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


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.

Display


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.

Interface


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.

Camera


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.

Expectations


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 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP (Single camera)
    2.2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
    3GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3200 mAh
  • OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Galaxy Note3
  • Display 5.7 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera)
    2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
    3GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 3200 mAh
  • OS Android 5.0 Lollipop

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