Sony Xperia Z vs Samsung Galaxy S III

Sony was quick to release its flagship smartphone for the first half of 2013 – the Xperia Z. The company did its job ahead of everyone else and is now enjoying a comfortable specs lead against the current Android flagships on the market. But as we all know, specs ain't everything! Could it be that the Galaxy S III, one of the best smartphones of 2012, can still prove to be a worthy opponent to the Xperia Z, even though technological evolution is on the side of Sony's handset? Let us take a closer look and find out!


There are some evident differences regarding the design language for both devices. On one hand, we have the Sony Xperia Z, which has this rectangular shape and all-glass body, while on the other there's the Galaxy S III with its rounded corners and plastic build. Generally, we'd say that the Xperia Z has the more striking appearance of the two, definitely the more stylish one, though the GS III is easily the winner when it comes to comfort, as its rounded edges make the device feel substantially smaller in the hand.

In terms of build quality, the Galaxy S III is really no match for the Xperia Z, as its thin, plastic body may be pleasant to the touch, but leaves a lot to be desired as far as sturdiness and materials go.

One thing we really appreciate about the Xperia Z is the fact that it's water- and dust-resistant, which is a feature that you cannot find in any other flagship smartphone, including the Galaxy S III.


Both the Xperia Z and Galaxy S III have a lot going for their displays, though both take very different approaches in that area. This is also one area where technological evolution has played its part, as the Xperia Z is armed with what seems to be the standard for high-end Android phones in 2013 – a 5” screen with 1080x1920-pixel resolution. This kind of size and res make for an amazing pixel density of 441 ppi, which means that pretty much anything that comes out on this screen is exceptionally sharp and clear. The GS III with its 4.8”, 720x1280-pixel resolution (306 ppi) screen is also very detailed and sharp, but of course the Z has the advantage here.

Being an advanced LCD screen, the one of the Xperia Z features much more realistic-looking colors, especially when compared to the Galaxy S III's colder tones. Overall though, the GS III is much more saturated and vibrant, so you may find it a bit more suitable for multimedia stuff, whereas the Xperia Z features the Mobile BRAVIA 2 engine, which also adds a certain degree of vibrancy to the image, but that feature only works in the gallery and video player, so overall you tend to end up looking at a slightly more lifeless image.

That said, the GS III has the dimmer screen, so keep this mind if you plan a lot of outdoor usage. Both handsets fail to impress with their viewing angles.



142. IamtheonlyDave

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 27, 2013

The way I used my samsung s3 at the moment. I'm out of battery at about 7 or 8pm. How long will the battery in the sxz last me?

134. abdulauwal

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 28, 2013

xz is better

133. TMach unregistered

Now watch this...... Nuff said

132. MartyK

Posts: 1045; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

I have to be honest here.....when it comes to design, nobody beats Sony and LG!, their phones are so dam beautiful..... btw, I own all Samsung's galaxy family members (phones and tablets); with all HTC EVO lines (viewer too)....

135. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

WTH how are LG products nice design there awfully designed generic black slabs as most people call them...

131. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

i also think the camera settings here are messed up. in other sites, the xz takes brighter photos.

130. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

i will agree that the display on the xz is inferior but certainly not the camera. if you make comparisons based on the same field of view and angles, the xz is better. what happened here is that the shots don't have the same angles and field of view. that's why when you compare them, the xz appears less detailed and softened since you are seeing a more zoomed in portion compared to what ip5 shows.

129. AceStorm1249

Posts: 14; Member since: Feb 16, 2013

Its better but its way too big...

128. MAG33

Posts: 13; Member since: Feb 23, 2013

Optimus g pro and HTC one are the most interesting products of this year .... until now

127. Mube1

Posts: 153; Member since: Sep 22, 2011

U guys are mad suppose u buy a xperia z and if cam will not b gud than u blame always tells the truth ok.and I m using sony j105 naite its a java phone and I m still big fan gadgets and I love phonearena

123. imran.bangi

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

gs3 international not having LTE plz correct ur article.

122. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

I do like the Xperia Z and i think sony are finally making progress but i still dont get the reason how they are comparing a 9 month old phone to a 1 month old phone and in these times when tech is moving so fast i dont get the reasoning...

121. sonofzeus

Posts: 95; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

comparing xperia z with a phone which is a year older than it is not acceptable Samsung s4 vs xperia z that's what we need..................................

119. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

For those who really wants the true viewing angle of the Z watch this shatter screen protector removed

114. jeff1434325

Posts: 97; Member since: Aug 07, 2012

"Both handsets fail to impress with their viewing angles" I dont know why the reviewer have said this but we all know that AMOLED screens are very much superior in viewing angle compared to LCD screens like in xperia Z.

