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Call quality

The Galaxy S5 has two noise-canceling mics, and the call quality is nothing to write home about in terms of claity, though the sound comes out pretty strong on both side of the fence. On our side the earpiece shows good volume, but the voices sounded somewhat muffled. The microphones on the S5 relayed our voice with a slight hissing and distortion over to the other end, but the sound remained powerful, and the ambient noises were taken out of the call.

Although not really amazing, the Xperia Z1 does a good job when it comes to sound quality during calls. Loudness is just enough, while voices tend to sound clear enough to be easy to comprehend. Its earpiece, however, sounds a bit weaker and more distorted than the S5's unit.


The old TN-LCD display tech of the Z1 drains its battery juice almost twice faster than what the Galaxy S5 is able to score.

The Xperia Z1 has a 3000 mAh battery, but it musters almost twice shorter battery life than the Galaxy S5, which sports a 2800 mah unit. The culprit is its older display technology that is a power hog, and barely survives 5-6 hours of browsing and video, while the S5 goes up to 10 hours in browsing, and up to 12 in video playback. Xperia Z1 is also cited to last 15 hours of talk time in 3G mode, while the Galaxy S5 is pegged by Samsung as able to endure 21 hours of chatting.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5
7h 38 min (Average)
Sony Xperia Z1
4h 43 min (Poor)


The Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z1 offer two very distinct vessels to enjoy Android KitKat. Sony's handset is the one with the more premium, steel-and-glass waterproof design, while Samsung counters with a plastic water-resistant chassis, that lets you easily swap the battery, if needed. We aren't pointing out its Fingerprint Scanner and heart rate sensor as grand advantages over the Z1, as they are a bit cumbersome to use, and most people won't use them on a regular basis.

Even if we isolate those two extra features, the Galaxy S5 still registers as the better handset, if you don't mind the plastic build. It has a better display in most aspects, superior graphics and image processing power, thanks to the Snapdragon 801 processor, and an IR blaster. Its camera might be of lower resolution than the Z1, but is on par in terms of detail, and on top of that it offers neat options like 4K video, real-time HDR and Selective Focus, which the Z1 can't muster.

When we add to this laundry list of advantages almost twice longer battery life than the Z1, the scales will be easily tipped in the Galaxy S5's favor, if the higher price isn't an issue.

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