Sony Xperia S vs. iPhone 4S

The Xperia S is Sony’s first smartphone of the post-Erricson era. The logo has changed but is the phone different from the past Xperia devices? We compare the Xperia S and the iPhone 4S and see who comes out on top.

Performance

Inside the Sony Xperia S is Qualcomm’s dual-core MSM8260 Snapdragon processor, clocked at 1.5 GHz with a RAM of 1 GB.  That’s twice the RAM of the iPhone 4S but not exactly twice the speed. Nevertheless, the phone seems to handle everything thrown at it without some lags and freezes. Quadrant benchmark result is at 2,033 and Nenamark2 is at 37.1 – great numbers but certainly not the best ones. SunSpider test (web browser) result is good at 2,653 although not as good as the 2,200 scored by the iPhone 4S.

 

Display

The Sony Xperia S does not have a Retina display like that on the iPhone 4S but it can definitely match it in terms of quality. The 4.3 inch, 1280 by 720 pixel LCD screen produces sharp and colorful images thanks to the BRAVIA engine and bringing it outdoors would not have any effect on that quality. Specifications say that it supports multitouch of up to 10 fingers. It is also scratch-resistant but not Gorilla Glass. Nevertheless, its display is definitely one of the strengths of the Xperia S.

 

Camera

The 8 MP camera on the iPhone 4S can satisfy your need for a pic but the Xperia S shooter gives you more. Its 12 MP rear camera is one of the best in any phone in the market today. The camera app features geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, 3D sweep panorama, and image stabilization. You also have a LED for flash and video light and the ability to record 1080p HD videos. Front camera is 1.3 MP which is also better than the iPhone’s VGA front shooter. The Xperia S scores another point here.

 

Operating System and Apps

You would get the Xperia S with Gingerbread (Android 2.3) as its OS if you would buy it now. An ICS update is said to be coming in an unconfirmed date. If you own an Xperia Arc before, the skin would be very familiar to you as well as the pre-loaded apps. The music app has been improved which is a great thing because the speakers of the phone are really loud. McAfee antivirus app is included as well.

We mentioned in our Sony SmartWatch vs. WIMM One comparison about the latter’s seamless integration with the Xperia S. That is one fun thing to do and the NFC support is another. The package includes two NFC tags which you can use to automate some tasks. For example, you can send an SMS when the phone comes in close contact with the tag.

The Sony Xperia S is one of those PlayStation-certified devices meaning you can play your favorite PSX classics on it. The system is not ripe yet; you can’t share content between the PS Vita and the Xperia S, for example. Only a few games are also available although you can now download movies and songs on the PSN. The good thing about this is that it is a software problem which means Sony can just update it OTA.

 

Storage

The Xperia S comes with a 32 GB internal storage with no card slot. The iPhone 4S has no card slot either but you can choose between 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB models.

 

Prices

Sony Xperia S

MerchantProductPriceBuy Now
AmazonSony Xperia S LT26i 32GB Unlocked Android Phone Nozomi - International Version, No Warranty (White)

Too Low to Display


Go to Store
AmazonNew Sony Xperia S Lt 26i 32gb 4.3" 1.5 ghz 12 mp Black Android 2.3 Factory Unlocked Black

Too Low to Display


Go to Store
Product prices and availability are accurate as of Apr 25 3:57:27 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

Apple iPhone 4S

MerchantProductPriceBuy Now
AmazonApple iPhone 4S 16GB - AT&T - Black

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used from: 484.00

Go to Store
AmazonApple iPhone 4S 16GB (White)

Too Low to Display

used from: 500.00

Go to Store
AmazonApple iPhone 4s (16gb, LOCKED to AT&T, BLACK)

Too Low to Display

used from: 460.00

Go to Store
AmazonApple iPhone 4S 16GB - FACTORY UNLOCKED, Black

Too Low to Display

used from: 80.00

Go to Store
Product prices and availability are accurate as of Apr 25 3:57:22 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

Summary of Specs

Sony Xperia SApple iPhone 4S
Processor, RAMDual-core Qualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon 1.5 GHz, 1 GBDual-core Apple A5 1 GHz, 512 MB
Operating SystemAndroid 2.3 GingerbreadiOS 5
Display4.3" 720 x 1280 pixels LED-backlit LCD3.5" 640 x 960 pixels LED-backlit IPS TFT
Storage32 GB16 GB/32 GB/64 GB
ConnectivityGSM, HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, A-GPS, GlonassGSM, CDMA, HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, Glonass
Camera12 MP rear, 1.3 MP front, 1080p video8 MP rear, VGA front, 1080p HD video
Other Features- MicroSIM card support only
- TV launcher
- SNS integration
- HDMI port
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
- MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV player
- TrackID music recognition
- Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk
- Document viewer
- Voice memo/dial/commands
- Predictive text input
-MicroSIM card support only
- Scratch-resistant glass back panel
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- Siri natural language commands and dictation
- iCloud cloud service
- Twitter integration
- Google Maps
- Audio/video player and editor
- Image editor
- Voice command/dial
- TV-out

 

Verdict

Frankly, I like the Xperia S better than the iPhone 4S. The performance is acceptable, the display is superb and the camera is amazing. The iPhone 4S has several strengths including the good selection of apps. But with the combination of PlayStation and Android, you have to be excited for what the Xperia S has to offer.

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