Interface and Functionality

TouchWiz receives a new, more toned down redesign, but it’s still a power house experience in comparison to Sony’s Xperia UI.

While Samsung's Galaxy S devices have always shipped with nothing less than the best available at the time in terms of hardware, we've often found ourselves wishing it did more on the software side. Its proprietary TouchWiz layout has often proved sluggish and less responsive than what some competitors had to offer – a sight that the Samsung faithful only tolerated because of the smorgasbord of extra features the platform gave them access to. With the Galaxy S6 edge, however, the company has finally come to sense, and has carried out a number of software optimizations that make the Galaxy S6's software both easier to understand and faster than ever before.


Although it hasn’t made the jump to Lollipop, which is rather unnerving because it’s been around for some time now, Sony's Xperia UI running on top of Android 4.4.4 KitKat is a bit closer to the stock look than Samsung's TouchWiz, as it has way less extra functions. It adds some light multitasking tools like the Small Apps suite, which lets you hover up to five windowed apps, resize and move them around. What separates it from the Galaxy S6 edge is its tight PlayStation integration – where it can be set up for remote play, as in being able to stream most of your PlayStation 4 games directly to the Xperia Z3.


Visuals have never been a strong point for TouchWiz, but with this new version, however, Samsung has added support for third-party themes. Sure, it’s an appreciable thing to have, mainly because the themes help to mask TouchWiz’s otherwise bland visual presentation. On the software feature side, TouchWiz still adheres to the needs of power users because of its exhausted set of software features – they include the fingerprint scanner (still embedded in the physical Home button) that is now of the touch, not swipe, type, finally allowing for a hassle-free unlock. In addition, TouchWiz also offers software features like MultiWindow (run two apps simultaneously), and Private and Car modes (hide sensitive content / dashboard with bigger icons and essential apps only).

Processor and Memory

Both are impressively responsive, but the Galaxy S6 edge’s new piece of silicon exhibits more fluidness with its execution.

For the longest time, Samsung and Qualcomm worked together on the former's flagship lines, though the chip maker didn't always get all the orders – the rest went to Samsung's then fledgling semiconductor division making the Exynos chipsets. With the Galaxy S6 edge, however, Samsung was ready for a monumental shift, and Qualcomm is no longer part of the game. Instead, the S6 edge relies on a home-grown Exynos 7420.

The 7420 is an octa-core processor, built on a 14nm node, with two clusters made up by four cores arranged in a big.LITTLE configuration and Mali-T760 graphics. We have one group of power-efficient ARM Cortex-A53 CPUs, and another with powerful Cortex-A57 ones. The idea behind the arrangement is simple to understand – the efficient team of cores takes care of most trivial tasks, while the speedy A57 cores kick in when power is required. If maximum performance is what you need, the Exynos 7420 can switch all eight cores on and work them simultaneously.

The newness of the Galaxy S6 edge allows it to benefit over the Xperia Z3, which is powered by a last-generation quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974-AC processor. In dissecting its performance, it seems to be great, both around the interface, and within apps, including 3D games. There isn't any occasional choppiness that would hinder the experience, but as we meticulously compare their responses, it’s just a smidgen behind the Galaxy S6 edge’s exquisite fluidness. Don’t get wrong, most people would be satisfied by its responsiveness, but a higher level is achieved by Sammy’s pride and joy – plus, the benchmarks show the awesome muscle power of the Galaxy S6 edge.

As for memory, we have 3 gigs of LPDDR4 RAM with the Galaxy S6 edge, and a minimum of 32GB of internal storage. The Xperia Z3, on the other hand, is outfitted with half that capacity at only 16GB. That’s still plentiful enough for most people, but it can be supplemented thanks in part to its microSD card slot – something that has unexpectedly made a departure with the S6 edge this year. For some folks, the convenience of the microSD card slot is invaluable.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 69042
Sony Xperia Z3 40437
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 2616
Sony Xperia Z3 1571
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 5745
Sony Xperia Z3 2938
Sunspider Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 780.6
Sony Xperia Z3 863.7
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 39
Sony Xperia Z3 29.3
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 15
Sony Xperia Z3 12.5
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 1842
Sony Xperia Z3 1099
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 1473
Sony Xperia Z3 974
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 5181
Sony Xperia Z3 2660


