Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Galaxy Alpha and the Z3 Compact. Galaxy Alpha is Samsung's first truly elegant small-screen phone, coming with premium design, hardware, and price point.
The most formidable competitor of the Alpha in the land of the green robot is Sony's Xperia Z3 Compact munchkin, and not only because it has almost the same screen diagonal, but also because the waterproof phone has a superb specs sheet that even includes a 20 MP camera. Which is the better compact flagship? Let's find out...
Galaxy Alpha looks more stylish than the Z3 Compact, but Sony housed waterproof stereo speakers, and a huge battery.
While rumors were priming us for a metal-clad, premium Samsung phone, we got the Galaxy Alpha. Granted, it debuted classy metal frame and sides, but kept Samsung's traditional plastic rear cover that can be pried open to swap the battery. The Alpha is lighter and feels way thinner than the Z3 Compact, but Sony's phone is significantly shorter and a bit narrower, so it goes a bit more manageable in the hand. Still, Samsung's stylish creation feels great in the hand, and would be a godsend for those who prefer their Android phones thin.
With the chamfered bezels and metal edge the Galaxy Alpha looks, dare we say it, more premium already.
The Z3 Compact, on the other hand, sports a tempered glass unibody which flaunts a high IP68 waterproof rating, meaning you can dip it in up to five feet of water without a hitch – something that the Alpha can' brag with.
Samsung's stand-out design piece is the physical home key underneath the display with an embedded fingerprint scanner, which requires you to swipe your finger over it the old-fashioned way, instead of employing a touch-based solution like Apple or Huawei. Sony, however, also equipped the Z3 Compact with something extra - a pair of stereo speakers, sitting at the top and bottom of the front half.
Colors accuracy? Who cares, said Sony, and outed the Z3 Compact, while Samsung primed the Alpha with a pretty color-true display that is more visible outdoors.
The Alpha got a 4.7” panel with a “mere” 720x1280 resolution, returning 312ppi, while the Z3 Compact notches it down a tad with a 4.6” panel of the same resolution, boasting 319ppi pixel density. This pixel density is lower than most other phones, but is still perfectly adequate for the vast majority of purposes.
The Z3 Compact's panel is very color-inaccurate, with its color temperature being some of the coldest we've seen – we measured 9964K (6500K is the reference); you can tweak it in the settings, but it still doesn't get much better. The Galaxy Alpha's screen can have the typical AMOLED oversaturation, too, but when choose the Basic screen mode, it goes on the totally opposite end of that spectrum, with excellent temperature of 6800K. Its colors are also pretty accurate in this mode, unlike the Z3 Compact, which has a pretty wide color deviation, as you can see in our chart.
When it comes to peak brightness, the phones are largely equal, with Sony's handset measuring 436nits, against the Galaxy Alpha's 422. The Alpha has slightly better outdoor visibility, as the Z3 Compact's screen reflectance is higher. It’s also worth mentioning that both displays feature a super sensitive mode that recognizes touch even when you operate it with your gloves on, but you need to enable this feature in the settings first.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Sony Xperia Z3 Compact||436
|Samsung Galaxy Alpha||422
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Samsung Galaxy Alpha||49.5%
|Sony Xperia Z3 Compact||97.9%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
1. Scarambay (Posts: 88; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)
Design: Xperia Z3 Compact
Display: Galaxy Alpha
Camera: Galaxy Alpha
Battery: Xperia Z3 Compact
3. amansingal14 (Posts: 309; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)
UI - On Preference (I prefer Z3C's more consistent UI and Sony's Walkman)
Support - Variable According to Region
Pricing - Z3 Compact
Software Support - Tie (Heck Sony is still updating the original Z, while we know of Samsung's great software support)
Features - Preference (I am gonna go with Z3C because I find stereo speakers better than fingerprint sensor)
Functionality - Alpha for the usual dose of Samsung features.
Overall - I am gonna go with the Z3C but respect for Alpha, and loads of it.
