User interfaces compared: Stock Android versus Sony Xperia

by XB on 15th January 2014

in Android, Featured Content

Nexus UI v Xperia UI_2One of the things that we love about Sony’s Xperia user interface is that it is very lightly skinned over Google’s stock Android UI. If you want to see some side-by-side comparisons of how the two differ, then check out a compilation below, created by Apollo89 from XDA.

The pictures show the stock Android 4.4 KitKat user interface up against Sony’s Android 4.3 user interface. Have a gander below and let us know which UI floats your boat and why?

User interfaces compared: Stock Android (left) versus Sony Xperia (right)

Lock screen

Nexus UI v Xperia UI_1

App drawer

Nexus UI v Xperia UI_2


Nexus UI v Xperia UI_3

Phone app

Nexus UI v Xperia UI_4

Compose email & keyboard

Nexus UI v Xperia UI_5

Settings app

Nexus UI v Xperia UI_6

Camera app

Nexus UI v Xperia UI_7

Nexus UI v Xperia UI_8

Nexus UI v Xperia UI_9

Nexus UI v Xperia UI_10


Nexus UI v Xperia UI_11


Nexus UI v Xperia UI_12


Nexus UI v Xperia UI_13


Nexus UI v Xperia UI_14

Music player

Nexus UI v Xperia UI_15

Via XDA-developers.

  • AsadMulla

    I like Sony’s top bar a lot more over the stock android. I dont like android stock dialler

  • nobita

    i have to say, sony’s ftw

  • kenny

    4.4 vs 4.3 sony…

  • mikhailovich

    Say what you want about Sony, but you can’t deny that their user UI is simply the best around the market, not just in usability but in beauty as well. Although I prefer stock’s alarm app.

  • Shubham

    Why you compared gmail app with xperia email app. Bcoz gmail are same for both …

    You need to compare the android default email app with the xperia email app.

    With rest all xperia is best !!!!

  • Adrian M

    Sony Xperia UI FTW

  • Adi waru

    Stock Android : Simple, Minimalist
    Xperia UI : Sleek, Elegance

  • JEp

    Why not both?

  • Nabil

    I think they are showing the keyboard instead of the app itself.

  • Dáire Mooney

    Gmail is the default android one

  • Midleo

    First i also asked myself, that why, but after i understand!
    Because the stock email app for android is gmail, but Sony have own mail app…. Sony also have gmail and they are same…exactly the same!
    The Sony company just want to show that their mail app is better/or not better but sure different then the android mail app!
    I think.

  • Sheikh Masud

    Sony Xperia is way better looking. That’s my opinion.

  • Douglas Yapú

    Sony of course but i like more the Android Phone app

  • P9

    xperia UI <3
    as I can see ios 7 now also close to xperia ui.

  • Sami Mrabet

    Androids vanilla-UI looks like a boring downscaled version of Sonys UI

  • Xperia phone app is better

  • Moonlight

    SONY ROCKS!!!!!!!

  • ShinOrochiX

    Although Sony’s UI looks better, vanilla android performs much more smoothly. I used to think vanilla android was rubbish until I tried it on my bro’s Moto G where it turned out to be superb! Hopefully Sony implement an updated UI with 4.4, better animations e.g. app tray animations, smoother and other improvements.

  • Jesus Gandy

    Yeah, Xperia UI can f**k the world!

  • Patrol619

    That’s why I wait for 4.3 for my SP. This new white-ish UI is simply amazing. Let’s see what Sony brings in their 4.4 release ;)

  • Alfino Setya

    I like Xperia UI becuse it doesn’t laggy like TouchWiz UI.

  • cs098

    I love the fact instead of jumping on the flat trend, sony just modernized skeuomorphism. Makes it very unique.

  • hansip

    I need no more flat icons. It’s boring as hell! The old 3d-fied icons is way cooler! In fact that’s why Sony UI skin is one of the best, especially with some mirrored icon on the launcher dock. Don’t follow Apple please..! keep the flashy icon intact. Phone nowadays looks very toy-ish due to the flat icons.. Not with Sony i hope!

