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Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3

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Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Introduction


Gaining even more steam just in time for its impending release stateside, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is no doubt going to be a major force to be reckoned with when it’s finally unleashed. Many prized smartphones stand in its way, but as we’ve seen thus far, it has the right guts, looks, specs, and performance to propel it to the top of the food chain.

Indeed, the Sony Xperia Z3 has been making the rounds for quite some time now, and through it all, we have to continue recognizing it for the qualities that make it a phone great. In the specs sheet, the older Xperia Z3 might have a disadvantage against the latest and greatest from Sammy’s camp, however, we just can’t count out the Xperia Z3 yet – more so when it bears some characteristics that are increasingly becoming less prominent amongst flagships.

Design

The S6 takes charge with its dramatically different design, one that’s now premium in nature, but the Xperia Z3 is one of the last remaining flagships to offer a water resistant construction.

With every new Galaxy S release, Samsung has historically built upon the base by refining what's already there and adding some extra on top. With the Galaxy S6, however, the electronics giant has focused far more on the latter than on the former. To that end, instead of the plasticky shell of the Galaxy S5, Samsung has adopted a metal frame that hugs the device all over and nestles within two sheets of Corning Gorilla Glass 4 – one placed in front of the display, and the other to protect the rear.

Samsung didn't stop there, instead opting to carve several 'nano layers' into the shell. The result is a front and back that reflect light in slightly different hues depending on your viewing angle. Also, we can’t forget about some of the handset’s key features – like its improved fingerprint sensor, built-in wireless charging, heart rate sensor, and IR blaster. In achieving a higher degree of craftsmanship and premium design, the Galaxy S6, however, is stripped of some key design features that were once notable qualities with its predecessor.

And with that, we have to look at the Sony Xperia Z3 longingly and admire the fact that it’s one of the few, remaining flagships to qualify being regarded as water-resistant with its design. That’s a testament to say the least, since it doesn’t make too many sacrifices with its aesthetics and construction – it’s relatively slim and premium. It shares some of the same design characteristics as its rival, such as its premium glass surfaces and metal frame, though the Z3 is the noticeably bigger phone of the two.Still, it’s able to accommodate a handy, and always useful microSD card slot and dedicated shutter key. Not surprisingly, the Galaxy S6 earns adulation and commendation for its stark redesign, one that’s undoubtedly now deemed as premium, but we can’t neglect to forget about the Xperia Z3’s design either. Come to think of it now, it’s one of the most underrated smartphone designs out there. Despite that, the Xperia Z3’s hard lines makes it a bit awkward to handle at times, which makes the Galaxy S6 feel a ton more comfortable to hold.


Samsung Galaxy S6
5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches
143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
4.87 oz (138 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6

Sony Xperia Z3
5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 inches
146 x 72 x 7.3 mm
5.36 oz (152 g)

Sony Xperia Z3


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Display

Everything is just better with the Galaxy S6’s display.

Being almost a year newer has its advantages, especially knowing Samsung’s insatiable appetite for pushing the boundaries. Clearly within the flagship range, the Xperia Z3’s 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 LCD display has several good qualities about it, but it looks daunting on paper in comparison to the Galaxy S6’s dazzling 5.1-inch 1440 x 2560 Super AMOLED display.

In all fairness, it’s quite difficult in deciphering the detail superiority of the Galaxy S6’s display over the Xperia Z3 when looking at the two from a normal distance – they’re both sharp and pleasing to the eye. Moving ever so closer, however, that’s when we begin to visualize the astounding level of detail produced by the quad-HD resolution of the Galaxy S6’s screen. For practical usage, though, there’s no denying that they’re both on equal ground.Now, let's talk about color calibration. With the Samsung Galaxy S6 set in the non-default Basic display mode, we're looking at a spot-on color temperature of 6550K (6500K being the desired optimal value), while the Xperia Z3 offers the very unsatisfactory 10324K. In real terms, this means that the Xperia Z3’s display is cold (or bluish) and that's especially visible with whites and various shades of gray. In comparison, Samsung's device offers realistic whites that are... well, white!

