Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Sony Xperia Z

Interface and Functionality

Coming straight with Android 4.2.2, the Galaxy S4 has an advantage over the 4.1-powered Xperia Z. Not that Sony will not update its handset past this version, but we can't be sure when this would happen. Meanwhile, Samsung has been doing a pretty decent job with the software updates even for its older phones, so we guess the Galaxy S4 will be very well supported.

There's an even greater difference when we compare the GS4's and Xperia Z's custom user interfaces. We generally like both, but if we have to choose only one of them, it would be Samsung's TouchWiz Nature UX, as it's very responsive and features a ton of custom goodies. Not that Sony's UI is bad – it actually has some pretty cool touches, but seems to be a bit more shallow compared to the feature-packed Samsung UI.

Processor and Memory

In this category, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has the benefit of sporting a newer processor – the Snapdragon 600. The Xperia Z is left running the last-gen Snapdragon S4 Pro, which doesn't mean that it's underpowered. The S4 Pro is still a very capable chipset that will deliver superb performance in games and other applications. If you notice some lag in the menus of the Xperia Z, it's due to the lack of optimization and not the hardware.

Both smartphones are armed to the teeth with 2GB of RAM, but it's a different story when it comes to internal storage. The Galaxy S4 is much more versatile in this respect, as it comes in 16, 32 and 64GB versions, each sporting a microSD card slot. The Sony Xperia Z is also equipped with a microSD card slot, but is only available with 16GB of built-in memory.

Quadrant Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S4 12078
Sony Xperia Z 8221
AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S4 24701
Sony Xperia Z 20835
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S4 39
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S4 704
Sony Xperia Z 626
Vellamo HTML 5 Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S4 1702
Sony Xperia Z 2198


As you might expect, both the Galaxy S4 and the Xperia Z are quite capable in the camera department. It's once again the GS4, though, that takes the cake as the more versatile handset, thanks to the multitude of shooting modes and other features that wait to be experimented with.

What's of bigger importance, however, is the quality of the photos and video that the phones can record. As a whole, we find the Galaxy S4's 13MP camera to be slightly better than the Xperia Z's 13MP camera. The images coming from the GS4 are sharper, without having more noise at the same time. Aside from that, exposure and color reproduction tend to be quite similar on both.

Moving indoors, the Galaxy S4 increases its lead even further by delivering more natural colors, with better clarity and smaller amount of noise. The Xperia Z's shots aren't too bad as well, but colors get strangely altered and overall pretty much every aspect of its photos is inferior to what's coming out of the GS4.

1080p recording is another area where the Galaxy S4 shows its superiority. While both phones deliver some pretty impressive footage, the one from the Xperia Z is a bit smoother lacks some of the finer details visible in the SGS4's clips.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S4 3.4
Sony Xperia Z 3


As we said earlier, both devices have 5” displays, which is great, but the Super AMOLED of the Galaxy S4 is better suited for video playback, as it has a higher contrast and more saturated colors. In addition, viewing angles are also better on Samsung's flagship.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S4 0.38
Sony Xperia Z 0.37
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S4 77
Sony Xperia Z 67



1. feres13

Posts: 307; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Sony doesn't have a chance against the S4...

18. AnTuTu

Posts: 1620; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Well they are like Lion n Tiger :)

53. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Tigers in most cases would beat a Lion easily. They are just bigger and have more power. A pride of Lions is crazy though and Tigers are loners.

69. AnTuTu

Posts: 1620; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Whatever, they are still the King :)

22. pyradark

Posts: 895; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

S4 cant survive with Xperia Z on everyday and everywhere use, rain or shine hahahaha.

47. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

that's my lord.....!!!

38. Airforce

Posts: 70; Member since: Jul 24, 2012

This to me is just another biased Review complements of iphonearena ....i can say that Samsung GS3 was a success,this new Samsung just a wasted effort be samsung...they should as well called it Samsung Galaxy SIII S ..I HAVE TO SAY SONY did a great job on Xperia Z..nd this is a great achievement to them

57. GTR722

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 20, 2012

I love how they start with this: "we here at PhoneArena respect Sony, just as much as we respect Samsung".....lolololol yeah right......