  • iboalali

    Android ships with a Gmail app, and an Email app by default

  • iboalali

    I like stock keyboard more than that from sony, I don’t know why

  • santhosh

    sony please give the update(only UI) with the new UI for my Xperia P

  • hansip

    I love Sony’s keyboard, i hate flat buttons look, and plus the Xperia dictionary is one of the best. Never have i used stock Motorola keyboard before with my previous Razr Maxx, I quickly flashed the Sony keyboard at once.

  • panagi?tis

    i prefer stock android but i want walkman app

  • turco320

    xperia copy many things from ios

  • Amir

    sony’s version looks better by far.

  • kunal

    Everything is perfect but I dnt lyk sony’s dialing screen
    It must be black

  • starkiller306

    Congratulations!!!! You have gone full retard! :)

  • Ricardo Ca

    I like the stock phone app, in the rest Xperia UI is the winner!

  • Feanor

    I agree. Everyone is criticizing skeuomorphism but there is a distinct difference between blatant skeuomorphism (like tacky wooden shelves with leather books in old iOS) and realistic 3D representation of elements (like Sony does), which ultimately is the most intuitive design. The Windows Phone tiles may look cool, but they are highly unintuitive, because you can so easily confuse buttons. Now everyone goes flat with design but I think a certain amount of 3D and a realistic representation of the function is what strikes the brain the most as intuitive. I hope Sony doesn’t jump to the fashionable flat design wagon.
    (Only sceuomorphic detail that could have been avoided is the fake metallic ON OFF button in the settings menu. It’s more clear than the abstruct Android blue and gray button but it could have been simpler without similating chrome.)

  • haroldmk

    My girlfried bought a Sony Xperia S almost 2 years ago because I recommended it. Her mother has a Galaxy Nexus (a 5-6 months older phone) and today the GNex works much much better than the Xperia S. Sony’s phone and UI could be prettier but in the long term a GNex has showed to be a better option. I have a SGS2 and when my phone dies I surely will try a Nexus.

  • freevree

    Way better than other UI, specially Samsung’s UI. No efforts to understand, sleek, easy and bold, elegance. Sony not said but also proved their phones are better inside and out.

  • Raj Singh

    Agree with you 100%. I prefer Sony’s UI but the colour of the backgrounds should be black instead of white, including the dial screen, or at least the option of choosing the colour considering Sony has ‘Themes’ for the UI. It should also work in landscape mode, everything else does.

  • cs098

    Yup modern skeuomorphism over modern flat anyday.

    But I do like both.

    My main complain about sony’s ui, is that it does look at bit on the tacky side, a tiny bit, in a rich person kinda way. Like you said, I think it’s the chrome.

  • Jakub Franta

    only lockscreen and maybe drawer looks better on stock android.

  • Raj Singh

    Try it on an Xperia with the Snapgradon 800.

  • Raj Singh

    I prefer Sony’s UI over the Nexus UI. My only complaint is that every screen works in landscape on my Xperia Z Ultra except the actual call screen. That’s super annoying. The contact screen, the dial screen, call logs all work in landscape. As soon as I hit the call button it switches to portrait. And I’d like to see a darker theme instead of the white backgrounds. I don’t like the white backgrounds when I use it at night.

  • nidou bossy

    Definitely Sony UI is way better and sexier!
    that’s why It’s Sony

  • Prasanth Namboothiri

    Look how beautiful is Sony interfaces Lovely <3

  • Pingback: ??????????? UI ??????? Stock Android ??? Sony Xperia()

  • Shubham

    Exactly what I wanted to say above … Android has gmail app plus an email app in yellow textures by default .. He should have compared that email app with xperia email app.

  • sonyguest

    No matter what , Sony’s UI is very easy and elegant and is certainly a visual treat

  • ????? ???????

    Didn’t knew that modern stock Android interface is so close to iOS 7. Maybe that’s why I prefer Sony UI approach!

  • Kline

    The Xperia UI is simply the most SPECTACULAR. It’s SIMPLE and very ELEGANT.

  • James Earley

    Like what?

  • James Earley

    Which Xperia phone are you using?

  • James Earley

    Much prefer the Sony UI in both looks and functionality. Also in terms of performance my Xperia Z is holding up much better than stock 4.4 on my Nexus 10.

