Sony Xperia Z3 vs Galaxy S5: first look

"Oops, we did it again" should be Sony's slogan for the new Xperia Z3, as barely have six months passed since the Z2 introduction, and now we are getting a successor. Granted, the phone is not as futureproof as, say, the Note 4, which has a Snapdragon 805 processor, and a  QHD display, but it doesn't have to be. Its main rivals will still be the spring crop of flagships, like the Galaxy S5, that's we pitted Samsung's finest, and the new Xperia Z3 against each other.


The Z3's dimensions are actually the biggest change from the Z2, at least on the surface, as the phone is listed with 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm, making it slightly shorter, narrower, and much slimmer than the Z2. Thus, the Z3 remains taller than the S5, but less wide, so the phones' one-handed operability is on par. What's not on par, however, is the design language, as the Galaxy S5 looks rather crude with its plastic dimpled battery cover, compared to the sleek 7.3mm tempered glass-and-steel unibody of the Xperia Z3, which on top of that sports a higher waterproof rating than the S5. Granted, Samsung counters with biometrics like a fingerprint scanner, embedded in the home key, and a heart rate sensor on the back, but those are an acquired taste, and not some indispensable advantage for now.


The Z3 screen remains a 5.2" 1080p Triluminos display, and Sony is now touting its ability to hit 600 nits of peak brightness, rivalling the Galaxy S5's 5.1" 1080p screen, which our test showed is one of the best in terms of outdoor visibility. Provided that Sony has kept screen reflectivity in check, the Z3 should be great for use outdoors, even in direct sunlight. As for the color representation, Sony usually has the upper hand, though in the gallery and video player the colors could look as gaudy as with the AMOLED panel on the S5, due to Sony's proprietary X-Reality engine.


Sony's Xperia interface has never been as complex as Samsung's TouchWiz, providing fewer unneeded options, and keeping the balance between stock Android looks, and a branded UI imagery. The Galaxy S5, on the other hand, sports a smorgasbord of options and functions like Air View and other modes, but its TouchWiz looks a bit ragtag, with different iconography design decisions in the different sections, making it look like a patchwork compared to the uniform Xperia UI.

Processor and memory

Both phones share the same processor - a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801, but the Z3 offers 3 GB of RAM, whereas Samsung has kept Galaxy S5 making do with 2 GB only. Still, none of the handsets feels particularly underpowered compared to the other, and both offer a microSD slot for storage expansion.


Despite the highest camera resolution in the Android world, Sony's Xperia Z2 couldn't really do the 20 MP sensor justice, and scored lower than the S5 in our camera comparison tests. The new Xperia Z3 has the same sensor, but new G Lens kit, so hopefully Sony has significantly optimized the camera software to take advantage, otherwise the 16 MP shooter on the S5 will most likely still produce superior still shots and 4K video, when pitted against the Z3.


The Xperia Z3 upgrades only slightly on the Z2, but exactly where it counts to put it on an equal footing with Samsung's finest. Its screen brightness and processing power now rival or surpass those of the Galaxy S5, while its pretty unibody glass chassis is made even thinner, still keeping the higher waterproof rating. Samsung's phone, however, offers an excellent 16 MP rear camera, which could produce better results than the 20 MP shooter on the Z3, if our comparisons with the Z2 are any indication. Still, the pictures taken with the Z3 will more than likely be good enough, while its certainly looks more premium than the S5, so if you aren't using Samsung's biometric features like the fingerprint scanner or the heart rate sensor, the Z3 deserves your serious consideration, depending on the price difference with the S5.

Related phones

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)
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)



1. hboy857

Posts: 367; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

S5 looks simply ugly compared to Z3

3. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

And u we can see that...... Z3 is so premium..... Love it

11. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

change your name to hate boy, GALAXY S5 looks fine, along with the Z3. Both look beautiful, your brain is what needs fixing and redesigning.

2. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

I prefer the Japanese's style of things ;) Japanese > koreans jus playing #sony tho

4. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

s5 look better, sony design is just too simplistic

5. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Wow....I mean wow....unbelievable

6. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

yeah that's it, z series is for young stylish people maybe? some people would choose s5, that's me, no lie.

7. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

sony design is just have too specified design taste, not for all people but some people just love it to die. while samsung design more universal, some people would say good or mediocre design, at least most people would accept the design languange without say big no!

9. jeeta444

Posts: 154; Member since: Mar 24, 2014

S5 looks like coming from a slum area.……;p

8. Federated

Posts: 263; Member since: Mar 06, 2010

Samsung Galaxy S5 looks like a cheap fragile toy next to Sony Xperia Z3. Can't believe my eyes. Wow.

10. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Sony fanboys are so pathetic, geez

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