Camera

Both take incredible photos, but the S6 has the upper hand in low light conditions.

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. 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'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.

Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3

Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S6


Camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z3 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z3 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z3 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z3 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z3 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z3 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z3 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z3 - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3

Camera interface of the Sony Xperia Z3


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 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 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’s is more on the neutral side.



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 S6 2.2
2.4
No data
No data
Sony Xperia Z3 3.2
No data
452
395

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 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.



Multimedia

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’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.

TouchWiz music player on the Galaxy S6 - Music players - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3

TouchWiz music player on the Galaxy S6

Music players - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3
Sony Xperia Z3 - Music players - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3

Sony Xperia Z3

Music players - Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z3

Music players


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 only offers one speaker along the bottom edge, which is strong enough, but with a thinner and subdued quality.

Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 73.7
Sony Xperia Z3 74


FEATURED VIDEO

57 Comments

1. calim

Posts: 40; Member since: Mar 09, 2013

Z3 should win because of battery time alone. A dead phone is just a brick until it's charged again.

2. FluffyBled unregistered

What about recharge time?

17. mixedfish

Posts: 1544; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Indeed recharge time is an important consideration, now that you can't change the battery you DON'T want a fast charge time. Lest you fall victim of a faster deteriorating battery.

38. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

These 2 are great phones but for me samsung removed a lot of features that are well known from them. Z3 on the other hand have a lot of unique feature such as noise cancelation, ps remote play, ip certified, good battery life, almost stock android and the external sd slot. Qhd is useless for that kind of sizes putting strain to battery. Camera no doubt that s6 is better but z3 is not far behind if you know basic photography and of course most of us is not and just want to point and shoot. Still for me z3 is the best choice here considering the price difference as well.

44. the_matchless

Posts: 64; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

So very well put!! +1

45. the_matchless

Posts: 64; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

In case you are talking about fast charging, that's exactly what Samsung does and as you said it results in degradation in battery life. By the way its not a company specific feature its rather a Qualcomm feature so they all have it (visit qualcomm website and you'll find out). Yes S6 has a home brewed CPU alright but still what I mean to say is that they all have it. Sony has just not packaged the handset with a fast charger probably for the reason stated above. You may get a charger with higher MA and have the phone charged quicker.

3. SonyFindOneDroidple

Posts: 865; Member since: May 11, 2013

Would also take up 2.6hrs more to recharge, so basicallly it will be idle/brick for 2.6hrs more..

7. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

perfect for people who let their phone charge overnight.. and the battery life is (should be) MORE than enough to last an entire day away from the charger.

16. FluffyBled unregistered

Not that perfect for people who play graphics intensive games a lot!

47. the_matchless

Posts: 64; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

Have you owned a Z3? I guess not cause it at an average has 50% battery time left nearing bed time so how much gaming would you be doing? the whole night? IUKWIM

54. TMach

Posts: 485; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

Playing intensive graphic wouldn't be something you'd want to do on the S6, given the battery would be dead in less than a nano second...... Lol.

55. TMach

Posts: 485; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

Intensive graphic games.....even!

46. the_matchless

Posts: 64; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

Well said @ ILikeBubbles

15. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Yes, also SD card and water resistant. The S6 to me, is an old design, reminiscent of the iphone 4 and beyond. In order for Sony to make a dent in the mobile market; they need to adjust their price structure.

21. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

You mean the Z3 is an old design, right?

24. oister85

Posts: 508; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

No, they need to stop been exclusive for some carriers and release they phone worldwide.

26. CamaroSS

Posts: 173; Member since: Jul 24, 2012

Also loved how PA pretended to see a big difference in the display sharpness by deliberately skipping the 'pentile' resolution of the S6 Z3 -> Red SPPI - 424 , Green SPPI - 424, Blue - SPPI - 424 S6 -> Red SPPI - 408 , Green SPPI - 577, Blue - SPPI - 408 S6 is far from being much sharper than Z3 and can actually be less sharper than Z3 in some cases. But hey, that's PA for you =) If you take LG G3 (much bigger 5.5" screen), it'd be much sharper than S6 G3 -> Red SPPI - 538 , Green SPPI - 538, Blue - SPPI - 538 But this time, PA would again deliberately ignore the 'pentile' part and label S6 sharper than G3. At least, we get entertained though. Pentile QHD is in the same class as the 1080p RGB in terms of sharpness. If anyone pretends to see the difference between Pentile QHD & RGB 1080p, he should see 2x the difference between a RGB QHD & Pentile QHD.

30. g2a5b0e unregistered

"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." Where exactly did they pretend to see a huge difference? That last sentence says it all. Stop exaggerating.

32. CamaroSS

Posts: 173; Member since: Jul 24, 2012

"Moving ever so closer, however, THAT'S WHEN we begin to visualize the astounding level of detail ..." So they magically see the extra green sub-pixels, but don't see the missing red & blue sub-pixels. LOL - stop whining & read before you paste.

33. g2a5b0e unregistered

I read it just fine. Please point out where I'm whining. I'll wait. The obvious conclusion they came to is that there is no difference in practical usage, but all you could see was the one sentence. Keep your bias tucked in.

34. CamaroSS

Posts: 173; Member since: Jul 24, 2012

Please point out where I'm exaggerating. I'll wait. You're stuck with one sentence as well. Sharpness is objective. From a subjective viewpoint, you either see it or not - altogether. Keep your pain tucked in.

35. g2a5b0e unregistered

"Also loved how PA pretended to see a big difference in the display sharpness by deliberately skipping the 'pentile' resolution of the S6. " Right there. Not to mention, it's two sentences, not one. It's funny to me that you think this pains me in any way. This is the internet. I highly doubt I will be losing a wink of sleep due to this conversation. Keep trying though.

36. CamaroSS

Posts: 173; Member since: Jul 24, 2012

'astounding level of detail' == big difference It's funny to me that you think I exaggerated in any way. Well, This is internet, but reading helps!

56. TMach

Posts: 485; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

Just the usual bias in favour of the latest and greatest from a favoured manufacturer....!

51. the_matchless

Posts: 64; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

+1@g2a5b0e LOLzzz true! they just pointlessly need a point to score... LOLzzz

53. Trex95

Posts: 2358; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

I think I agree with you after I used every single Samsung flagship that comes with 1080P and 1440P Super Amoled Note 3, Note 4, Note edge, S5 and S6 even tho S6 comes with 577 ppi it's not as sharp as G3 IPS that comes with 538 ppi plus screen mode in Amoled photo and basic mode the white turn yellowish really sad cause I prefer Samsung keyboard and fingerprint scanner on S6.

37. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The battery life on my Z3 went from 3 days standby to 1 day after the 5.02 update. Crazy. Other than that, great update.

4. UglyFrank

Posts: 2190; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I guarantee the S5 has better visibility in sunlight

28. Rhinoface

Posts: 179; Member since: Dec 05, 2014

lol ok

5. Kakarotto

Posts: 255; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

I don't like that plastic corners of Z3.

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