Spring chickens: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Sony Xperia Z2 comparison preview
We can't help it but stage a fight between what will be the flagship handsets this spring season - Samsung's Galaxy S5, and the Sony Xperia Z2. Both sport 1080p displays, Snapdragon 801 processors, and high-resolution cameras, but thаt's where the similarities stop. Let's dive in, and stack the two Android monsters against each other.
phone is also slightly heavier, but that's the price to pay for choosing premium materials for the chassis.Our cage fight begins with the rather different chassis each company made for their Spring 2014 flagship. Apart from the design and water resistance certification differences, the two handsets differ in overall dimensions, too. The Galaxy S5 might be taller and wider than last year's S4, but compared to the Xperia Z2, it actually comes shorter, and more manageable in the hand. Sony's
Erica Griffin's quick show floor measurements of the display's color accuracy , that you see on the right, demonstrate how Sony's claims are based on good factory calibration - something that not many manufacturers bother to do.
Thus, on the color representation front, the Z2 screen might perform better than the 5.1" 1080p panel of the S5. Still, Samsung offers several image modes to choose from in the display settings section, so one of those might be as close to the standard sRGB color gamut range as the Z2. We'll know for sure after the tests we make on the retail units.
Check out how much better the viewing angles and color presentation are on the Xperia Z2, compared to the Z1.
Usually, LCD displays, which use their own backlighting, are brighter than OLED ones. This often forces manufacturers to resort to innovative screen reflectance coatings for better outdoor visibility, and Samsung has a very good track record in that regard.
With the Galaxy S5, however, Samsung managed to craft a screen with 500 nits of peak brightness, and just 2 nits minimum, so this point is rendered moot, as that's the maximum brightness of a good LCD display, too.
Processors and memory
Even more important - we have dedicated image signal processors with it, for a 45% improvement in camera sensor processing speed, so both handsets seem to be futureproof in the silicon department, at least until Snapdragon 805 hits later this year. Check out the benchmarks we ran on a demo S5 unit, to gauge what's to expect from the new Snapdragon 801 processor that Samsung and Sony use.
Sony tops the Galaxy S5 in the RAM department, equipping the Z2 with the generous 3 GB, while the Galaxy S5 makes do with 2 GB, which on theory would mean less intensive multitasking, but in reality the noticeable difference might only be in app loading times. Both phones come with 16 GB of internal memory out of the box, and offer microSD slots for storage expansion.
4.2 KitKat in the Galaxy S5. It introduces flatter, round icons, reworked menus, and a plethora of new features, like Private or Kids modes. It held off on the "S" branded apps and functions this time, only loading the camera app with new regimes, made possible by the new sensor and chipset.
motion video, and its Timeshift mode now applies for video, not only for stills, while you can add real-time effects during the footage capture.
Samsung offers something similar, with real-time HDR photography for both stills and video, plus it combines the typical Contrast autofocus with Phase Detection AF, allowing impressively fast 0.3s shot-to-shot times. The Galaxy S5 camera interface is a bit easier to use with its large, easy to press option buttons, while the one on the Xperia Z2 offers a perplexing array of modes, that are arranged in a somewhat ragtag way.
Ultra Power Saving Mode, too, that makes the display show images in black and white, shutting down all processes and connections it deems unneccessary, which should make the phone last quite a long time more, in case you are running out of juice. Check it out in the video below.
Those features combined are likely to make the Samsung Galaxy S5 last longer overall than the Sony Xperia Z2, with a similar usage pattern, despite the larger battery capacity in Sony's phone.
If someone told us before the MWC that Sony would be the one chasing the specs sheet with its newest flagship, instead of Samsung, we would have found it hard to believe, yet that's what happened. The Xperia Z2 has a tad larger screen, and a larger battery than the Galaxy S5, plus more RAM, and a higher resolution camera. Its waterproof certification is also higher than the one on the Galaxy S5, and the design looks and feels more premium in the hand. The S5, however, is more compact, and a tad lighter, plus it carries two unique features - the Finger Scanner biometry, and a heart rate sensor on the back. Still, Sony counters these pretty well with the addition of its own audio extras, like stereo speakers, and a digital noise cancellation mode.
Thus the Sony Xperia Z2 combines both the beauty, and the beast, in its glass-and-metal chassis. Given that both phones are capable of 4K video recording, Galaxy S5 would only be preferable before the Z2, if it comes with lesser pricing, or if you long to unlock the phone with your fingerprint, and measure your heart rate on a regular basis. There are still quite a lot of important variables to consider, though, like the individual call quality, and battery life of the two Spring 2014 juggernauts, so stay tuned for our detailed comparison between the retail Galaxy S5, and Xperia Z2. Which one would you pick?