Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z

There are a lot of Sony fans out there, and all of them are ready to swear by the awesomeness of the Xperia Z. However, are those numerous fans supporting Sony because they believe in the Xperia Z, or simply because the Sony brand strikes a chord with them? We guess it's both, but here's what – we here at PhoneArena respect Sony, just as much as we respect Samsung. We'll put both of their latest flagship smartphones, the Xperia Z and Galaxy S4 , to test and see which one's going to finish with a higher score!


Between the two, the Sony Xperia Z is the more striking smartphone in terms of visuals. Its rectangular shape gives it a strict and stylish appearance that comes to show that this phone isn't joking. At the same time, though, the rectangular shape actually makes the phone rather bulky and difficult to hold. In addition, the sharp edges framing the front and back sides of the body also contribute to the unpleasant feeling when holding the phone. That said, we do appreciate the glass exterior of the Xperia Z, which is much more ambitious than the plastic casing of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Plastic or not, though, the Galaxy S4 is a champion among similarly sized phones, when it comes to comfort when using the phone. Being equipped with a similarly large display, the Galaxy S4 feels much smaller and lighter than the Xperia Z, which is a great achievement on Samsung's part. Of course, it'd be up to every customer to decide for themselves, but we prefer the compact and comfortable design of the Samsung Galaxy S4, regardless of its plastic exterior. It's just that the Xperia Z is cool, but not cool enough to make us willing to make a compromise with its bulkiness.


Nowadays, it's just not cool if you're a smartphone and you don't have a 5” display with full HD resolution. And while both of these phones have this feature, we tend to prefer the screen of the Galaxy S4 over the one of the Xperia Z. In our opinion, the Super AMOLED panel of the GS4 is superior thanks to its higher contrast, more vibrant colors and much better viewing angles. The LCD screen of the Xperia Z just isn't lively enough to make us want to keep staring at it.

Resolution-wise, everything is top-notch, even with the Galaxy S4's PenTile matrix. With such high pixel densities, both displays look extremely sharp and detailed.

Samsung Galaxy S4 360-Degrees View:

Sony Xperia Z 360-Degrees View:



116. T-rex unregistered

Wait a minute.....when it comes to LCD vs OLED you say (LG's IPS) LCD is better than OLED because it has a more true reproduction of colors, but when it comes to comparing Sony's LCD, you say Samsung's AMOLED is better. And when it comes to camera comparison, I remember you saying that Xperia Z's camera was no comparison for S3's camera, but here you say that S4's camera is 'Slightly' better than Z's. Now we all know for a fact that S4's camera is far far better than S3's, so if Z's camera is no match for S3's how can it be 'Slightly' lower than S4's ?... Come on phonearena, have some standard (and some shame)....

115. Scorpion

Posts: 103; Member since: Apr 28, 2012

Allright I finally got to play with both of them today at the store. Xperia Z is my pick. Looking head on, the screen is sharper than the S4. And the S4 is really slippery. Take it with wet hands (Just drunk some Cola from MCdonal'ds, nothing major) and it slips every second. The Z has this boxed shape making it easier to grip. Also the camera on the S4 really sticks out, the S4 cannot be used without a case in real life. As for the software, I don't see my self using air view etc, on a daily basis. It's cool no more no less. Just my impressions.

114. giri555

Posts: 111; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

Design: Samsung Win??? gotta be kidding? ..well done Ray...great job...:-) No point reading remaining review.

113. TMach unregistered

I have both the Xperia Z and the HTC One and actually prefer the Xperia Z even though they are both exceptional phones and I love my One just prefer the XZ in terms of feel and really wish I did not have to look at Blink feed. As for the screen of the XZ, yes there may be better screens, arguable, the perhaps the link below should help. By the way, I hate trolls and I have never ever been stuck with a phone, if I do not like it, I sell it, except I do not agree with anyone who bleats about being stuck with a phone. Please do watch the link below (real time playback of the same video) comparing S4 and Xperia Z screens.

112. TMach unregistered

Here is a pretty damn good comparison......

109. mocuishe

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 12, 2013

Xperia Z. Great phone with horrible screen. Go and play with it before u buy. Screen is below par. Whites are horrible and blacks non existent. Backlight bleed is apparent at any screen settings. My last year motorola razr i has better definition than this thing. Got mine as a upgrade now i am stuck with it. Dont be as naive as i was or u will regret. Sony didnt learn anything. All this marketing woffle is misleading and pure evil. Dont belive anything u see in tv.