Internet and Connectivity


Smooth browsing is what we've been getting with each and every flagship for the past few years, and Samsung's and Sony's offerings don't fail to deliver just that. Courtesy of their powerful internals, both devices handle even asset-heavy pages with ease and don't struggle when navigating through them. That said, whereas both devices rely on Chrome for your browsing needs, Samsung's Galaxy S6 edge comes with its own default solution that is an equally great performer.

Honestly, the only thing separating the experience is just the incredible amount of detail produced by the Galaxy S6 edge’s display. Certainly, we have no qualms or complaints about the amount of detail presented to us by the Xperia Z3’s display, but once you’ve seen the sheer enormity of what quad-HD resolution delivers, it’s hard to ever go back to visualizing webs sites in their entirety on a 1080p resolution screen.



On the connectivity front, you'll hardly find much to complain about, regardless of whether you go for the Galaxy S6 edge or the Xperia Z3. Both devices offer support for a wide array of LTE bands, 5GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.0 for the Xperia Z3, 4.1 for the Galaxy S6), NFC, DLNA, and MHL. Still, the Galaxy S6 edge pulls ahead because of its infrared blaster for control over home electronics, and Samsung Pay – the company's new mobile payments solution that works hand-in-hand with the handset's NFC chip.

The idea behind it is much alike to that of Apple Pay – the company gets retailers and banks involved (but free of charge), and you reap the benefit of never having to pull out your credit card out of your wallet again (much less physically sign any receipts).

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27 Comments

1. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Both good phones. Draw back for me is the there's no sd slot, removable battery is not a must, longevity is. Practical consumer would choose Z3 cause of the price difference apart from that we all know Z3 has a lot of useful unique features but I admit when it comes to camera S6 have the upper hand though Z3 is not far behind.

2. redmd

Posts: 1948; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

The irony. PA gives the Z3 8.5 and calls it underrated.

5. androidwindows

Posts: 216; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

8.5 is a very good score.

20. buccob

Posts: 2979; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I actually wait for some user reviews and take that rating as the closer to reality

25. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Z3 should be over 9...

3. josephnero

Posts: 787; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

i would buy Z3.cheaper and suits me

4. Djz89

Posts: 447; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

I do like the z3 design better, and the sd anf ip is a must for me. Other than that, the s6 is awesome

22. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

what about s6 active, it have microSD slot and water proof

6. Feanor

Posts: 1415; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

And once again the killer feature of the Z3 (along with the Z2 and Z3 Compact), the integrated active noise cancellation, doesn't even get a mention. Which it turned out for me to make or break a smartphone. Ok, the S6 is fast, but also the Z3 fast enough, the S6 has better camera, but the camera of the Z3 is also good enough. However when I want to listen to my music in the tube or in the plane there is only one telephone with which I can. And that's the Sony. Other advantages of the Z3: unlike what the article says, most Z3s run Lollipop and it's nearly stock and super reliable. And when the glass back of the S6 becomes a smudgy mess, you just run the Z3 under the tap and it's like new. The S6 may be a great up to date phone, but the Z3 really wins an everyday usage scenario, which is what technology is all about.

7. SuperNova

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

It's embarrassing to compare a monster S6 with an old-spec Z3. Just saying.

14. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Ha! Yea, embarassing for the S6 when the old-spec Z3 is right there with it and even surpasses it in some areas, especially in the 'actually behaves like an Android' area. The garbage TW UI is still a deal breaker along with the messed up Navi buttons. ie. in the Clock and Phone app, there's no swiping between tabs on TW...fail.

17. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

No need to argue with that troll @LionStone he's one of the most racist fanboy here.