81. yudi.nemesis unregistered

what phonearena respect sony my ass if the they respect sony why they change xperia z vote and lumia vote

72. kclgphilsbsa

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

poop.. Xperia Z was just made all glass and thats awesome? critical analysis is a must even dey put a 1080p display, still thats a crap! getting into quadcore yet uses 2012 flagship processor (oh but thats update seeing their 2012 phones uses 2011's LOL) having ip57 to sacrificed so many things esp the speakers they always lose the camera battle hmm.. s4 isnt awasted effort,, even the build is given with marvelous achievement>im not talking abt how it totally looks.. bull crap> read review comparisons and analyze how s4 throw that xperia Z and be on the level or even better than the htc One.. the first fullHD amoled in mobile is being talked abt now how samsung managed to make such great display!!! and those loads of features will make u use ur phone always! get ur facts boy many xperia Z users now are disappointed..

45. LonghornTech

Posts: 50; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

I wouldn't go that far, but the Samsung wins this round. Don't understand why call quality is bad on both devices, pretty sad really. I'll probably go for the HTC One for that and a few other reasons. Still don't understand why Sony, one of the best camera producers, can not put a truly proper camera on their phones.

49. AshishRomea

Posts: 145; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

it has stunning camera bro , i own the phone !

79. Ivan6479

Posts: 250; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

But you don't own the GS4. lol

54. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Sony hates noise too much, they always use aggressive noise reduction that smears and destroy details, even in their point and shoot cameras. Sony cameras are the best, if you shoot in RAW. If you like to auto everything, Sony is poor. They have by far the best sensors though, just poor noise reduction firmware.

70. rgxVOiD

Posts: 440; Member since: Aug 30, 2012

Just bad camera software

48. AshishRomea

Posts: 145; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

when sony has an awesome design , build , camera , proofing - samsung covers it up up very good hardware , display , sleekness & software additions both phones are good in a number of ways

110. TMach unregistered

The evidence never lies.....please watch the link put your bias aside and form a non fanboy opinion, if that is remotely possible! An open mind is all it takes!!

2. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Even though I like the xperia z a bit more, we have to accept that fact that sgs4 wins


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Well totally agree and not bias and neutral+1

3. BadAssAbe

Posts: 508; Member since: Apr 22, 2011

SGS4 Wins! Better Screen, Bigger battery, IR Blaster, Smaller Size, lighter, No onscreen buttons to take up screen, less bezel, removeable battery, New Touch techology with hover or golve usable Sony does put up a fight with a better Looking phone and water/dust Proof

4. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

admittedly s4 is better. sony should try harder with their next flagship. even the battery on the s4 is better. price may even be better with samsung. i've been rooting for sony but it's stupid to believe something that does not exist. sony lost this fight. display, camera, battery, features ... when will sony offer something well rounded and superior? i'll get back to being a sony fan when they do things better. now, i'll be looking forward to motorola. i just can't learn to love samsung. used to be a fan but they've become quite annoying. this does not mean their products are bad, though.

111. TMach unregistered

Seriously? I can't believe people form an opinion based on another person's opinion. Anyone who has ever picked up the Xperia Z would admit that it does everything extremely well and then some. It is the top rated phone on GSMArena by consumers and also has the most hits, even more than the S4, even hough it has already been out for months. Remember, the hype is greatest before a phone is released so this is quite some feat, given the build up to the S4 release! Now watch the video in the link below and you will see comments in regard to screen are bogous!

5. kaliil10

Posts: 146; Member since: May 16, 2012

Galaxay s4 is the winner. there are many holes on th xperia z


Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 27, 2013

g4 is super ugly and tht oled screen is pain for eyes ... and ya xperia z is powerfull enough to do wht g4 can do :)) .. so chill

30. sheik

Posts: 249; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

Xperia z's TFT display's super washed out screen is pain for eyes not to mention its terrible viewing angles... Ofcourse xperia z is powerful enough but not power efficient as 28nm A7 processors enhanced galaxy s4 :))So chill...

58. GTR722

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 20, 2012

And GS4 screen with false colors and minimun brightness....both screens have flaws

33. ebubekir26

Posts: 337; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

pain for eyes? beach please S4 uses technologie that saves your eyes !

61. pyradark

Posts: 895; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

Lol. Pain for the eyes is talking about the XZ not the S4, read first before commenting, or you must be blinded by amoled, thats why you got the wrong info. Hahaha


Posts: 328; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

Hands down victory


Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 27, 2013

for xperia z

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