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Sony Xperia Z vs. Sony Xperia Z1: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 25, 2023
Sony Xperia Z is Sony's flagship smartphone introduced in 2013, while Sony Xperia Z1, released later the same year, offers upgraded specs and a better camera.

Key Differences

The Sony Xperia Z marked a significant step for Sony in its quest to create a leading smartphone. This model, launched in 2013, was designed to compete with the best of its generation. In contrast, the Sony Xperia Z1, while also released in 2013, was Sony's attempt to further refine the Xperia Z's features, addressing feedback and enhancing its strengths.
The design philosophy for both the Sony Xperia Z and Sony Xperia Z1 revolved around creating sleek and modern aesthetics. However, the Xperia Z1 had a more rounded aluminum frame, giving it a more robust feel compared to the Xperia Z. Both devices boasted water and dust resistance, but the Xperia Z1 improved the durability even further.
Performance-wise, the Sony Xperia Z was powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, ensuring smooth operations. On the flip side, the Sony Xperia Z1 upgraded this aspect by incorporating the faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. This meant that not only was the Xperia Z1 more efficient in terms of battery life but also more potent in terms of processing speed.
The camera department saw noticeable improvements from the Sony Xperia Z to the Xperia Z1. The Xperia Z came with a respectable 13.1 MP camera. In contrast, the Xperia Z1 took a leap with its 20.7 MP camera, showcasing Sony's prowess in camera technology.
Both the Sony Xperia Z and Sony Xperia Z1 featured a 5-inch display, but the Z1 came with an improved Triluminos display technology. This meant that the Xperia Z1 offered more vibrant colors and better overall visual quality compared to its predecessor.

Comparison Chart

Release Year



Sleek, modern design
More rounded aluminum frame design


Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800


13.1 MP camera
20.7 MP camera

Display Technology

5-inch standard display
5-inch Triluminos display

Sony Xperia Z and Sony Xperia Z1 Definitions

Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z marked a turning point for Sony in the competitive smartphone market.
Critics lauded the Sony Xperia Z for pushing the boundaries of smartphone design.

Sony Xperia Z1

It carried forward the water and dust resistance feature, refining the design aesthetics.
The rounded edges of the Sony Xperia Z1 made it feel sturdier in hand.

Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z is a flagship smartphone launched by Sony in 2013.
The Sony Xperia Z was praised for its sleek design and water-resistance.

Sony Xperia Z1

The Xperia Z1's Triluminos display technology offered enhanced visual experience.
Watching videos on the Sony Xperia Z1 was a delight, thanks to its vibrant display.

Sony Xperia Z

Part of Sony's Xperia lineup, the Z was one of the brand's premier phones of its time.
With its sharp display, the Sony Xperia Z was perfect for media consumption.

Sony Xperia Z1

Sony Xperia Z1 is an enhanced version of the Xperia Z with upgraded specs, released in 2013.
The Sony Xperia Z1 was a significant improvement over its predecessor in terms of camera quality.

Sony Xperia Z

The Xperia Z showcased Sony's dedication to merging aesthetics with performance.
Many users were impressed by the Sony Xperia Z's balance of beauty and function.

Sony Xperia Z1

The Xperia Z1 is known for its robust 20.7 MP camera and improved processing power.
Photography enthusiasts particularly admired the camera capabilities of the Sony Xperia Z1.

Sony Xperia Z

It was one of the first phones to offer water and dust resistance as a standard feature.
I dropped my Sony Xperia Z in a puddle, but it worked perfectly after drying.

Sony Xperia Z1

This model cemented Sony's position as a leader in the premium smartphone segment.
With the release of the Sony Xperia Z1, Sony showcased its ability to listen to feedback and innovate.


When were the Sony Xperia Z and Sony Xperia Z1 released?

Both were released in 2013, with the Xperia Z1 coming out later in the year.

How does the design of the Xperia Z differ from the Z1?

While both have sleek designs, the Z1 has a more rounded aluminum frame.

Did the Xperia Z1 improve upon any criticisms of the Xperia Z?

Sony addressed several feedback points in the Z1, especially in the camera and design department.

Were both phones well-received upon release?

Yes, both models were praised, though the Z1 was noted for its significant improvements over the Xperia Z.

Were both models available in multiple color options?

Yes, both the Xperia Z and Xperia Z1 were released in various colors to cater to different user preferences.

How do the storage options for the Xperia Z compare to the Xperia Z1?

Both phones were available with 16 GB of internal storage, but they have microSD slots for storage expansion.

Are software updates still available for the Sony Xperia Z and Xperia Z1?

As of the last known update, both devices have reached the end of their software support cycles, so newer official updates are unlikely.

How do the audio capabilities of the Xperia Z compare to the Xperia Z1?

Both phones offer solid audio experiences, but the Xperia Z1 has slight improvements in audio clarity and loudness.

Did both phones support 4G LTE connectivity?

Yes, both the Xperia Z and Xperia Z1 support 4G LTE networks.

Which model has a better camera?

The Sony Xperia Z1, with its 20.7 MP camera, surpasses the 13.1 MP camera of the Xperia Z.

Do both phones have water and dust resistance?

Yes, both models offer water and dust resistance, but the Z1 has enhanced durability.

Is there a difference in display technology between the two?

Both have a 5-inch display, but the Z1 features the improved Triluminos display technology.

What kind of charging port do the Xperia Z and Xperia Z1 use?

Both devices use a micro USB port for charging and data transfer.

Can the battery be replaced in either of the phones?

Both phones have non-removable batteries, meaning standard users can't easily replace them without technical know-how.

Are there any common issues users reported with either model?

As with any device, some users reported issues. Overheating and sudden shutdowns were occasional concerns, but not widespread.

How do their processors compare?

The Xperia Z uses a Snapdragon S4 Pro, while the Z1 has the faster Snapdragon 800.

Is battery life better on the Xperia Z1?

Thanks to its efficient Snapdragon 800 processor, the Z1 tends to have a more extended battery life.

Which phone is heavier?

The Xperia Z1 is slightly heavier due to its robust build and additional features.

In terms of durability, which phone is more robust against drops and impacts?

While both phones are built to be durable, the Xperia Z1, with its more rounded frame and reinforced design, might fare slightly better against minor drops and impacts.

Is there a significant price difference between the Xperia Z and Xperia Z1 at launch?

The Xperia Z1 was priced slightly higher at launch due to its enhanced features and specifications.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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