Earlier this week, both Samsung and Sony announced their flagship smartphones for the first part of the year at MWC 2014, the Barcelona-based tech fair that closed its gates today. Because the high-end Samsung and Sony handsets will most likely dominated the smartphone market until other phone makers will introduced their 2014 flagships, we though we should put them head-to-head in a Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Sony Xperia Z2 battle.
If you were with us for our previous Versus battles, you would probably know that the Galaxy S5 vs Xperia Z2 fight will be divided in 10 rounds, where we will judge the smartphones based on their performance in terms of Dimensions, Display, Memory, Connectivity, Camera, Operating System, Price, Design, Battery Life, and CPU.
Each round is worth one point and at the end of the battle the smartphone that managed to score most points will be declared the winner.
We are dealing with two smartphones that bring similar sized displays, therefore their dimensions should be fairly similar.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 measures 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm and has a weight of 145 grams. On the other hand, the Xperia Z2 is 146.8 mm tall, 73.3 mm wide, and 8.2 mm thin, while weighing 163 grams.
It’s obvious that the S5 is both smaller and lighter than its Sony rival, therefore it scores 1 point in the Dimensions round.
The Samsung flagship is equipped with a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080 x 1920 resolution and a pixel density of 432 ppi. The Xperia Z2 brings a 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 5.2-inch screen with IPS LCD technology and 424 ppi.
As you can see the Xperia Z2 has a slightly bigger display, but the difference will be almost unnoticeable as Sony smartphone brings on-screen software buttons. The pixel density is also similar, therefore this round of the Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Sony Xperia Z2 battle ends as tie.
The number of Google Play Store apps grows everyday and you will need a decent amount of storage to be able to suit your needs. Not to mention about your music, movies, or TV shows collection.
The Galaxy S5 is available with 16 or 32 GB of native storage and supports expansion through microSD cards up to 128 GB. Xperia Z2 has 16 GB of storage, but only supports microSD cards up to 64 GB.
S5 brings 2 GB of RAM, whereas the Z2 has 3 GB of RAM.
It’s fairly easy to see which of the two smartphones wins the Memory round. Even though the Z2 brings more RAM, S5’s 2 GB of RAM will suffice anyone’s multitasking’s requirements, but the Samsung smartphone can bring up to 160 GB of storage, while the Sony handset is limited to 80 GB of storage.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 features LTE cat 4, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, NFC, IR blaster, and microUSB 3.0.
The Sony Xperia Z2 has LTE cat 4, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and microUSB 3.0.
Did you spot any difference? If you didn’t, I would tell you that unlike the Z2 the Galaxy S5 brings an infra red blaster, Bluetooth Low Energy, and microUSB 3.0, but these three features are not enough to separate the two devices. The Connectivity round is a tie.
On one hand, we have the Galaxy S5 with a 16 MP primary shooter with phase detection autofocus, LED flash, 1/2.6” sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size, Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, HDR, and support for 4K video recording.
On the other hand, it’s the Xperia Z2 with its 20.7 MP rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash, 1/2.3” sensor size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, HDR, panorama, and 4K video recording.
Even though S5’s camera has learned a new trick called Selective Focus (allows the user to change the focus point after a picture was take), the quality of the photos take with the Xperia Z2 will definitely be higher, so the Sony device wins this round.
Both the Galaxy S5 and the Xperia Z2 come pre-loaded with Android 4.4.2 KitKat, but you will find out there are a lot of differences between the two, as each brings a custom-made user interface.
The Xperia UI on the new Sony flagship is more elegant that Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, but you can barely find any innovative features squeezed under Z2’s hood. Furthermore, the smartphone is crowded with Sony’s own apps and services like PlayStation, WALKMAN, and others like these that are not useful at all.
Of course, no one can beat Samsung when it comes to bloatware, but at least the Koreans are trying to innovate here and there. Samsung’s Private Mode, mobile payments via PayPal (both accessible through the fingerprint sensor), Ultra Power Saving Mode (turns display black and white and limits smartphone’s features to SMS and phone calls to assure 24 hours of battery life with only 10% of battery), or Selective Focus (you can choose the focus point after a picture was taken), are the features that will help the maker of the Galaxy S line-up consolidate their position as the biggest player of the smartphone market.
The Operating System round goes to the Galaxy S5.
Even though neither of the two devices hit the market yet, we already have an idea on their pricing. We’ve learned today that at least one UK retailer will sell the Xperia Z2 and the Galaxy S5 at 550 pounds. On the US market both devices are expected to cost $199.99 with a two-year contract.
We’ll call this a tie.
Even though we’ve heard a lot of rumors saying that the Galaxy S5 will feature a metal body, it seems that the Korean phone maker just can’t their smartphones to look more premium.
The S5 brings a plastic dotted back cover that is supposed to bring better grip. To me, it looks a lot like the back of the first Nexus 7 tablet. It has a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button, a heart rate sensor on the back, below the camera, but that’s about all when it comes to S5’s design. Oh, and it’s water and dust proof.
There’s no doubt that the Sony Xperia Z2 is the better-looking smartphone here. It’s more elegant than its rival, bringing a case made of glass that makes it feel like a premium device. It may not have a fingerprint scanner or a HR monitor, but it’s handsome smartphone. Like the Galaxy S5, the Z2 is both water and dust proof.
The Design round goes to the Xperia Z2. Another point scored by the Sony flagship.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 2,800 mAh battery, while the Sony Xperia Z2 is powered by a 3,200 mAh cell.
Even though the Z2 is supposed to bring better battery life due to its bigger battery, we shouldn’t forget that the S5 has the Ultra Power Saving mode, which would come in handy when your really need to use the device. It’s a tie here, as well.
The Sony Xperia Z is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC with quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 CPU and Adreno 330 GPU. The S5 has the same Snapdragon 801 chipset but the four Krait 400 cores are clocked at 2.5 GHz instead of 2.3, while the GPU is the same Adreno 330 unit.
The 200 MHz will probably be unnoticeable in day by day usage, so the CPU round ends as tie.
We’ve reached the end of the Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Sony Xperia Z2 battle, so it’s time to see which of the two smartphones has won it. It was a tight fight in which we had not less than 5 rounds that ended as tie: Display, Connectivity, Price, Battery Life, and Processor.
The Xperia Z2 has won the Camera and Design battle, courtesy of its 20.7 MP Exmor sensor and the elegant design, scoring 2 points.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 outmatched its rival when it came to Dimensions, Memory, and Operating System, because it’s smaller and lighter than the Z2, has more storage, and brings more useful software features. It scored 3 points.
In our opion the Samsung flagship wins the Galaxy S5 vs Xperia Z2 battle, but do you feel the same? If not, please prove us wrong in the comments section below.