Samsung's Galaxy S4 has now been unveiled, but how does it compare to Sony's Xperia Z. We compare and contrast the two mobiles to discover which is the best Android smartphone !
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S4 last week with the whole world watching and it has a stunning next-generation specification and introduces some innovative software features. There can no denying it's worth upgrading if you already own the Galaxy S3.
However, it's up against tough competition in the form of Sony's Xperia Z which has already seen off the Galaxy S3, iPhone 5 and drawn with HTC's One in our comparisons. So how does the Galaxy S4 stand up against Sony's flagship Android smartphone ?
Design & Durability
Samsung Galaxy S4 (136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm 130g) v Sony Xperia Z (139 x 71 x 7.9 mm 146g)
Samsung have done a fantastic job of keeping down the weight of the Galaxy S4 and even managed to make it lighter than the Galaxy S3. This makes it 16g lighter than Sony's Xperia Z which is a pretty substantial amount.
However, this does come at cost because Samsung's smartphone is made from polycarbonate which gives it a much cheaper feel than Sony's full-glass smartphone. Sony's device is truly stunning feels very premium, while it's also water-proof !
Therefore, in our eyes the little bit of extra-weight is more than worth it because you get a device that's sure to dazzle and won't break if dropped in your beer. For these reasons we're declaring Sony's Xperia Z the winner in this category.
Samsung Galaxy S4 (5 inch Super AMOLED 441 PPI) v Sony Xperia Z (5 inch TFT 441 PPI)
Both smartphones include 5 inch touch-screen displays running at resolutions of 1920*1080 pixels. Therefore, they have an identical ppi (441) and are both capable of displaying full HD multimedia content.
Samsung's display uses Super AMOLED technology, while Sony's device has a TFT display with Mobile Bravia 2 technology. Both companies are very experienced with displays from their TV divisions and both smartphones have stunning displays.
We find it impossible to choose between the two solutions so we're going to call it a draw in this category.
Power & Performance
Samsung Galaxy S4 (Exynos 5410 Octa 1.6GHz , PowerVR GPU , 2GB RAM) v Sony Xperia Z (Qualcomm Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait , Adreno 320, 2GB RAM)
Samsung's mobile is a couple of months newer than Sony's device and in the mobile world that makes quite a bit of difference. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Galaxy S4 is the more powerful mobile.
The stunning new Exynos 5 processor features 8 cores compared to Qualcomm's 4 core chip . Samsung's processor not only delivers better performance, but is also more efficient thanks to 4 cores dedicated to lower consumption tasks.
The newer GPU ( Graphics Processing Unit ) featured in the Galaxy S4 is also quicker than the Adreno 320 GPU present in the Xperia Z. Both phones have 2GB of RAM which makes it a clear victory for Samsung's device when it comes to power, but both smartphones are amazingly quick and deliver cutting-edge performance.
Samsung Galaxy S4 (13 mega-pixel & 2 mega-pixel) v Sony Xperia Z (13 mega-pixel , 2.2 mega-pixel)
Both smartphones feature 13 mega-pixel cameras with LED flashes that are capable of recording 1080p HDR video. While, there is very little difference between their front-facing cameras which makes it a draw in this category.
Software & Features
Both smartphones run on Android Jelly Bean with Samsung's Galaxy S4 coming pre-loaded with the later version of Google's platform (4.2.2). However, Sony will upgrade their mobile to the new version shortly.
Samsung's smartphone introduces some innovative features including "Air Gestures" which enable a user to control the smartphone by hovering their finger over the screen rather than touching it. While, it also includes a new "Eye-Tracking" technology enabling you to scroll the display with your eyes alone !
Sony's Xperia Z has some stunning camera features , but it's the IP57 water-proof certification which has been attracting all the media attention. The smartphone can be put in water up to 1 metre in depth for 30 minutes and still work perfectly.
We've yet to get our hands on Samsung's Galaxy S4, but if the features work as intended they should make using the smartphone even easier. However, until then we're gonna declare it a draw because water-proofing is that impressive !
Storage & Battery Life
Samsung Galaxy S4 (16, 32 or 64GB) v Sony Xperia Z (16GB)
Sony's Xperia Z is only available with 16GB of on board memory, while Samsung's smartphone comes in models with either 16, 32 or 64GB memory. Both support microSD cards , but the Galaxy S4 supports cards with larger capacity (64 GB v 32 GB) making it an easy victory for Samsung's phone when it comes to storage capacity.
The Galaxy S4 has a larger battery than the Xperia Z (2600 v 2330 mAH) and should prove more efficient thanks to its Exynos 5 processor. Sony's smartphone does include "Stamina Mode", but Samsung's mobile should still deliver better battery-life.
Sony Xperia Z v Samsung Galaxy S4 - 3G's Conclusion
Both smartphones have a stunning specification and whichever you buy we're sure you'll be pleased. However, when it comes to raw specifications the newer Samsung Galaxy S4 unsurprisingly comes out on top. It has more power, larger storage capacity and better battery life. However, Sony's Xperia Z has a more premium build thanks to it's glass design while it's also water-proof.
Ultimately, if you don't mind the "plasticky" feel of the Galaxy S4 then you should buy Samsung's smartphone , but we prefer a device that looks and feels premium and consequently favour Sony's device. Sony's smartphone is also in-stores already, while you'll have to wait patiently until the end of next month to get your hands on the Galaxy S4.
Our advice would be to checkout the smartphones in person before choosing between the two devices. When you throw in the smaller HTC One into the mix the decision becomes even harder , but all 3 are truly stunning next-gen mobiles and you won't be disappointed whichever you choose !
3G's Winner : Sony Xperia Z
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By Simon Thomas on 18th March, 2013