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Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z

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Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z
Introduction

There are a lot of Sony fans out there, and all of them are ready to swear by the awesomeness of the Xperia Z. However, are those numerous fans supporting Sony because they believe in the Xperia Z, or simply because the Sony brand strikes a chord with them? We guess it's both, but here's what – we here at PhoneArena respect Sony, just as much as we respect Samsung. We'll put both of their latest flagship smartphones, the Xperia Z and Galaxy S4 , to test and see which one's going to finish with a higher score!


Design

Between the two, the Sony Xperia Z is the more striking smartphone in terms of visuals. Its rectangular shape gives it a strict and stylish appearance that comes to show that this phone isn't joking. At the same time, though, the rectangular shape actually makes the phone rather bulky and difficult to hold. In addition, the sharp edges framing the front and back sides of the body also contribute to the unpleasant feeling when holding the phone. That said, we do appreciate the glass exterior of the Xperia Z, which is much more ambitious than the plastic casing of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left) and the Sony Xperia Z (right) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z
The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left) and the Sony Xperia Z (right) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z
The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left) and the Sony Xperia Z (right) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z

The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left) and the Sony Xperia Z (right)


Plastic or not, though, the Galaxy S4 is a champion among similarly sized phones, when it comes to comfort when using the phone. Being equipped with a similarly large display, the Galaxy S4 feels much smaller and lighter than the Xperia Z, which is a great achievement on Samsung's part. Of course, it'd be up to every customer to decide for themselves, but we prefer the compact and comfortable design of the Samsung Galaxy S4, regardless of its plastic exterior. It's just that the Xperia Z is cool, but not cool enough to make us willing to make a compromise with its bulkiness.

Left sides - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (bottom, left) and the Sony Xperia Z (top, right) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z
Right - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (bottom, left) and the Sony Xperia Z (top, right) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z
Top - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (bottom, left) and the Sony Xperia Z (top, right) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z

Left sides

Right

Top

Bottom - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (bottom, left) and the Sony Xperia Z (top, right) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z
Backs - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (bottom, left) and the Sony Xperia Z (top, right) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z
Rear cameras - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (bottom, left) and the Sony Xperia Z (top, right) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z

Bottom

Backs

Rear cameras

The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (bottom, left) and the Sony Xperia Z (top, right)



Display

Nowadays, it's just not cool if you're a smartphone and you don't have a 5” display with full HD resolution. And while both of these phones have this feature, we tend to prefer the screen of the Galaxy S4 over the one of the Xperia Z. In our opinion, the Super AMOLED panel of the GS4 is superior thanks to its higher contrast, more vibrant colors and much better viewing angles. The LCD screen of the Xperia Z just isn't lively enough to make us want to keep staring at it.

Resolution-wise, everything is top-notch, even with the Galaxy S4's PenTile matrix. With such high pixel densities, both displays look extremely sharp and detailed.



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 Z 440
(Good)
21
(Poor)
1:799
(Average)
8250
(Poor)
1.93
4.94
(Average)
6.23
(Average)
Samsung Galaxy S4 289
(Poor)
9
(Average)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
7316
(Good)
2.16
5.52
(Average)
7.31
(Average)
View all


Samsung Galaxy S4 360-Degrees View:



Sony Xperia Z 360-Degrees View:



117 Comments
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posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:04 37

1. feres13 (Posts: 306; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


Sony doesn't have a chance against the S4...

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:57 11

18. AnTuTu (Posts: 886; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


Well they are like Lion n Tiger :)

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 11:53 6

53. Taters (Posts: 3261; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Tigers in most cases would beat a Lion easily. They are just bigger and have more power. A pride of Lions is crazy though and Tigers are loners.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 14:36 2

69. AnTuTu (Posts: 886; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


Whatever, they are still the King :)

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 05:12 32

22. pyradark (Posts: 775; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


S4 cant survive with Xperia Z on everyday and everywhere use,
rain or shine hahahaha.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 10:00 3

47. akki20892 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


that's my point....me lord.....!!!

