The iPhone 5c smartphones by Apple. (Photo : Apple)
One of Apple's newest iPhones, the iPhone 5c, is basically a low-cost, revamped version of its iPhone 5. But there are a few big differences between the models - differences that may put the one-year-old hardware of the iPhone 5c in the running against other new handsets, like the Xperia Z1 and its rumored "mini" version.
Display and Size
The Sony Xperia Z1 comes with a 5-inch screen with a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080p. That means Sony's new handset is likely to be released in the top of its category, with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch, not to mention Sony's vivid Triluminos display technology.
Apple's iPhone 5c doesn't come close to the Xperia Z1 in its resolution or display size, sporting an unchanged 4-inch Retina display with 1136 x 640p resolution. However, some may feel that the 5-inch range of phones is just too awkwardly big, so the iPhone 5c may have an edge when it comes to portability.
Speaking of which, the iPhone 5c has dimensions of just 124.4 x 59.2 x 8.97mm, while the Xperia Z1 comes in at a much larger 144 x 74 x 8.5mm.
Sony's rumored (and unconfirmed) successor to the Xperia Z1, the Xperiz Z1 mini, or Z2, is rumored to have a 4.3-inch display with an unknown resolution, putting that handset closer to the iPhone 5c in size and (likely) price.
Apple has always opted to go without microSD support, so Apple always has less storage than its Android competitors. So, while the Sony Xperia Z1 only has 16GB of internal storage - the same as the lowest-cost model of the iPhone 5c - the microSD card slot gives Sony's smartphone up to 64GB more storage, and the edge over the iPhone 5c.
If you're not a media-intensive smartphone user, the iPhone 5c (especially the 32GB version) is still a valid option, but don't be surprised if, after a few months of everyday use, you start feeling a little constrained. The rumored Sony Xperia Z2, meanwhile, is likely to carry 16GB at best, since it is a mid-tier version of the Xperia Z1. But there's always the microSD card slot.
Unfortunately for the Apple fans, while the Cupertino giant updated the camera on the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 5c still has the same 8-megapixel shooter that the iPhone 5 featured. Albeit, the camera isn't terrible, but it just can't match up to the 20.7-megapixel monster, which was proven in a blind multi-smartphone assessment by an independent camera test (taking somewhat weird photos) to out shoot the Apple iPhone and all other competitors in low-light and other situations. The Xperia Z2 is likely to feature the same camera.
Another big feature on the Sony Xperia Z1 is the battery: a 3,000 mAh monster that has been rated for as much as 880 hours of standby time. The iPhone 5c, meanwhile, has about 250 hours of standby time on its battery. The Xperia Z2, or Z1 mini, is expected to have a more modest 2,400 mAh battery, but that may be enough to outlast the iPhone 5c as well.
Bear in mind, the huge batteries are good for intensive smartphone use, but they're the chief culprit behind the Xperia Z1's nearly half-pound weight.
Other Hardware and Features
The iPhone 5c has a couple of big features going for it. First, there's iOS 7, which, if you're not put off by the new flat color scheme, will certainly be packed with new features when it is released, and is confirmed to have a non-beta version of the smartphone AI assistant program, Siri. For die-hard Apple mobile fans, that will sway the decision right there.
The second big feature (and this goes back to what die-hard Apple fans in the early 2000s loved) is the look of the Apple iPhone 5c. It comes in 5 candy-colored high-grade plastic shells, just like the old iMacs used to.
Against those two advantages, the Sony Xperia Z1 doesn't have much to offer. As far as an up-to-date operating system goes, the Xperia Z1 comes with Android 4.2.2 out of the box, making it at least one Jelly Bean OS behind the current crop, and soon it will be two versions behind, when Google releases its Android 4.4 KitKat to the public (the Z2 is expected to come with Android 4.3, but it will probably only be unveiled early next year).
Meanwhile, while flat and sleek, the Xperia Z1's chassis is also rather boxy. And sorry Sony, you'll never have the cache of Apple.
The Xperia Z1 is likely to be released in September of 2013, if not, soon afterwards. The iPhone 5c is available for pre-order now, and will be hitting store shelves across the country on Friday, Sept. 20.