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Samsung Galaxy S4 or Sony Xperia Z: Which one to buy?

Samsung Galaxy S4 or Sony Xperia Z: Which one to buy?

These two phones are the two best Android phones on the market right now. That means that it is a hard decision which one to buy.

It’s a decision based on details and your personal taste. We compare these two phones in 6 different fields as usual to help you decide which one to buy.


Sony was smart and launched Sony Xperia Z two months before Samsung Galaxy S4 (February 2013). With strong advertisement all over the world, water resistant body and Sony technology, this phone was a “must buy” as it has no competition.

On April Samsung released the Samsung Galaxy S4, a great phone that followed the success of Samsung Galaxy S3 and gave us some reasons to buy it.

Now these two phones are both on the market and our pocket can only buy one, which one?

Shape: Samsung Galaxy S4
Design: Sony Xperia Z


Both phones have a 5 inch screen so they should have exactly the same dimensions. That is true for the weight that is exactly the same (7.9mm) but the other dimensions are a bit different.

Samsung Galaxy S4 is smaller as Sony Xperia Z is taller (2.4mm) and wider (1.2mm), something you will not understand by holding the phones.

Samsung Galaxy S4 is also lighter by 16g. This is not a big difference if we consider that Sony Xperia Z is made of glass and Samsung Galaxy S4 of (good) plastic.

Glass is glass so we have a winner here but we give the shape point to Samsung Galaxy S4 as it is smaller and lighter with the same screen.

Winner: No winner


The display is something that we care a lot about. Both phones have a 5 inch screen with 441 pixels per inch and we love both screens.

Samsung has Super AMOLED technology and Sony has its Bravia Engine. Both companies are in the TV business so they now how to make a screen and we love these screens.

Samsung Galaxy S4 has Gorilla Glass 3 and Sony Xperia Z’s screen is shatterproof and scratch and water resistant.

So no winners here.

Primary camera: Samsung Galaxy S4
Second camera: Sony Xperia Z


The real war between these phones is on technology and apps. Sony and Samsung are two big companies that create cameras, TVs, Hi-Fis and can create impressive phones too.

On the camera battle field Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 13MP camera compared to 13.1MP camera of Sony Xperia Z.

0.1MP is not a difference as both phones can take photos at 4128×3096 pixels, they have autofocus and strong LED flash.

So we need to focus on the apps of the phones. Samsung Galaxy S4 has the dual shot function that we like a lot as well as the capability to take simultaneous HD videos and images (something Sony Xperia Z can do by only taking 1MP photos).

dualshot-cameraYou can also find panorama, touch focus, face and smile detection and a lot of camera features that make this phone a great camera phone.

On the other side Sony Xperia Z has a great camera too with touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, HDR, sweep panorama. They also both take 1080p video @30fps. So?

Technically the primary camera of both phones are equal but the winner here is Samsung Galaxy S4 which gets the point as it has the dual shot feature that we love a lot.

The second camera is lovely on both phones too. Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 2MP camera and Sony Xperia Z a 2.2MP camera. As Samsung has no surprises on the second camera (as it had on the primary), it loses the point as Sony Xperia Z has a better camera (and 0.2MP on 2MP is a difference).

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S4


These two phones are quad core giants with the best core technology now on the market.

Samsung Galaxy S4 has two versions, a quad core and an octa core one. The octa core is by far the fastest phone on the market but it is available on limited countries as it is not compatible with LTE networks.

So we compare here the quad core version of Samsung Galaxy S4 with the quad core of Sony Xperia Z.

Sony Xperia Z has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor found also in the Nexus 4. Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 1.9GHz quad-core processor and both have 2GB of RAM.

So the speed of the two phones is almost the same but Samsung takes the point.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S4


The battery is something that depends on the use of the phone. Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 2600mAh battery and Sony Xperia Z a 2330mAh battery so Samsung takes the point.

There are also a lot of battery features on Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z that will help you make the battery last longer. Also follow these tips for better battery quality.

Other specs and details

Memory: Both phones have internal memory of 16GB and a microSD slot but Samsung Galaxy S4 has more versions available (16/32/64GB) so it gives you more options. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S4

Android version: As Samsung Galaxy S4 went two months later than Sony Xperia Z on the market, Samsung has more time to work on Android 4.2. So this phone was launched with the latest Android version. On the other side Sony Xperia Z was launched with Android 4.1 and then was upgraded to 4.2. So as always we give the point to latest Android installed from the beggining. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S4

Options & Apps & Features: Samsung Galaxy S4 has a lot of options and apps preinstalled. We like the eye, voice and gesture control options of Samsung Galaxy S4 and the health app that is preinstalled. You can also use two apps at the same time as you can do with Sony Xperia Z. Generally Samsung Galaxy S4 has more options and features and apps to play with. You can live without them but having them is a plus. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S4

Final verdict

Sony Xperia Z has a unique design made of glass. If you don’t mind about design, then Samsung Galaxy S4 is your phone. These phones are both strong, they have great screens and cameras. But Samsung Galaxy S4 has more apps and options and Sony Xperia Z has the unique glass, water resistant design. Now it’s your choice.

Total Wins

Samsung Galaxy S4 (Samsung Galaxy S4 review)
lighter body
more primary camera features
faster processor
bigger battery
more memory versions
more apps and features
Sony Xperia Z (Sony Xperia Z review)
glass body
better second camera

Specs rating of Samsung Galaxy S4

SpecSamsung Galaxy S4Compared to:with spec:ScoreBuy now:
AVC rating methodDate Rated:2013/09/24Total Rating75.3%Best price
Width7.9Sony Xperia Z Ultra6.578%

Weight130HTC Desire C10070%
Screen PPI441HTC One46994%
Camera MP13Nokia Pureview4132%
2nd Camera2.0Sony Xperia Z2.291%
Processor8 * 1.6Samsung Galaxy Note 38 * 1.984%
RAM MB2000Samsung Galaxy Note 3300067%
Battery mAh2600Huawei Ascend Mate405064%
Android4.2Google Nexus 44.383%
Release Date2013-04Today2013-0990%
Our view90%-100%90%

Specs rating of Sony Xperia Z

SpecSony Xperia ZCompared to:with spec:ScoreBuy now:
how we rateTotal Rating78.8%Get a better price for this phone
Width7.9iPhone 57.696%
Weight146iPhone 511270%
Screen PPI441HTC One46994%
Camera MP13.1Nokia Pureview4132%
2nd Camera2.2Sony Xperia Z2.2100%
Processor4 * 1.5Samsung S48 * 1.647%
RAM MB2000HTC One2000100%
Battery mAh2330Samsung Note 2310075%
Android4.1Google Nexus 44.283%
Release Date2013-02Today2013-0396%
Our view90%-100%90%

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