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Sony Xperia Z3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Sony Xperia Z3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Sony Xperia Z3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Sony Xperia Z3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Sony did put up a direct competitor to Samsung's flagship in the spring – the Xperia Z2 – but its six-month upgrade cycle now spits out an even better phone against the same old S5, just in time for the holiday shopping craze. The new Xperia Z3 is slimmer, prettier, and more decked-out than its predecessor, chipping away at any and all advantages the Galaxy S5 might have had before, so we are pitting it against Samsung's direct competitor to help you choose...


The stylish Xperia Z3 looks like a catwalk star next to the plastic Galaxy S5, and sports a higher waterproof rating.

The Z3 has one distinctly visible advantage before the S5 in terms of design, and it is its slim and premium glass and metal unibody, to which the Galaxy S5 can bounce a largely plastic one, with a tacky faux leather back cover. Despite that removable back battery cover, the Galaxy S5 sports an IP67 waterproof rating, allowing you to submerge it in up to three feet of water for half an hour. Sony's phone is also waterproof, though, and with a higher, IP68 rating at that, meaning you can dunk int in five feet of fresh water in its turn. Sony also adorned the Z3 with two stereo speakers at the front as an added value, while Samsung bet on biometrics, such as a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home key, and a heart rate sensor on the back, which work as advertised, though we prefer Apple's or Huawei's approaches to fingerprint recognition.

The S5 is comparatively large for the screen diagonal, but the Xperia Z3 is even taller, making it a bit more uncomfortable to carry in your pocket. Its signature metal power/lock key is a tad smallish and wobbly, so it's more of a chore to find and press it without looking, than the adequately placed lock key on the side of the S5. Looking at the back, we find the 16 MP camera of Samsung's flagships placed smack in the upper middle, while the Z3's 20 MP snapper is pushed all the way to the corner, so your fingers often gets in the way while shooting in landscape mode.

Sony Xperia Z3
5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 inches
146 x 72 x 7.3 mm
5.36 oz (152 g)

Sony Xperia Z3

Samsung Galaxy S5
5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches
142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)

Samsung Galaxy S5

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


The bright Z3 LCD panel beats Samsung's AMOLED display in its own game..exhibiting saturated but inaccurate colors and cold color temperature.

The phones have almost the same screen diagonals – 5.2” for the Xperia Z3, and 5.1” for the S5, and the same 1080 x 1920 pixels resolutions, so both sport excellent 400+ ppi pixel density. Surprisingly, despite the totally different screen technologies – LCD for the Xperia, and AMOLED for the Galaxy, - they exhibit equally inaccurate color representation. While cold, off-base and oversaturated colors were to be expected from Samsung's AMOLED screens, at least until the Note 4, we were taken aback to measure even colder colors on the Z3, to the tune of the abominable 10324 Kelvins, with 6500K as a reference. This makes the Z3 panel one of the coldest we've measured so far, and looking very artificial, not to mention that the hue presentation is all over the place when referenced to the standard, as you can see in the color charts below.

Sony says that this color-busting panel is made with a brand new screen tech that improves brightness, and lowers power consumption, and we indeed measured the whopping 713 nits maximum, as well as a great battery life. The Galaxy S5, however, is also bright, and with low screen reflectance, so the outdoor visibility of the two is about on par. The minimum brightness of the handsets is also equal, and it is the excellent 4 and 2 nits, respectively. Both phones offer super-sensitive touch layers that can be turned on and off at will, and allow you to operate the screen with gloves.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Sony Xperia Z3 713
Samsung Galaxy S5 442
View all

  • Options

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:46 4

1. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2226; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

Best "normal-sized" phones of this year (as of this time).

Zed Three > Sar Dirty-four.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:50 4

2. f35hunter (Posts: 233; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)

But recharging time and the crappy camera's software of the z3 both are killing the deal !!

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:52 5

4. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Why would you even care about recharging time so much if the battery life is awesome? And even though the camera software is bad it still takes one of the best pictures of any mobile phone.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:42 1

10. f35hunter (Posts: 233; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)

The recharging time is more than three hours you cannot ignore that simply, and as for the camera i am an xperia z1 user that like photographing which is the main reason that i bought the z1 for it and i am getting tired from the bad software optimization for the excellent hardware. The xperia's flagships aren't cheap and because that the costumers want there devices to perform as advertise.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:43 3

11. maherk (Posts: 4847; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

Not hating on the Z3, i think it is a great device that Sony once again failed to improve on the simple things that makes a phone even better.
The charging time sucks, and the battery lofe shouldn't be an excuse for us not to complain about it. Not all countries have 24/7 electricity, and people who are on a trip don't have 3-4 hours to charge a phone.
As for the camera, Sony need to hire a new team for writing a new software for their cameras from scratch, it is kinda ironic that Samsung managed to bring much much better pictures from a samller SONY sensor in the Note 4.
Another point I would like to comment on are the bezels, they aren't a deal breaker, but I would rather have a mono speaker on the side or the back and have a much shorter phone, especially on ab already gorgeous and well crafted phone like the Z3.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 11:29 5

22. buccob (Posts: 2732; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

Well given that I am a person who charges its devices mostly overnight (without experiencing degradation after a couple of years)... I would like you to see it this way...

