Sony Xperia Z vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Sony was quick to release its flagship smartphone for the first half of 2013 – the Xperia Z. The company did its job ahead of everyone else and is now enjoying a comfortable specs lead against the current Android flagships on the market. But as we all know, specs ain't everything! Could it be that the Galaxy S III, one of the best smartphones of 2012, can still prove to be a worthy opponent to the Xperia Z, even though technological evolution is on the side of Sony's handset? Let us take a closer look and find out!
There are some evident differences regarding the design language for both devices. On one hand, we have the Sony Xperia Z, which has this rectangular shape and all-glass body, while on the other there's the Galaxy S III with its rounded corners and plastic build. Generally, we'd say that the Xperia Z has the more striking appearance of the two, definitely the more stylish one, though the GS III is easily the winner when it comes to comfort, as its rounded edges make the device feel substantially smaller in the hand.
One thing we really appreciate about the Xperia Z is the fact that it's water- and dust-resistant, which is a feature that you cannot find in any other flagship smartphone, including the Galaxy S III.
The sides of the Sony Xperia Z (bottom, left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (top, right)
Both the Xperia Z and Galaxy S III have a lot going for their displays, though both take very different approaches in that area. This is also one area where technological evolution has played its part, as the Xperia Z is armed with what seems to be the standard for high-end Android phones in 2013 – a 5” screen with 1080x1920-pixel resolution. This kind of size and res make for an amazing pixel density of 441 ppi, which means that pretty much anything that comes out on this screen is exceptionally sharp and clear. The GS III with its 4.8”, 720x1280-pixel resolution (306 ppi) screen is also very detailed and sharp, but of course the Z has the advantage here.
Being an advanced LCD screen, the one of the Xperia Z features much more realistic-looking colors, especially when compared to the Galaxy S III's colder tones. Overall though, the GS III is much more saturated and vibrant, so you may find it a bit more suitable for multimedia stuff, whereas the Xperia Z features the Mobile BRAVIA 2 engine, which also adds a certain degree of vibrancy to the image, but that feature only works in the gallery and video player, so overall you tend to end up looking at a slightly more lifeless image.
That said, the GS III has the dimmer screen, so keep this mind if you plan a lot of outdoor usage. Both handsets fail to impress with their viewing angles.
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
|Samsung Galaxy S III||294
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 S III||No data
|Sony Xperia Z||No data
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. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5465; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
In my opinion Sony Xperia Z is better.
12. GTR722 (Posts: 223; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)
True, better materials, better specs, 1080p screen, better camera, dust and water proof and better design(IMO in this one)
21. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)
better materials , design and spec are true.. but have you read gsmarena review?? they even said Z's display rather disapointing because it lacks a bit contrast and slightly dull in color.. and they even said that the 13mp camera of the Z isn't better than the 8mp camera from the last year flagship phones..
24. lee480 (Posts: 172; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)
At least GSMarena praised the camera that it was very good. Unlike PA who said Xperia Z cameras are no where near S3.
And get me started on the screen. S3 screen is pure nonsense. Cannot display colours accurately. How is this even a screen?
26. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)
hey man.. it's an amoled screen!! amoled screen never supposed to be accurate.. amoled screen supposed to be much more vibrant than "natural".. c'mon we didn't talk about lcd right??
76. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
hey man...start reading with understanding...GSMARENA HAS NEVER SAID THAT Z's CAMERA IS BETTER> It's good but nothing to write home about and definitely NOT BETTER THAN Top 8 mpx.
125. gregariousguy (Posts: 10; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)
copied from gsmarena,
In the superior auto mode the Sony Xperia Z produces photos with pleasing, albeit slightly oversaturated colors. The resolved detail is hardly spectacular and the noise levels are only average, but the dynamic range is good and contrast is excellent. The results are pretty good overall, although we wouldn't say it has a significant advantage over the best 8MP shooters from last year. Matching their performance is still a pretty good achievement, though.
The Sony Xperia Z challenges the best shooters in town and you can head over to our Photo quality comparison tool to see how it did. It did excellently on the first two charts, taking advantage of the superior resolution of its sensor to comfortably beat the 8MP sensor.
91. MrJerry (Posts: 391; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
you are the one who biased
Based on the fact that Sony Z has nothing really impressive about its camera compared to SGS3 camera which is already 9months old and other 8mp cameras..
I would say that, even if there is really nothing bad about it, it has "poor camera"
27. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5465; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
At the moment OLED based screens has more disadvantages than advantages and those disadvantages are pretty essential. Maybe in the future situation will change but at the moment it is what it is.
115. XperiaPrince (Posts: 108; Member since: 25 Dec 2012)
Yes i agree. PA is so biased. Xperia Z photo samples is very detailed and not over exposed. While the gs3 has very bright but over exposed photos.In the night shots,xperia z really wins because photos came out very detailed. I don't know why PA always say that xperia z camera is bad.
20. lee480 (Posts: 172; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)
I find it extremely odd PA finds that S3 is still a challenger to Xperia Z. PA, please wake up.