Were we to draw the line right here, the Xperia Z3 would only suffer a relatively small defeat, instead of being steamrolled as it is in reality. Indeed, the Galaxy S6's display also proves far better in terms of color accuracy, with essentially every shade hitting its desired target at every intensity level, while the Z3 falters significantly in comparison – the hue presentation is all over the place when referenced to the standard, as you can see in the color charts below. In reality, the S6’s panel replicates colors with accuracy, while the Z3’s screen tries to be more saturated and punchy, which, however, backfires significantly, resulting in a severely inaccurate screen.

Details and colors aside, the Z3’s LCD-based display shines strongly at 713 nits, making it especially easy to view outdoors with the sun present. Once known to be among the worse display technologies when it came to maximum brightness, Super AMOLED has taken a great leap forward in recent memory, as the S6’s Super AMOLED display musters up a respectable 563 nits.

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
Samsung Galaxy S6 563
(Excellent)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6584
(Excellent)
2.11
2.02
(Good)
2.94
(Good)
Sony Xperia Z3 713
(Excellent)
4
(Excellent)
1:1148
(Good)
10324
(Poor)
2.55
6.43
(Average)
9.28
(Poor)
View all


57 Comments
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posted on 08 Apr 2015, 07:30 14

1. calim (Posts: 40; Member since: 09 Mar 2013)


Z3 should win because of battery time alone. A dead phone is just a brick until it's charged again.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 07:38 8

2. FluffyBled (Posts: 541; Member since: 10 Sep 2014)


What about recharge time?

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 09:16 5

17. mixedfish (Posts: 1319; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)


Indeed recharge time is an important consideration, now that you can't change the battery you DON'T want a fast charge time. Lest you fall victim of a faster deteriorating battery.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 19:49 4

38. techperson211 (Posts: 1280; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


These 2 are great phones but for me samsung removed a lot of features that are well known from them. Z3 on the other hand have a lot of unique feature such as noise cancelation, ps remote play, ip certified, good battery life, almost stock android and the external sd slot. Qhd is useless for that kind of sizes putting strain to battery. Camera no doubt that s6 is better but z3 is not far behind if you know basic photography and of course most of us is not and just want to point and shoot. Still for me z3 is the best choice here considering the price difference as well.

posted on 09 Apr 2015, 02:43 2

44. the_matchless (Posts: 64; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)


So very well put!! +1

posted on 09 Apr 2015, 02:49 2

45. the_matchless (Posts: 64; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)


In case you are talking about fast charging, that's exactly what Samsung does and as you said it results in degradation in battery life. By the way its not a company specific feature its rather a Qualcomm feature so they all have it (visit qualcomm website and you'll find out). Yes S6 has a home brewed CPU alright but still what I mean to say is that they all have it. Sony has just not packaged the handset with a fast charger probably for the reason stated above. You may get a charger with higher MA and have the phone charged quicker.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 07:41 8

3. SonyFindOneDroidple (Posts: 852; Member since: 11 May 2013)


Would also take up 2.6hrs more to recharge, so basicallly it will be idle/brick for 2.6hrs more..

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 08:00 7

7. ILikeBubbles (Posts: 525; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


perfect for people who let their phone charge overnight.. and the battery life is (should be) MORE than enough to last an entire day away from the charger.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 09:10

16. FluffyBled (Posts: 541; Member since: 10 Sep 2014)


Not that perfect for people who play graphics intensive games a lot!

posted on 09 Apr 2015, 02:54 2

47. the_matchless (Posts: 64; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)


Have you owned a Z3? I guess not cause it at an average has 50% battery time left nearing bed time so how much gaming would you be doing? the whole night? IUKWIM

posted on 02 May 2015, 16:42 2

54. TMach (Posts: 464; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Playing intensive graphic wouldn't be something you'd want to do on the S6, given the battery would be dead in less than a nano second...... Lol.

posted on 02 May 2015, 16:44

55. TMach (Posts: 464; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Intensive graphic games.....even!

posted on 09 Apr 2015, 02:50 1

46. the_matchless (Posts: 64; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)


Well said @ ILikeBubbles

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 08:44 5

15. JunitoNH (Posts: 1931; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


Yes, also SD card and water resistant. The S6 to me, is an old design, reminiscent of the iphone 4 and beyond. In order for Sony to make a dent in the mobile market; they need to adjust their price structure.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 10:42 1

21. natypes (Posts: 1104; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)


You mean the Z3 is an old design, right?

