With the recent unbelieving of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2, it was obvious that these two behemoths of smartphones would be squared off against each other. It seems like an easy comparison – simply compare the specs, the phone that comes out on top wins, right? Well not quite. We’ve reached a point where hardware has become so potent that any specs based on numbers alone are completely irrelevant. We have to take in the other factors, like the general appeal of the phone, the style, the features and tons of other considerations. We’ll look at all those things in our Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Sony Xperia Z2 comparison.
Design and Build
It’s been said since the days of the Samsung Galaxy S, the Samsung super phones are just not pretty. And it seems like Samsung are adamant on keeping things that way, because the latest Galaxy S5 looks like a mid-range plastic Android smartphone. We understand that Samsung has to keep some brand identity but this is borderline lazy. Granted, the Sony Xperia Z2 hasn’t changed in appearance much over the Z1, but that’s because the Z1 was such a good looking device in the first place. And the Z2 will be even more striking to look at, given the large size of this smartphone.
The Galaxy S5 does however come with a fingerprint sensor on the home button, which can be used to unlock the phone and could see further use in security-sensitive apps. But given that the Z2 will receive a refresh in just 6 months from now (and might get such a feature), we don’t count that as much of an edge.
The difference of display sizes between the Sony Xperia Z2 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a mere 0.1 inch, with the Z2 having the larger panel. Having said that, both of these smartphones should have the same display quality, given they’re both full HD panels and have similar pixel densities. Sony has had troubles with displays in the past, but they’ve cleaned up their act now – Their new Triluminos/X-Reality engine displays are right up there with the best.
Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2 share similar hardware under their bodies. They’re both equipped with Snapdragon 801chipsets, with the Z2 clocked at 2.3GHz and the Galaxy S5 at 2.5GHz. That leads to a marginal increase in performance for the S5 in benchmarks. But that gain is offset by the Z2’s bigger RAM size of 3 gigabytes. We know even 2 gigabytes is sufficient in today’s day and age. But the Z2 should be more future proof and should have greater multi-tasking capabilities.
The imaging hardware is what differentiates Sony smartphones and the Xperia Z2 is right up there with the best. That’s because it’s armed with a massive 20.7 megapixel sensor that’s also capable of 4K video. The Galaxy S5 on the other hand has a 16 megapixel camera which is also impressive in its own right, given its 4K video recording capabilities.. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that Sony employs an impressive 1/2.33″ sensor in the Z2, while the S5’s sensor is a more traditional 1/2.6″ sensor. So yeah, the Z2 wins this hands down. And we didn’t even get to the part where the Z2 supports external lenses.
The Sony Xperia Z2 is equipped with a 3200mAh battery while the Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a 2800mAh one. Given that they’ve got such similar hardware, we’re inclined to say that the Z2 should have a better battery endurance rating, simply because it has the bigger battery. We’ll update this space with detailed results soon so keep an eye out.
It’s always hard to declare a winner when comparing such capable hardware. The Galaxy S5 is a undoubtedly a great piece of hardware but it’s more of the same S4 we saw last year. It’s just a beefed-up S4, nothing else. In fairness though, the Z2 is a beefed-up Z1 as well, and that makes the verdict all the more confusing. Our suggestion? If you’re choosing between the two, go for the Z2. It just looks way better and comes with that stupendous camera.