Galaxy S5 vs Xperia Z2 camera samples compare the great outdoors and the murky indoors

Galaxy S5 vs Xperia Z2 camera samples compare the great outdoors and the murky indoors
The Xperia Z2 and Galaxy S5 offer the highest resolution cameras in the Android world at the moment - the Z2 has a 20 MP sensor, and the Galaxy S5 comes with a 16 MP unit. The handsets utilize smallish 1.1 micron pixels for their sensors, and the one on the Z2 is slightly bigger - 1/2.3" - than the 1/2.6" sensor in the S5, in order to accommodate the higher resolution. The phones offer 2 MP front-facing cams, capable of 1080p video recording. Below are some quick direct comparison samples from both devices. At first blush, they look on par outdoors, but when the light dims down, the situation starts to change. We won't spoil the fun for you, so have patience with the high-res photos, as they will take some time to load.

The Snapdragon 801 processors in the S5 and Z2 allows 4K video recording with fluid 30fps, as well as focus swap shenanigans for bokeh effect in the camera app. Both phones take advantage of those, just that Sony calls it Background defocus, while Samsung names it Selective Focus. The handsets have a tad different take on the image enhancements and effects that come with the two cameras, yet they both cover all the basics. Sony offers 120fps footage for slow motion video, and its Timeshift mode now applies for video, not only for stills, while you can add real-time effects during the footage capture.

Samsung offers something similar, with real-time HDR photography for both stills and video, plus it combines the typical Contrast autofocus with Phase Detection AF, allowing impressively fast 0.3s focusing times. The Galaxy S5 camera interface is a bit easier to use with its large, easy to press option buttons, while the one on the Xperia Z2 offers a perplexing array of modes, that are arranged in a somewhat ragtag way. Check out the comparison samples below, and tell us what you think.


Related phones

Galaxy S5
  • Display 5.1" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh(21h 3G talk time)
Xperia Z2
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3200 mAh(19h 3G talk time)



1. solidsnake695

Posts: 132; Member since: Jan 04, 2013

i think z2 did a better job but for phonearena u know what i mean

14. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

I also know what Sony fans will think about the comparison, lol/ I still remember - 2012 phones shot-out: "where is Xperia S, it has 12 MP camera and better than GS3 and iPhone". - 2013 early phones shot-out "where is Xperia Z, blah blah similar to above" - Note 3 screen vs Xperia Z2: Z2 is more "vivid" and natural (so if color is vivid on a Sony's device, it would be naturally vivid, but on a Samsung's phone would be oversaturated)

29. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

That was bitter but truth indeed. Btw From my 2 day experience, i can say galaxy s5(white one) is not ugly infact it has a very solid feel in hand. Speaking of camera it has an extremely fast viewfinder, the autofocus is indeed lightning fast, it has hands down the best camera on a smartphone i've seen. The only complaint is that uglier and even more inconsistent touchwiz imo.

52. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Dude I am confused between black and white. Do you feel obtrusive when holding a white phone ? i.e. do the white bezels create distraction when viewing the screen ? THnaks.

57. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Do as erica griffin suggested. Buy a black model, buy a white back cover. It looks great.

71. Ashoaib

Posts: 3282; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

White one is more beautiful then black

75. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Agreed but at the front, the white bezels look extremely cheap and generic, especially when the screen is off. Black back is hideous though with all those dots clearly visible. Personal experience.

90. RuiBacelar

Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 25, 2014

But they are extremely cheap and generic...but yes, it seems a tad better in black. But keep in mind that the White one will look better when the chrome finish starts to peel of, I can atest that on a GS3 and GS4. Be advised, plastic chrome peels of.

33. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

At least my S5 doesn't cook in my hands recording 4K video... Z2.. fail

41. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Lolol ouch.

65. knifeslicer

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

that is because S5 limits 4K recording only up to 5mins. On the other hand, Sony recommends users to use high quality SD cards to address that kind of concern when recording in 4K.:)

53. CoastCity

Posts: 257; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

Z2's camera is the worst because, as a specialist, I can judge from photo 8 that it can't capture some objects. A duck is missing! Shame on you Sony, you screw up big time. I'll go for ChinaCopy brand this year!

55. shahulvm

Posts: 124; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

Did you ever think that the duck would have moved away or it wouldnt have been in the scene when the shot was taken.

60. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Did you feel the whoosh of air over your head?

72. Ashoaib

Posts: 3282; Member since: Nov 15, 2013


64. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012


76. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Rofl. That was more than hilarious dude.

96. RuiBacelar

Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 25, 2014

Please go troll to some other place =)

106. enzotarece

Posts: 87; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

lol haha u need help u cant afford the z2 dont hate appreciate cuz a duck is missing lol stop more like a specialist in comedy

109. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

lol u sure u a specialist dude, the bird either moved or the Z2 image was taken first and the S5 at which point the duck came into view

58. Onami

Posts: 16; Member since: Mar 29, 2014

Simply this test have a problem: _ S5 use auto HDR _ Z2 use superior auto, no HDR Guess what happen? Nothing surprise.

78. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

But I thought it was so good it could stand on it's own? All that talk for nothing. S5 > Z2

85. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

I'm still happy with my Z2, for me this is the greatest device :) Chopping Board > Band Aid ;)

99. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Functionality (S5) > bandwagon phone (Z2)

104. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

How do you define a bandwagon? I think it suits the S5 and it suits you, when HTC One M8 are not yet released your excited to get it, when in fact, you hate HTC. Act your age Smurf..

110. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

That conclusion is not worthy of saying. If you prefer S5, then just don't buy the Z2. Stop stating things which you don't like with words that are not describing the product correctly.

28. HansGoneInsane unregistered

This comparison hasn' been conducted by PhoneArena. Check out the source below the article.

66. sar44

Posts: 278; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

Phonearena, are you paid or just haters? Kalman gray test is not in a movie mode, and a color with a distorted benchmark, the browsers test with chrome, and now these last two pictures

73. Ashoaib

Posts: 3282; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Source of this test is not phonearena

94. RuiBacelar

Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 25, 2014

Humm...the 1st pic looks better on the Z2, the other outdoor pics looks better on GS5, so...overhall outdoor experience goes to Samsung Galaxy S5. Indoor performance, well you have to be blind to deny that the Z2 has more detail and color richness, pics simply look better on Z2. Low-light, well if your goal is to "see something" than Z2, if it's "keeping it real" then GS5. Personaly I think that in low-light it's better to see something, overexposed yes, but something, than some acurate shadows. Both phones are impressive in camera department.

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