Nexus 4 vs. Xperia Z: Specs Shootout

By Anu Passary email: | Jan 17, 2013 02:08 PM EST

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A slew of Android smartphones have inundated the consumer market in the last few months and notable among them are the Nexus 4, which released in November, and the recently unveiled Sony Xperia Z.

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The Nexus 4 has managed to create quite a stir in the three months since its release. The LG-made smartphone from Google is undoubtedly one of the most elusive devices in recent times and is perennially sold out on the Google Play Store. Whether this status is owing to shortage of inventory or popularity, or both, is anybody's guess.

Sony, took the wraps off its waterproof and dust resistant Xperia Z smartphone, the company's flagship for 2013, at this year's CES. The smartphone is set to release in Q1 2013 and its high-end specs seem to have gone down well with pundits and fans alike, at least on paper.

With two robust smartphones looking to conquer the consumer market, the Android war has intensified. We take a look at the two Android giants - Nexus 4 and Xperia Z - slug it out for top honors.


The Xperia Z houses an asynchronous 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor (with Adreno 320GPU). The "asynchronous" processor basically means that each core is "powered independently" and there is little power wastage. 

The Nexus 4 packs in a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core Krait processor, which is clocked at a 1.5GHz as well. However, unlike the Sony offering this one is not asynchronous.


The Nexus 4 sports a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus capacitive touchscreen display with 1280 x 768 pixels resolution. By contrast, the Xperia Z sports a bigger 5-inch full HD Reality display (with Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2) with a higher pixel resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

The Sony offering has a clear edge when it comes to both pixel resolution and density. The Xperia Z has a pixel density of 443ppi, compared to Nexus 4's 320ppi.

Form Factor

The Xperia Z measures 5.47 x 2.79 x 0.31 inches, making it taller, wider, and thinner than the Nexus 4, which measures 5.27 x 2.70 x 0.36 inches.

Weight wise, at 4.90 ounces, the Nexus 4 is a lighter than the 5.15 ounces of the Xperia Z. The Xperia Z is both waterproof and dustproof unlike the Nexus 4.

Storage and Memory

The Xperia Z will come with 16GB of on-board storage, unlike the Nexus 4 which is available in both 8GB and 16GB internal storage options.

However, the Xperia Z one-ups the Nexus 4 with its expandable memory option (up to 32GB). The Nexus 4 does not have the option to expand the memory using a microSD card.

Both the Nexus 4 and Xperia Z have 2GB of RAM.


The Xperia Z will come with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, giving the Nexus 4 (which comes with the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean) a clear edge. What's more, reports even suggest that the Nexus 4 is receiving Android 4.2.2 software upgrade in some regions.

Sony also mentioned at the launch that its offering would soon be upgraded to Android 4.2 post release.


A 2100mAh battery powers the Nexus 4, when compared to the slightly bigger 2330mAh battery on the Xperia Z, which has a Battery STAMINA mode that saves battery drain. However, surprisingly, the Xperia Z's battery is said to support up to 11 hours of talk time, whereas the Nexus 4 one offers 15 hours of talk time on 3G.


The Xperia Z trumps the Nexus 4 with its whopping 13.1-megapixel rear-facing camera, compared to the latter's 8-megapixel snapper. Moreover, the Sony offering's camera features Exmor RS that is capable of shooting HDR videos. 

Additionally, the Nexus 4's 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera is no match for  Xperia Z's 2.2-megapixel one.

Availability and Colors

The Nexus 4 is currently available in black only, even though rumors indicate that it may arrive in white as well.  The Nexus 4 has a price tag of $299 (8GB unlocked)  and $349 (16GB unlocked). The initial stock was sold out within an hour in the U.S. and UK and the smartphone remains difficult to procure.

The Xperia Z will release in Q1 2013 and many retailers have opened up pre-registration and pre-orders for the phone with varying prices (between $600 to $850). The Xperia Z will be available in three colors - black, white, and purple.

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