Call quality


Both smartphones feature good call quality. In the earpiece, voices sound almost equally loud (a bit quieter on the Z1 Compact) and clear on both devices. Our callers were also able to easily recognize our voice with its natural tones on both phones.

The speakerphone on the Galaxy S4 is just a bit louder, though, and that’s an advantage for say, conference calls.

Battery


The smaller Xperia Z1 Compact packs a surprisingly large battery for its size. It’s got a 2300mAh battery that is not user removable, while the Galaxy S4 - despite the big difference in size - has only a slightly larger, 2600mAh juicer. Not surprisingly, the Z1 Compact is quoted to last longer with 18 hours of 3G talk time (versus 17 hours on the S4), and standby time is much longer on the Sony phone.

In reality, both phones are able to easily last a full workday in most cases, but under heavier use you’d probably have to charge both of them every night.

Conclusion


With all this said, it’s time to answer the big question - which one should you buy, the Z1 Compact or the Galaxy S4? It’s clear that we’re talking about two great devices all around, but - if you are not scared of the smaller screen - the Z1 Compact seems to have the upper hand. After all, it’s not only newer, but it is built with premium materials, features better protection from the elements, a beefier processor, and a better camera - all of that makes it the logical choice.

The Galaxy S4 is a nearly one-year old device, and its age starts to show, as it has older and less capable internals. At the same time, it's also true that it has dropped down in price, so that it's not a bad value for its money. If you're looking for the very best out there, though, it's hard to give the S4 a heart-felt recommendation right now. For that, between the two, the Xperia Z1 Compact wins our heart.


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