According to PA tests, the Samsung GS5 has a battery life of about 80% the one inside the Z3...
Knowing how these type of batteries charge and behave, they usually charge faster in the beginning (up to around 80% in half the charging time) so with this logic in mind, it would take about the same time for the Z3 to reach the same battery life that the GS5 offers...

In simpler words: if you charge the Z3 and the GS5 at the same time, until the galaxy reaches 100%, the Z3 will be at around 80%, and both will have similar battery life...

Take it as if the Z3 has an option to "overcharge" up to 126% of what Samsung offers here.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:58 3

6. DogeShibe (Posts: 1116; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)


posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:48 1

13. anleoflippy (Posts: 595; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)

>Crappy Camera

Try again.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 11:04

18. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

I like trains.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 19:04

26. JaroB (Posts: 111; Member since: 13 Feb 2013)


posted on 16 Oct 2014, 17:31 1

29. cboy83 (Posts: 10; Member since: 21 May 2014)

I own one and it fixed everything that was bad on my z1camera wise and I can make it my full work day and get home at 66% battery when I would be at 30 or less on my z1 im loving this phone

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 19:48

30. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)

even the phonearena review says otherwise. get some education mor*n.

more proof:

read more:

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:51

3. Anterv (Posts: 178; Member since: 09 Jul 2014)

LG G3 is sime size but it has 5.5" instead of 5.2", I wouldn't say it's normal when bezels are so thick.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:53 1

5. Anterv (Posts: 178; Member since: 09 Jul 2014)

What's the point of comparing these phones ? S5 came long time ago comparing to Z3..

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:00 3

7. DogeShibe (Posts: 1116; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)

Long time ago?
Not even a year old and you are using the word 'ago' ?


posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:25 2

9. Anterv (Posts: 178; Member since: 09 Jul 2014)

I mean "long time ago" COMPARING to Z3. Z3 was released when Note 4 was released, so it's not a fair fight to compare it with S5.


posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:19 5

8. PsxOwner (Posts: 3; Member since: 09 Sep 2014)

Z2 and z3 Wins !

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:54 1

16. maherk (Posts: 4847; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

Z3 wins, Z2 doesn’t.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 11:28

21. mawhob2222 (Posts: 219; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)

Also z2

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:46 2

12. josephnero (Posts: 592; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)

Maybe down to personal choice but Z3 for me

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:49 4

14. akki20892 (Posts: 3902; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

Z3 standout.............no words.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:53 4

15. mawhob2222 (Posts: 219; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)

Xperia z3 better 10000000000000000%

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 13:20 1

23. akki20892 (Posts: 3902; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

U just killed it dude.....bravo

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 11:04 4

17. Rapha.194 (Posts: 34; Member since: 23 Sep 2014)

Galaxy s5 is more balanced phone market.
Second only to GIANT Note 4

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 11:06 1

19. Carlitos (Posts: 557; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

IMHO, they are both great phones. I cant seem to find, as to why one is significantly better than the other. Even when, one of them is several months older.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 11:26 1

20. mike2959 (Posts: 578; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)

Grab the Galaxy s5 lte-a. It's a S5 on steroids. First handset with the s805, by 3 month's. Along with 3gb of Ram, and a qhd display.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 16:30

24. rsiders (Posts: 1090; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

Lol people whining about long charging times? Don't you charge the phone while you're asleep? The things they come up with... But I'm getting that Z3 October 29. Can't wait.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 18:22 1

25. mahdi1379 (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Aug 2014)

Every One Knows The Galaxy S5 Is Better Then The Xperia Z3 Because Of The CPU , GPU , Display , Battery Power , Camera And More And The S5 Have The Ultra Power Saving Mode.

posted on 09 Mar 2015, 13:03

35. jonaR98 (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Mar 2015)

The Xperia Z3 is better...
Camera...20.7mp vs 16mp...
Battery power...3100mh vs 2800mh
Ram...3GB vs 2GB...
Front Camera...2.2mp vs 2mp...
Bigger display...5.2" vs 5.1"...
Water resistance.. Ip68 vs Ip67
The same cpu...quad core 2.5ghz-snapdragon 801
Thinness...7.35mm vs 8.1mm...
Stereo sound...
Stamina and Ultra Stamina mode...
The Samsung galaxy S5 HAS BETTER PUBLICITY.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 19:25

27. 21babydoll12 (unregistered)

don't see what the issue is with recharging. I can live without my phone for a couple of hours. maybe some of you boys/girls should learn how to get out more. cheers!

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