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Phone Comparisons: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Sony Xperia 1 VI

Sony announced its new flagship rather recently, and it’s a very compelling offering. We’ve already compared it to several smartphones, and it’s time to do the same with Apple’s best phone. In this article, we’ll compare the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Sony Xperia 1 VI. Needless to say, both of these smartphones are very compelling, but they’re also quite different at the same time.

They’re both large and powerful, but they differ in a number of ways. Their designs are entirely different, not to mention everything else. In this article, we’ll first compare their specs, and then move to a number of other categories. Those categories include design, display, performance, battery, cameras, and audio. This comparison will hopefully help you decide which of the two phones to buy.

Specs

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Sony Xperia 1 VI, respectively

Screen size:
6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion (flat, 120Hz, HDR10, 2,000 nits)
6.5-inch LTPO OLED display (flat, adaptive 120Hz, HDR)
Display resolution:
2796 x 1290
2340 x 1080
SoC:
Apple A17 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
RAM:
8GB
12GB/16GB (LPDDR5X)
12GB (LPDDR5X)
Storage:
256GB/512GB/1TB (NVMe)
256GB/512GB (UFS 4.0)
Rear cameras:
48MP (f/1.78 aperture, second-gen sensor-shift OIS), 12MP (ultrawide, f/2.2 aperture, 120-degree FoV, macro photography), 12MP (telephoto, f/2.8 aperture, 5x optical zoom)
48MP (wide, f/1.9 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF, OIS), 12MP (ultrawide, f/2.2 aperture, 123-degree FoV, 1.4um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF), 12MP (telephoto, f/3.5 aperture, 170mm lens, 1.0um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF, 3.5x-7.1x continuous optical zoom, OIS, 4cm macro)
Front cameras:
12MP (f/1.9 aperture) + TrueDepth
12MP (wide, f/2.0 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, 24mm lens)
Battery:
4,422mAh
5,000mAh
Charging:
20W wired, 15W wireless (MagSafe & Qi2), 7.5W wireless (Qi), reverse wired charging (charger not included)
30W wired, 15W wireless, 5W reverse wireless (charger & cable not included)
Dimensions:
159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25mm
162 x 74 x 8.2mm
Weight:
221 grams
192 grams
Connectivity:
5G, LTE, NFC, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C, Bluetooth 5.3/5.4
Security:
3D facial scanning
Side-facing fingerprint scanner
OS:
iOS 17
Android 14
Price:
$1,199
€1,399+
Buy:
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max (Apple)
Sony Xperia 1 VI (Amazon)

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Sony Xperia 1 VI: Design

The moment you lay your eyes on these two smartphones you’ll see a ton of differences. The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a flat display with truly thin bezels and a pill-shaped cutout at the top. The Xperia 1 VI trades that cutout for slightly thicker bezels at the top and bottom. Its display is still flat, though, and the side bezels are very thin. Both phones have flat sides, but they’re a bit different. The ones on the iPhone 15 Pro Max curve near the edges, while the ones on the Xperia 1 VI have sort of a drop-off at the edges. Apple’s phone is more comfortable to hold and operate thanks to its outer frame design.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has the power/lock button on the right, while its volume up and down buttons are on the left. The Action Button also sits on the left side. All of the Xperia 1 VI’s buttons are on the right side. That phone has the volume up and down buttons first, then below them sits the power/lock key. There’s also a shutter button towards the bottom of the right side of the phone. Sony’s flagship also has an audio jack at the top.

If we flip them around to see their backplates, there are plenty of differences here too. Both smartphones have flat backplates. There’s a sheet of glass on the back of both phones. The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a triple camera setup inside a squarish camera setup which sits in the top-left corner. The Xperia 1 VI also has three cameras, but they’re vertically aligned, and they’re also placed in the top-left corner.

Apple’s handset has a slightly larger display while the phone is shorter and wider than the Xperia 1 VI. The two devices are similar in terms of thickness, while the Xperia 1 VI is considerably lighter. It weighs 192 grams, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max weighs 221 grams. Both smartphones are IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. You’ll realize that both smartphones are quite slippery.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Sony Xperia 1 VI: Display

Apple’s flagship features a 6.7-inch 2796 x 1290 LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED display. That panel is flat, and it has a 120Hz refresh rate. Its refresh rate is adaptive, it goes from 1 to 120Hz as needed. HDR10 content is supported, as is Dolby Vision. The phone’s display goes up to 2,000 nits when it comes to brightness. The display aspect ratio here is 19.5:9, while the panel is covered by the Ceramic Shield glass.

iphone 15 pro max AM AH 09iphone 15 pro max AM AH 09

The Sony Xperia 1 VI, on the flip side, has a 6.5-inch fullHD+ (2340 x 1080) LTPO OLED display. That panel is also flat, and it can project up to 1 billion colors. This panel has a 120Hz refresh rate, and it supports HDR content. Its peak brightness is at 1,300 nits, while the display aspect ratio here is 19.5:9. The Xperia 1 VI’s display is covered by the Gorilla Glass Victus 2 from Corning.