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 11:42 1

24. oister85 (Posts: 501; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


No, they need to stop been exclusive for some carriers and release they phone worldwide.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 12:10 9

26. CamaroSS (Posts: 173; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)


Also loved how PA pretended to see a big difference in the display sharpness by deliberately skipping the 'pentile' resolution of the S6

Z3 -> Red SPPI - 424 , Green SPPI - 424, Blue - SPPI - 424

S6 -> Red SPPI - 408 , Green SPPI - 577, Blue - SPPI - 408

S6 is far from being much sharper than Z3 and can actually be less sharper than Z3 in some cases. But hey, that's PA for you =)

If you take LG G3 (much bigger 5.5" screen), it'd be much sharper than S6

G3 -> Red SPPI - 538 , Green SPPI - 538, Blue - SPPI - 538

But this time, PA would again deliberately ignore the 'pentile' part and label S6 sharper than G3. At least, we get entertained though.

Pentile QHD is in the same class as the 1080p RGB in terms of sharpness. If anyone pretends to see the difference between Pentile QHD & RGB 1080p, he should see 2x the difference between a RGB QHD & Pentile QHD.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 13:56 1

30. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3746; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


"In all fairness, it’s quite difficult in deciphering the detail superiority of the Galaxy S6’s display over the Xperia Z3 when looking at the two from a normal distance – they’re both sharp and pleasing to the eye. Moving ever so closer, however, that’s when we begin to visualize the astounding level of detail produced by the quad-HD resolution of the Galaxy S6’s screen. For practical usage, though, there’s no denying that they’re both on equal ground."

Where exactly did they pretend to see a huge difference? That last sentence says it all. Stop exaggerating.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 14:29 2

32. CamaroSS (Posts: 173; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)


"Moving ever so closer, however, THAT'S WHEN we begin to visualize the astounding level of detail ..." So they magically see the extra green sub-pixels, but don't see the missing red & blue sub-pixels.

LOL - stop whining & read before you paste.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 14:38 1

33. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3746; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


I read it just fine. Please point out where I'm whining. I'll wait.

The obvious conclusion they came to is that there is no difference in practical usage, but all you could see was the one sentence. Keep your bias tucked in.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 15:13 2

34. CamaroSS (Posts: 173; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)


Please point out where I'm exaggerating. I'll wait.

You're stuck with one sentence as well. Sharpness is objective. From a subjective viewpoint, you either see it or not - altogether. Keep your pain tucked in.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 15:25 1

35. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3746; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


"Also loved how PA pretended to see a big difference in the display sharpness by deliberately skipping the 'pentile' resolution of the S6. "

Right there. Not to mention, it's two sentences, not one.

It's funny to me that you think this pains me in any way. This is the internet. I highly doubt I will be losing a wink of sleep due to this conversation. Keep trying though.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 15:32 2

36. CamaroSS (Posts: 173; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)


'astounding level of detail' == big difference

It's funny to me that you think I exaggerated in any way. Well, This is internet, but reading helps!

posted on 02 May 2015, 16:46

56. TMach (Posts: 464; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Just the usual bias in favour of the latest and greatest from a favoured manufacturer....!

posted on 10 Apr 2015, 07:30

51. the_matchless (Posts: 64; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)


+1@g2a5b0e
LOLzzz true! they just pointlessly need a point to score... LOLzzz

posted on 12 Apr 2015, 05:34

53. Trex95 (Posts: 1087; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)


I think I agree with you after I used every single Samsung flagship that comes with 1080P and 1440P Super Amoled Note 3, Note 4, Note edge, S5 and S6 even tho S6 comes with 577 ppi it's not as sharp as G3 IPS that comes with 538 ppi plus screen mode in Amoled photo and basic mode the white turn yellowish really sad cause I prefer Samsung keyboard and fingerprint scanner on S6.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 19:15

37. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


The battery life on my Z3 went from 3 days standby to 1 day after the 5.02 update. Crazy. Other than that, great update.

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 07:49

4. UglyFrank (Posts: 1906; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


I guarantee the S5 has better visibility in sunlight

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 12:58

28. Rhinoface (Posts: 179; Member since: 05 Dec 2014)


lol ok

posted on 08 Apr 2015, 07:52 9

5. Kakarotto (Posts: 254; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


I don't like that plastic corners of Z3.

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