The Xperia Z3 camera flaunts better color representation than the S5 in daylight, and is superior during low-light shots.

The S5 comes with a 1/2.6”16 MP camera module with f2.2 aperture while Sony's flagship sports a 20.7 MP 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. As for the frontal cameras, both come with the typical 2 MP shooters. 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.

The two camera interfaces are anything but bland, as they sport a bewildering variety of shooting modes, color effects, and neat depth-of-field tricks. You can bet that there are all the basics, such as real-time HDR, Panorama, and so on. Samsung's interface is easier to use than the cluttered Xperia camera app, but if you are shooting in the default automatic modes, taking pictures with both phones is a breeze.

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
Sony Xperia Z3 3.2
No data
Samsung Galaxy S5 2.5

Both handsets can record 4K video at 30fps, as well as 1080p footage, plus HD slow-motion footage at 120fps. 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, and beats Samsung's own software stabilization by a large margin.


The phones are multimedia powerhouses, supporting every major video format from the box, but we'd have to give it to the Xperia Z3 when it comes to music playback.

Both galleries offer grid thumbnail views, and allow for rich picture editing from within the apps, as well as sport plenty of sharing options. Video playback is excellent on both handset, too, as they support DivX/Xvid/MKV files out of the box, and the players offer plenty of extras like zooming, previews, and subtitles support.

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 squarish Samsung UI. 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 S5 only offers one speaker at the back, which is strong enough, but with a subpar quality.

Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z3 74
Samsung Galaxy S5 81



1. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Best "normal-sized" phones of this year (as of this time). Zed Three > Sar Dirty-four.

2. f35hunter

Posts: 240; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

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

4. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 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.

10. f35hunter

Posts: 240; Member since: Dec 12, 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.

11. maherk

Posts: 6873; Member since: Feb 10, 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.

22. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 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.

6. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

13. anleoflippy

Posts: 596; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

>Z3 >Crappy Camera Try again.

18. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

I like trains.

26. JaroB

Posts: 112; Member since: Feb 13, 2013

29. cboy83

Posts: 10; Member since: May 21, 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

30. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

even the phonearena review says otherwise. get some education mor*n. more proof: read more:

3. Anterv

Posts: 178; Member since: Jul 09, 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.

5. Anterv

Posts: 178; Member since: Jul 09, 2014

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

7. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

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

9. Anterv

Posts: 178; Member since: Jul 09, 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. *facepalm*

8. PsxOwner

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

Z2 and z3 Wins !

16. maherk

Posts: 6873; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Z3 wins, Z2 doesn’t.

21. mawhob2222

Posts: 219; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

Also z2

12. josephnero

Posts: 780; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Maybe down to personal choice but Z3 for me

14. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Z3 words.

15. mawhob2222

Posts: 219; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

Xperia z3 better 10000000000000000%

23. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

U just killed it dude.....bravo

17. Rapha.194

Posts: 34; Member since: Sep 23, 2014

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

19. Carlitos

Posts: 668; Member since: Oct 23, 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.

20. mike2959

Posts: 694; Member since: Oct 08, 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.

24. rsiders

Posts: 1953; Member since: Nov 17, 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.

25. mahdi1379

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 07, 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.

35. jonaR98

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 09, 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.

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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