Both of these displays are really good. They’re both vivid, and both panels offer good viewing angles. They’re both more than sharp enough, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s panel is sharper. That display also does get a bit brighter outdoors, even though the Xperia 1 VI has a considerably brighter display than its predecessor. It could still be brighter. So, the iPhone 15 Pro Max does have some advantages in this regard.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Sony Xperia 1 VI: Performance

The Apple A17 Pro chip fuels the iPhone 15 Pro Max. That is Apple’s 3nm processor. This handset is also equipped with 8GB of RAM and it uses NVMe flash storage. The Sony Xperia 1 VI, on the flip side, is fueled by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor from Qualcomm. That’s a 4nm chip. Sony also included 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM here, along with UFS 4.0 flash storage. Sony also offers storage expansion, by the way.

In regards to performance, they both deliver. They’re both very snappy in everyday performance, regardless what you end up doing. Launching apps is not a problem, neither is multitasking. Multimedia consumption is a breeze, as is browsing, image processing, and everything else you can think of. Even when it comes to gaming both of these smartphones do a great job, actually.

Non-demanding games are a breeze, and even if you decide to play some demanding titles, both of them can handle it. The thing is, the Xperia 1 VI does tend to throttle both CPU and GPU with more demanding games, probably to keep the heat in check, but that’s something worth noting. Even with that in mind, the Xperia 1 VI does a really good job in the gaming department. These two phones do have considerably different software, though, of course. One comes with iOS, the other one with Android.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Sony Xperia 1 VI: Battery

A, 4,441mAh battery sits inside the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Sony’s flagship, on the other hand, includes a 5,000mAh battery. With that being said, both smartphones do offer good battery life, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max did deliver better results. It does have a smaller battery, but iOS handles battery life differently than Android, so the sheer battery capacity is not saying much here.

Getting around 7 hours of screen-on-time with the Xperia 1 VI is possible if you’re careful. If not, it will fly under the 7-hour screen-on-time mark, at least those are the results we’ve seen. There are a lot of factors when it comes to battery life, of course, so your mileage may vary considerably. Either way, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has proven to be able to go above that level, easily. Do note that gaming was not a part of our regular use days, as that does tend to affect the battery life in a specific way.

When it comes to charging, the iPhone 15 Pro Max supports 20W wired, 15W MagSafe/Qi2 wireless, 7.5W Qi wireless, and 4.5W reverse wired charging. The Sony Xperia 1 VI supports 30W wired, 15W wireless, and reverse wireless charging. One thing to note is that neither of these two phones has a charger in the retail box. In fact, the Xperia 1 VI doesn’t even come with a charging cable.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Sony Xperia 1 VI: Cameras

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has three cameras on the back, as does the Xperia 1 VI. There is a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide unit (120-degree FoV), and a 12-megapixel periscope telephoto camera (5x optical zoom). The Xperia 1 VI, on the flip side, has a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera (123-degree FoV), and a periscope telephoto camera (3.5x-7.1x continuous optical zoom). Sony’s flagship also has ZEISS optics as part of the package, including T* lens coating.

iphone 15 pro max AM AH 06iphone 15 pro max AM AH 06

Sony improved the camera of its new flagship compared to the Xperia 1 V, quite a bit. The phone is not a lot more reliable when it comes to camera performance, and does a great job in basically all lighting conditions. You’ll realize that it offers a bevy of details and well-balanced photos that also look very realistic at the same time. It also does a great job in low light, where it now pulls plenty of details from the shadows.

The same thing can be said for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, though. It’s a very reliable shooter that tries to keep images close to real life. Neither phone goes overboard when it comes to sharpening and saturation. They both offer really nice colors and nicely-balanced photos. The Xperia 1 VI does a better job when it comes to light flares in low light, though. Both ultrawide cameras do a great job of keeping up with the main cameras, especially in terms of colors.

Both sets of telephoto shooters are very reliable, and even though there’s a drop-off in quality in low light, they’re both quite compelling. The images do look end up different, but these two smartphones are easily on the same playing field in terms of camera performance, at least as far as stills are concerned. The iPhone 15 Pro Max still has an advantage when video recording comes into play.

Audio

You’ll find a set of stereo speakers on both of these smartphones. Both setups are very good, and more than loud enough, even though they’re not amongst the loudest we’ve heard. You’ll also get some bass as part of the package, and they’re both well-balanced.

Out of these two smartphones, only the Xperia 1 VI has an audio jack. It’s located at the top of the phone. If you own wired headphones, you can still attach them to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, but via the Type-C port at the bottom, not an audio jack. The iPhone 15 Pro Max comes with Bluetooth 5.3, while the Xperia 1 VI offers Bluetooth 5.4.

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