Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3: first look

The Sony Xperia Z2 has just arrived and it will face competition from some of the best devices out there. One such is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, a device that is said to be selling in larger quantities than even the S4.

The Xperia Z2 might have arrived just now and might have benefited from the newest components available, but the Galaxy Note 3 already was an extremely impressive device, so it's interesting to see how these two compare. An evolution over the Xperia Z1, the Z2 features a larger, 5.2-inch 1080p display, and it runs on the new Snapdragon 801 system chip. In comparison, the Galaxy Note 3 is a phablet with a 5.7-inch display - larger, but not by much, and it’s got a slower chip. Has Samsung finally found its match? We’ve taken a first look at the two at MWC, so let’s see.


Design-wise, the Xperia Z2 and the Galaxy Note 3 are as different as it gets. The Xperia Z2 features a monolithic glass body sealed from the elements and boasting extremely stylish looks, while the Note 3 is a more ordinary-looking, utilitarian device with a plastic faux-leather back. Both devices are large and cumbersome to use with a single hand, but Xperia Z2 is the slightly smaller one.

The Note 3 also features an S Pen for hand-writing, and that’s a nice touch. The Xperia Z2 does not have any stylus bundled in.


You have plenty of screen real estate on both phones - 5.7 inches on the Note 3 and 5.2 inches on the Xperia Z2. The size difference is noticeable, but it’s not all that huge and we’re clearly witnessing a trend towards typical smartphones going up in size almost to match phablets.

The screen technologies that the two handsets use are different as well. The Xperia Z2 uses an IPS LCD display, while the Note 3 ships with an AMOLED screen. Good news is that viewing angles on the Xperia Z2 seem to have improved, and generally the screen looks nice, with vibrant but not hugely oversaturated colors. The Note 3, in contrast, uses a non-standard color space with overblown colors that look appealing at first, but are also not very realistic.


In terms of interface, not much has changed in the Timescape skin that Sony puts on top of Android. In the Xperia Z2 it looks practically identical to the one in the Z1, with the same clean, modern icons and visuals. The Galaxy Note 3, in contrast, is much more colorful, cheerful, with rounded cartoony icons.

Processor and memory

Being newer, the Xperia Z2 ships with a more modern, Snapdragon 801 MSM8974ab quad-core chip, while the Note 3 runs on the earlier Snapdragon 800 MSM8974. The difference is slight - both are quad-core and both come with a Krait 400 processor, clocked at the same up to 2.3GHz speeds, but the Adreno 330 graphics chip and the ISP run at higher clocks on the Z2. In reality, both devices are nearly perfectly smooth in real-life, and you’d only notice a very slight difference in the most demanding games that should run better on the Xperia Z2.

Internal storage is 32GB on the Note 3 and 16GB on the Xperia Z2, but luckily you can expand it via microSD cards of up to 64 gigs on both.


The Xperia Z2 inherits the amazing 20-megapixel camera from the Z1 with its large 1/2.3” sensor. It is one of the best (if not the best) cameras on Android, and it has the slight upper hand over the Galaxy Note 3’s 13-megapixel shooter. The Z2 adds support for 4K (UHD) video recording, and that’s a nice feature that the Galaxy Note 3 already has.

We are yet to see camera samples and draw deeper conclusions about the quality of these cameras, so stay tuned.


All in all, the Xperia Z2 has all the benefits of being a newer device as it ships with a slightly more powerful Snapdragon 801 system chip inside that give it an edge over the Note 3. It’s also protected from the elements and has that stylish glass body and trendy looks that we appreciate. The Note 3, however, is still an extremely powerful device that matches the Z2 in practically every area, despite the fact that Samsung launched it months ago. It's also got that S Pen bundled in, which some might like. We'd call it a draw at first sight, and what do you think?

Related phones

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)
Galaxy Note 3
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 3200 mAh(21h 3G talk time)



1. zachattack

Posts: 621; Member since: Jul 31, 2013

Not a competition samsung fans. Hate me all you want, Sony took it this year and last years device won't trump it. There's still hope with the S5 Prime if it's real. Still give my kudos to Sony this time

8. ScottSchneider

Posts: 336; Member since: Dec 06, 2011

Same here... I say wait for the S5 Prime before jumping to conclusions.. all I know is that the samsung is playing jacka$$ with the consumers by leaking jus to check the hype...

14. AnukulVcool unregistered

you really think samsung is james bond? it has never been one

13. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

Because Sony is not on Verizon Samsung, HTC, Motorola/Lenovo and LG wins by default. They really need to fix that.

16. dbdrummer88

Posts: 29; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

If rumors are to be believed, then it should be coming to Verizon as well! I am hoping, since I am on Verizon and would love to have this as my 2-year upgrade at the end of April. :)


Posts: 946; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

I agree but I'm going to wait and get Note 4. My contract runs out in May I dont mind waiting. I was going to get S5 but now no chance. Z2 looks great!

2. istitch

Posts: 181; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

z2 looks a lot narrower relative to note 3, though it's almost as tall.. kinda remind me of iphones

3. Jason2k13

Posts: 1471; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Z2 looks like a refreshed Z1, lets just hope the S5 has the premium version of that awful picture we just saw.

11. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

3GB of RAM, 3200 mAh battery, IPS with LED backlight display, lighter aluminium frame. Not a bad refresh

4. datphoneguy

Posts: 155; Member since: Sep 15, 2013

Personally I'm disappointed that the Z2 decided to approach the size of the Galaxy Note. It's just too big, in my opinion. If I wanted a Note, I'd get a Note...not a Z2.

6. AnukulVcool unregistered

the added advantages of that size are : the bigger camera sensor and sterio speakers on up and bottom , now decide

7. istitch

Posts: 181; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

i don't follow, you can always get the 4.3inch z1 compact, it packs powerful hardware in a relatively small package. z2 is just the trend it's inevitable, people long for bigger screen phones you should be glad there's z1 compact, the mini done right.

15. eli577

Posts: 142; Member since: Jun 29, 2010

Aham....then just compare the size and weight of the Z2 to the G2. The same sized display, but the difference between the two's size is significant. And yeah I get it, it's waterproof and stereo speakers and blabla. But does it have to be this much bigger? I don't think so.

20. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Love the G2 despite of having larger screen size it has similar dimension with GS4, the only downside for Xperia Z lineup.

5. mokhtar

Posts: 405; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

z2 is just awsome , no comments .. best phone eveer

17. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

This is what you think... just wait for real time reviews... sony always fu*k something in their phones... I hope the best for sony

9. melcruz66

Posts: 30; Member since: Dec 25, 2011

Z2. AWESOMME. HAS THE BEST PROCESSOR. Couldnt ask for more.

10. eq5555

Posts: 64; Member since: Dec 03, 2013

please comparison this picture top OLED g flex bottom ips

12. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2267; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

scoot over mr.note 3 z2 has arrived.

19. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

My god it's look like they have the same dimension yet Note 3 had much larger 5.7 inch display.

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