10. mawhob2222 (Posts: 219; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)
The camera for xperia z3 compact = natural color and better
All galaxy camera = Unnatural color or photoshop color
But if you have a camera(DSLR) , you will know what I mean
Xperia z3 camera + lumia 1020 camera = the best (even now)
12. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
The camera for xperia z3 compact = natural color and better?
Are you ok?
14. mawhob2222 (Posts: 219; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)
Do you have eyes? , if you have plz go to Sony company and Samsung company for you can use Z3 and note4 or alpha.....
17. f35hunter (Posts: 233; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)
BTW you are the same dumb in xda-developers who called himself Sonyfan12 who is just make a dumb comments toward sony and i think you are blind iFan
30. Noonting (Posts: 132; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)
What? Z3's camera color is natural?
It's extremely cold color
2. Anterv (Posts: 172; Member since: 09 Jul 2014)
I am a little disappointed about how Sony looks to colour accuracy - they threw color "manager" instead of working more. How ordinary user should adjust colors without special equipment and engineering knowledge ?
5. kent-gaga (Posts: 501; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
ordinary users would still find it's screen great without all the extra color acuracy thingy
imho i still prefer the blueish tint to the screen rather than yellowish tint on the z2 or green-yellowish tint on the amoled panels which looks kind of "dirty" to me
7. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
there's this thing we call the internet. techie users usually share their settings on the internet. the color management sliders come with numerical values. you can set them according to recommended values as tested by techie users.
18. f35hunter (Posts: 233; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)
Sony said that cold color is one of the features that give the z3c outstanding battery life and if you want more accurate colors just enable the vivid color option in display menu but phonearena never mentioned this in their review.
25. kent-gaga (Posts: 501; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
no actually they said cold colors makes the screen looks brighter
it's how they drop the screen refresh rate when not nessesary that makes the battery life outstanding
4. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
huh? all of a sudden the max brightness was reduced to 400+ ? what happened to the 700+ for the z3c before? even gsmarena tested this device to have 700+ ...
i remember the brightness test for your z3 compact in an earlier review to be around 600-700. what happened?
6. kent-gaga (Posts: 501; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
im not sure about the brightness but it seems like the z3c's outdoor visibility is even better when compared to the z3 because of the more saturated colors and higher contrast level
16. hboy857 (Posts: 349; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)
For better technical review i recommend anandtech.com , notebookcheck.net , gsmarena.com . anandtech.com and notebookcheck are the best site for technical review. For casual review i recommend androidpolice.com , androidcentral.com , MKBHD and JimsReviewRoom from youtube.
19. f35hunter (Posts: 233; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)
Yeah PA just acts as advertise center for both Apple and Samsung (depends on what the editors preference) and try to bias other OEM's like htc , lg , sony , nokia, Motorola,....etc.
8. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)
Z3C for me even though I'm samsung fan....
15. anleoflippy (Posts: 595; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)
I've actually tested these 2 phones today. Each phone I've played with it for 20-30 minutes. The staff doesn't mind.
Alpha: When I first lay my eyes on it for the first time, it was like jewellery. When I held it for the first time, it was astounding. The feel is nice with its metal trim surrounding. The screen is pretty good, a "punch you in the face" kind of screen. Performance is excellent with miniscule lag in the UI. I can't comment on the camera quality because the plastic on the lens is still there so can't really test it. However, the camera UI is filled with lots of options to achieve the best quality to your liking. Speaker is sufficient enough for the average user, pretty loud. The side buttons are a bit flush for my liking but this maybe just be me and others might vary.
Z3C: The phones design is pretty good, more compact and also thicker so somewhat easy handling. The sides looks to be similar to matte finish or rubberized which makes it extra grippy and won't feel like you'll be dropping it. The ports looks pretty reliable, it looks better than my Tablet Z and my sister's ZR. Screen is good, I mean if you don't like it you can always adjust it. It just put my ZL to shame. Performance is on par with the Alpha. The speakers are very good. It's loud and clear. It's not boomsound but close. The camera is brilliant, I actually had a chance to test it. Comparing it to my ZL, the Z3C just blows it away. The camera UI is just as functional as the Alpha but you can download more features.
