Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S4: first look


The Sony Xperia Z2 is here and it’s a lot about an improved and larger 5.2-inch display, and a faster, Snapdragon 801 system chip on the inside, but with all this it will inevitably face competition from one of the most popular devices on the market that's now also gotten cheaper, the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The Galaxy S4 has lost a third of its value since it launched and it now approaches mid-range devices in price, while the Xperia Z2 is a brand new device that will come at a much higher starting price. Yet, the Xperia Z2 has the more refined design that catches the eye on its side, not just specs. How do these two devices compare - the best of 2013 against one of the first top-shelf smartphones this year? Let’s take a look.

Design


The Xperia Z2 inherits the glass body and refined, modern looks of the Xperia Z1, and it also keeps the water and dust protection. The Galaxy S4 looks decidedly utilitarian in comparison with its glossy plastic back. The Samsung phone also lacks protection from the elements, a feature that might matter to some.

However, the Xperia Z2 is also considerably larger than the Galaxy S4, which is not small itself. Getting the Z2, you will be buying a device nearly the size of a phablet, keep this in mind.

Display


Sony has had so much trouble with displays in its top devices - first with the Xperia Z and then with Xperia Z1 - that we are very happy to see all that finally addressed in the Xperia Z2. The Z2 gets not just a larger, 5.2” 1080 x 1920-pixel display, but also one with much wider viewing angles that Sony claims are the best of any smartphone. To freshen up your mind, it was exactly the extremely poor viewing angles of earlier Sony devices that were the biggest critique for Sony.

The Galaxy S4 in comparison has a slightly smaller, 5-inch display with the same 1080 x 1920-pixel resolution. While the Z2 uses an LCD screen, the Galaxy S4 sports an AMOLED display which has overblown colors that don’t look very natural.

Interface


The Xperia Z2 features the latest Android 4.4 KitKat right out the gate which is great news for device owners. Sony puts its Timescape user interface on top and it’s a neat skin with a few added options and system-wide animations that liven up the Android experience. Samsung on the other hand still has not rolled out the KitKat update to all its Galaxy S4s, but it’s getting there soon. Its TouchWiz Android skin is heavier and packed with features like Air Gestures that feel a bit gimmicky. Apart from that, though, it’s one of the most functional skins out there bringing huge changes to the stock Android looks.

Processor and memory


The Xperia Z2 has time on its side, and it ships with the latest components. Sony has put in the new Snapdragon 801 MSSM8974ab chip, while the Galaxy S4 runs on the a bit dated Snapdragon 600. Both are quad-core chips, but the one in the Xperia Z2 has higher CPU and GPU clocks, and it makes the device much more future-proof. For gaming, the Xperia Z2 should perform noticeably better as well.

Both devices come with 16GB of internal storage and both can expand on that via microSD cards of up to 64 gigs.

Camera


Sony is known to make the cameras for a lot of the most popular devices out there, and with the Xperia Z1 it finally introduced a top-notch camera in its own device. The Xperia Z2 inherits that awesome 20-megapixel camera with a large 1/2.3” sensor, much larger than the one on other smartphones.

The Galaxy S4 in comparison features a very good 13-megapixel camera, but we have already seen that in earlier comparisons the Xperia Z1 topped the Galaxy S4, so our expectations are that the gap between the two can only widen in the G2.

The Xperia G2 also adds neat camera features like 4K video recording, augmented reality overlays for video and 120fps slow motion video recording in 720p.

Expectations


Overall, it’s clear that the newer Sony Xperia Z2 has the upper hand over the Galaxy S4. After all, it ships with the latest, more powerful components like the quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip, and it’s fixed all the glaring faults from the Z1, and most importantly - the screen. While Sony was working on it, though, Samsung has slashed a third of the price of the Galaxy S4, and they are pretty much in different tiers right now. We’d gladly recommend both based on our initial expressions - your pick would mostly depend on how much you are willing to spend.


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 S4
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(17h 3G talk time)

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12 Comments

1. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Xperia Z2 FTW!

2. melcruz66

Posts: 30; Member since: Dec 25, 2011

Z2 is the clear WINNER here.

10. eli577

Posts: 142; Member since: Jun 29, 2010

In therms of sheer size.....possibly. It's clearly in phablet territory with this kind of monster size. Waiting for the G3. /a few months :(/

3. mokhtar

Posts: 405; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

waiting for s5 to get destroyed :d

4. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

S4 really looks like a toy compared to this KING GODZILLA lol. And S5 is even uglier than S4. It's interesting to see if Samsung will still manage to sell well. And the new Touchwiz doesn't seem to be much of an improvement.

5. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2262; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

wait until samsung release galaxy s4 refresh,..

7. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

You mean that plastic toy that was just leaked earlier today?

6. FoneAddict

Posts: 263; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

I'm still in SHOCK at just how awful the new S5 looks like. If the leak is indeed true then Samsung have committed commercial suicide!

8. -Shadow-

Posts: 95; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

I just don't know what where they thinking

9. ilkinandr92

Posts: 50; Member since: Aug 07, 2012

in the camera section you call the phone Xperia G2 not Z2

11. eq5555

Posts: 64; Member since: Dec 03, 2013

In OLED white whiter IPS, faster response in comparison to LCD (hundreds of times better than LCD), contrast and black level is perfect (hundreds of times better than LCD), a range of colors better, colors do not mix with each other, at times less power consumption, much thinner, ideal viewing angles Oversaturated color only old samsung displays and they are configured using the Profile top OLED g flex bottom ips ixbt.com/mobile/images/lg-g-flex/vs-white.jpg ixbt.com/mobile/images/lg-g-flex/vs-pict.jpg samsung has different displays ixbt.com/mobile/images/samsung-galaxy-note3/screen​-test/comp-pict-angle.jpg ixbt.com/mobile/images/samsung-galaxy-note3/screen​-test/comp-white-angle.jpg ixbt.com/mobile/images/samsung-galaxy-note3/screen​-test/comp-pict.jpg ixbt.com/mobile/images/samsung-galaxy-note3/screen​-test/comp-white.jpg

12. Epicness1o1

Posts: 303; Member since: May 30, 2013

I'll take the Z2 not the S5,woouuops I mean S4,the S4 adn S5 look really diffrent idk why did I confused >.

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