ALL tech sites praised the camera except you, oddly.
Please do a re-review. PA's reputation has gone down. Just read the comments on your reviews in forums outside.
Sites that praised Xperia Z's camera
CNET EDITOR'S CHOICE
CNET UK 4.5 out 5 = 9 out 10
23. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)
gsmarena : "The results are pretty good overall, although we wouldn't say it has a significant advantage over the best 8MP shooters from last year. Matching their performance is still a pretty good achievement, though" that's mean the 13mp camera of the Z isn't good enought even to beat the last year 8mp camera..
25. lee480 (Posts: 172; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)
Is there anything wrong with your English?
They said Xperia Z wouldn't have advantage meaning their performances are the same. No where did they say it's not comparable to last year's. Seriously? And oddly, there's a part where they praised the camera and you left that out from your quote.
28. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)
i didn't say it's not comparable.. i said it even can't beat the last year's.. that's right that's mean they are comparable.. can't beat doesn't mean not comparable.. jeez..
34. lee480 (Posts: 172; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)
You missing the point. GSMarena said the quality are the same. But you are adding your imaginative powder but twisting the words saying Xperia Z camera are no way near last year's 8mp.
35. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)
it's up to you mate.. it's useless to argue to a people like you.. i never said it's not comparable.. just thumb me down if you don't like my explanation.. i don't care..
97. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 762; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)
wew, pls just accept the facts..
PA just said those things bcoz 2013's flagships w/ 13mp should do well, but unfortunately the picture quality ddnt manage to beat last yr's 8mp, just the colors are more vibrant.. but d mere fact that their video is inferior to the gal s3, that means a lot abt their camera capabilities.. go and check gsmarenas photo and compare tool, and ull see what they mean
93. MrJerry (Posts: 391; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
Wake up boy
Like you said
"GSMarena said the quality are the same" and you seem to agree with it...
13mp camera which is about to be released vs already 9months old 8mp camera
If they are about the same, I can say that 13mp one is really crapppppy
This is how we campare the things in the world
116. timaustin2000 (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
So the one on the S3 is also, by your reasoning, crapppppppy? Except, to you it isn't - because of your personal bias.
The thing is: Yes, I was hoping for more from the Xmor RS sensor,... but it's still good. Indeed, low light photography is significantly better than many 2012 phones, as has been testified by most reviews.
In fact, I prefer the XZ shots in the comparison above: the S3 is over exposed and the colours are all over the place. There's also noticeably more noise from the Samsung.
I look forward to doing my own tests on the XZ. If I don't like it, I'll be returning it. That said, I don't expect the camera to give me any sleepless nights.
124. MrJerry (Posts: 391; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
wtf is wrong with you brain?
If your brain is not able to understand my reasoning, that's your problem.
Kindly i will explain in detail for you
I said it is crappy when it compared to 9months old camera..
You got this, right?
Let me give you an example
When iphone 3g came out, it was f**king awesome
and now if some smartphone comes out and it is just as good as ip3, i would say that the phone is piece of s**t and this doesn't mean ip3 is also s**tty
33. pwnarena (Posts: 831; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
even the camera results are better. you can look at the tree branches and twigs. more details are revealed with the xz. definitely more details ont the z without even using the right settings.
the comparisons tend to be unfair. comparing a smaller crop to a bigger one does not give an objective judgment.
57. timaustin2000 (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
Absolutely! The XZ isn't giving a "muddy" dark image, the S3 is over-exposed. Look at the sky, it's entirely whited out on the S3.
The XZ shot is the more realistic of the two.
38. Commentator (Posts: 2324; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
In my opinion the Jedi are evil!
Seriously though, I do agree. However, this is like when PA compared the SGSIII and the iPhone 4S, or any new phone vs one that's been out for half a year. Sure, the new one is better, but you can't really blame the old one for being outdated...
56. timaustin2000 (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
I'm going to disagree with PA entirely about the camera!! In daytime shots, the S3 is clearly over-exposed and detail is comparable on both (remember that the crop means that you're zooming in far further on the XZ shots). And check the night time mosque shot: there's no way that those are the correct colours on the S3 and there's more detail on the Xz (check the flagpole and the main windows). There's also far less noise on the XZ.
I've got eyes, Phonearena! Dear, dear. *shakes head*
60. serge327 (Posts: 43; Member since: 27 Aug 2012)
I wonder why PA took the photo quality so bad in xperia z, but in other website the photo of xperia z is sharper, colorful... maybe PA dun know how to use Xperia Z camera???
90. shy2papa (Posts: 202; Member since: 23 Jan 2010)
Blah Blah Blah let's see when it goes up against the galaxy note 2 which happens to be the far better then the galaxy S3 in every aspect.
126. zuckerboy (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
it is normal because there is nearly 1 year between both ...
2. Wiki_jaan (Posts: 702; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)
unfair comparison coz s3 is ~7 months old device... wait for s4
17. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2997; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Get a grip on yourself you cry baby!
Samsung's flagship is still the SIII before the SIV is released. The turn will come...but this comparison had to be done.
