality (Optical image stabilization). The G2’s camera is one of the most impressive smartphone camera’s we’ve seen in a long time. You can hear about it in our full review of the device, but in short, picture quality is fantastic, and OIS functionality helps take the G2’s optics above the average smartphone camera.

Verdict: The LG G2 has an impressive camera — it’s no slouch, that’s for sure, but it certainly is hard to beat Sony’s 20.7-megapixel optics with the G Lens. The Xperia Z1 wins this round.


sony xperia z1 lg g2 aa 8

The Sony Xperia Z1 features an impressive non-removable 3,000 mAh battery. It’ll easily get you through the work day and probably beyond. If you find that it’s just not enough juice to get you through the day, Sony has a bevy of power saving functions to help you eek out that last little bit of juice until you can reach a charger.

In the other corner, we have the LG G2 with its non-removable 3,000 mAh battery. The G2’s battery should last longer than the Xperia Z1’s, mainly because the LG G2 isn’t running TRILUMINOS and X-Reality technology. Either way, if you’re running out of juice, LG does have some power saving features in there for you.

Verdict: Given the fact that the Xperia Z1 and LG G2 both sport a 3,000 mAh unit, it’s a tie.


sony xperia z1 lg g2 aa 7

Under the hood of the Xperia Z1 is a Snapdragon 800 processor clocked in at 2.2GHz, backed by the Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB of onboard storage, but there is a microSD card slot in the case that you need more storage. Beyond that, it has IP55 and IP58 certifications for water and dust resistance.

LG G2 Review

As for the LG G2, it’s also running a Snapdragon 800 processor, only it’s clocked at 2.26GHz. Similarly, it features an Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM. It comes in 16 and 32GB variations, but what really makes this a disappointment is its lack of a microSD card slot.

Verdict: The Sony Xperia Z1 has microSD card slot, allowing for a lot more storage than what the G2 offers. It also one ups the LG G2 with Sony’s iconic water and dust resistance ratings. The Xperia Z1 wins.


sony xperia z1 aa 10

On the software side of things, Sony really doesn’t go all out here. In fact, the Xperia Z1’s UI is reminiscent of stock Android, taking on the theme of Ice Cream Sandwich. Beyond that, you have a few useful preloaded apps, it’s running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and you also have Small Apps, which are basically app overlays for things like calculator or calendar.

The LG G2 sports useful features like KnockOn, Answer Me, Plug & Pop, and Guest Mode, which can be pretty handy if you want to show off your new device to your buddies, but you don’t want them going through all of your stuff. Similar to the Z1, the LG G2 is running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

Verdict: The Sony Xperia Z1 and LG G2 are probably on the same level in terms of software. Both have beautiful UI’s and sport useful features. It’s a tie.

Hands-on Video

Wrap Up

It goes without saying, the Sony Xperia Z1 is a wicked device — perhaps one of the best devices we’ve seen in the Android realm in years. With a Snapdragon 800 processor and a stunning 20.7-megapixel sensor, it’s going to be really hard to pass this one up.

However, the LG G2 is no slouch either. It also features a Snapdragon 800 processor, and a great OIS enabled 13-megapixel camera. Click here to see the full LG G2 Specs. It may not have the wicked optics in the Xperia Z1, but it still takes some really nice pictures.

Which one is for you?

  • David Williams

    “Xperia Z1 pulls out the trump card with the TRILUMINOS and X-Reality technology.”

    Nobody says anything about what these are, how can they be considered trump cards?

    • Ivan Budiutama

      If you have tried the XZU, you will understand.

      • David Williams

        Thats kind of my point, reviews and comparisons based on assumptions are pointless to most readers.

      • le_lutin

        “Try it, you will understand” isn’t much of a review.

        How about you explain, then I understand?

        • Ivan Budiutama

          XZU is the first handset on Sony that use triluminos display and x-reality after the tech sites reviewer on XZ and XZL poor viewing angle and outdoor screen “performance”. During which, I heard the triluminos the technology that is supposed to be implemented on Sony’s HD TV, Then I am starting to get very curious and ran over the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NvcOdMXG7I
          Long story short, it was Sony’s answer to the complain on the screen. However, being a very skeptical man (especially after disappointment on XZ and XZL 13 MP camera performance which IMHO is a bit too “ordinary” not amazing as what I expect from the slogan “The best of Sony in smartphone”) I don’t really getting to excited about the implementation of Triluminos and X-Reality tech. Fortunately, my friend got one XZU right after the launch, and after about 1 hour of usage, I must say the Triluminos display really upgrade the screen output, it produces a very crisp, sharp pictures, the viewing angle is getting better too, although 720p movie really don’t perform well, the 1080p movies are extra ordinary and amazing. I don’t really sure about the X-Reality, but XZU display is a huge leap upgrade IMHO.
          Yes, I am still skeptical about Z1’s Camera, I hope I am wrong, because I indeed plan on getting Z1, if the camera is actually as good as promised.

