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Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia Z, Two Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Flagships Head to Head

Consumer Electronics Show 2013 has recently closed its gates, and Sony was one of the companies that unveiled it’s next-generation flagship smartphone at the Las Vegas-based event. We are talking about the Sony Xperia Z, the company’s first smartphone that will be underpinned by a quad-core processor.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 was unveiled in May 2012, and it has rapidly become the best-selling Android-powered smartphone ever. Samsung has recently announced that over 100 million smartphones belonging to the Galaxy S line-up were shipped world wide, with the Galaxy S3 being by far the most popular model of their flagship line-up.

Since everybody is talking about Sony’s smartphone these days, we though that it’s time to get it face to face with the most popular Android smartphone yet. That’s why it’s time for a Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia Z battle.

The winner of the Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia Z battle will be chosen based on seven different categories, each worth of 1 point. We will be judging the two smartphones based on Dimensions, Display, Memory, Camera, Connectivity, Operating System and CPU.

If you followed the recent news from the tech world, you probably know that Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S3 are two of the most powerful smartphones currently on the market, even though they belong to two different generations. Only one of them can be the winner, but let’s cut the chit chat and begin the Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia Z showdown.


For some of the smartphone users the size of their terminal is pretty important. Moreover, many of the customers choose their next smartphone based on its size or weight, that’s why we’ve put the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Sony Xperia Z dimensions head to head.

Samsung Galaxy S3 measures 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm, being one of the thinnest smartphones ever created by the South Korea-based company. Samsung Galaxy S3 weighs in just 133 grams.

On the other hand the Sony Xperia Z is 139 mm tall, 71 mm wide and only 7.9 mm thin, while weighing in 146 grams.

As you probably noticed, the two smartphones are similar when it comes to dimensions, mostly because both the Galaxy S3 and Xperia Z need to accommodate similar-sized displays (4.8 inches for SGS3, and 5 inches for Xperia Z).

Since the Galaxy S3 is only 13 grams lighter than the Xperia Z and the Japanese flagship terminal is only 0.7 mm thinner than Samsung high-end smartphone, the Dimensions battle between the two ends as tie.


Well, it’s easy to see the winner here. As you probably noticed, the trend for the 2013 high-end smartphones is to pack 5-inch-ish displays with full HD resolutions, and Sony Xperia Z delivers.

Some say that the displays greater than 4 inch require two hands to operate, but I am sure that many of you got your hands on a 4.5+ inch smartphone and saw that in real life things are otherwise.

We are having two 4.5+ smartphones head to head here, both with similar display sizes, but using different technologies for the touch panels.

Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels (306 ppi) protected against scratches by Corning Gorilla Glass. Moreover, the screen of Samsung flagship is manufactured using a PenTile matrix, which doesn’t provide the best performance under direct sunlight.

The Sony Xperia Z packs a TFT screen with a diagonal of 5 inches. It also comes with shatter proof and scratch-resistant glass and Sony’s proprietary Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 providing an impressive resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels and a density of 441 ppi.

Because the Sony Xperia Z comes with a bigger display with full HD resolution and bigger pixel density, the flagship of the Japan-based manufacturer wins this round of the Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia Z battle.


The storage and RAM aspects of a smartphone are pretty important, as well. Even though there are voices saying that now that the cloud storage is widespread you won’t need that much storage, but you probably know that there are a lot of games out there sized over 1 GB, and you can’t watch HD videos from your cloud storage, as it would badly harm your data package.

Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with three internal storage options: 16, 32, and 64 GB and has support for microSD cards of up to 64 GB. It also comes with 1 GB of RAM, even though there are certain Galaxy S3 variants that come with 2 GB of RAM. The Galaxy S3 will also bring you a two-year subscription to Dropbox with 50 GB of storage in the cloud included.

On the other hand the Sony Xperia Z comes with 16 GB of storage, expandable using a microSD card (up 32 GB supported) and 2 GB of RAM.

Even though we’d be tempted to give the Memory point to the Xperia Z for its 2 GB of RAM, the SGS3 brings more internal storage options, so this battle ends at as a tie, as well.


The Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia Z fight continues with the camera battle.

Sony Xperia Z boasts a 13 megapixel sensor developed in-house by the Japanese company, with autofocus, LED flash. The Xperia Z camera features list continues with Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, HDR, and sweep panorama, plus full HD video recording capabilities with continuous autofocus, video stabilization and HDR video recording. The front-facing camera of the Xperia Z is a 2.2 megapixel unit with support for 1080p video recording at 30 fps.

Samsung Galaxy S3 boasts an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, autofocus, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, and support for full HD video recording at 30 fps. The user-facing unit is a 1.9 megapixel sensor with HD video recording support at 30 fps.

We have a winner here, it’s the Sony Xperia Z. The Sony flagship packs an impressive camera with great video recording performance due it’s HDR sensor. Therefore, the point for the camera battle goes to the Xperia Z, making the score 2 – 0 for the Japanese smartphone.


There’s no doubt that the 4G is a major selling point for the modern smartphone, and both Samsung and Sony figured out that a LTE-friendly smartphone would boost the sales.

There are several Samsung Galaxy S3 variants out there, some of them coming with LTE support, others stuck to HSDPA download speeds. Because the Exynos 4 Quad chipset fitted inside the international variant didn’t support the LTE networks in US, Samsung launched a dual-core Snapdragon S4-powered variant with 2 GB of RAM.

The connectivity list of the Galaxy S3 includes Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and microUSB 2.0.

On the other hand, the Sony Xperia Z comes with a LTE chip fitted on its Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC, plus WiFi in all standards, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, microUSB 2.0, NFC chip and Bluetooth 4.0.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia Z connectivity battle is undecided, as both devices come with LTE and all the features worth of a high-end device. The score is yet unchanged, Xperia Z leading 2 – 0.


Both the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Sony Xperia 3 are underpinned by quad-core processors, the latter one being the first terminal of the Japan-based company that makes the jump to quad-core processing. Let’s have a look at the chipsets powering the two flagship terminals.

Sony Xperia Z packs the might Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset manufactured by Qualcomm. The S4 Pro is based on four Krait cores at 1.5 GHz, while the graphics processing tasks are handled by an Adreno 320 unit.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with the company’s proprietary Exynos 4 Quad SoC, with four Cortex A9 cores clocked at 1.4 GHz with Mali-400MP GPU.

The benchmark tests and the overall performance have proved that the Sanpdragon S4 Pro SoC is superior to Exynos 4 Quad CPU fitted on the Samsung Galaxy S3, which is the reason why the Sony Xperia Z wins the processors battle. +1 to Xperia Z.

Operating System

The last battle of the Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia Z is the about the Operating System. As you probably know, Sony Xperia Z comes with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, while the Galaxy S3 runs Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. Anyway, the Galaxy S3 can be upgrade to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, too.

The only difference between the operating systems running on the two smartphones are the user interfaces developed by the companies.

Even though the Xperia Z’s user interface is packed with widgets Sony’s own widgets and shortcuts, many of them very handy, while others such as Sony’s Music and Video unlimited widgets are less relevant unless you’re sold into Sony’s premium content services.

Samsung has impressed everyone with the new TouchWiz interface. The South Korea-based company did a great job with the new motion controls and other features like Multi View or the customizable toggles in the Notification area. The latest firmware update also brings the apps of the Premium Suite pack.

The TouchWiz UI made a lot of customers choose the Galaxy S3 over its competitors, and for this reason and for the ones mentioned above, the flagship South Korean smartphone wins the Operating System battle.


The Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia Z battle now came to an end and we’ve got a winner, too.

The two smartphones are equally matched when it comes to Dimensions and Connectivity, because of their similar features.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 won the Operating System battle courtesy of the TouchWiz UI, while the Sony Xperia Z dominated the SGS3 when it came to Display, Camera and CPU, thanks to its, full HD screen, 13 megapixel camera, and powerful Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU.

Summing up the winner of the Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xeria Z battle is the flagship of the Japanese company, 3 to 1. Do you think otherwise? Let us know in the comments section below.