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 07:54 9

38. Airforce (Posts: 63; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)


This to me is just another biased Review complements of iphonearena ....i can say that Samsung GS3 was a success,this new Samsung GS4..is just a wasted effort be samsung...they should as well called it Samsung Galaxy SIII S ..I HAVE TO SAY SONY did a great job on Xperia Z..nd this is a great achievement to them

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 12:12 5

57. GTR722 (Posts: 241; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


I love how they start with this: "we here at PhoneArena respect Sony, just as much as we respect Samsung".....lolololol yeah right......

posted on 28 Mar 2013, 01:35 1

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


what phonearena respect sony my ass
if the they respect sony why they change xperia z vote and lumia vote

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 20:56 2

72. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


poop..
Xperia Z was just made all glass and thats awesome? critical analysis is a must
even dey put a 1080p display, still thats a crap!
getting into quadcore yet uses 2012 flagship processor (oh but thats update seeing their 2012 phones uses 2011's LOL)
having ip57 to sacrificed so many things esp the speakers
they always lose the camera battle

hmm..

s4 isnt awasted effort,, even the build is given with marvelous achievement>im not talking abt how it totally looks..
bull crap> read review comparisons and analyze how s4 throw that xperia Z and be on the level or even better than the htc One..
the first fullHD amoled in mobile is being talked abt now how samsung managed to make such great display!!! and those loads of features will make u use ur phone always!

get ur facts boy
many xperia Z users now are disappointed.. talk.sonymobile.com

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 08:59 3

45. LonghornTech (Posts: 50; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


I wouldn't go that far, but the Samsung wins this round. Don't understand why call quality is bad on both devices, pretty sad really. I'll probably go for the HTC One for that and a few other reasons.

Still don't understand why Sony, one of the best camera producers, can not put a truly proper camera on their phones.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 10:35 2

49. AshishRomea (Posts: 145; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


it has stunning camera bro , i own the phone !

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 23:18 1

79. Ivan6479 (Posts: 244; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


But you don't own the GS4. lol

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 11:56 1

54. Taters (Posts: 3261; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Sony hates noise too much, they always use aggressive noise reduction that smears and destroy details, even in their point and shoot cameras. Sony cameras are the best, if you shoot in RAW. If you like to auto everything, Sony is poor.

They have by far the best sensors though, just poor noise reduction firmware.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 18:09 2

70. rgxVOiD (Posts: 435; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


Just bad camera software

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 10:27 1

48. AshishRomea (Posts: 145; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


when sony has an awesome design , build , camera , proofing - samsung covers it up up very good hardware , display , sleekness & software additions

both phones are good in a number of ways

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 16:27

110. TMach (Posts: 372; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


The evidence never lies.....please watch the link put your bias aside and form a non fanboy opinion, if that is remotely possible! An open mind is all it takes!!http://youtu.be/jsC8SYk7fUo

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:05 38

2. tiara6918 (Posts: 1441; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Even though I like the xperia z a bit more, we have to accept that fact that sgs4 wins

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 08:27 5

42. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


Well totally agree and not bias and neutral+1

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:09 30

3. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)


SGS4 Wins!
Better Screen, Bigger battery, IR Blaster, Smaller Size, lighter, No onscreen buttons to take up screen, less bezel, removeable battery, New Touch techology with hover or golve usable

Sony does put up a fight with a better Looking phone and water/dust Proof

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:10 19

4. pwnarena (Posts: 936; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


admittedly s4 is better. sony should try harder with their next flagship. even the battery on the s4 is better. price may even be better with samsung. i've been rooting for sony but it's stupid to believe something that does not exist. sony lost this fight. display, camera, battery, features ... when will sony offer something well rounded and superior?

i'll get back to being a sony fan when they do things better. now, i'll be looking forward to motorola. i just can't learn to love samsung. used to be a fan but they've become quite annoying. this does not mean their products are bad, though.

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 16:32 1

111. TMach (Posts: 372; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Seriously? I can't believe people form an opinion based on another person's opinion. Anyone who has ever picked up the Xperia Z would admit that it does everything extremely well and then some. It is the top rated phone on GSMArena by consumers and also has the most hits, even more than the S4, even hough it has already been out for months. Remember, the hype is greatest before a phone is released so this is quite some feat, given the build up to the S4 release! Now watch the video in the link below and you will see comments in regard to screen are bogous!

http://youtu.be/jsC8SYk7fUo

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:12 18

5. kaliil10 (Posts: 145; Member since: 16 May 2012)


Galaxay s4 is the winner. there are many holes on th xperia z

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:58 18

19. CODER (Posts: 3; Member since: 27 Mar 2013)


g4 is super ugly and tht oled screen is pain for eyes ... and ya xperia z is powerfull enough to do wht g4 can do :)) .. so chill

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 07:03 9

30. sheik (Posts: 249; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


Xperia z's TFT display's super washed out screen is pain for eyes not to mention its terrible viewing angles... Ofcourse xperia z is powerful enough but not power efficient as 28nm A7 processors enhanced galaxy s4 :))So chill...

