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Sony Xperia Z1 vs Samsung Galaxy S4: First look

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Sony Xperia Z1 vs Samsung Galaxy S4: First look
Clearly, Sony isn't playing around. Its newly-announced flagship handset, the Xperia Z1, is shaping up as a high-end smartphone worthy of attention – a smartphone that seemingly has the potential to cause a splash on the market. But Sony's latest and greatest will be met by some heated competition once it is out, of course. Samsung will be one of the players to beat, and the run against the Galaxy S4, which has been selling by the millions worldwide, will be tough. 

Nevertheless, the Sony Xperia Z1 has a lot to stand out with when compared to the Samsung Galaxy S4

Design


Sony Xperia Z1 vs Samsung Galaxy S4
Sony Xperia Z1 vs Samsung Galaxy S4
Sony Xperia Z1 vs Samsung Galaxy S4
Sony Xperia Z1 vs Samsung Galaxy S4

Sony Xperia Z1 vs Samsung Galaxy S4

First of all, the Sony Xperia Z1 looks pretty sleek with its perfectly flat front and back sides, and the metal trim around the sides is an excellent finishing touch. If that's not enough, Sony has not forgotten to ensure its Z1 smartphone carries an IP rating. That guarantees it will resist well against dust or water damage. The Samsung Galaxy S4, on the other hand, looks and feels quite a bit less premium, but it is still a good-looking device overall. Moreover, its rounded corners make is much easier to handle, while the Z1's sharp corners might not appeal to everyone. 

Display


Both the Sony Xperia Z1 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 come with 5-inch 1080p screens delivering about the same level of image quality. However, these panels are fundamentally different. While the Galaxy S4 has a Super AMOLED HD display, the Xperia Z1 is equipped with a so-called Triluminos screen, adopting tech that its maker has borrowed from its TV division. Nevertheless, both screens look great in person, delivering pretty colors even at an angle. 

Processor


When it comes to internals, the Sony Xperia Z1 definitely has the upper hand. It is equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 SoC, while the Samsung Galaxy S4 makes do with a Snapdragon 600 chip or an Exynos silicon in select markets. Both SoCs are very fast, of course, but those seeking the ultimate in processing power will be more strongly attracted towards the Z1. 

Interface


The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes running Android 4.2 out of the box, and so does the Sony Xperia Z1. Hopefully, Sony and Samsung will release update for their handsets in a timely manner, but at this time, there is no information on when that might happen. Both handsets run custom versions of the platform in effort to enhance the experience for the end user. The Samsung Galaxy S4, however, might be a step ahead in that respect. Its TouchWiz UI does not only look somewhat better, but also adds tons of handy features. Don't get us wrong as the Z1's UI is definitely good, but it could have been slightly more refined.

Camera


Now for the more interesting part, the camera on the Sony Xperia Z1 seems very promising and we won't be surprised if it ultimately ends up being better than the one on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Sony has thrown a 20.7MP cam on its Z1 smartphone, with "G Lens" optics and an Exmor RS sensor. With its help, Sony's newest flagship promises not only outstandingly good photos, but also silky-smooth 1080p videos. Having a dedicated camera shutter key is another perk that the Galaxy S4 doesn't offer. 

Expectations


So while the Sony Xperia Z1 isn't radically better than all the other high-ends out there, the Galaxy S4 included, it does stand out with its rich feature set, promising camera, and premium design. Many of the imperfections that bugged us about its predecessor, the Xperia Z, have seemingly been obliterated, so the Xperia Z1 now has a much better chance at making a significant impact on the smartphone market. But is it better than the Galaxy S4? Well, it is a bit too early to say, and further in-depth examination will be required to answer that question. The good news is that the Sony Xperia Z1 brings it on, so the clash with Samsung's fines will sure be heated.


58 Comments
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posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:41 12

1. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


Look at that! Beautiful device isn't it? (Xperia Z1) No more "Poor viewing angles" trolls, it's time for... BEZEL TROLLS!

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:48 18

8. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Look at those ugly bezels on the Z1!

(Just for you PunyPoop.)