117. skyguy7567

Posts: 148; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

Are you talking about Samsung which is evil and misleading? Air gestures do NOT work. Swiping your hand over the phone when you have an incoming call rejects it even if you are swiping the opposite way. Features are all useless, and work badly unlike in the advertisements. Screen? Traditional TFT do NOT suck. Researches done by universities all over the world all point to the same direction: AMOLED's pixels die a lot faster than any other phone displays. TFT is surely a great display, paired with Mobile Bravia Engine 2, give out very real colors, unlike the GS4, ugly unnatural colors that are just there to make people think the screen is great at first glance. Green shades in photos that are very visible in all Samsung cameraphones, while the XZ's imperfections are just visible at maximum zoom. Xperia Z's screen can survive through direct sunlight, and colors are great. I just had a firmware update and the colors are renewed, new contrasts, very dark blacks and white whites. The screen 'problems' are due to a tiny problem in the firmware. Samsung is the true company that is evil and misleading.

107. TMach unregistered

Please Please Please do not try this with your S4, when it is released, HTC One or in fact any other phone! Funny how PA rates this phone at 8.5 and users rate it 9.7? It is the no. 1 user rated phone on GSMA and No.1 in the daily interest section as well. Guess Sony lost the battle but is winning the War. On the uprise! And before you start with the fanboy comments, I just got the HTC One and the proud owner of the Nexus 4 as well as the Xperia Z! Personal, Pay as you go and work phones in no particular order. Previous Samsung S3 owner (cracked inexplicably and featured with pic for weeks on PA). Not keen on LG but did own the Moto Razr. The thing that makes me put the XZ above all is the overall package, blazingly fast, especially after update to .434, smooth, excellent build quality, gorgeous screen (regardless of so called viewing angles, even tho' I fail to notice this or see the relevance as I look at my phone full on) and superb performance. Only real fault, if you have to call it that, is the 2/3 seconds it takes for camera to open although I do not consider this an issue particularly. Oh, and I can make Xperia soup, In case you missed it.......

106. matvoo

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

I think the sony xperia z is more pratical with 600 price range it has everything u need while the s4 will cost 800 or so while u can get something else better

101. TMach unregistered

This is like comparing a Nissan to a BMW. The Nissan may have all the bells and whistle under the hood but those seeking more than the superficial will opt for the BMW......using that analogy, it is the BMW for me and the Xperia gets my vote!

103. kclgphilsbsa

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

haha u also said that in gsmarena.. hmm always trying to lift Xperia Z? lols

108. TMach unregistered

Yep! I am consistent that way, two different blogs same view point. No need to lift the Xperia Z but trying to open a few eyes so they do not miss out....I do believe each is entitled to their opinion and the right to personal choice and at this point in time, I choose the XZ and loving it. To the person who thumbed me down......whatever!

99. MayChan

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 01, 2013

They are both good I think. At the end of the day it all comes down to individual preferences.

98. scotthamilton

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 31, 2013

Lets be honest girls will more likely go for a man with a Sony than an Samsung

100. MayChan

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 01, 2013


102. TMach unregistered

Plus one! Girls will go for the guy driving the BMW regardless of how much faster the Nissan might be. Girls recognise good taste and know the BMW driver knows quality when he sees it which is why he made that his car of choice.........Xperia Z all day long!!

104. kclgphilsbsa

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

hahahha, quality? lols but why there are so many issues abt xperia Z?

118. skyguy7567

Posts: 148; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

Didn't you go to the forum on Samsung? Far more issues than Xperia had. Just go check it out. I'm not explaining much about that crappy company.

95. Persophile

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 31, 2013

PhoneArena reviewers are so biased towards Samsung... and I see this in every single article I read on this Website. Despite all this injustice, I still believe Xperia Z is a much better phone in design ("It exudes class" - engadget), quality and build (it is made of a the same material used in making cars like Ferrari, a kind of polyamide material), real colour display (AMOLEDs exaggerate colours by adding an accentuated taint of blue), water-proofing (which does not exist in GS4), and dust resistance (again, non-existing in GS4). Overall, my choise is SONY's Xperia Z.

