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Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

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Camera

We generally found the 16-megapixel snapper on the S5 to be superior to the 20.7-megapixel unit on the Z2. It is the slightly more reliable shooter, and it churns out the slightly more attractive stills overall.

Well, well, well! Finally the plot thickens. By all current standards, both the Xperia Z2 and the Galaxy S5 are no joke when it comes to imaging, as the two pack some serious configurations. For its part, Sony's flagship sports one of the largest sensors in a smartphone camera: 1/2.3'', or large enough to house the whopping 20.7 million, 1.1-micron large pixels. The 27mm G Lens' aperture of f/2.0 is also pretty wide, theoretically allowing more light to enter the sensor at any given time. In comparison, the Galaxy S5 features a slightly less incredible-sounding, 1/2.6'' sensor with 16 megapixels and 31mm lens with narrower, f/2.2 aperture.

Starting with the Xperia Z2, we have the more simplistic user interface of the two – controls are mostly intuitive and there aren't as many options as with the cluttered interface of the Galaxy S5. Both devices also come with a number of shooting modes, like Background Defocus (Z2) or Selective Focus (S5), both of which offer fake bokeh effect. So far, so good. But what about the results these impressive snappers produce?

Camera UI of the Sony Xperia Z2 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Camera UI of the Sony Xperia Z2 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Camera UI of the Sony Xperia Z2 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Camera UI of the Sony Xperia Z2 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Camera UI of the Sony Xperia Z2


The camera app of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
The camera app of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
The camera app of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
The camera app of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
The camera app of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
The camera app of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
The camera app of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
The camera app of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

The camera app of the Samsung Galaxy S5


Looking at Sony's new flagship, we see a lot that we like, though we don't necessarily feel the Z2 introduced any significant improvements over its predecessor. Snaps when light is abundant are great on the whole and have natural colors with a tinge of over-saturation. Sony's default Superior Auto mode shoots 8-megapixel stills instead of 20.7-megapixel ones as you might expect, but the extra resolution isn't exactly wasted. Rather, the software resizes and enhances images in order to arrive at a finer-looking still and to also allow for some lossless zooming. What's more, Superior Auto is a very good judge of the composition in front of it for the most part, and rarely mucks up imperative variables such as proper exposition. Images are pleasantly sharp, and noise levels are perfectly acceptable.

As for Samsung's phone, we definitely see an evolutionary step forward with the Galaxy S5. Color reproduction is quite realistic, and the snapper captures some very detailed and dynamic shots that are very attractive to look at. Samsung's Auto mode churns out much bigger, 16-megapixel snaps, and is also consistently arriving at a proper verdict as far as judging the scene goes. This means that variables like exposure and shutter speed are properly set.

Indoors, in lower light, the two phones act rather differently. The Z2, for its part, fires the flash more often than the S5, which leads to comparatively colder (bluish) shots with washed out colors. This is especially noticeable when the Xperia's stills are put next to the more naturally-toned snaps from the S5. However, in low light, when both phones use their flashes, the Z2 gains an edge, with better overall color. In those scenarios, the snaps produced by the S5 exhibit a visible blue fringing.


Image size:
Use our samples comparison tool to see photos from more phones

Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z2 3
No data
452
398
Samsung Galaxy S5 2.5
3
300
243
View all

A stroll through the video capture department yields equally satisfying results with both devices, though there are some nuances. Perhaps most importantly, both devices deliver properly-exposed clips with natural color reproduction and consistently high frame rate, though we did feel the Z2's samples were just a tad more lifeless, and especially when light wasn't as abundant. That said, the Z2's microphone does a great job of capturing lower frequencies – a field in which the S5's underperforms. Lastly, both devices support 4K video capture, and can even shoot slow-moes in 720p at 120 frames per second.


Multimedia

Full-fledged multimedia hubs for on-the-go consumption.

We found both the Z2 and the S5 to be perfectly reasonable for on-the-go media consumption. Their large, but crisp displays played a big role here, and the crop of multimedia apps in their respective galleries and music and video players are tried and tested. That said, we can't help but give Sony the advantage here, at least as far as looks go – Samsung's software design feels a bit stale in comparison.

