Phone Comparison: Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs HTC U11

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The release of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium in the country has initiated yet another rat race in the smartphone market. This time, it corresponds to the smartphones featuring the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset.

Another one in the reckoning to be the best Snapdragon 835-sporting smartphone is HTC’s latest flagship, the U11. Now, while some may like keeping multiple options at hand, others (ourselves included) may get a bit nonplussed when faced with the quintessential ‘problem of plenty’.

We chose the duo in our earnest bid to see which one should be the number one contender to oust the Samsung Galaxy S8 (or do even better).

Peripheral investigation reveals the following:

Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs HTC U11 Specs Comparison

Model Sony Xperia XZ Premium HTC U11
Display 5.5-Inch, 4K HDR (2,160 x 3,840, Gorilla Glass 5 5.5-Inch, IPS Display, QHD HD resolution, Gorilla Glass 5
Processor Octa-core Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC
RAM 4GB 4GB/6GB
Internal Storage 64GB, MicroSD card support up to 256GB 64GB/128GB
Software Android Nougat 7.0 Android Nougat 7.0-based Edge Sense UI
Primary Camera 19MP, OIS, Triple stacked sensor with DRAM, PDAF, Laser AF 12MP Ultrapixel, f/1.7 aperture, PDAF, dual-LED flash, OIS, HDR
Secondary Camera 13MP, f/2.0 aperture 16MP, f/2.0 aperture
Dimensions and Weight 156 x 77 x 7.9 mm and 195 Grams 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm and 169 Grams
Battery 3230mAh, Fast charging 3,000mAh, Fast charging
Others 4G VoLTE, dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, microUSB, 3.5mm 4G VoLTE, dual-band WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth
Price Rs. 59,990 Rs. 52,999 (approx.)

Design

Stature-wise, the dissimilarity is minuscule, as there is a similar 5.5-inch display, but that is where the likeliness takes its most definite shape.

For the design, Sony has taken the practical route and has made for a mix of plastic (top and bottom) and metal (sides) on the Xperia XZ Premium. The company has also incorporated the Gorilla Glass 5 into the design (something Sony insists we call the Loop Surface design), which dominates the front as well as the back of the phone, so much so, that it appears to have carved out of the same.

HTC’s U11, on the other hand, attempts to break away from the repetitive design template of the earlier collection of smartphones from the company (HTC 10, One M9 etc.), and follows the changed pattern that this year’s U Ultra and U Play brought along – scrapping of the metal unibody and installation of glass instead. The frame is still metal though, but the effort herein is to create a good-looking yet sturdy device.

A handsome new addition here is the ‘squeeze’ technology that routes you to different applications on the phone just by squeezing it (which takes place with the help of sensors whose sensitivity you can toggle with). That is something that lets you launch an app, turn on the torch, or even snap a selfie with just a simple squeeze (although we have to admit it is still in a developmental kind of phase as of now, nothing concrete).

Display

Both the phones come fully loaded in the display department. One includes a 4K HDR IPS (Xperia XZ Premium) display and the other, a QHD (U11) one.

Also Read: Best Looking Phones Under 20,000 INR [June 2017]

While a 4K display isn’t necessarily over the top, Sony could have done away with a QHD one, too, and no one would have complained (the phone works on a Full HD mode in most case, anyhow). The addition of the Triluminous tech to the home screen and third party apps is an added bonus to those who prefer going over the intricacies.

For the U11, HTC has provided for a 2K 1440×2560 resolution bundled inside its 5.5-inch display, which, combined with a SuperLCD 5 panel, should work fine in almost all scenarios.

Evidently, we could not manage to single out a winner, and it’s a safe draw from our side.

Performance

Already one of the few smartphones present currently that can boast of a Snapdragon 835 chipset pumping in the machinery inside, each of these phones stand to offer class leading performance.

The U11, combining the latest SoC from Qualcomm with a 4GB RAM (in a majority of markets, otherwise 6GB) and an Adreno 540 GPU, easily ranks as one of the quickest and most adept processing units there are currently, and the drip in real-life usage of the phone would only be pea-sized at best.

Coming to Sony’s latest progeny, the Xperia XZ Premium has a nearly similar processing setup (Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM, Adreno 540), and that is why it is safe to say that the performances offered by the duo would cater to the same range and would spew up minor differences at best.

Also Read: Top 7 Smartphones Set to Launch In June 2017

Camera

Both phones comply with their flagship status as far as optics are concerned, and would appeal largely to photography enthusiasts, courtesy the features they have at their disposal.

The Xperia XZ Premium has the same 19MP Motion Eye (IMX400 ExmorRS) sensor that the Xperia XZs employed, which comes in with its own sweet Predictive Capture technology. Another brilliant feature in this aspect is the phone’s super slow-motion (@ 960 fps) that can be activated via a toggle in the camera app.

Up front, a 13MP camera greets the users, with features that include a f/2.0 aperture, 1/3” sized sensor, and 1080p video recording facility.

Now, with the U11, you stand to get a 12MP UltraPixel sensor on the back, that is relatively smaller than the one that was placed on the HTC 10, but there’s more to it than just that. The company has opted for a DualPixel technology with the U11, meaning that the laser-assisted autofocus (that the phone’s predecessor came with) was bumped off.

Comparatively, the selfie camera, too, has been beefed up, with the users getting a 16MP camera with f/2.0 aperture up front.

Those specifications, combined with the fact that the U11 is the highest rated smartphone on DxO Mark, alone speak for its optical prowess.

Final Verdict

We started off, and we remain still, divided on the verdict here. While the U11 looks a tad unconventional, the improvisations (the Squeeze technology in particular) foretell a different story.

On the other hand, the Xperia XZ Premium isn’t entirely flawless (in every sense of the word), but still manages to hold the fort in practically every avenue.

Also Read: Phone Comparison – Yu Yureka Black vs Xiaomi Redmi 4

Suffice to say, if you are Sony loyalist, who likes to derive from his/her smartphone a sense of comfort, you should definitely have a look at the simple yet efficient Xperia XZ Premium. And if you’d rather prefer an ingenious, unique design coupled with some excellent optics, the HTC U11 is the one for you.

Anurag SharmaAnurag Sharma
Passionate Storyteller, Occasional Writer. \m/ Journalism Undergrad. Trying to win at life one sentence at a time. Why so serious? Let's put a smile on that face. 8)

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