105. kclgphilsbsa

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

lols sony fans are burning in hurt, poor PA, you shud have change the results and put all on d side of Xperia Z so u wont b called bias hey read this gs4 almost crushes the fragile glass XZ in most aspects, (oh bias? haha)

90. HaMaDa.94

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 30, 2013

"we tend to prefer the screen of the Galaxy S4 over the one of the Xperia Z. In our opinion, the Super AMOLED panel of the GS4 is superior thanks to its higher contrast, more vibrant colors and much better viewing angles. The LCD screen of the Xperia Z just isn't lively enough to make us want to keep staring at it." ` Will LCD has more real colours .... You till us your opinion,then why you did not post pics to show them to us, or you are afraid from the truth. Samsung has more darker colours yes i know that, but xperia z has more real colours, and thats what we need.

93. kclgphilsbsa

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

hahaha, PA isnt saying abt real colors.. if real colors is ur issue then Samoled would not render it perfectly as LCD does.. but you cant change the fact that Samoled is different! Different attack that you'll never want to lose ur sight at it :) but im not saying ur wrong coz we are different people w/ different taste well even SLCd3, and well gsmarena belongs w/ us htc one vs gs4 "Winner: Samsung Galaxy S4. The Samsung flagship takes this one, as its screen is bigger, with better sunlight legibility, while still offering you the option to have accurate colors thanks to Adobe RGB mode. The HTC One screen is impressive, too, but the higher pixel density can't really make up for the lower native contrast and slightly inferior sunlight legibility." "1080p Super AMOLED display is what geeks' dreams are made of" "One of the most important updates that the Samsung Galaxy S4 brings is the new 5" Super AMOLED screen of 1080p resolution. While it does have a PenTile matrix, the 441 ppi pixel density makes sure you won't be able to spot the hated cross-hatch pattern. One of the most important updates that the Samsung Galaxy S4 brings is the new 5" Super AMOLED screen of 1080p resolution. While it does have a PenTile matrix, the 441 ppi pixel density makes sure you won't be able to spot the hated cross-hatch pattern. What you should take away from all this is that the final weak point of the Super AMOLED screens has been taken care of and the Galaxy S4 offers image quality like no other smartphone on the market. Its impressive contrast and almost perfect viewing angles make everything on the screen pop, regardless of your viewpoint. The color saturation is beyond the reach of any LCD out there, which make even the dullest image appear remarkably vibrant. Still, if you are not a fan of the oversaturated look of AMOLEDs, Samsung gives you the option to tune down the saturation to more natural levels and enjoy the best of both worlds. There's a dedicated Adobe RGB setting that gets this done. The brightness levels of the Samsung Galaxy S4 are about on par with the rest of the company's AMOLEDs, which is to say not very high. However, due to their low reflectivity, this doesn't affect outdoor performance. Keep in mind that enabling the auto tone setting in the screen option limits the maximum brightness to under 300 nits, so if that matters to you, you better keep it off."

87. Osamatronics

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 24, 2011

What about Galaxy S4 and Xperia ZL? Could you do a comparison between them.

84. aveaphane unregistered


75. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Basically I am getting bored of SAMEsung. Need some fresh air ... so looking at XZ ...

83. kclgphilsbsa

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

no new with xperia, its more boring

68. dragonite99 unregistered

s4 is too compact for a 5 incher

62. imran.bangi

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

is that true S4 does not support FM radio in both the models???? if not, i will not buy it.............

59. Scorpion

Posts: 103; Member since: Apr 28, 2012

The comparison didn't mention at all, that the Xperia Z is waterproof, and strudily built. Striking design isn't everything this handset offers. Also it's worth mentioning that any compromises on this device might be a result of it's toughness. Also in the Z as I saw the interface videos, one zoom out pinch brings all the editing options together, rather than overview and app drawer seperatly as on TouchWiz.

96. Persophile

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 31, 2013

Well said... Not only did not they mention Xperia Z's water-proofing and dust resistance, but also they did not mention the reason why Xperia Z has a protective screen on its speaker-- which by itself, is the reason why it cannot have a very loud sound. They also did not mention the polyamide material used in the body of Xperia Z to make it a solid phone.

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