          • le_lutin

            Thank you.

  • Lin

    This website has an obsession with versing everything.

    • Ryan Castle

      When you’re buying a smartphone, you have to compare just about everything in the market (Unless you’re an iPhone user, then you only choose between iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

  • brendan soliwoda

    Now, this is a fight I’ve wanted to see. A comparison of between the two arguably greatest android handsets on the market today.Either one of these phones is going to be my next smartphone, but I’m definitely favoring Sony right now more than LG.

    • le_lutin

      May I ask why. I only ask because I’m choosing between the two myself.

      • Craigus

        I’m in the same boat, and leaning towards the Sony too. My reason is the SD Card expansion, with the waterproof thing and almost Stock Android being a bonus.

        • le_lutin

          Agreed. To me though, the g2 looks a bit sleeker. It’s lighter, smaller, and yet it has a bigger screen. From what I’ve read, too, the screen is of higher quality (viewing angles not great on the z1).

          The lg also seems cheaper by some margin (about £100 difference off-contract)

          Will have to wait until the proper reviews of the z1 come out, but if its camera is far better, then i’ll be very, very tempted.

          • lil bit

            This article itself says Z1 has great viewing angles and G2 “decent”. Plus the color difference, sounds like Sony has the far better display here.

          • Drizzle

            This article is very biased. You should get your info elsewhere.

      • lil bit

        Dont worry about the G2, its not gonna be available for most of us anytime soon. Then add software updates, what version is G Pro currently running again? Oh, its 4.1, surprise surprise. Heck, Optimus G barely came off 4.0 at all, only in Korea did they update kinda “early” (but still late), the international ones kept waiting for ever. Subpar performance on updates for sure, LG need to prove they have stopped this horrible behavior. Not buying anything from them, when you want a newer android they instead give you a “value pack” that they copied from Samsung, bloat and crap mixed together, it simply cannot get worse.

  • siber storm

    Jesus Christ how amateur has this site gotten? Or has it always been like this? The Z1 does NOT have Super AMOLED. It has a cheap LCD display that’s not even IPS. and the viewing angles are awful for a mobile. How the hell can you say the Z1 has superior viewing angles than the IPS panel on the G2? That’s just sheer fact when it comes to LCD technologies that IPS has the best viewing angles. Are you blind to how terrible the Z1 looks off-angle? And you are actually touting the X-reality and Triluminos as brownie points in this showdown? It’s just stupid image processing that KILLS detail, causes black clipping and color clipping, and turns video into a blocky mess. All these cookie cutter me-too low budget blogs with no attention to detail, churning out posts for the sake of numbers and revenue, is really awful. Good thing I have adblockplus.

    • adgga

      says who ? who are you to judge ?

    • fdre

      amoled is wrong but to say cheap triluminos isn’t right. it’d be stupid for sony to use that proprietary quantum tubes for a cheap panel.

      yes, some z1 displays are awful. they don’t have the same displays but i think the triluminos ones are really good.

      still, i’m not yet fully convinced that z1’s display is better than g2’s. or could it be a problem with the wallpaper used?

      • slut

        GA posted a 7 page preview of Z1, the contrast was found to be an amazing 1513, and they were very pleased with the colors. Some contrast loss on extreme viewing angles but surely nothing that affects usage in any way.

  • James Sarino

    As cool as the specs on the Xperia Z1, it just seems so much bigger than the G2. I guess it’s due to the way the bezels on the top and bottom look on the Z1, but at least on the G2, LG took more advantage of the real estate and squeezed out a slightly larger screen on a “shorter” frame.

    • lil bit

      Its an unfortunate sideeffect of the aluminum frame, its simply too big, extends far outside the glass panels. Xperia Z use another material and a thinner frame, the glass panels are about the same size but the frame do not protrude nearly as much, making it smaller.

