Monday, December 10, 2012

Apple iPhone 5 v. Sony Xperia V @ Smart Communications

Smart Communications has brought us most interesting flagship phones these year. Starting with the Samsung Galaxy S III at the middle of the year, Smart followed up with the HTC One X, Nokia Lumia 900 and the Samsung Galaxy Note II.  In just a few days, Smart will be bring the long awaited Apple iPhone 5. A week after that the smart will bring the relatively unknown Sony Xperia V but which packs LTE connectivity. 

The Apple iPhone 5 will have its loyal adherents. For the die hard iPhone user, the specifications do not matter.

The Sony Xperia V on the other hand will have a harder time competing. The standard now for a Android flagship phones is a larger 4.7 to 5.3-inch display, and a quad core processor.

The Applie iPhone 5 run's iOS 6. The Sony Xperia V runs Android 4.0.4, Ice Cream Sansdwich. If you are a die hard iOS user, or set on Android, there is no point reading the rest of this post. If you are open to both, and are looking for a smaller handset continue reading.

Note on the operating system. iOS is the simplest to use. At the same time, it also has fewer features and options. All told, iOS 6 has change very little since 2007 with the most significant improvement coming in 2011, with an Android like notification system and Siri. As for Android 4.x, even if you already owned an Android on Gingerbread, it rather different, and has improved a lot in terms of visual appeal.

So lets move on to the head-to-heas shall we?

1. Display - 4 inch (640 x 1136) v. 4.3-inch (720 x 1280). The iPhone 5's display is the biggest display we have seen on a iPhone, but it has lost its appeal somewhat. Retina is really meaningless these days when nearly every flagship device has a "retina" display, which had been defined as 300 pixels per inch (ppi) or higher. Apple now labels devices which don't meet the 300 ppi as retina. These days having a ppi of over 300 is common and 4-inches is the standard display for a entry level smartphones. 

The display of the Sony Xperia V is also small by todays standards, with even budget Android sporting 4.3-inch displays. The Sony Xperia V's 4.3-inch display sports a HD resolution with a sharper 342 ppi, which is higher than 326i ppi of the iPhone 5. The main weakness of Sony's Bravia powered displays is that they have poorer veiwiing angles.

Which one do I prefer? The Sony Xperia V has a larger sharper display. The iPhone 5 has better viewing angles. Each one has their own set of priorities, but since I view my smartphone head on, I will go with the larger sharper display.

Winner - Sony Xperia V

2. Storage 16/32/64 GB versus 8 GB + MicroSD card slot. The Apple iPhone 5 comes in three versions in terms of storage, a 16 GB model, a 32 GB model and a 64 GB model. The Sony Xperia V only comes with 8 GB of internal storage but it can be officially expanded to 40 GB, and while not officially supported can run with 64 GB MicroSD card for up to 80 GB of internal storage. It is much cheaper to get a big 64 GB SD card than to "upgrade" from a 16 GB iPhone 5 to a 64 GB iPhone 5.

Winner - Sony Xperia V

3. Camera. Both phones have excellent camera's, which is not a surprise since the sensors for both phones are made by Sony. The Apple iPhone 5 comes with an 8 MP camera, while the Sony Xperia V has a 13 MP camera. The higher megapixels does not translate to better image quality. Both are good, but using GSMArena's image compare tool, it does not look like either one is as good as the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S III.

The iPhone 5 will do a better job doing 1080 video on the primary camera, and its secondary camera can do 720 video. The Xperia V's secondary camera only does VGA video. I will give this round to the iPhone 5.

Winner - Apple iPhone 5

4. Power - Dual-core A6 v. Dual Core Kraits. Quad core is the catchy phrase these days, but most quad core phones these days are based on the old ARM Cortex-A9 processor. The dual-core A6 or dual core Krait both use more advance technology so that these dual core offering can match the quad core phones found in the local market in terms of performance.

Both are built on modern technology, the A6 being built on the 32 nm process, and the Krait being built on the even more advance 28 nm process. Neither of these phones can catch the latests quad-core phones, with a quad-core Krait (Google Nexus 4, LG Optimus G and HTC Butterfly), but they are both fast enough to keep you happy for the next two years.

Winner - Draw

5. Size. The Apple iPhone 5 is all of 58.6 mm wide and just 7.6 mm thick, making it  comfortable fit on even the smallest hands. Apples square edge design is not the most ergonomic, but a good case should take care of that. The Sony Xperia V is in a different category altogether, being an armored Droid (more on that later). But the Xperia is wider and thicker, at 65 mm and 10.7 mm respectively.

Both are light, with the iPhone 5 weighing in a 112 grams, and the Xperia V weighing in at 120 grams.

Winner - Apple iPhone 5

6. Battery life. The Apple iPhone 5 has good battery life (see battery life comparison at this link).   I don't have a test for the Xperia V, and while it should be pretty good, once you turn on the LTE radio, it will not be as good as the iPhone 5. 

Winner - Apple iPhone 5

7. Radio's. Both phones have LTE Radio's but only the Sony Xperia V comes on a LTE Plan. This effectively makes the Sony Xperia V six times faster in LTE covered areas. 

Winner - Sony Xperia V

*Bonus features. The Sony Xperia V gets additional brownie points for being IP57 certified dust and water resistant. Useful when making phone calls in the rain.

*Deal Breakers? If you need Maps, the Apple iOS6 maps are pretty useless in the Philippines, and Nokia NEAR is not a good replacement. Google Maps for iOS should come out in a bit and solve the problem.  The Apple iPhone 5 still has a physical button, which is not the most durable button in the world.

So, which one do I recommend? If you are data centric, the Sony Xperia V is the better choice on the Smart network. It comes free at Plan 2000 and Plan 1500 with 2.5 GB and 1.5 GB of data (speed slows down after hitting the cap). All you apps that rely on internet connections will run faster in LTE covered areas. While that is limited to Metro Manila for now, since you are in for a two year contract, it makes sense to invest in the future rather than in the past. 

If you are call and text centered, Plan 2499 on the iPhone 5 would be better deal for you. This gives you a 32 GB iPhone for free, and comes with more minutes and SMS.

I wont't blame anyone who picks the Apple iPhone 5. It is the nicest iPhone ever. I just don't understand why it is not offered with an LTE Plan. But if I were getting one, I would get the Sony Xperia V. It can trade blows with the iPhone 5 in terms of specifications, but mainly my reason would be with Smart coming out with LTE plans, I have lost interest on anything without an LTE connection.

Unfortunately, Smart is no longer offering early retention, so I will have to wait for a six more months to get an LTE. So for you soon to be new LTE smartphone owners, I will enviously read your feedback.  


  1. Christmas Wishlist ko yung XPERIA V :)))

  2. Mas prefered ko ung XPERIA V for android users

  3. I will choose Sony Xperia V... more masculine ang design and durable pa. I think Bravia Engine 2 is better than Retina Display.

  4. can you make xperia tx vs iphone5

  5. Sony Xperia V is actually better compared to any iphone's release, i just got one and Xperia V is a great one to have


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...