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 12:14 2

58. GTR722 (Posts: 241; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


And GS4 screen with false colors and minimun brightness....both screens have flaws

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 07:07 9

33. ebubekir26 (Posts: 311; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


pain for eyes? beach please
S4 uses technologie that saves your eyes !

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 13:42 3

61. pyradark (Posts: 775; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


Lol. Pain for the eyes is talking about the XZ not the S4, read first before commenting, or you must be blinded by amoled, thats why you got the wrong info. Hahaha

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:12 17

6. GALAXY-STORM (Posts: 328; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)


Hands down victory

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:59 14

20. CODER (Posts: 3; Member since: 27 Mar 2013)


for xperia z

posted on 28 Mar 2013, 19:41 1

89. rgxVOiD (Posts: 435; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


*The joke*
The more this guy gets downvote *Hands down* the more will agree that Xperia Z wins

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:13 3

7. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


emadshiny and xperia-knight
come on show ur aggressiveness

.. i almost cant read ur comments nowadays as the heat is just between s4 and htc one

anyway PA, pls make a battle between s4 and s3
coz when i used gsmarena photo and video compare tool
i notced that s3 and note2's details are superior than s4.. hope its not d final unit

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:17 11

8. wendygarett (unregistered)


I will play the upcoming Xperia z with my lovely mermaids where you can't :)

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:29 8

13. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


im praising Z for that :)

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 06:20 7

25. pyradark (Posts: 775; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


hahaha!!
everyone knows S4 is the truly winner for awhile, lets see with sales
if they can beat the S3 last year
Z is already selling very good

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 06:46 6

28. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


oh i forgot lee480
ahhh theres still plenty of them who hates samsung too much :)

hahakeep the redmarks going :)
im just happy that i told so many facts way before abt xperia Z and trolls keep defending this faulty flagship :)
im not a Sony hater, i owned a a sony laptop and xperiaV but left unused becoz of many issues, so my note2 keeps on rocking my life :)

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 07:05 6

31. SleepingOz (unregistered)


I remember when the XZ came out, they were all trolling Samsung articles, "fake octa-core gimmick blablabla". I guess they went back to their caves, since sony haven't learn anything from their past mistakes. Subpar 2012 specs on their 2013 flagship.

But wait a little, I'm pretty sure "biased PA paid by Samsung" comments are coming!

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 07:27

35. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


not really coming coz those comments already came in odr artcles haha :D

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 18:26 1

71. rgxVOiD (Posts: 435; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


Everything is now subpar? Even if it can still run perfectly fine and par with those "2013 spec"?

We moved forward so much that these pricks are starting to show up, "OMG, it's using a yesterday's old spec, must be subpar because LOOK, today there's a new CPU"

http://youtu.be/s8dx6SDR63Y?t=1m36s
Watch this and you'll know what I'm talking about

posted on 28 Mar 2013, 10:02

88. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Every major 2013 flagships feature at least the S600, even some cheap chinese ones have it on board. So yeah the XZ has a subpar CPU/GPU compared to them.
Not to mention that lags and hiccups have been reported by many XDA users.
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2176655&highlight=lag
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2189017&highlight=lag
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2139044&highlight=lag
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2186730&highlight=lag (In this one the GSIII is even faster)

Now let's talk about the camera, even if it's a 13mp sensor, it can barely match the 8mp of the GSIII/iP5, which means the XZ camera is subpar compared to the GSIV one and even the 4 "ultrapixels" of the HTC One.

What about the TFT screen?
Poor viewing angles, poor contrasts, washed out colours, lame sunlight visibility. It's even worse than 2011/2012 screens(HOX and iP4S LCDs are clear examples of better screens, even though they have lower ppi).