My 2 cents? Well, it seems that these 2 are on par with each other. I have until next year Feb to decide my next smartphone.
20. buccob (Posts: 2564; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
Thanks for your input... I really want to get the Z3 Compact since it is almost the perfect phone for my needs...
I also like the Alpha... dislike the lack of microSD slot... and I have accostumed to waterproofed handsets already, but it is definitely a device to recommend for people looking at this segment.
22. bobi_n (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Oct 2014)
I have z3c and comparing between him and Samsung galaxy alpha did notice a big difference in the screens. I own phone ten days and battery life is fine for me(4 days), the sound is excellent, camera is good, feels great in hand. Most imporrant for me, did not have to sell my kidney for him;-)
p.s. excuse me for bad English
23. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
I own both and I have a buyer for the Z3 compact lined up. Alpha is just better in a lot of ways. Although the two areas important to me that the Z3 compact is better in are pretty significant so your mileage may vary.
24. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
These are my personal opinions from someone who currently owns both.
Design : Alpha by a mile, it's just sexy
Screen : Z3 compact by a solid margin
Battery: Z3 compact but the difference isn't as big as the tests suggest
Performance: alpha although both are pretty smooth
Everything else from keyboard to buttons to everything I prefer the alpha.
I don't take pictures so I can't comment on the camera.
28. yanish (Posts: 49; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)
Z3 Compact for me because of its cute design, great battery life and new Android L. I trust SONY:)
29. milkboy54 (Posts: 39; Member since: 04 Oct 2014)
Z3 compact is the best gadget in 2014. Kudos to Sony
31. lorihale90 (Posts: 3; Member since: 18 Oct 2014)
This review is pretty detailed, quite helpful
check out gadgetslert.com for some great reviews
32. goodenough (Posts: 82; Member since: 28 Sep 2014)
SONY Z3C is the highlight of this year. Z4 will be widespread next year
33. robertkoa (Posts: 87; Member since: 27 Apr 2014)
Taters- In reviews and on Youtube I have noticed the speakers on Z3 Compact vary from Unit to Unit, some are quiet and muffled, some are loud and clear, not as full as HTC ONE M8 but beyond the Mini HTC.
Notice Phone Arena had muffled one, user above had loud and clear version.
How were Speakers on the one you heard versus Alpha ?
Alpha looks much more durable and solid than Z3 C- do you agree ?
Photos-everyone, have you noticed pink spot on,Z3 C photos ?
34. robertkoa (Posts: 87; Member since: 27 Apr 2014)
Lol. I was trying to decide between these two Phones for Months and there was no
Z3 Compacts in USA for a long time.
Complicating the issue more is which Z3 Compact you have in your hand to test.
After reading reports of fragile Glass back on Z3 C and checking BOTH Devices- the Alpha is much more Durable than Z3C or
S4 or S5 and they reported much later Alpha first phone with Gorilla Glass 4.
Camera on Z3C I checked at Sony Store had better Camera than Alpha or S5 BUT not all Z3C s are this good, some had issues, pink spot etc.
Likewise some Speakers on Z3 C are louder some not .
AT&T Alpha had a louder Speaker than Z3 Cs at Sony Store but not ALL Z3C .
The Alpha I have is Exynos 850M Factory Unlocked LTE and it is louder/ clearer than AT&T Versions- also call quality is very clear and I sound very clear to others NOT robotic like this Review said.
This Alpha has a Seiren Audio CoProcessor so that could be reason for loud speaker- louder fuller than S5 S4 AT&T Alpha a good plus- not sure if it's this Model or this specific Phone.
They SHOULD have made Alpha 8mm thick with 2600 Mah Battery and SD Card 3 Gig Ram like a Note Compact/ 16 Megapixel etc and would have been huge seller.
I am hoping for Note 5 and Note 5 Compact with removable battery etc unlike Galaxy S6.
Note 5 Compact is unlikely but I hope for a 4.8" or 4.7" screen full power Note....