The battle for 2014 is heating up as both Sony and Samsung launched their latest flagships at MWC. In the Samsung corner there’s the Galaxy S5 and in the Sony corner there’s the Xperia Z2. Both phones are enormously powerful and packed with features, but which is the best? Well, you’ll just have to read on to find out.
The Sony Xperia Z2 shares its DNA with the Sony Xperia Z1, which is to say that it has a glass back and an aluminium frame. It’s not quite as stylish as the iPhone 5S or the HTC One but it’s not far off. As well as having a strong design the Xperia Z2 is also IP58 certified water and dust resistant and at 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2mm it’s quite slim and doesn’t waste much space, though the bezels above and below the screen could be a bit smaller. At 163g it’s also got a nice amount of weight to it, without being overly heavy.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is visually far less impressive. It’s just as plastic as previous Galaxy handsets, though the design has been changed slightly to be less rounded, while the back cover has small perforations, which help it stand out, but not as much as a metal or glass back would. Like the Xperia Z2 it’s dust and water resistant, but it’s IP67 certified, which means it can withstand more dust but less water. At 142 x 72.5 x 8.1mm it’s a similar size to the Xperia Z2, while at 145g it’s a fair bit lighter, but that likely comes down to its use of plastic. Overall the Xperia Z2 has the better build.
The Sony Xperia Z2 has a 5.2 inch 1080 x 1920 IPS LCD display with a pixel density of 424 pixels per inch. It’s a bright, crystal clear screen and it uses Live Colour LED technology to make colours looks more natural without over saturating them.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 5.1 inch 1080 x 1920 Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 432 pixels per inch. Samsung has always been great at screens and the Galaxy S5 is no exception. It’s bright, has rich, natural colours and there are no visible pixels anywhere. Both these screens are superb, there’s really very little to choose other than the marginal size difference, which will come down to a matter of personal preference.
The Sony Xperia Z2 has a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM, while the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM. So the Galaxy S5’s processor is clocked slightly faster while the Xperia Z2 has more RAM. Both phones have incredibly slick performance, but once they get bogged down with apps the extra RAM in the Xperia Z2 is likely to help more than the slight amount of extra processor speed in the Galaxy S5.
The Sony Xperia Z2 has a 20.7 megapixel camera with the same Exmor RS sensor as Sony uses in its compacts. It can take some stunning snaps and there are a bunch of modes such as Timeshift and augmented reality to get even more out of it. On the video front it can shoot 4K video at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps. It also has a 2.2 megapixel front facing camera.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 16 megapixel snapper, so blown up the images won’t necessarily look as good as those from the Xperia Z2 will, but on a phone or computer screen they look great. Like the Xperia Z2 it has a bunch of shooting modes such as selective focus and it can also shoot 4K video at 30fps and 1080p video at 60fps. Its front facing camera is a marginally lower 2 megapixels and while the Galaxy S5 has a great camera the lower number of megapixels on both front and rear snappers force us to give the Xperia Z2 the edge.
The Sony Xperia Z2 has a 3200 mAh battery capable of up to 740 hours of standby or 19 hours of talk time, while the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 2800 mAh battery which can manage 390 hours of standby or 21 hours talk time, so far less standby time but a little more talk time than the Xperia Z2.
The Xperia Z2 comes with 16GB of built in storage along with a microSD card slot, but the Galaxy S5 tops it by coming with a choice of 16 or 32GB of storage and a microSD card slot.
Both phones support Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC but the Galaxy S5 also has an infrared port.
Sony and Samsung have really pulled out all the stops with their latest flagships but there are some key differences. The Xperia Z2 has far better build quality, slightly more power and a marginally better camera, while the Galaxy S5 has more potential storage and infrared support.
Based on that the Sony Xperia Z2 has more in its favour, but then the Samsung Galaxy S5 also has a fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor, which the Xperia Z2 doesn’t. If those are features that you want then the Samsung Galaxy S5 is the obvious choice, but the Sony Xperia Z2 is the stronger all-round handset. It’s tremendously high spec and has no real issues. It may lack some of the gimmicks/innovations depending on your perspective of the Samsung Galaxy S5, but we’d take a more powerful phone with a better camera and a premium build over them any day.
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