Call Quality


Call quality fell a bit short of our expectations on the Xperia Z2, spoiling an otherwise great overall impressions from the phone. Callers in the earpiece have an unnatural metallic rumble to their voice, and there’s also a constant and audible side noise that’s annoying. On the other end of the line, sound from the Z2 microphones is better, but still not as clear as we’re used to hearing on other top-shelf devices. The Galaxy Note 3, in comparison, fares better. - There are audible crackling sounds in the earpiece, but on the whole voices are clear and sound natural on both ends.

Battery


Both the Xperia Z2 and Galaxy Note 3 come with large, 3200mAh batteries. While the one on the Note 3 is easily removable, though, the Xperia Z2 juicer is sealed and there’s no way to swap batteries on the go. And what about battery life? On paper, 3G talk time is slightly longer on the Note 3 at 21 hours, while the Z2 is quoted to last 19 hours. The stand-by time, however, is much higher on the Z2 at 30.8 days on 3G, while Samsung’s phone is said to last just 17.5 days.

It’s also worth mentioning that Sony’s Stamina mode (found in the battery section in settings) is a great way to get the maximum juice out of the battery of the Z2 when it’s running low. Stamina mode does that by switching off things like mobile data and it can even put brakes on the processor to work in a more battery-efficient (and slower) way.

In our (unfortunately) short 1on1 time with the Xperia Z2 we were left with the impression that it is much improved from its predecessor that drained battery quickly, and this time around, you should be able to easily have it last through a full day. The Note 3 has proven to have very good battery life already, but for a more detailed comparison check back soon - we’ll update this section with our battery test results for the Z2 soon.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z2
8h 10 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
6h 8 min (Poor)


Conclusion


The Xperia Z2 feels like the third step of a longer journey that Sony started early last year with the Xperia Z. It’s a gradual evolution, in hardware and software design, with more polished looks, faster chips, and overall better performance, and this consistent work pays off in the great all-around performer with admirable camera that the Z2 is. However, Sony’s new flagship comes with the typical Sony price premium, making the phone more expensive (about $700) than other top-shelf devices like the Galaxy S5, One (M8) and the iPhone 5s.

In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has been on the market for a while, and now is offered at about $540 off-contract price. Sure, it may not be as premium looking as the Z2 and it’s camera is one tiny bit less capable than the one on the Z2, but for all else, it’s a similarly great. It’s also got the built-in S Pen stylus, removable battery, and a few other advantages.

So do we have a winner in this Android battle of giants? If price is not a concern, the scales tip in favor of the Xperia Z2, but if it is, the Note 3 offers the better value for the money.


FEATURED VIDEO

68 Comments

66. jellmoo

Posts: 2687; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Seems pretty straight forward: If you want a fun toy that you can take in the bathtub, get a Z2. If you want a productivity machine that's great for the office, get the Note 3.

57. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Well the Z2 is more like a Z1S already exists...it's more like a Z1S2. ..whereas the Note 3 is true upgrade and way better in terms of basically everything that makes a smartphone a smartphone. Z2 doesn't stand a chance. People should just face the truth rather than just blindly commenting that the Z2 is much better.

52. Owlet

Posts: 450; Member since: Feb 21, 2011

PhoneArena, Note 3 doesn't have a speaker on the back. Really? How bad do you know your phones??? It's on the bottom edge to the right of the charging port last time I checked.

62. Victor.H

Posts: 1112; Member since: May 27, 2011

Thanks, it's fixed now.

42. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

I am tempted to replace my Xperia Z Ultra with the Z2 mainly for hte camera and stereo speakers. But I think the 1.2 inch reduction in screen size would be hard to live with now.

40. Immolate

Posts: 310; Member since: Jun 17, 2011

Really not fair to the Z2 to compare it to a phone that it's not designed to compete with. The screen is way too small and it doesn't have a stylus. Now if they could increase the screen size to 5.7ish without increasing the size of the already massive footprint, they'd be able to compete with the G for second place.

35. wilsong17 unregistered

Note 3 amazing battery life and speed

29. JayBEE

Posts: 182; Member since: Apr 03, 2014

I suggest comparing the Z2 to the Oppo Find 7, whenever the latter is released. Even though I have the Note 3, I really want the Oppo Find 7, but got tired of waiting. My only complaint with the Note 3 is that it is a wee bit large for one-handed usage.

34. wilsong17 unregistered

Have you try turning on one hand use

27. vuyonc

Posts: 1094; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Both are probably the best in their respective classes right now and you can't go wrong with either but dang the N3 has really stood the test of time (well about 8 months anyway).

20. papss unregistered

These are two great phones.. I've owned a note3 and would love to get my hands on a z2. Those complaining about size can always buy a iphone 5s for your baby hands

21. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

There is size and there is ridiculously unacceptable size. The Note 3 size for a 5.7 inch screen and a stylus/Wacom digitizer. Perfectly acceptable. The Z2 size for a 5.2 inch screen is freaking ridiculous.

44. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

I see so many people post opinions like this. But I think Sony put the large bezels on the phone to make it easy to hold in landscape mode. The Note 3 is mainly a portrait orient device. Owning a Xperia Z Ultra I can tell you that I need those bezels to hold the phone in landscape comfortably.

46. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

When you hold these 2 phones on the ear it looks like a joke. But I always use a good bluetooth instead of looking weird holding a big phone

18. redmd

Posts: 1965; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

PA, we want S5 vs Z2 review comparison.

16. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Holy crap the Z2 and M8 are huge. No way a 5.2 inch screen phone should come anywhere near the size of a Note 3 and yet the Z2 is near enough. Disgusting how bad the current crop of 2014 flagships are.

47. splus

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

Everyone is raving how S5, M8 and Z2 are good, but I couldn't agree with you more! Just a bit larger screens than 2013 crop, but much larger phones overall. If I'm buying a phone of that size then I want to have larger screen! I wouldn't be surprised if G3 is smaller than Z2, even though it has a much larger screen...

15. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Both are excellent phones. All comes down to size preference.

10. drazwy

Posts: 377; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

Summed up in 4 words. One exists, one doesn't.

11. DEATHSTROKE9

Posts: 399; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

What does that even mean?

24. drazwy

Posts: 377; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

Just what it says. I can buy a Note 3. I can't buy a Sony Z2. Most of the people that have ordered one in the extremely limited release areas, are still waiting for it. And those that did actually get one, have build quality issues. So I guess it technically exists, but it's not a real viable purchase.

58. cheetah2k

Posts: 2332; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

spot on drazwy. Sony released the Z2 in Feb, yet no one can get one without paying huge prices on ebay.... And then there are dead pixel and overheating issues... Another Sony fail..

56. TheGenius

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Look at artsim98. He has been waiting for his z2 for ages now and there's no sign of it yet. ! :p

65. drazwy

Posts: 377; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

He preordered one?

67. TheGenius

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Yup. Look at comment #8

8. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Sonera is the worst carrier their delivery takes forever.

9. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

still waiting for your Z2? That's taking forever I said!

36. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Yep. This is horrible I'm so nervous all day just waiting for the message to come lol

6. mokhtar

Posts: 405; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

z2 is clear winner here .. better display , better camera , better design ,and better sound experience .. and WATERPROOF .. SO no chance to note 3 here .. Z2

12. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

I am speechless about those fake statement...

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