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Sony Xperia XZ vs OnePlus 3: Which is best?

We compare the gorgeous new Sony Xperia XZ flagship phone with the OnePlus 3, a great-value Android phone boasting impressive specs and performance, to see how they stack up. Which is best for you, the Sony Xperia XZ or OnePlus 3?

Sony has just launched its latest (and possibly greatest) Xperia smartphone, the Xperia XZ, at IFA 2016. This premium mobile sports a truly impressive 23-megapixel camera, plenty of power and some seriously premium features, but it’ll also likely come at a high cost. Check out our Xperia XZ hands-on review for more info.

So, how does Sony’s new flagship handset compare to one of the best Android phones of 2016 so far, the OnePlus 3, which can be yours for just over £300? Is the Xperia XZ worth the extra cash?

Here’s our full Xperia XZ vs OnePlus 3 comparison review, so you can see which is best for you.

Xperia XZ vs OnePlus 3: Specs comparison

Phone Sony Xperia XZ OnePlus 3
Screen size 5.2-inches 5.5-inches
Screen resolution 1920×1080 1920×1080
Weight 161g 158g
Water resistant? Yes No
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
Processor Snapdragon 820 Snapdragon 820
Memory 3GB 6GB
Storage 32/64GB 64GB
MicroSD Yes No
Battery 2900mAh 3000mAh
Rear camera 23-megapixel 16-megapixel
Front camera 13-megapixel 8-megapixel

Xperia XZ vs OnePlus 3: Design, screen and media

The OnePlus 3 is a bit of a beast compared with the Sony Xperia XZ, at 5.5-inches versus 5.2-inches. There’s practically no difference in terms of weight, but the Xperia XZ is understandably easier to use with one hand thanks to its dinkier dimensions. That said, the OnePlus 3 is more compact than many other 5.5-inch handsets, with a pleasingly slender finish.

Both phones are made of metal, and prove resistant to scuffs and scratches. The Xperia XZ wins for overall hardiness, however, as it’s also water resistant. You can dunk it in up to a metre of water for half an hour or so, with no ill effects.

The OnePlus 3 and Xperia XZ both pack a Full HD display, so either handset happily pumps out sharp visuals. The OnePlus 3’s AMOLED screen makes for vibrant colours, while the Xperia XZ sports a Super Vivid Mode so you can also enjoy rich hues if so desired. If you use your phone a lot at night, the OnePlus 3’s ability to filter blue light and produce warmer colours will be a bonus. That makes for a more comfortable low light experience.

However, if you wish to carry around a large media collection, the Xperia XZ will suit you better. The 32 or 64GB of storage space can be expanded with a microSD memory card, something not supported on the OnePlus 3. With the latter, you’re stuck with the 64GB of built-in storage.

Xperia XZ vs OnePlus 3: Performance and battery life

Both the Xperia XZ and OnePlus 3 cram in a Snapdragon 820 processor, although the OnePlus 3 also sports a seriously impressive 6GB of memory for super-smooth running. The Xperia XZ offers a silky smooth user experience too, but with just 3GB of RAM it won’t quite reach the giddy heights of the OnePlus handset.

The OnePlus 3 gives an impressive day and a half to two days of battery life between charges, which we’re hoping the Xperia XZ will also offer; stay tuned for our full test results. Sony’s smart battery tech means the Xperia XZ’s battery is unlikely to degrade over time, as it can automatically cut off the flow of electricity when it’s left plugged in for too long. Meanwhile, the OnePlus 3 offers faster charging thanks to its excellent Dash Charge feature.

Xperia XZ vs OnePlus 3: Cameras

The OnePlus 3’s one weak point is the 16-megapixel camera mounted on the rear. It’s perfectly fine for everyday snaps, but low light performance isn’t great and video quality is less than impressive. Video recording maxes out at 4K resolution, but audio is often fuzzy and detail levels aren’t too impressive.

By comparison, the Xperia XZ’s main focus is its camera tech. The 23-megapixel rear snapper features laser autofocus as well as predictive focusing to keep moving subjects sharp and clear in most lighting conditions. Sony has also added 5-axis image stabilisation so photos are impressively crisp and detailed. And you can once again shoot in UHD 4K resolution.

Video: Xperia XZ vs OnePlus 3 hands-on review



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