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Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3



Gaining even more steam just in time for its impending release stateside, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is no doubt going to be a major force to be reckoned with when it’s finally unleashed. Many prized smartphones stand in its way, but as we’ve seen thus far, it has the right guts, looks, specs, and performance to propel it to the top of the food chain.

Indeed, the Sony Xperia Z3 has been making the rounds for quite some time now, and through it all, we have to continue recognizing it for the qualities that make it a phone great. In the specs sheet, the older Xperia Z3 might have a disadvantage against the latest and greatest from Sammy’s camp, however, we just can’t count out the Xperia Z3 yet – more so when it bears some characteristics that are increasingly becoming less prominent amongst flagships.


The S6 takes charge with its dramatically different design, one that’s now premium in nature, but the Xperia Z3 is one of the last remaining flagships to offer a water resistant construction.

With every new Galaxy S release, Samsung has historically built upon the base by refining what's already there and adding some extra on top. With the Galaxy S6, however, the electronics giant has focused far more on the latter than on the former. To that end, instead of the plasticky shell of the Galaxy S5, Samsung has adopted a metal frame that hugs the device all over and nestles within two sheets of Corning Gorilla Glass 4 – one placed in front of the display, and the other to protect the rear.

Samsung didn't stop there, instead opting to carve several 'nano layers' into the shell. The result is a front and back that reflect light in slightly different hues depending on your viewing angle. Also, we can’t forget about some of the handset’s key features – like its improved fingerprint sensor, built-in wireless charging, heart rate sensor, and IR blaster. In achieving a higher degree of craftsmanship and premium design, the Galaxy S6, however, is stripped of some key design features that were once notable qualities with its predecessor.

And with that, we have to look at the Sony Xperia Z3 longingly and admire the fact that it’s one of the few, remaining flagships to qualify being regarded as water-resistant with its design. That’s a testament to say the least, since it doesn’t make too many sacrifices with its aesthetics and construction – it’s relatively slim and premium. It shares some of the same design characteristics as its rival, such as its premium glass surfaces and metal frame, though the Z3 is the noticeably bigger phone of the two.Still, it’s able to accommodate a handy, and always useful microSD card slot and dedicated shutter key. Not surprisingly, the Galaxy S6 earns adulation and commendation for its stark redesign, one that’s undoubtedly now deemed as premium, but we can’t neglect to forget about the Xperia Z3’s design either. Come to think of it now, it’s one of the most underrated smartphone designs out there. Despite that, the Xperia Z3’s hard lines makes it a bit awkward to handle at times, which makes the Galaxy S6 feel a ton more comfortable to hold.

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Everything is just better with the Galaxy S6’s display.

Being almost a year newer has its advantages, especially knowing Samsung’s insatiable appetite for pushing the boundaries. Clearly within the flagship range, the Xperia Z3’s 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 LCD display has several good qualities about it, but it looks daunting on paper in comparison to the Galaxy S6’s dazzling 5.1-inch 1440 x 2560 Super AMOLED display.

In all fairness, it’s quite difficult in deciphering the detail superiority of the Galaxy S6’s display over the Xperia Z3 when looking at the two from a normal distance – they’re both sharp and pleasing to the eye. Moving ever so closer, however, that’s when we begin to visualize the astounding level of detail produced by the quad-HD resolution of the Galaxy S6’s screen. For practical usage, though, there’s no denying that they’re both on equal ground.Now, let's talk about color calibration. With the Samsung Galaxy S6 set in the non-default Basic display mode, we're looking at a spot-on color temperature of 6550K (6500K being the desired optimal value), while the Xperia Z3 offers the very unsatisfactory 10324K. In real terms, this means that the Xperia Z3’s display is cold (or bluish) and that's especially visible with whites and various shades of gray. In comparison, Samsung's device offers realistic whites that are... well, white!

Were we to draw the line right here, the Xperia Z3 would only suffer a relatively small defeat, instead of being steamrolled as it is in reality. Indeed, the Galaxy S6's display also proves far better in terms of color accuracy, with essentially every shade hitting its desired target at every intensity level, while the Z3 falters significantly in comparison – the hue presentation is all over the place when referenced to the standard, as you can see in the color charts below. In reality, the S6’s panel replicates colors with accuracy, while the Z3’s screen tries to be more saturated and punchy, which, however, backfires significantly, resulting in a severely inaccurate screen.

Details and colors aside, the Z3’s LCD-based display shines strongly at 713 nits, making it especially easy to view outdoors with the sun present. Once known to be among the worse display technologies when it came to maximum brightness, Super AMOLED has taken a great leap forward in recent memory, as the S6’s Super AMOLED display musters up a respectable 563 nits.


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