Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Sony Xperia Z3 blind camera comparison: you choose the better phone

Voting for this blind comparison is now closed. See the results below.

Alright, smartphone aficionados and camera buffs, we've got something that's surely going to draw your attention. It is time for another blind camera comparison of ours, and the contestants we've chosen indeed have plenty of potential in the field. In the left corner, equipped with a 16MP camera, F2.2 aperture, OIS, and 1/2.6 sensor, we have the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – the winner of our previous camera comparison and many more before it. And in the right corner stands the Sony Xperia Z3, packing a 20.7MP camera with F2.0 aperture and 1/2.3 sensor. Who's going to be victorious at the end of this race? Well, it all depends on our valued readers' votes.

In the galleries below you'll find photos of six scenes captured with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Sony Xperia Z3 under identical conditions. Both phones had their cameras set to their automatic modes, with their flashes and HDR modes disabled, and the produced images were scaled down to the same resolution to make it harder to guess which photos belong to which phone. It's a blind camera comparison after all. All we ask from you is to take a good look at the pairs of photos and to vote for the image you like best. Take a look at the close-up crops we've included, but don't forget to examine the scene as a whole as well using the provided side-by-side and high-res samples. Voting will end in a few days, and the winning phone will be announced shortly after.

Scene 1

It was a warm yet cloudy afternoon when we captured this shot. We have reds and blues in the scene, the saturation of which is great for judging color accuracy, while the bushes contain plenty of fine details waiting to be examined. There's a cute puppy too, if you take a closer look.

Scene 1: Which photo do you like better?

Sony Xperia Z3 (Photo A)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Photo B)

Scene 2

Minutes later, our walk through the park brought us here. This image demonstrates how the two cameras handle details and sharpness in their images. Both snappers have high-res sensors, so we didn't really expect to see much of a difference in the results from such a test. Yet there is some. Color representation also differs.

Scene 2: Which photo do you like better?

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Photo C)
Sony Xperia Z3 (Photo D)

Scene 3

For this scene, the setting sun's rays were making their way through the cloudy sky, providing additional light and warmth. While the spot is great for taking detailed camera samples, it is also suitable for a first date.

Scene 3: Which photo do you like better?

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Photo E)
Sony Xperia Z3 (Photo F)

Scene 4

Hungry yet? Our improvised nature morte shot might make you. It's a scene taken indoors, with some natural light coming through a window at the side. The cameras' color accuracy can be judged by looking at these two images.

Scene 4: Which photo do you like better?

Sony Xperia Z3 (Photo G)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Photo H)

Scene 5 

This pair of images was taken indoors, with a bunch of CFL bulbs providing warm white light. It's a tricky scene to capture due to the non-optimal conditions and because flash wasn't used. Take a close look to examine how well the cameras perform in low light – how much noise they allow to occur and how much detail they can capture. 

Scene 5: Which photo do you like better?

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Photo I)
Sony Xperia Z3 (Photo J)

Scene 6

And lastly, we have a night scene – the kind where light is scarce, thus posing a true challenge to any camera. Still, both cameras seem to have done a respectable job.

Scene 6: Which photo do you like better?

Sony Xperia Z3 (Photo K)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Photo L)

Related phones

Galaxy Note 4
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 3.7 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3220 mAh(20h 3G talk time)
Xperia Z3
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh(14h talk time)



1. JMartin22

Posts: 2372; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

What's with PAs constant need to compare the Note with every phone lol. Put more scrutiny on the iPhone, Lumia or LG models.

4. abdane

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

Because new flagships are compared to the best ;)

5. Awalker

Posts: 1981; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

The Note 4 has won the last few so it's the reigning champ. PA is pitting challengers against it.

31. FriendlyFoe09

Posts: 82; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

Also I hope Nick T understands that mega pixels and high resolutions don't equate to a great over all image quality. Unless you want to blow the image up on a billboard. It's actually better to keep the resolution on 8MP than put it on the highest. Most of these sensors are usually native 8MP. I own the Z1C and my images look better on 8MP. Why is zooming into the image a big deal no one ever takes a picture with their phones and zooms in. Nick T should learn some photography basics before doing these things. Aperture, lens and sensor size makes equate to a great image not MEGA PIXEL.

2. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

im sure that the better one is the note 4 imo z3 camera is ultra bad

11. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Ultra bad would be wrong...average justifies it. But i agree, the better one is from Note 4 i'm sure. xperia captured images are noisy and less detailed.

