Samsung Galaxy S6 edge vs Sony Xperia Z3
Fantastic looking photos are snapped by the two, but things just look better with the Galaxy S6 edge camera.
Sony's flagship sports a 20.7-megapixel 1/2.3” Exmor RS sensor, and Sony touts the new 25mm G Lens optics (f2.0), and other changes under the hood, such as boasting up to 12800 ISO sensitivity. Meanwhile, Samsung's Galaxy S line has always been synonymous with great camera quality, and the company wasn't about to drop the ball with the Galaxy S6 edge. Instead of focusing on the software side of performance, Samsung has taken a two-pronged approach by making sure to deliver some exciting hardware updates, too. To that end, the Galaxy S6 edge's 1/2.6”, 16-megapixel rear camera comes with a wider-than-before f/1.9 aperture lens and an optical stabilization gizmo attached to it.
The selfie snapper, too, has received a commendable update, and now offers 5-megapixels of resolution and an equally wide, f/1.9 aperture lens – whereas the Xperia Z3 is outfitted with a pretty ordinary 2-megapixel shooter. The handsets are adequately fast to shoot and record a snap, with Samsung's Phase Detection Autofocus System giving it an edge here, while the Xperia Z3 has a dedicated shutter button to the scale, so you can take a photo from a locked screen in a second or two.
Both phones produce high-quality photos, worthy of being converted to 4” x 6” printouts – and even larger layouts because of the amount of detail they capture. Combing through the results, ones captured outdoors where sunlight is plentiful, we’d give the Galaxy S6 edge the slight, minor advantage in overall quality. In particular, its warmer color reproduction makes our snapshots livelier in tone, whereas with the Xperia Z3, it exhibits a profound cooler tone; bluish in tone and sometimes washed out too. The cooler production is more prominent indoors under artificial lighting – florescent to be exact.
Even though the qualities rival one another when lighting is abundant for the most part, it’s the Galaxy S6 edge that shows its worth more under lower lighting conditions. For starters, its f/1.9 aperture lens proves most useful in capturing more light – so not only do photos comes out marginally brighter, but it’s still able to maintain a decent amount of sharpness and detail in the process. Oppositely, the Xperia Z3 takes some reasonable images, but there’s a little more noise with its composition. Going with their respective flashes, the Z3’s flash is a tad bit more powerful, garnering warmer toned colors for more vibrancy – while the S6 edge’s is more on the neutral side.
Both handsets can record 4K video at 30fps, as well as 1080p footage. The videos come out detailed enough, with good color presentation, and no skipped frames. Sony's digital image stabilization, called SteadyShot, performs almost as well as a mechanical OIS system, but the checkered flag still goes to the Galaxy S6 edge when it comes to overall performance. In addition to the sharp looks, focusing it smoother and audio recording has a more robust tone with it – whereas with the Z3, its sharper toned.
We have no complaints about the multimedia prowess of both phones.
Both galleries offer grid thumbnail views, and allow for rich picture editing from within the apps, as well as sport plenty of sharing options. Best of all, there are enough fun editing tools at their disposal to further enhance the look of photos. Video playback is excellent on both handset, too, as they support quite a handful of video codecs out of the box. Watching videos isn’t an issue with either of them, thanks in part to their sharp displays, but we have an extra layer of multi-tasking with the S6 edge’s experience – videos can essentially be played in their own windows, which can be placed on top of whatever we’re doing.
When it comes to the music players, we'd have to give one up for the Xperia phone, as it has a much sleeker and more comfortable interface. Both Z3's Walkman player, and Samsung's TouchWiz one have plenty of equalizer and visualization options built in, but the graphical environment on the Sony looks much more stylish than the reserved Samsung UI.
The Xperia Z3 also flaunts Sony's Digital sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE), which brags to upconvert crappy tracks to a higher-resolution format – we can attest that there is a slight difference, though not as stark as if the tunes were high quality in the first place. Sony offers two waterproof stereo speakers at the front, which sound clean, but are somewhat muffled, while the Galaxy S6 edge only offers one speaker along the bottom edge, which is strong enough, but with a thinner and subdued quality.