Album app - The multimedia experience on the Sony Xperia Z2 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
The multimedia experience on the Sony Xperia Z2 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Walkman player - The multimedia experience on the Sony Xperia Z2 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
The multimedia experience on the Sony Xperia Z2 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Album app

 

Walkman player

 

The multimedia experience on the Sony Xperia Z2


Gallery - The multimedia experience on the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
The multimedia experience on the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Music player - The multimedia experience on the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
The multimedia experience on the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Gallery

 

Music player

 

The multimedia experience on the Samsung Galaxy S5


Sound reproduction is something of a surprising tie. We sure dig the duo of front-facing speakers on the Xperia Z2, as they offer a true stereo effect and sound has a nice depth to it, but, at the same time, volume levels are just unsatisfying. In comparison, the singular speaker on the Galaxy S5's rear offers some serious volume punch, and sound fidelity is also pretty good for a loudspeaker on a phone.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z2 0.29
Samsung Galaxy S5 0.43
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z2 71
Samsung Galaxy S5 81
View all


156 Comments
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posted on 15 May 2014, 07:18 11

1. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Clash of the Titans.

posted on 15 May 2014, 07:47 3

14. hmd74 (Posts: 481; Member since: 31 Jan 2013)


Clash of clans :D

posted on 15 May 2014, 09:23

59. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Head to head and cut to cut....

Nice article Chris.

posted on 15 May 2014, 17:18 7

95. cheetah2k (Posts: 1594; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


I have both Z2 and S5. I 100% disagree the IPS display is better than the S5's display. Not sure what crack Chris was smoking, but must have been good stuff

posted on 25 May 2014, 03:35

144. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


lmaoooooo you have nothing

posted on 27 May 2014, 04:55 1

163. T.Law (Posts: 415; Member since: 10 May 2014)


I have the Z2 and most of my friends have the S5. I have to admit that I prefer the screen of the S5 and the colour reproduction is no where near inaccurate. But I'll never trade my Z2 for the S5 though.

posted on 15 May 2014, 07:54 8

18. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


In movie and pro photo mode the temperature 6500K, also they have 106-107% SRGB, its better than 130% in Z2.
forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=52446659​​#post52446659
brightness at s5 in a auto mode is 698. also much better antiglare
At Z2
130% SRGB. All image are designed for SRGB standard (99.9% of the colors in nature), and enhanced range is color distortion, oversaturation and red hues.
Lack of OIS
No isocell (isocell have better color, better dynamic range)
No oled (oled have ideal black color, ideal contrast, ideal viewing angle, ideal response speed, all much better than lcd)
Weak sound in headphones
Large energy consumption (3200 mah batery life less then 2800mah S5 and 2600 mah M8)
FBReader Video 3D Games
HTC M8 2600 mА·h 22 h. 10 m. 13 h. 20 m. 3 h. 20 m.
Galaxy S5 2800 mА·h 17 h. 20 m. 12 h. 30 m. 4 h 30 m.
Xperia z2 3200 мА·h 15 h. 20 m. 11 h. 00 m. 3 h. 30 m.

posted on 15 May 2014, 08:13 1

31. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


TL;DR version please and clickable links.

posted on 15 May 2014, 08:17

33. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


are not allowed

posted on 15 May 2014, 08:44

41. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


http://www.xda-developers.com/
not allowed huh

posted on 15 May 2014, 14:18

91. Odiin (Posts: 342; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)


What is this? I didnt get anything.
Downright confusing.

posted on 16 May 2014, 10:14 6

115. buccob (Posts: 2578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Read GSMArena battery score and cry...

http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_z2-review-1078p3.php

Battery life is one of the best out there... way more than SGS5

posted on 25 May 2014, 03:36

145. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


what about the battery life test here on PA and other sites? #StopTheHate #iInsistSonyIsForOldPeople #DontStartPreaching

posted on 26 May 2014, 08:27 1

161. buccob (Posts: 2578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


PA battery life test only involve 1 type of test...

GSMArena test 4 areas: Talk time, Web Browsing, Video Playback and Stand By... then they make an average out of them...