  • Sergio

    I’ll go with the LG G2 any day!… I really dislike Sony products almost as I dislike Apple. Well no, I take that back, I hate Sony even more than Apple. All my babied Sony products in the past have seen a premature death for one reason or another, and none my fault. Glass you say? Nah, you might as well put a mirror on it and sell it to my sis.

    • Sergioisawhore

      Why you hate Sony? because of what? because Sony is caught up with Samsung? a brand that LG Copied almost everything? Sony is pursuing with Innovation not pursuing with Innovation of others.Bitch MTF…

      • ecbamboo

        “You are a top notch idiot”. Every OEM copies from each other from Apple yes Apple, Samsung, LG, Sony the lot. And FYI, LG has had innovations after innovation ranging from it’s LCD screens, flexible screens. TV’s, home appliances to name a few. LG is the largest IPS LCD supplier/manufacturer in the world. Shall I continue? Don’t just sit in your little bedroom and post such none-sense like a faithful ship.

        • 26

          Yes, mostly I have LG’s products at home. From tv, refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioning and also my LGO G.

          What I have to say is LG produces the right things in the right specs and price than others.

          • weed

            Haha, LG aircon and refrigerators are so poor quality, their compressors are cheap and inferior Matsushita copies, and the exact same is true for Samsung, degrades fast and becomes noisy. I have seen enough Korean surplus aircon units exported used to Philippines to know this. Very inferior cooling tech, Philippine made aircons using Japanese Matsushita compressors last forever and run quiet even after 5 years.

        • Sergio

          @c6f8405ea6a763fdc767f0b2845e8cf6:disqus You are the idiot by not been able to discern who made the “feature copying” comment, clearly IT WAS NOT ME!. I only said I dislike Sony products because every Sony product I’ve owned have died prematurely!

      • Sergio

        Wow, you wen’t through the hassle of creating a fake email and fake username to defend Sony? Now tell me, who’s the whore now?


  • Petraeus

    ”Sony’s Xperia Z1 features an impressive 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display with Triluminos and X-Reality technology.”

    Come on Brad

    • najiy91

      brad,fix it.

    • Hattori

      Since when SONY has become SAMSUNG?

    • Mastermind

      Yeah come on Bradley . . .

    • Itsarapong Intoum

      Oh They’re fushion !

    • I apologize for that. Originally I thought I was writing up a Note 3 vs LG G2 article, and realized it was supposed to be the Z1 vs G2. Apparently I missed something in there — sorry about that, it’s all fixed now.

      • TechChunks.com

        And since when the Note 3 comes with a 5-inch screen? LOL

  • fdre

    did you happen to get a good version of the xperia z1? some z1s with poor viewing angles as pointed out on eprice.com.tw.


    I like both of these phones but I prefer the G2 a little bit more they are very close and even with the 13mp camera on the G2 it takes great pictures comparable to the Z1. I will try them both in person before making up my final decision.

    • lil bit

      My take on this is that they both take more than good enough pics in good light, it doesnt matter much which one is slightly better under perfect conditions. Let it rain or low light or both, now we need the full camera performance to get the best possible result, i think the Z1 wins here, both for its ability to be out in the rain and its bigger sensors low light performance and advanced postprocessing. LG G2 is ok as a sunshine phone but thats not even close to my reality. I have taken pics outdoors in tropical rainshowers with Xperia Z, thats a pretty extreme condition, and it did great, and Z1 will do much better, S4 and G2 and Lumia 1020 will stay inside those days.

      You buy winter tires for your car based on how well they do on snow and ice, not their performance on dry asphalt.

      • ShadoW-036

        Well said.

        For the record, im going for the Sony too.
        Although i have heard some stories about breaking glass (Sony Xperia Z). so….

  • Christian

    SONY Z1- “However, it’s important to keep in mind that glass breaks easily, so drops could potentially be fatal”

    LG G2 – “it’s probably not going to break at first fall”

    LG also has a glass front right (screen)? how are you sure it falls at its back every time (it falls) making it not “break at first fall”?

    • Ryan Kosior

      Because the back of the Z1 is made of glass as well, and combine that with aluminum and that makes it considerably more prone to breaking from a fall.

      • 26

        LGO G had it earlier.