  • Emil Oskarsson

    you now there is something called rooting and a lovely place named XDA forums? :) Check out the forum of Xperia P and find almost everything you look after :)

  • morteza

    My choice Xperia UI.because Xperia UI very very better than kitkat UI.

  • Halorl

    The 4.4 Email app is the exact same as the gmail app though.

  • tomafuin

    Walkman is the true music player!

  • Ruslan K

    That’s why I choose Sony ZR :-) best UI, even users of NEXUSes told me that

  • Moh@mmad Amin

    I Love Sony UI
    Google app drawer shows app icons very big and I don’t like that
    +Sony Camera UI is very Nice in 4.3

  • Pingback: Android Gebruiksinterface: Google Nexus vs. Sony Xperia - Pagina 2()

  • Apollo89

    Because the main idea was to do a Google Nexus vs. Sony Xperia comparison.
    Currently, Google Nexus has Android 4.4 and (some) Sony Xperia devices have Android 4.3.
    In case the Xperia interface would be changed in Android 4.4, I can do a new comparison.

  • Apollo89

    I couldn’t find such screenshot from the stock email app with keyboard. If you can provide it, I’ll be happy to change it, but there wouldn’t be much difference anyway.

  • mr me

    tbh i really like sony’s designs but their icons don’t look that good
    the icons look too glossy
    and the stock clock app is better
    just my opinion

  • FermentedDischarge


  • elpollillo

    Xperia’s UI is far more elegant.. And more compact too

  • Gary Ohanian

    I think an option would be better. I prefer the lighter colours.

  • G-Dawg Boi

    How are these user interfaces similar at all? Minor differences can have a huge effect on the user experience.

  • Mint

    I don’t like either. I use Nova Prime and customize the ui all I want.

  • mahm?t

    where is 4.3 put your ass sony all phones and updates

  • Julian

    Stock is cleaner and much more pleasing. Xperia has superfluous decorations, defined lines (ex:homescreen picture) which distract the eye by creating clutter

  • Newbie13

    Formality Wise I Go for SONY… its the best so far
    I find Stock Android a bit childish… nothing personal but thats how i see it…

  • wei

    I like both :)

  • Bret Homan

    Both have their advantages. Sony underutilizes the space on a screen by shrinking the icons and text down too much. The phone dialer is another example, plus google has done some amazing things with their dialer app and hangouts app.

    Sony’s camera is vastly superior because google just can’t make camera software if their life depended on it. I also like Sony’s themes you can interchange and walkman is better than play music.

    I recently upgraded from an Xperia Ion to a Nexus 5 and I really like experiencing the transition and am enjoying google’s phone. I do miss the walkman app, sideloading music unlimited has not been so kind.

  • ZXcorr

    I love Sony’s more. Well done. Great job.

  • Legolas

    Xperia UI


    i prefer sony email app tho

  • adecvat

    TouchWiz: Features and functionality.

  • Amimanot

    well, the fake metallic on/off button is supposed to replicate their signature aluminium power/lock button

  • laci_csk

    Definetly Xperia UI is good looker and better.

  • Julio Spinoza

    Lag and slow interface if you compare with Sony or Vanilla Android,

  • Varun Bansal

    Sony wins :- 1,2,3, and from 8th to 15th pics
    stock wins :- 4-5-6-7 only

  • roeshak

    The xperia ui is far more polished. Indeed the differences in presentation can not really be appreciated from pictures alone.

  • Dexter Moregan

    Xperia UI. It’s beautiful,luxurious and unique.

  • uidesigner_sony

    What do u think about this concept for SONY(was built in summer 2012)?
    Press ^ to show u like it…
    More info:

  • sisore

    Xperia UI seems more well-designed and intuitive

  • SonyStyler

    What do u think about this concept for SONY(was built in summer 2012)?
    Press ^ to show u like it…
    More info:

  • Mint

    Ugly, even Touchwiz is better.

  • Heber Jiménez

    Sony interface slower than TouchWiz? are you kidding?

  • Julio Spinoza

    Maybe I wasn’t clear enough. If you compare Samsung with Sony, touchwiz is laggy and slower than Sony.

