Both phones are part of the Xperia line of Sony, and the difference between their release dates is just one month (January and February).
However, the similarities end there. The idea is that these phones should not to be competing with one another, but to other devices on the market.
Display and Design
The main difference between these two handsets is the sheer size of their display. Z2 has a bigger screen by almost a whole inch (5.2 vs 4.30). It is worth noting that Z2 has been designed to be competitive with the premium smartphones. Display resolution of the device is up there, and even better than some competitors. Z2 boasts a screen resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, or 424 ppi. Its smaller counterpart has only 342 pixel density or screen resolution of 720 x 1280. Both devices have 16 million colors, but due to the sharpness of the display, Z2 offers more quality. Additionally, Z2 is one of the rare smartphones that produces accurate colors even in direct sunlight.
One of the advantages of Z1 compact in the size department is that it feels more natural, compact in the hand, and is suitable for one handed usage. All Xperia phones come in black and white color, but Z1 compact can offer the purple hue as well. Dimensions of Z2 are 147 x 73 x 8.20, weighting 163 grams, while Z1 compact weighs 138 grams with 127 x 65 x 9.40 dimensions.
Hardware and Operating System
On first glance, there is not much difference in the power of the processor these devices have. Z2 has quad-core processor at 2.3GHz, and the Z1 compact boasts 2.2GHZ quad-core processor. However, the added RAM memory makes all the difference in the speed and power of the handset (3GB for Z2 and vs 2GB for Z1). Additionally, Z2 has Snapdragon 801, while the Z1 runs on Snapdragon 800. The subtle differences are visible only in benchmark tests, and users hardly notice the difference. Both phones have 16 GB internal storage, and with a microSD slot, they can increase their storage up to 128 and 64 GB respectively. Their power allows them to run latest android versions smoothly and without breaking any sweat. Additionally, Z2 comes with special Xperia UI.
As always, the camera is one of the biggest strengths of Sony devices. Both phones boast an incredible 20.7 megapixels rear camera, capturing amazing pictures and snaps. Users will find several cool features and options on their camera. Flash is present. Z2 has a slightly better front camera (2.2 vs 2 megapixels).
Being a high end device, and having a larger screen, Z2 has to have more powerful battery to power all those applications and features. So, it comes with a battery capacity of 3200 mAh, while Z1 compact comes with capacity of 2300 mAh. Both phones are highly durable, as battery life is another area of strength for Sony’s phones.
With all being said, Z2 competes with premium phones like Samsung S5 and iPhone 5S/C. Being in that class, you can say the phone is cheap for what it offers. The starting price is around $700, and the price for Z1 compact is around $440.
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