Xperia Z1 vs Xperia Z Ultra display comparison shows surprising result

September 27, 2013
A comparison between the display of the Xperia Z1 and that of the Xperia Z Ultra reveals a big difference in the viewing angles of the two screens.

xperia z1 xperia z ultra display comparison (5)

Sony made a big deal of the quality of the displays it put on its two latest flagship devices, the Xperia Z Ultra and the Xperia Z1.

Both devices feature crisp and bright Full HD displays that are enhanced by two technologies developed in-house by Sony, Triluminos and the X-Reality engine.

Put simply, Triluminos is a technology that allows LCD displays to show a wider range of colors, while X-Reality sharpens and removes noise from videos and images. For more info, check out our in-depth explanation of the two technologies.

A user of the Chinese technology forum Digi-Wo (via Xperia Blog) got their hands on an Xperia Z1 and an Xperia Z Ultra and put them side by side for a display comparison.

When viewed from the front, the two displays offer similar levels of brightness and color intensity. However, there’s a stark difference in terms of viewing angles, as you can see for yourself from the image gallery below.

xperia z1 xperia z ultra display comparison (1)

xperia z1 xperia z ultra display comparison (2)

xperia z1 xperia z ultra display comparison (3)

xperia z1 xperia z ultra display comparison (4)

xperia z1 xperia z ultra display comparison (6)

xperia z1 xperia z ultra display comparison (5)

According to the Chinese forum user, the difference is supposedly due to the fact that the Xperia Z1 has a Vertical Alignment (VA) type of LCD, which has poorer viewing angles compared to the In Plane Switching (IPS) LCD on the Xperia Z Ultra.

It may be that Sony is using displays from two suppliers, as this XDA thread seems to suggest, but we have no way to confirm this for now.

We’ve asked Sony to specify the type of display it uses on the Xperia Z1 and we’ll update this post with any information we receive.

Comments

  • Vines

    Disappointed.

    • Gilles LeBlanc

      “Happy” Z Ultra is my target but I agree regarding Z1.

      • MasterMuffin

        It’s the best ~6″ tablet around :D

    • 8Charlie

      Exaggeration, I have the Z1 and it’s hardly noticeable. Unless I have a good screen type or whatever. But the screen fades a little when it’s tilted, tilted a lot. You might actually notice this 5% of the time.

    • Leonardo Rojas

      This can be part of a campain against Sony, who knows. I’m not worried not moved at all. (I may get the Z1 -or the Note 3- if the XZU is not available from my carrier)

  • EnX$$

    sony need to start buying displays from another company because they suck at making displays for phones

    • Piterson Massenat Desir

      JDI is an awesome manufacturer. So is sharp. I totally agree. They are killing their mobile displays

    • Louis Trujillo

      but the ultra screen is sony :O

  • Spanky

    “A comparison between the display of the Xperia Z1 and that of the Xperia Z1…” – Seems legit.

  • George Av

    Nothing compared the amoled! but the ultra destroys the z1 in terms of everything

    • AJ

      Apart from the camera and one-handed usability (5-inch form factor) and the materials used (i mean compared to carbon fibre, aluminum and glass, glass and rubberized plastic are nothing)

  • udit

    But u wont know the difference in real world use… Unless u put it next to say note 3

  • pytajnik

    sony so pathetic, as always.

    • Sadman Hossain

      You say Sony’s pathetic, currently this phone is being considered as the best out there.. It’s just very unappreciative of you to accuse a company of being pathetic just to have one feature less of the so called “perfect” phone.. If that’s the case then a lot of companies would be “pathetic” in your perspective.. Since no smartphone is a perfect phone…yet.

      • Leonardo Rojas

        Don’t even bother reasoning with this troll. These people are clueless. Never mind him.

  • Zack

    What a joke Sony..

  • Aleksandar Tokarev

    Really poor viewing angles on the Z1. I’m kinda dissapointed, and i won’t be buying it.

    • 8Charlie

      It’s hardly noticeable. You never actually hold the device that slanted/tilted. It’s a non-issue.

  • George

    Some Z1 are said to have a lower quality panel than others, especially the first ones that came out.

    Keep that in mind, this comparison may not be fair.

    “A word of warning is due as we’ve been getting a lot of user reports that not all Xperia Z1 units out there have the same quality screens. It seems some of them come with panels, which have the same properties as the one on the Xperia Z. These of course, may be pre-production samples or as conspiracy theiorists suggests, leftover panels from the Xperia Z production line. Whatever the case, have this one in mind when you are picking up yours.”

    Source:

    http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_z1-review-987p3.php

  • http://about.me/jiggyboytheone/ jiggyboytheone

    I was attracted to Xperia Z1’s ppi but because of this, I think my heart falls for the Ultra.

  • Ahmed Shalaby

    Nobody knows how to kill a phone, Better than Sony.

