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Sony Xperia Z5 Premium vs LG G4 quick look

We take a quick look at how Sony's latest flagship offering compares to its direct competition, starting with the LG G4.

Published onSeptember 4, 2015

Sony just took the wraps off their latest flagship offerings, including one that is the first smartphone in the world to boast a display with a 4K resolution. Naturally, everyone will be curious to see how the latest high-end smartphone from Sony compares its flagship competition. Here is a quick look at the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium vs LG G4!

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The first thing you will notice when comparing these two devices is how different they look from each other. As far as the design language is concerned, Sony doesn’t stray too far from their formula, with the Xperia Z5 Premium featuring a glass and metal build similar to its predecessors. Gone is the signature large, round, power button from before however, with the device now coming with a wider power button that still looks quite unique. The reason for this change is to accommodate the touch type fingerprint scanner that is now integrated into the power button.  In the short time I got to spend with the device, the fingerprint scanner seemed to be extremely fast and accurate, and the placement on the side actually makes a lot of sense.

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On the other hand, the LG G4 brings together the best design elements of their last two high-end offerings, the G Flex 2 and the LG G3, culminating into the LG G4, with its subtle curve to the display, that is more pronounced when turning over to the back, as well as the signature LG rear button layout. While the design isn’t a dramatic departure from the the company’s norm, what LG tried to do in terms of uniqueness is seen in the material options available for the rear panel. Available in a plastic backing with a ceramic finish, or in leather with a variety of color options, the LG G4 does have its own way of being a head turner.

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Both devices feature 5.5-inch displays, but as impressive as the Quad HD resolution and resulting 534 ppi of the LG G4 may be, the big story here is the 4K display that the Xperia Z5 Premium features, resulting in a pixel density just north of 800 ppi. The debate of Full HD vs Quad HD can now be put to rest, with the argument now likely moving to Quad HD vs 4K. While the merits of such a high resolution on a mobile phone display will be hotly debated, and the effect on battery life is yet to be seen, there’s no denying that this one impressive screen. Of course, there isn’t a lot of content available to really take advantage of the 4K resolution, but Sony is going to upscale all the media content to give it a sharper look. We’ll have to wait and see how well this actually works until we give the Z5 Premium the full review treatment.

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Given that both smartphones are current generation high-end flagships, it’s no surprise that they feature the best that Qualcomm has to offer. The Xperia Z5 Premium comes with a Snapdragon 810, backed by the Adreno 430 GPU, while the LG G4 comes with a Snapdragon 808, backed by the Adreno 418 GPU, with both coming with 3 GB of RAM. The performance is as smooth as ever, with either device, and doing anything, from opening and closing apps, scrolling through various elements of the UI, to playing graphic-intensive games are handled easily, even though the hexacore processor of the of the LG G4 is considered the inferior of the two, it doesn’t really translate when it comes to real world performance.

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On the hardware front, both devices offer 32 GB of on-board storage, along with expandable storage, up to 128 GB and 200 GB for the G4 and Z5 Premium respectively. As far as any extras are concerned, the Z5 Premium now comes with a fingerprint scanner, integrated into the re-designed power button on the side. The button and scanner are ideally placed to make it easy to unlock the device using your thumb, and is quite a nice implementation, compared to the more traditional placements up front and on the back. Also available with the Xperia Z5 Premium is the staple Sony feature of the device being dust and waterproof, and comes with an IP68 rating.

On the battery front, the LG G4 packs a 3,000 mAh battery, which is also user replaceable. The battery life the device offers is decent, but not great, but you do have the option to carry around spares. You also get to take advantage of Quick Charge 2.0 fast charging capabilities if you do run of out juice. The Xperia Z5 Premium comes with a 3,430 mAh battery, that is non-removable, and we will have to wait and see what kind of drain having to power a 4K display will cause.

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In the case of the G4, a f/1.8 aperture package outshines the competition with a larger sensor over ones found in other flagships. OIS is also enhanced with a wider stabilization range. Color has been given a big focus, with LG adding in a color spectrum sensor found right next to the optics that will analyze the scene to help achieve the right white balance automati cally and accurately.The manual mode is another big story, as LG has put in all of the big features photographers get in full cameras – a full white balance gamut, a lot of ISO stops, manual focus, a histogram, and even the ability to shoot RAW and JPEG simultaneously. Overall, the LG G4 camera is one of the best in the business, and is certainly a very hard act to follow.

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What is also an exciting aspect of the latest Xperia flagship is the new camera, with Sony introducing a major change in this department after a very long time, and we are really looking forward to putting this 23 MP ExmorRS sensor to the test. The Xperia Z5 Premium also features one of the fastest auto-focus capabilities around, and the device did a great job in the short time we got to spend with it. Hopefully, the camera is able to deliver the quality that it seems to be promising, and we can’t wait to put it through its paces.

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The Xperia Z5 Premium is running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, with Sony’s Xperia UI on top. The UI has seen a slight change, and now features a brighter palette. There isn’t a lot of extra however, and the overall experience remains quite close to stock Android, with only standard Sony features like Small Apps and PlayStation integration returning. In software, the G4 comes with a very familiar user interface that hasn’t changed much, but an optimized processing package allows for lag and stutter to be kept at a minimum. Many of LGs features have been retained, ranging from the useful, like Knock Code and Multiwindow, to the not so useful, like Smart Bulletin and Smart Notice.

So there you have it for this quick look at the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium vs LG G4! The LG G4 is one of the best Android smartphones released this year, but with features like a fingerprint scanner, an upgraded camera package, and of course, the insane 4K resolution display, on top of staples like the IP68 rating for protection against dust and water, the Xperia Z5 Premium, at least on paper, seems to be the more compelling choice.

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