Sony Xperia Z vs Samsung Galaxy S3
Comparing a newly released or a conceptual smartphone is always a cheerful experience. We get to learn what is in it and then we get to compare it with what used to be the norm in the market. That enables us to give out a verdict about which smartphone is better in which context. CES 2013 has been the birthplace for a lot of smartphones from various manufacturers, and we are starting off with Sony Xperia Z. This smartphone is an attractive piece that drew our attention as soon as we saw it. Its physiques bore the unique, premium Sony look. The handset also had a large display panel that cleverly took most of the front panel to use. Looking at the specs, we couldn’t help deciding to compare the new handset with Samsung Galaxy S3 which is at the top of the line as of now. This is our initial take on the handset, and we certainly expect positive outcomes for Sony with Xperia Z.
Sony Xperia Z Review
Sony Xperia Z is a smartphone that is placed at the center of the stage for Sony. In fact, this is a game changer and customers already anticipate the release of this smartphone. To start with, it has a big screen with full HD resolution powered by a Quad Core processor. That eliminates any need for me to declare that Xperia Z is one of the best smartphones today. It follows the usual Sony form factor with an elegant, premium look to it. It’s rather slim and weighed moderately. First thing you would notice is the 5 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at a pixel density of 441ppi. The display panel is shutter proof and scratch resistant. Xperia Z offers you premium movie experience with Sony Mobile BRAVIA engine. As you can guess, the display panel recreates the images and texts crisp and clear with the ultra-high pixel density of the panel. We are somewhat disappointed about the lack of AMOLED panel though. You won’t be missing much, but you need to stare directly at the display panel for good image reproduction. Angled views mimic washed out reproductions which are not desirable. Sony’s decision is fair given you look straight at your smartphone 95% of the time. What I appreciate most about this handset is it being water resistant and dust resistant. In fact, it has IP57 certification which means you can submerge Xperia Z up to 1m of water for 30 minutes.
Sony’s new flagship product is the first Sony smartphone to feature a Quad Core processor. It has 1.5GHz Krait Quad Core processor on top of Qualcomm MDM9215M / APQ8064 chipset with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. No wonder it performs so well in Android OS v4.1 Jelly Bean. Sony has included a slightly modified Timescape UI which is more towards the Vanilla Android experience. Xperia Z comes with 4G LTE connectivity along with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and the ability to host a Wi-Fi hotspot to share your internet connection. The internal memory stagnates at 16GB, but we are delighted to spot a microSD card slot that will let you expand the storage up to 32GB more. Sony has also included 13.1MP camera on the back with image stabilization, sweep panorama, continuous autofocus and improved Exmor RS sensor that enables better low light performance. The initial reports attest to the fact that the camera is indeed superb. A 2.2MP front camera is also included for video conferencing, and it can capture 1080p HD videos, as well. Another interesting and innovative feature is the ability to capture HDR videos. This means the camera will capture full HD video stream and process each frame three times under three different exposure conditions and decide the optimal condition. As you can see, this will be incredibly computing sensitive. Hence it is a very good opportunity to test the power of the CPU, as well as the mileage of the battery, under those tough conditions. Sony promises that their innovative battery saving techniques provides longer battery life with the included 2330mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III) Review
Galaxy S3, the 2012 flagship device of Samsung, comes in two color combinations, Pebble Blue and Marble White. The cover is made with a glossy plastic that Samsung called as Hyperglaze, and I have to tell you, it feels so good in your hands. It retains a striking similarity to Galaxy Nexus rather than Galaxy S II having curvier edges and no hump at the back. It is 136.6 x 70.6mm in dimensions and has a thickness of 8.6mm with a weight of 133g. As you can see, Samsung has managed to produce this monster of a smartphone with a very reasonable size and weight. It comes with a 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi. There’s apparently, no surprise here, but Samsung has incorporated PenTile matrix instead of using RGB matrix for their touchscreen. The image reproduction quality of the screen is beyond expectation, and the reflex of the screen is also rather low.