18. Tricell1991

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 25, 2015

LOL @SuperNova Fanboy is gonna fanboy as always I knew it you will come to say some word for look down other people that who's not used samsung. Actually S6 it's look too luxury you know ? not austere. I not sure why sony do the same design for many phone but the austere design it look not luxury not prominent for robber looting and was a perfect tools for the customer. S6 was prominent phone and risk for the looting. please save your ass :p

27. zurkomander

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

lol, shut up, ure lame

8. Geek.T

Posts: 18; Member since: Apr 04, 2015

Z3 is Still an excellent phone perfect dimension for my single hand operation . Battery backup is excellent. i really like the feel n look of handset specially copper one Camera is still great (Not best) i just love Xperia UI and Xperia Apps(Walkman,Album). My Nexus 5 is getting old now and Z3 will probably be my next .

9. DragonSlayer

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 25, 2015

Samwung galaxy s6 ftw.

10. DragonSlayer

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 25, 2015

Samsung galaxy s6 ftw.

11. lakki369

Posts: 114; Member since: Apr 10, 2015

In Benchmarks and all Z3 cannot come near S6 but normal day to day usage will be good on Z3 than s6.

12. Onami

Posts: 16; Member since: Mar 29, 2014

I must admit that S6 is slight better than Z3 (camera,performance and battery life isn't bad w fast charging). However in my country you can get a brand new Z3 with 400-550 usd and 900 usd for a S6 edge. So I still go for Z3 (waterproof, sd card, better design imo).

13. dancheung77

Posts: 202; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

For half of what Samsung is charging for the S6, I rather take the Z3.

15. NihonDaisuki unregistered

This is pathetic that in Japan the logos of SAMSUNG are taken out of the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge because they literally hate Korean brands... Japanese people are smart so they know which one's crap and which one's great!

16. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Really funny the reviewer compliments the S6's display with it being one of the brightest yet the Z3 actually had the brighter screen. And did he really try to say the curves on the S6 had functionality? Really trying there... Besides higher specs on paper and benchmarks for the S6, in real life, it doesn't really translate to much difference at all. There sure seems to be some bias, especially in the camera dept. The Z3 camera took better pictures, I stopped looking at #14 because they all were just better looking than the S6. The only thing I can give the S6 is faster charging and wireless is a plus but that's it. Things like faster (not really), lighter (not a + to me), deeper? really? multi-window on a 5"ish screen is not great sorry, not to mention the TW UI is still very bad. The curved edges offer nothing of value and only adds unnecessary cost to the user. All the +'s for Z3 are actually viable. And I will add, actual Android software keys, dedicated camera button, dual front speakers and a UI that actually behaves like an Android device.

21. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

You forgot one of the most important parts of being a "mobile" phone. The size. OIS, wireless charging, super fast modem, 64 bit chip, and it's way smaller than the super brick Z3 and the S6 technically has more screen real estate when factoring in the software buttons to boot. I am currently rocking a Z3 but I am considering the S6 after passing on the GS5 and GS4. It's just a seemingly brilliant phone.

19. Tricell1991

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 25, 2015

It's both perfect tools but someone in here always look down to other people that's who not used the Samsung.

23. SonyFindOneDroidple

Posts: 865; Member since: May 11, 2013

lol sany fanboys are really annoying haha

24. kirbzz101

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 20, 2015

i was once a samsung user ( Galaxy Note 2) and after using it for like 2 months, to be honest i regreted and hated being with it. The touchwiz really sucks and the phones speed started to crash and the sensors gone dead and the camera was slow and everything was just ugly as it is. Now, im using the Sony xperia z3 for almost 5 months and still very impressed by this phone. Surely, its not very popular out there because u know, sonys marketing is not that good, which i find it good coz it sets me apart from the crowd. Most of the time people asks me by their first glance on my phone wether its an iphone and im like no! its Sony :). Also, the z3 features are outstanding, like the water-resistant, double speakers, camera, the design ( which the s6 copied!!) and the software. Well, my point is that i was also a samsung fan (for a short time) and the s6 may be very good, for now, but im telling you in terms of well built in long lasting features, durability, sleekness, premium and attractiveness that lasts, Sony no doubt.!

26. mirexcool

Posts: 65; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

bought this one on Aliekspress:http://goo.gl/a08Q1Т very good phone

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