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 23:03 1

78. GTR722 (Posts: 241; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


Enjoy your gimmick octa core that will be only on 25% of the GS4 because poor quality control by Samsung. Samsung faboys, the new apple ones.

posted on 28 Mar 2013, 01:13

80. heyhi (Posts: 125; Member since: 19 Feb 2013)


Apple ones dont know Android and dont know much about phones, some dont care and some cant see that Android has better phones right now or cant accept that.
i think you are like them, because you cant see which one is better or dont wanna accept which one is better...on this case you are being the "apple one" fanboymaster.

posted on 28 Mar 2013, 09:30

86. SleepingOz (unregistered)


http://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-Galaxy-S4-with-Exynos-5Octabenchmarks-outscore-every-Android-out-there_id41292#4-

Gimmick you said? LMAO! I guess I've hurt your feelings wih my previous comment. Well, truth hurts, doesnt it?! =]

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 04:30 1

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


if the benchmark is true samsung 5 octa with 8 core is nothing but gimmick because many people think samsung 5 octa gonna be the most powerful SOCs some even said ''crapdragon is weak'' but the reality its not to much powerful than S600 ( if the benchmark is true ) and S600 proved it doesn't need 8 core to have excellent battery life
with some optimization S600 will be equal with octacore just like XP Z vs nexus 4, (antutu 2000+ vs 15000+) (quadrant 8000+ vs 4000+)
the real powerhouse is between tegra4 or S800
the truth does hurt when you can't except the reality that samsung octacore is nothing but gimmick ( IF THE BENCHMARK IS TRUE )

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 11:59

55. Taters (Posts: 3261; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


13mp is probably noisier than 8mp. Might have to play around with the settings to make the newer sensor stand out.

Sony should have stuck with 8mp for their Exmor RS, which I am quite positive is the sensor in both the GS4 and Xperia Z. Apple might be smart enough to contract Sony to make an 8mp version of the Exmor RS though.

Not sure if the 8mp Exmor RS sensor in the Xperia SP is better or worse than the 13mp one.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:22 5

9. _Bone_ (Posts: 2135; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Blows away the Xperia Blur, especially in camera, screen and battery department. But of course there's always a geek that wets himself from the IP57 certification, so the Z comes handy when they do a shandy.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 13:47 1

63. pyradark (Posts: 775; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


OK. A cool guy with S4, A geek guy with Z. Rain pour so hard, both have no umbrella. Oppps!! S4 dead while Z is dancing with the rain. Hahaha Power is not the only Best in this world

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 14:24

67. maccess (Posts: 628; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


no one stupid enough to still using their phone while raining.. all things they should do is to find a f***ing place to get cover!!

posted on 28 Mar 2013, 07:31 1

85. pyradark (Posts: 775; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


S4 is already dead once you find a cover moron

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:23 10

10. sonofzeus (Posts: 95; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


xperia z is a beauty and s4 is a beast

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 11:47

52. Eonnaydra (Posts: 209; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


HTC One is a beauty and S4 is a beast. Fixed.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 13:49 4

64. pyradark (Posts: 775; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


There is no beauty on a copy of Z10 front and Xperia P back

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:24 3

11. nicholassss (Posts: 351; Member since: 10 May 2012)


Technically, S4 hands down, but I love the way the Xperia Z looks. I love corners and on screen buttons.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:28 4

12. chongbh (Posts: 13; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


Definitely this review is very biased towards Samsung as they are the market leader now, guess only the user know how sucks Samsung OS is. The review do not even mention on the water and dust resistance of Xperia Z.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:42 8

16. nicholassss (Posts: 351; Member since: 10 May 2012)


i dunno man, touchwiz doesnt suck that bad, and if its really a problem hack it.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:31 1

14. Trex95 (Posts: 553; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)


So still you have to buy nokia 3310 for better call quality Lol.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:35 10

15. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4069; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


S4 hands down. I don't care how premium your materials are; with sharp corners that make it unwieldy and an unimpressive display, the Xperia Z is very unappealing to me.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 07:30 5

36. MrJerry (Posts: 394; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)


Correct

It was OK when I saw it on videos and photos
But once I touched it, I felt exactly same as Ray said.

Bulky, unwieldy ,and heavy

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 04:55 9

17. CODER (Posts: 3; Member since: 27 Mar 2013)


g4 is soooo ugly,..... and xperia z is powerful enough to do whtever g4 can do... so whts the point of having something as ugly as g4??lol

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 07:58 6

39. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


XZ cant wow u in watching videos
XZ cant deliver lout and better sound quality
XZ cant capture the best photos out there
XZ cant stand a day

oh

XZ can deliver u with faulty stamina mode
XZ can give u laggy homescreen
XZ can give u so many issues> talk.sonymobile.com

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