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:50 8

11. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


I love it Smurf! +1 for you, you have proven that you're really a troll! Keep it up ;)

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:59 2

18. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


lol lets just say sony has a bezel fetish in the same way samsung has plastic fetish..honestly though dont you think if the bezels were like the xperia zl the z1 wuld look much better.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:05 9

21. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


S4 or Note 3 any day. Z1 looks ugly :(

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:09 4

23. Lyngdoh (Posts: 268; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


Nothing is uglier than your profile pic.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:11 3

25. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


You can't talk since you don't have a profile picture to begin with.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:20 3

33. Lyngdoh (Posts: 268; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


Unfortunately, you can't stop me.
BTW, no pic is better than ugly pic.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:09 2

24. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)


may be beause its a FULL WATER PROOF Phone u dont like the bezel then don't bother buying it. it only have huge bezel because they put a big battery in it

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:11 2

26. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Note 3 has a bigger battery, bigger screen, and is slightly bigger than the Z1. Excuse?

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:18 6

31. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Can you show me any waterproof phones with bezelles body?

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:18 1

32. ahomad (Posts: 175; Member since: 15 May 2012)


sony has bigger camera sensor and water proof!!!

posted on 24 Jan 2014, 21:57

58. shakeel234 (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Jan 2014)


listen i know you must be a samsung fan but the reason for the bezels on the top part is because of the large camera sensor just like the samsung galaxy s4 zoom had a big hump and the nokia had as well well sony didnt want that the wanted a phone thats smooth and can fit in your pocket with out making your pocket look weird and the bottom bezel is more like if your watching movies and your hand hand hits that home key or back key by mistake no sony wanted to make a phone that makes u watch movies with out any harm and the sony has awesome material unlike the samsung with cheap plastic ever since samsung has been copying apple and many other brands and some times sony distributes their lens and sensor to samsung and many other companies thats why no company never filed law suit against sony coz they know why samsung and apple has always been fighting so yah thats my excuse -__-

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:14 3

27. Lyngdoh (Posts: 268; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


Bezels is not a problem for sony. They have proved it with the ZL. If water resistance is what makes the bezel bigger, Z has smaller bezel. They put that bezel in Z1 for a purpose.

posted on 06 Sep 2013, 05:23

56. RH234 (Posts: 43; Member since: 21 Aug 2013)


Those are not bezels. The bottom is a palm rest

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:49

9. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


How about carrier exclusivity? Nokia had to sell to MS because they weren't making sales. They might have been able to hold out longer if they hadn't done the STUPID carrier exclusives. Sony should learn from VZW.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:32 5

41. GTR722 (Posts: 261; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


Samsung fanboys are hilarious

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:39

45. Lyngdoh (Posts: 268; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


There's a reason to why they are called 'trolls'

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:43 1

2. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


i can't really help not complaining about that awful wallpaper. sony, are you blind? can't you see your wallpaper is ruining your display?

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:17

29. Lyngdoh (Posts: 268; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


Calm down..you can always put your favourite wallpaper. I dont have to tell you this.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:21 1

34. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


no. it's about that product looking bad in the promo photos. that's my concern. i'm worried about how others will perceive it because of sony's stupid decision to keep that wallpaper. there's no problem with sony fans, obviously, but if your display looks inferior because of the wallpaper, it's really a big problem.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:33

43. Lyngdoh (Posts: 268; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


+1 you have a point. I'm not a graphic designer but I do create my own wallpers. I like sony's wallpaper though and it looks pretty neat in real life than captured on camera.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:44 8

3. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


with the appearance of G2 and Z1, Sammy's this year flagship died soon!

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:47 8

6. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


20+ million handsets sold sure says otherwise.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:51 5

14. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


That was only for first two months.
Read the comment correctly. you look so rushed and uneasy today.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:01 6

19. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


S4 and Note 3 will outsell both models by a landslide. Please get out of the distortion world and face reality.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:30

38. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


With the absence of Z1 in all US major carriers, S4 would have an easy job but if we compare them regardless of numbers you'll see that S4 can't face Z1 and G2 easily.
face the reality please.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:33 1

44. GTR722 (Posts: 261; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


So now the Samsung fanboys use the "look at how it sell" argument ?? Samsung = Apple

posted on 12 Sep 2013, 13:29

57. gersont1000 (Posts: 385; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


I'm a GS3 owner and love it, and yet I agree.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:47 7

4. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Only thing the Z1 has over the S4 is the slightly upgraded processor and camera. Everything else gets crushed by the S4.

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