The power of any smartphone lies in its processor and Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with a 32nm 1.4GHz Quad Core Cortex A9 processor on top of Samsung Exynos chipset as predicted. It also accompanies this with 1GB of RAM and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Needless to say, this is a very solid combination of specs and tops the market in every aspect possible. A significant performance boost in the Graphics Processing Unit is also ensured by the Mali 400MP GPU. It comes with 16 / 32 and 64GB storage variations with the option of using a microSD card to expand the storage up to 64GB. This versatility has landed Samsung Galaxy S3 with a huge advantage because that was one of the prominent disadvantages in Galaxy Nexus.
As predicted, the network connectivity is reinforced with 4G LTE connectivity that varies regionally. Galaxy S3 also has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n for continuous connectivity and the built in DLNA ensure that you can share your multimedia contents in your big screen easily. S3 can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot enabling you to share the monster 4G connection with your less fortunate friends. The camera seems to be the same available in Galaxy S2, which is 8MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. Samsung has incorporated simultaneous HD video and image recording to this beast along with geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection and image & video stabilization. The video recording is at 1080p @ 30 frames per second while having the ability to video conference using the front facing camera of 1.9MP. Besides these conventional features, there are a whole lot of usability features.
Samsung is boasting a direct competitor of iOS Siri, the popular Personal Assistant that accepts voice commands named S Voice. The strength of S Voice is the ability to recognize languages other than English, like Italian, German, French and Korean. There are a lot of gestures that can land you in different applications, as well. For instance, if you tap and hold the screen while you rotate the phone, you can go directly in to the camera mode. S3 will also call whoever the contact you were browsing when you raise the handset to your ear, which is a good usability aspect. Samsung Smart Stay is designed to identify whether you’re using the phone and switch the screen off if you’re not. It uses the front camera with facial detection in order to achieve this task. Similarly, Smart Alert feature will make your smartphone vibrate when you pick it up if you have any missed calls of other notifications. Finally, Pop Up Play is a feature that would best explain the performance boost S3 has. Now you can work with any application you like and have a video playing on top of that application on its own window. The window size can be adjusted while the feature worked flawlessly with the tests we ran.
A smartphone of this calibre needs a lot of juice, and that is provided by the 2100mAh batter resting at the back of this handset. It also has a barometer and a TV out while you have to be careful about the SIM because S3 only supports the use of micro SIM cards.
A Brief Comparison Between Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S3
• Sony Xperia Z is powered by 1.5GHz Krait Quad Core processor on top of Qualcomm MDM9215M/APQ8064 chipset with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM while Samsung Galaxy S III is powered by 1.5GHz Cortex A9 Quad Core processor on top of Samsung Exynos 4412 Quad chipset with Mali 400MP GPU and 1GB of RAM.
• Sony Xperia Z runs on Android OS v4.1 Jelly Bean while Samsung Galaxy S III runs on Android OS v4.2 Jelly Bean.
• Sony Xperia Z has 5 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at a pixel density of 441ppi while Samsung Galaxy S III has 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi.
• Sony Xperia Z has 13.1 MP camera that can capture 1080p video at 30 frames per second with HDR while Samsung Galaxy S III has 8MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos at 30 fps and 1.9MP front camera that can capture 720p HD videos @ 30 fps.
• Sony Xperia Z is bigger, thinner and heftier (139 x 71 mm / 7.9 mm / 146g) than Samsung Galaxy S III (136.6 x 70.6mm / 8.6mm / 133g).
• Sony Xperia Z has 2330mAh battery while Samsung Galaxy S III has 2100mAh battery.
Comparison of two smartphones always should be context dependent. If we neglect to take the context into consideration, then we are not been fair to one. In this review, we discussed about a smartphone that isn’t even released yet and compared it with a smartphone that has been around for more than 8 months. The context is simple, 8 months back, the customer requirements were different; or the manufacturer didn’t have sufficient resources to provide the customer with their requirement. However, Samsung Galaxy S3 has managed to push through and land at the top of the market even after 8 month, which tells us a something. Long story short, Sony Xperia Z can be considered as the new equivalent for Samsung Galaxy S3 as of now. It features a better display panel, a better chipset and better peripherals like camera and water resistivity. It also comes with a huge price tag, but we at DifferenceBetween don’t have any doubt that niche segment customers will be attracted to this handset.
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