Head-To-Head: Sony Xperia XZ Premium Vs. Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Smartphone Innovation

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium may just be the iPhone 7 Plus alternative some have been searching for. In connection with Mobile World Congress 2017, Sony unveiled one of the most innovative phones at the show. But how does the large-screen smartphone match up to its closest counterpart in the Apple universe, the iPhone 7 Plus?

In the following slides, the CRN Test Center compares the Xperia XZ Premium to the iPhone 7 Plus on specs, features and price.


Sony's Xperia XZ Premium matches the iPhone 7 Plus on display size -- at 5.5 inches diagonally -- but aims to go further on display quality. The Xperia XZ Premium boasts what Sony is calling the first smartphone display with both 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution and HDR (High Dynamic Range) viewing capabilities. In other words, the phone is seeking to offer the sharpest, most-realistic picture currently available in the form factor.

Apple opts for a 2K (1,920 x 1,080) display with the iPhone 7 Plus. While it may not have as many pixels, the smartphone display compensates by using Apple's super-sharp Retina technology (which has been hugely popular for good reason). The display is also 25 percent brighter, and features a wider color gamut, than previous iPhones, Apple has said.


The Xperia XZ Premium features a metal back (a type of aluminum that Sony calls "Alkaleido"), and on top of that is a glass surface that goes around both the back and front of the phone. The glass surface is made from Corning Gorilla Glass 5, and it results in a reflective "mirror effect" on the phone.

The iPhone 7 Plus, meanwhile, features an all-aluminum body and curved edges on the back.


Aside from the display, perhaps the biggest differentiator with the Xperia XZ Premium is the inclusion of the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. Rumors have suggested that few other phones, save for the Samsung Galaxy S8, may be able to get the chip. The Snapdragon 835 is the first processor running on 10-nanometer technology -- meaning it's able to be both smaller and more powerful than other processors on the market. The processor gives the Xperia XZ Premium the leg up on horsepower over the iPhone 7 Plus, with a clock speed of 2.45GHz versus the 2.34GHz of the iPhone 7 Plus' A10 Fusion chip.


Sony has outfitted the Xperia XZ Premium with a new camera that it's calling Motion Eye. Along with bringing a hefty 19 megapixels, the camera offers some unique features, such as the ability to shoot video in ultra-slow motion. The camera also contains a feature called "Predictive Capture," which actually starts taking photos when it senses motion--before a user clicks the button (users can keep the ones they like).

The iPhone 7 Plus famously features a dual-camera setup of 12-megapixel cameras. Apple says the camera system includes a wide aperture range, along with 2X optical zoom and optical image stabilization.

Battery Life, Storage And RAM

Sony includes a larger battery for the Xperia XZ Premium than one will find in the iPhone 7 Plus, at 3,230mAh, but the company doesn't offer a specific estimate on battery life. (The company says the phone gets "all-day battery.") The iPhone 7 Plus includes a 2,900mAh battery, and promises 13 hours of battery life over LTE and 15 hours over Wi-Fi.

Apple is offering three options for internal storage on the iPhone 7 Plus -- 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB -- and the device includes 3 GB of RAM. The Xperia XZ Premium comes with a higher amount of RAM, at 4 GB, and has 64 GB of storage.

Water Resistance

Sony says the Xperia XZ Premium is "Certified IP65/68" -- and IP68 suggests a phone can survive in about 5 feet of water for a half-hour. The iPhone 7 Plus comes with the slightly lesser rating of IP67 -- meaning it can survive submersion in 3.3 feet of water for 30 minutes.

Price And Bottom Line

Sony hasn't shared pricing details for the Xperia XZ Premium, and in terms of availability, the company has only said it will be out in "late spring."

Apple's starting price for the iPhone 7 Plus is $769 for the model with 32 GB of storage.

In the event that the Xperia XZ Premium is actually priced lower than the iPhone 7 Plus, it could be an especially compelling alternative. A faster processor, a more-advanced display and a camera with unique features all suggest the Xperia XZ Premium may end up being a better value than the iPhone 7 Plus. Or at the very least will end up as one of the most innovative smartphones of 2017.