  • Mohammed H. Najjar

    Xperia UI has it all which is the best in the Android world :-)

  • josesl16

    I wish I could combine both…

  • josesl16

    Stock keyboard and dialer are two things that IMO looks much better than Sony’s, maybe except the 4 buttons on top of Sony’s dialer.

  • josesl16

    Not bad as a distinct theme, but it looks a bit outdated to me. I especially don’t like the top notification bar icons there.

  • Pingback: User interfaces compared: Stock Android versus Sony ... - Xperia Blog | New MobileNew Mobile()

  • Abhijit Biswas

    Lack of lag is the key feature of xperia ui and sense ui!

  • Abhijit Biswas

    The dialer does work in landscape mode, and yes the colour option is really needed…. Hope that is included in 4.4 and also move app to sd card and diagonally scrollable notification bar toggles, with these three changes, sony xperia UI would indeed be flawless and the best…

  • Abhijit Biswas

    Xperia S was a ‘Sony Ericsson’ phone and phones running 4.3+ are all ‘Sony’ phones…
    So give it a try before you ditch it! And any phone with 4.3+ will be good in the long term thanks to trim support!

  • Abhijit Biswas

    Entire android is a huge copy of iOS, nut now thanks to its open-source nature, it is better than iOS… That can attract criticism but the main point is that android has been a 90% iOS copy so blaming sony for copying is pointless…

    Infact iPhones have copied Sony handset designs

  • Raj Singh

    Every screen works in landscape mode on my Xperia Ultra until I hit the ‘Call’ button… then it locks in portrait mode for the active call screen.

  • Abhijit Biswas

    That’s coz the microphone and speaker grill are in those places, and also you are the only abnormal person even to take birth on this planet who wants to talk on their phone in landscape mode!

    Phone have been used in portrait mode even since their invention in the 19th century! FYI we are in the 21st century now!

    You really challenged the fact that humans are the most intelligent species on earth!

  • Raj Singh

    That’s a bit harsh Abhijit. I should be able to use the phone anyway I want. Every other screen on Xperia Ultra UI works in landscape. There’s even a ‘Auto Rotate’ button in the quick settings that highlights this. I hardly hold the phone to my head and I’d like to be able to use it in landscape using earphones or the loudspeaker. The microphone is on the front of the device; it doesn’t matter which way it’s oriented. Sony enables you to enter the Phone app in landscape mode, it allows you to dial/enter/punch numbers in landscape mode, it allows you to browse through the call log and phone contacts in landscape mode, but as soon as I press ‘Call’ it locks into portrait mode. I want to use it in landscape mode. I use the phone daily and oftentimes I’m using the phone to do other things while I’m taking a call. Your comment suggests I challenge the notion that humans are the most intelligent species on Earth because I want something different from you. What does that say about you and your intellect if you belittle people who don’t share the same opinions as you? Maybe work on your grammatical errors before you challenge someone’s intelligence.

  • Michel Maalouli

    Stock Android : Fonts bigger, Clean .Icons bigger.
    Xperia : Music player elegant , beutiful

  • Pingback: User Interfaces Compared: Stock Android Versus Sony Xperia | Apkbunker()

  • Vitor Silva

    It is horrible, seriously. Looks like something from the windows xp era.

  • iiandskater

    Totally agree

  • pierre

    Well idon’t like both of them but if i should take on i would take google cause of the device

  • Cory

    HTC and Sony best user interfaces.

  • Vijesh Yechury

    That four buttons give extra functionality which is needed to call. Especially the contacts button is hepful

  • Vijesh Yechury

    The closer the microphone is to your mouth, the better it is to hear. The other person should be able to hear you too, not just you giving a lecture and them listening

  • Raj Singh

    Doesn’t matter anymore… I almost always use the Sony SBH80 with my mobile devices, including the Z Ultra, so this is no longer an issue for me. Conversations on the phone are clear, pleasant and understandable.

  • Vijesh Yechury

    Bluetooth are always convenient. But my ears starts to feel uncomfortable on sticking Bluetooth in it for long. I have always been sensitive to spectacles, earphones and any other aids. I just can’t feel comfortable with external aids. but good for you taht you don’t have such sensitivities

  • Graig

    Please can someone tell me the meaning of that icon beside that star icon? Thanks

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