29. Wiki_jaan (Posts: 702; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)
check scores s3 is still better than xperia z............ as par PA rating
45. pwnarena (Posts: 831; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
as far as PA is concerned. check out other review websites.
46. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2997; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Point 1: The scores and ratings has nothing to do with the comment i'm replying to your thread. Hell, it doesn't even have anything to do with your comment as well.
Point 2: I replied because you said it was an unfair comparison based on the time it was released. A flagship is a flagship and SIII may be old but it still is Samsung's flagship.
Too much Sammy fans to even give a reasonable comment.
Although the SIII is good and somewhere inching close to the Z, for now, the Z is more future proof...but just for now, until the SIV arrives.
I somehow know, even though i'm not a huge fan of Samsung, SIV will overthrow the Z once it is compared. That's what Samsung does with every flagship...
If not, it'll be a disappointment to many.
32. Just_a_boy (Posts: 183; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
Would be fair comparing it to Droid DNA
65. pwnarena (Posts: 831; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
thd droid that shattered after falling 1 foot below. the edge to edge glass panel should have been rethought.
58. ubuntu (Posts: 40; Member since: 11 Jan 2013)
When s4 was released, i will say "unfair comparison coz Xperia Z is ~3 months old device" wait for Xperia Z2 or Xperia Zl+ haha
98. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 762; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)
at least not almost a year, besides s4 is on the verge of R&D for almost a year.. Sony should learn to give a full blast of time before they release their new flagship to avoid some glitches. anyway XZ did a great job
94. JohnnyBravo (Posts: 105; Member since: 02 Dec 2012)
This is always going to be the case with comparisons. The only exception is if two devices get released at the same time. Besides if a device is truly a flagship device then it should withstand multiple comparison throughout the year. For examply the S3 or the One - X. Both devices were released in the first and second quarter I believe and are still in my opinion pretty damn good phones.
113. daftastic (Posts: 87; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)
So they should wait until the Xperia Z mk II comes out before comparing anything with the S4 right?
3. _Bone_ (Posts: 2106; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
You give away one for free, I'd choose the Sony between these two. Faster, fullHD screen though TFT, better build quality.
4. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)
"Both handsets fail to impress with their viewing angles" i don't know why you said this but it's clearly no matter how dimmer the s3 screen but the viewing angle of amoled screen always much more impresive with no contrast lost.. no offense for the sony lovers but that's the truth..
6. lee480 (Posts: 172; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)
But the unforgivable screen that cannot display whites properly and colours that are not accurate just made the screen bullcrap.
14. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)
honestly if you are not comparing them side by side the white from the s3 display isn't bad at all.. it still "white".. and super amoled color is far from natural that's why some people loves it.. because it has the WOW factor imo when you watching videos or even when you just want to "show off your screen" ..
87. pkiran1996 (Posts: 165; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)
Completely agree - amoled isn't supposed to be natural and realistic. Some people want the saturated vivid colours as its makes the experience nicer. Its pathetic to go as far as comparing colour accuracy on a smartphone. Socially constructed rubbish.
5. 007akshay (Posts: 37; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
oh come on i think xperia z wins in al segments y cant u say promptly PA.....???? But even though xperia z shld battle it out with s4 not on s3.............
7. lee480 (Posts: 172; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)
What the .... PA still thinks S3 is better than Xperia Z. This is too much. Lol PA is confirmed biased.
16. GTR722 (Posts: 223; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)
It would be easy if they just accept their love for Samsung and Apple.
18. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)
while the Z is a benchmark king.. in real life the s3 still perform flawlesly smooth and fast comparable with the Z even thought the s3 already 9 months old device.. while the s3 8mp camera still holds up well with the 13mp camera of Z.. that's what matter.. it's not about bias..
22. Yeahman (Posts: 33; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)
They said the S III is good enough to hold its ground agains the Xperia, they never said it was better.
40. Commentator (Posts: 2324; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Don't worry, this is just a Ray S review, it was to be expected.
8. harshithh (Posts: 12; Member since: 18 Feb 2013)
this idioy says tht samsung plastic body is better than sony glass body!!totally unfair.he is totally biased towards samsung!!!!!sony wins
49. pwnarena (Posts: 831; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
please have some respect. we're just consuming their content after all. they ray s pointed out the good things about xz anyway.
64. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 760; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
"In terms of build quality, the Galaxy S III is really no match for the Xperia Z, as its thin, plastic body may be pleasant to the touch, but leaves a lot to be desired as far as sturdiness and materials go."
Learn to read.
88. pkiran1996 (Posts: 165; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)
And you need to LEARN TO READ @harshihth
99. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 762; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)
you dont knw to how read!!!
these sony diehards are being too aggressive to point PA with so much bias!!
plastic body of s3 is better just in terms of its ergonomic feel..! PA did say that XZ stands out when it comes to the build quality and look!!
9. PunyPoop (Posts: 714; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)
PA, recently you're not doing a great job. I don't know what's happening to you. I think Sony didn't pay you enough like Samsung and iPhone are paying you. You are going down PA, too bad..