  • Ryan Kosior

    You basically say that the Z1 is more prone to breaking from a fall, and then you say that the design is superior? That doesn’t make sense. I’d rather take a phone that’s plastic and will survive a few accidental falls over looking pretty. Not to mention the Z1 is considerably larger and heavier for a phone with a smaller screen. And why is the microusb slot on the side? That’s just silly.

    And then you say that the Z1 basically doesn’t have anything to make it stand out in regards to software, while the G2 has quite a few uniquely useful feature. Then you say it’s a tie? Umm, how?

    • fdre

      the sony design has better resistance to breakage from getting dropped because the glass is enclosed by the metallic frame. the lg g2 has its glass unprotected. once it drops on the sides, the glass immediately gets in contact with the ground, causing instant cracks.

      this has been proven by the xz. the “lip” of the xz protects the glass. there’s a youtube demo for that. a somewhat tall sony rep dropped the xz to the ceramic tiled floor. g2’s design is similar to samsung’s so it’s going to suffer the same tendency to easily break when dropped.

  • andrew

    The Sony looks classier but finger marks are going to be an ongoing problem on the black version.
    LG not having an SD card for 60fps video recording is a major f..kup.
    LG has a larger screen on a smaller, lighter and more ergonomic body.
    LG’s G2 in Australia will be $699, whereas I have seen a price quoted for the Z1 at $1150. I would suggest $899 might be closer to the mark.
    I like LG’s UI but I could live with either.
    Will ‘Kit-Kat’ Android version 4.4 see the light of day on either phone?
    LG will probably get my money this time. Everthing else at home is currently Sony and has been without problems.

  • luis araiza

    i like both phones but im gonna choice LG G2

  • Randz

    My current phone is the LG Optimus G PRO, with a beautiful, bright, sharp IPS screen.. Im sure the LG G2 is even superior than the LG Optimus G PRO ! screen, size and weight and camera! The UI is really nice also! Im going with a LG G2( im coming from several Samsung Phones over the years.(Captivate, S2, S2 skyrocket,Note 1, S3, and HTC one).

  • Spixel

    Your VERSUS video contradicts what’s written regarding the display’s colour popability . And I think its very clear from the video that the LG G2 has a better display.

  • Mohammed

    Xperia Z1 has TFT LCD but not AMOLED ! Mr. Brad u should know what you are talking about..don’t provide wrong information .

  • Rooney-

    Seems like the writer of the article is biased towards sony. I agree Z1 is the best camera phone in android. having said that, g2’s camera is no less. Mr. Brad you should know the full details before writing an article. How can you say that ips display of lg is inferior without concluding about triluminious display ??

    • fdre

      he didn’t say it’s inferior. he just likes triluminos with the xreality. xreality does some upscaling to make poor quality videos look better. the same tech used on sony tvs.

  • abrahavt

    I will wait and see what the Nexus 5 will bring to the table before making a decision. From what I have heard it will all the specs of the 2 phones above without the crappy UI skins.

  • jamie

    C’mon sony, you could have made those bezels smaller! or at least used a larger screen 5.2″ or 5.3″.

  • fdre

    they have the same batteries but the g2 has a slightly bigger display so the z1 may last a little longer.

    • YoungHermit

      But the G2 has GRAM…Sorry I’m a bit late :P

  • MonkeyK

    Why does 170g vs 140g not figure into the comparison?

    • lil bit

      Because not many girls read these articles? Note 2, Desire Z, N900, all are 180 above, never bothered me.

  • Sandy

    Mr Brad, totally Biased Article, Very Very bad…pls dont spoil your reputation ! there are so many sources on web that G2 can capture better picures than Z1 and its ips hd display is way far better than z1 display…. in all sections you have clearly highlighted sony sony sony….ROFL did they paid you well :P

    • Drizzle

      The bias totally pissed me off in this one. HORRIBLE!

    • The Loyalist

      Sources? Give me some reviews saying that! Let me give some examples from Z1 in daylight: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alv1nw/sets/72157635506413882/

      Just because you like the G2 don’t judge others personal opinions.

      I can give you some fantastic low-lights where the G2 is absolutely killed and the Z1 actually performs close to 925 and 1020

  • R2-D3

    I want the Sony Xperia Z1. But I will end up getting the LG G2 because none of my cell phone carriers carry the Z1. :-(
    I don’t have the cash to buy an unsubsidized version.

  • Vats

    Still Z1 lags IR Blaster