    • 8Charlie

      In real world use, this doesn’t matter at all.

  • merciless_dude

    I don’t know why people are disappointed? Unless you look at your phone on a 45 degree angle, there’s nothing to be disappointed about. Phones are made to be looked at directly, not at an angle

    • samsparkin

      True in a way…

    • 8Charlie

      I have the Z1, it’s really hardly noticeable. I have yet to experience a moment when this actually bothered me in any way. I use my phone pretty much 24/7 and most of the time I’m not aware/don’t notice this “problem” at all. If anything it’s nice that people can’t see everything on my screen all the time.

      • Leonardo Rojas

        I say the same when people complain and bash every screen they find washed out when looking to it at 175 degree angle. Hahaha Never mind them!

  • gordonyz

    For Z Ultra screen is really the selling point there, has to be good.

  • Merath

    I have the Z1 and this is so no true at all, the screen is so far a good one, and is hard to see that

  • tzkiki32

    I’m saving up for the z ultra, hope I’ll have enough by Christmas

  • Leonardo Rojas

    I’m going to get the Z Ultra or the Note 3, not for their georgeous displays but for all they are and have. I currently have a Motorola Razr i, and while some reviewers and some people say its screen is subpar… I find it VERY NICE n.n

    One should care of what is satisfactory, not about what is said to be perfect.

  • Anzilleo Kristello Mozihim

    Meh… still an improvement over the Z and ZL.

  • dfq

    triluminos is not an in-house tech. that’s just a marketing term. the real tech there is quantum dots developed by a certain firm with which sony has an exclusivity contract.

  • Walter

    I have the Z, and I have to say that the viewing angles thing that every 2nd website is carrying on about is really blown out of proportion. One of the reasons I took the Z is because of the fantastic display. Typical replies when I show people a photo or video on my phone is “wow” and “fantastic”. Not “oh, if I tilt it this way that no one ever looks at a phone it looks washed out.” The Z and now the Z1 have incredible displays. Don’t let anybody tell you different.

  • MrBios

    I received a Z1 on launch day, and found the the high DPI resolution of the screen so beautiful and crisp, the build quality is the best out there with premium materials and excellent adaptation of the android 4.2.2 for sonys taste. But, the washed out contrast at high brightness, and fade to purple when viewing at an angle >10 degree was abysmal. Couple this with the poor ear speaker, and the terribly grainy ‘20.7Mp camera’, forced me to return it after a few days. Broke my heart doing it, but i don’t want a phone for 2 years that I’m not completely happy with.

    • 8Charlie

      I’m hearing that the pictures got a lot better after the last update from Sony (still rolling out). Graininess could just be due to the software of the camera app, or post-processing problems. Waiting on the update.

      My HTC One had the same problem and it was resolved with a software update. Not to mention the Moto X, huge difference.

  • Bomj

    It’s just funny to see all the Sony haters go “OH NOES!!! Sony does crap AGAIN! Life’s ruined” Like they were about to get one of Xperias.

  • shanefalco

    z ultra have retroillumination triluminos and front panel lcd ips (good view angle), z1 retroillumination triluminos and front panel lcd tn (low view angle). Ips tecnology is the best in the smartphone area. sony lost in a glass of water! I prefer lcd ah-ips develop by lg. :)

  • Peter

    Stop that “unless you hold your phone at 45 degrees” bulls… I have the XZ and my friend got the Z1 – great phones, but if you at least move your phone in your hand – you can see the colours shifting and getting whiteish/greyish… the display is terrible. Was terrible on the Z and is terrible on the Z1. It’s still a great phone, but let’s just say what’s wrong with it – because it’s not perfect.

    • 8Charlie

      This would bother you so much to consider it a serious problem? Your friend also finds that it’s a serious problem on his Z1?

  • Rene Pedroso

    Sony Xperia Xpert Challenge!

    http://sot.ag/VZZy/

  • jag

    Ultra!! The best!!

  • http://www.searchoflife.com/ Omkar Jadhav

    Display angles don’t bother me but this does(quoted below)!! And since I already got a Z1 few days back, now I need to confirm that I wasn’t ripped off. GSMARENA claims that Z1 has a much better display than Ultra and even the viewing angles have significantly improved over previous devices. :O
    “A word of warning is due as we’ve been getting a lot of user reports that not all Xperia Z1 units out there have the same quality screens. It seems some of them come with panels, which have the same properties as the one on the Xperia Z. These of course, may be pre-production samples or as conspiracy theorists suggests, leftover panels from the Xperia Z production line. Whatever the case, have this one in mind when you are picking up yours.”
    – GSMARENA
    Will have to do a side by side comparison with my friends ultra right away. Darn I am already getting apprehensive about the outcome :

  • Timbou

    This is as important to me as the bottom of my car. I wouldn’t be disappointed if it were red, which is definitely not one of my favourite colours.
    Z1 display looks fine. Believe me.