In my opinion GSMArena has a much more comprehensive and complete Battery life test...

and c'mon buddy... dont bring hashtags crap here... it doesn't make your post look good.

posted on 15 May 2014, 08:03 3

25. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


I am not a fanboy, at S5 also has disadvantages
forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2746925
and lg (little camera sensor, no oled, no isocell, plastic body, no waterproof, bad sound at headphonres) and htc (thick bezels, little camera sensor, no oled, no isocell, no ois) and apple (thick bezels, little camera sensor, no oled, no isocell, no ois, little screen)

posted on 15 May 2014, 08:09 12

29. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


So no isocell has become a dealbreaker huh. Cool.

posted on 15 May 2014, 08:16 3

32. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


Read about, watch video, isocell have better color and dynamic range.
phonearena.com/reviews/Camera-comparison-Huawei-As​cend-P7-and-Oppo-Find-7a-vs-Samsung-Galaxy-S5-LG-G​2-iPhone-5s-HTC-One-M8-Sony-Xperia-Z1_id3694
eprice.com.tw/mobile/talk/124/4899661/1/rv/sony-xp​eria-z2-review/
eprice.com.tw/mobile/talk/124/4899662/1/rv/sony-xp​eria-z2-review/
4pda.ru/forum/index.php?showtopic=515584&view=find​post&p=3043522 6
and the others comparisons

posted on 15 May 2014, 09:30 8

63. refillable (Posts: 1047; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


Unnatural DR and oversaturated photos of the S5 cancel your argument very quickly. Also, please stop posting unclickable links! I have not seen the video tests though.

posted on 15 May 2014, 09:40 8

72. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


You are true samsung hater. All on the contrary. No oversaturation, colors are maximally natural, unlike bsi

posted on 15 May 2014, 09:46 7

75. refillable (Posts: 1047; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


You never handle DSLRs, do you?

posted on 15 May 2014, 09:59 4

80. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


At S5 DR better than bsi in smartphones, but not better then bsi in DSLR, because smaller sensor. Colors at S5 better then bsi in smartphones and bsi in DSLR. Less electrical crosstalk between pixels. The excess charge less spreads out in the wrong cell.
More photons exactly comes with microlenses and going in the right photodiode.

posted on 16 May 2014, 05:28 4

105. refillable (Posts: 1047; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


My Point is, A good DSLR Photo doesn't oversaturate things like the S5's camera does. Less electrical crosstalk means that colours will not be flexible, hence the result is some oversaturated pictures and unnatural colours.

posted on 15 May 2014, 11:12 3

84. josephnero (Posts: 558; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Let them go bro.sammy fans are getting worse than apple and nokia

posted on 15 May 2014, 13:09 3

87. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Which phone has DSLR? Here people are talking about phone

posted on 16 May 2014, 05:29 1

107. refillable (Posts: 1047; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


A good DSLR can be a 'reference' to compare good smartphone cameras. There is nothing wrong with talking about DSLRs here.

posted on 16 May 2014, 07:06

112. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


http://4pda.ru/forum/index.php?showtopic=515584&st=860#entry30435226

posted on 18 May 2014, 02:21 1

124. refillable (Posts: 1047; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


I don't wanna believe untrusted sites. How they showed the details that the Z2 captures baffles me.

posted on 19 May 2014, 09:28

126. Heddy87 (Posts: 28; Member since: 19 May 2014)


hahaha... really?
I own my z2 and taking photos they were never blurred in the background.. did they clean the lens from fingerprints... Total fake or old software. As also the kidding sharpness of sgs 5.. Tried them both in same occasion and place.. Z2 was not far worse than S5 but still a first class in compact cams, and hits perfectly clear macro scene, next time use a cam holder if you have shaky hands.

posted on 16 May 2014, 07:10 1

113. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


http://www.androidauthority.com/isocell-how-it-works-344628/

posted on 19 May 2014, 23:56 1

128. refillable (Posts: 1047; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


I know that. What I'm talking about was how it produces more saturated pictures than BSI, which is not nice considering that saturation is oversaturated (at least for me). And I have many friends who agrees with me.

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