46. the_matchless

Posts: 64; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

Look there is no point in comparing anything cause with Z3 on superior Auto mode, it is destined to loose from almost anything. However, Just turn to the simple auto and scene selection mode and the tables will turn. There seems to be a definite agenda behind all these reviewer's persistence on keeping there criterion set to Superior auto mode only. Also I've made my own comparisons to find that Z3 only fails in the following areas. 1- Lack of OIS (maybe due to the fact that they want to keep the phone sleek and light) 2- Focus fishing 3- Bad native software implementation.(Superior Auto & Strange imposed Lack of controls at full res as they can be made available in 3rd party apps including HDR and they work fine) 4- Lens Glare (Due to flat finish) With the right settings made and blur, glare free picture Z3 is truly the best. Sony should launch a Cybershot series that isn't afraid of being Fat, heavy & made of piratical materials and I believe everything will be settled without much argument...

3. MrET1

Posts: 110; Member since: Jan 29, 2015

I guess the Note 4 made; B, C, E, H, I, and L

6. rsiders

Posts: 1970; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

So the better pictures taken are from the Note 4 but still I enjoy taking pictures on my Z3. Pictures still come out really nice with a good amount of detail and the video is amazing. When you're sending pictures to family and friends it really won't matter which is better. I wish the Z3 performed better but I'm happy with it.

8. itsjustJOH

Posts: 232; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

Get ready for the Samsung trolls, just Saiyan.

22. hassoups

Posts: 473; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

hahaah that was super!

7. progosu

Posts: 36; Member since: Feb 21, 2015

Z3 camera is Moto G 2013 level bad

55. Zero97

Posts: 37; Member since: May 15, 2014


9. Classique

Posts: 73; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Note 4 is more contrasty and vibrant and sharpened

10. Dee79

Posts: 307; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

PA the close up images doesn't fit your mobile site, they are to large, I can't view most of B images coz of it

12. buccob

Posts: 2973; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

LOL PA... we all know the camera on the Note 4 is the best of its time... this comparison was unnecessary. However I've learned to take great pics with my Z3c, and there are certain modes/features that have no match... I.E. High Sensitivity ISO. go check my recent pictures on my Instagram account @dquilon Anyway Note 4 destroyed the Z3 here.... but I really doubt PA objectivity with these test... those pictures seems bad almost on purpose, I can take better pics with mine for sure.

14. havefunlets889

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 23, 2015

Shhh…. stop with the facts, it makes PA and trolls cry.

15. buccob

Posts: 2973; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

+1 Comment of the day!

18. havefunlets889

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 23, 2015

I just checked your profile. The quality of some pics are simply outstanding. I wish Motorola also up their game with their camera quality. I didn't get moto X (2014) simply because of the lackluster performance of the moto X's camera.

26. buccob

Posts: 2973; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Thanks, some older photos are with my former phone the Xperia Acro S... And a few others are with the QX-100 camera. I try to explicitly tag them... But most of my recent pics are with the Z3C.

42. androidwindows

Posts: 216; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

I saw no pics in his profile???

17. pegasso

Posts: 285; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

it's a click bait, so, yes, it's necessary.

13. chromoid

Posts: 37; Member since: Oct 03, 2013

Sony pictures should have been taken with the 20mp mode. Otherwise its 16 vs 8. And Sony's software isn't as good as the iPhone to compete

19. romeo1

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

This is no contest. To make it fair they should've atleast put the z3 in manual mode scene of. The article isn't complete in information. The z3 has a 20,7 mp camera but in automode its a bit more than 8mp. And comparing 8mp vs 16mp its very logical the 16mp has more details. But the low light shots are for the xperia hands down. But not enlarged as i already said the mp

37. psychok9

Posts: 43; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

They are downscaled to 8mpx

20. YodhaMali

Posts: 49; Member since: Jan 05, 2013

You'd assume a phone that's touted to have the world's best camera among the waterproof ones would do much better than embarrassingly pathetic.

21. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Still note 4 has a yellowish tinge same as S6 camera S6 even worst.

24. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

how can you tell from your inaccurate screen, people always assume the yellowish one is the inaccurate one. yeah so sun-ray is yellowish not bluish.

34. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

I'm using IMac 1440P screen I think it's one of most accurate display than any PC display in the market. By the way I used the S6 for one day nice phone but camera indoor white balance is yellow it's even worst than HTC M8 4 ultra pixel that people make fun of it.

36. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013 Check the real camera comparison between nexus 6 vs note 4 and see how's note 4 has bad white balance comprate to nexus 6 camera.

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