111. GeekMovement unregistered

Aside from the rugged, sleek, design and the 1080p display, I prefer the Galaxy S III's user interface. Samsung has really added some great features onto touchwiz that I would miss if I moved to another android skin..

110. IanKelevra

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 19, 2013

Someone need to stop Ray from producing reviews and comparisions.

108. yahoo29

Posts: 71; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

Glass and plastic is just same like GSMArena said , but glass is more premium to touch but when it drops "goodbye" but in plastic it is cheap to touch but when it drops "yes! it survive!"

105. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The butthurt here is hilarious. Just admit that the GS2 dominated 2011, the GS3 did the same with 2012 and can hold it's own against early 2013 handsets. Nothing biased about that. The fact is that the GS3 is the most well rounded Android handset. It certainly is the most versatile high end Android handset with the replaceable battery and an Micro SD card slot. It certainly has the best accessory and developer support. In fact, the only thing people can fault it for is.. eeewwwwww cheap plastic! or eeewwww pentile that nobody else can notice but we can! Two totally subjective things. If those two are the best the haters can come up with then you know it is a great handset. While the Xperia Z has some very objective flaws like the poor viewing angles, call quality, and reflective glass etc. Whether or not the obvious strengths of the Xperia Z trump the well rounded GS3 is totally up to you but phonearena feels that the GS3 can hold it's own and I tend to agree for now. That could change once I own a Xperia Z for a few weeks but I wouldn't shocked if the GS3 can go toe to toe with it.

120. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

Report back what's your opinion about the Z

103. shahulvm

Posts: 124; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

Phonearena is very predictable... First preference for Apple products, followed by Samsung and then finally the rest...Had observed this for few months... Now a days when we login to, you would see huge advertisements from Samsung, so obviously they need to support Samsung, its no more a review, but more of a business between Sammy and PA..

95. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

SOMEONE PLEASE FIRE THIS DUMB IDIOT. Xperia Z is also better in my opinion. RAY S. should leave PHONE ARENA. MOST BIASED reviewer of all time

89. nasznjoka

Posts: 418; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

Poor Sony....You are failing to beat even the 'oldSchool'? if you fail to beat the last year's benchmark just 'waterproof' for fishermen you're DONE!!!!!!11 Stop attacking Phonearena on only Camera issue what bout other areas they said? you are not mentioning them cuz you got smacked. reminding you browser, keyboard, camera, and others

85. feshfeshe

Posts: 1; Member since: May 11, 2012

So why do not the phone screen side by side comparison in terms of picture quality?

84. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2282; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Great review, thanks :)

112. bipinm

Posts: 124; Member since: Oct 07, 2012


80. ludegmo

Posts: 16; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Just like last year sony is still behind. Not buying an xperia again

81. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

how is it behind while it is the second phone with 5" full HD display, 441ppi, 13MP camera, water and dust proof and so many things that we can see only on this phone??

92. bonsly16

Posts: 94; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

When all those featutes combined yes...But separately Xperia Z is not the only phone you can find them in. 5" full HD-Droid DNA and Oppo Find 5. 13 Megapixel-LG Optimus G (Sprint) and Oppo Find 5, Galaxy Camera (13+), Nokia 808 Pureview (13+) Water and Dust proof-other rugged phones. Being a phone that combines all these features is an accomplishment so good for Sony! What I do notice is that when it comes to these types of phones, people tend to overhype things as seen when the iPhone 5 was released, Galaxy S3, Nexus 4 and other flagship phones.

118. ludegmo

Posts: 16; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Hey dude don´t get me wrong ive been a sony ericsson / sony fan since FOREVER. All my past phones have been sony ericsson. i think the xperias are the most beautiful phones and the best in clean ui design but i have a Xperia TX and im gonna tell you why i am dissapointed: All the sony apps in my phone lag or crash ( contacts, album, walkman (most beautiful payer but crashes all the time!) replaced all of them. the camera app its slow, doesn´t focus well, and its not snappy when you need it to be. the battery is awful its laggy lock/unlock button placement its uncomfortable ( far left upper side of the phone) On the screen discussion im actually that guy that doesnt care how big it is,or if its saturated or not, not even care about the ppi or the viewing angles. The reason that im mad is that i spent to much money in a so so experience if i would have wanted that i would have bought an old midrange like an xperia p. But no i listened to sony and i bought their latest 2012 Flagship believing i would have the best experience.i was so blind i didnt consider all the reviews that said its was a so so phone that didnt have anything unique or new ( like this one) Yes i do have an uniquely designed and sleek beautiful phone but doest it work well when i need it to? no. and I practically have last year´s sony flagship. Its been 2 months and im dissapointed. Believe me i would have blindly bought any sony phone before but not now. Thats why im a dissapointed sony fan and i wont trust them again.

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