Xperia Z1 vs. Galaxy S4: the true heavyweight battle (Updated with video)

September 6, 2013

    sony xperia z1 samsung galaxy s4 aa 11

    As Sony continues to make impressive inroads with the smartphone market, their Xperia Z1 promises to be a litmus test for them. It’s the first device that truly ties it all in for Sony: it’s not as comically large as the Xperia Z Ultra is, but has a lot packed in. The Z1 is water resistant, gorgeous, and ready to make a splash — literally, and figuratively — while the camera is unheard of for an Android device.

    Its biggest challenge will be the Galaxy S4, the new champion of the ubiquitous Android lineup from Samsung. For all intents and purposes, this is a pretty fair fight — but there can only be one champion.

    Display

    For this, we may need to split hairs. The 4.99-inch Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy S4 is tried and true. Love it or hate it, it has grown on us. The color hues aren’t wonderful, and it seems muted at times, but the AMOLED technology is still de rigueur for many devices. Motorola saw fit to include it on their new flagship Moto X, and we remain confident in what it brings to the table.

    Sony brings its big guns, though, as the 5-inch Truliminous display with the X-Reality engine have been improved a great deal since the Xperia Z from earlier this year. The colors are vibrant, which is really the dividing line here. Both are 1920 x 1080, full HD displays, so the AMOLED vs. Truliminous battle is the real test here.

    moto x vs galaxy s4 aa software s4 jelly bean

    Processor & GPU

    Sony continues with their intention to dominate by packing in a top-end Snapdragon 800, which clocks in at 2.2GHz. The Galaxy S4 uses a Snapdragon 600 pro, which is no slouch either. Both use an Adreno GPU, though the Xperia Z1 uses the (again) higher end 330, opposed to the Galaxy S4 320.

    Battery

    Samsung has always had very middle of the road battery life, partly because they rely on removable batteries as their apologist feature here. While the removable battery is the easy way to forgive terrible life, it’s not a solution. The 2,600mAh battery in the S4 isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great either. Removable is nice, but it doesn’t solve the demands TouchWiz places on the S4.

    A truly water resistant device may be more handy than a swappable battery.

    Sony has a 3,000mAh battery in the Xperia Z1, which is of course sealed. The device is water resistant, which is handy, but is a removable battery more useful for real-world situations? We haven’t had the chance to test the device yet, so we can’t really say how long the battery lasts, but it’s not a huge size improvement over the S4. Sony’s devices are usually pretty good with battery life, so we’re hopeful the Xperia Z1 holds true to form.

    Storage

    The Xperia Z1 has the familiar 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage on board, but also packs the micro SD Card slot for us. Samsung does all this as well, they just offer more storage options at staggered pricing. You can get a 64GB Galaxy S4 if you like, and it supports up to a 64GB micro SD Card.

    Sony Xperia Z1

    Camera

    A point of contention for any smartphone, the 13MP rear camera on the Galaxy S4 is really nice. The device also has a host of photo editing software to make your photos stand out, but they may have run into a brick wall with Sony.

    The Xperia Z1 has a monstrous 20.7MP shooter backing it up, and the Exmor RS Sensor is nothing to blink at. If you’re looking for a really great shooter, the Xperia Z1 is — hands down — the winner here. Samsung may have a host of photo editing functions, but those are for satellite use cases. For our money, a better shooter is the order of the day, and the Xperia Z1 delivers.

    Android

    Both are Android Jelly Bean, but Sony gets the nod with 4.2.2 and a more svelte skin. For Android purists, the Sony interface will be much more attractive. If you look at our Xperia Z Ultra video, that gives you a much better idea of what to expect.

    On the other hand, TouchWiz gives you just about everything you need -- and a whole lot you don’t want.

    On the other hand, TouchWiz gives you just about everything you need — and a whole lot you don’t want. As we alluded to before with the photo editing, so much of TouchWiz is just satellite use case scenarios. How often do you need to crop someone out of the front of your picture to save the shot? It’s a neat trick, but like most of TouchWiz, a lot of bulk for little return.

    sony xperia z1 samsung galaxy s4 aa 8

    Hands-on comparison

    Who wins?

    As an Nexus user, I’d go with the Honami Xperia Z1. It’s got a really great shooter, and Sony’s camera software is great. The Snapdragon 800 is a beast, and the expandable storage is helpful if you like storing files locally. I would have liked more RAM involved, but 2GB is plenty.

    I also find the Sony display better in general, but the Super AMOLED is never a bad choice. The removable battery on the Galaxy S4 comes in handy when you least expect to run out of juice, too. There’s nothing more frustrating than actually needing your device while out and about, only to find that red bar at the bottom of the battery indicator.

    However, if we’re talking real-world scenarios, a truly water resistant device may be more handy than a swappable battery. Not having to shield the device from the real world may be really handy.

    The turning point for me is TouchWiz, which I’m just not a fan of. I find it bulky, confusing at the wrong times, and more than a little ugly. Sony’s interface is clean, simple, and gets me where I need to be.

    Though when you think about it, one real world problem remains: I know I’ll be able to find the S4, but will the Xperia Z1 be readily available? Sony devices are stunning, but also elusive. I know I can get an S4, but that Xperia may prove nearly impossible to get.

    That could end up being the real deciding factor, here.

    Comments

    • amoled

      i adore amoled

    • dblevins

      Don’t forget the ^%$ root kit from Sony not long ago!

    • willie013

      Sony Xperia Z1 wins no doubts!! Thumbs up Sony you guys nailed it this time. I wanna give up my xz for xz1 ;-)

      • Bester

        Yes surly win!!!!!!! when put it on water move like speed bot that’s much heats its provides…. :p

    • squirtlesquad

      Only problem is that for stock users Sony really sucks at puting out new updates.
      So sony is fine is you want the same OS untill the phone breaks.

      • phoenixx5

        what??? Sony is much better than htc and lg in providing new updates!!

        • Xavier_NYC

          Simple, root and provide your own updates via CM10 or other roms

          • dre

            and you don’t even have to use that argument because sony now is doing well with updates.

      • Opinion

        i hv xperia zl,i think this year sony hv very good reputation in deliver software updates,my phone currently on 4.2,soon will get 4.3,this z1 hv 4.3 when purchased,i’m sure it will get the kitkat update

      • Morlock

        LOL I’m on Xperia S, and i just got 3 updates this year….

    • Ruben Ali Fuenmayor

      Is it worth selling my Xperia Z for it? I know the camera is a big plus but I did preorder the QX10. Whats your opinion.

      • Ryan Castle

        Sell it before people know about its successor :p

      • Luca

        just sold my Z for the Z1 XD

        • Superprelude

          So you have on a temp phone?

    • Ryan Castle

      Everyone wants MicroSD slots. Only Sony and Samsung deliver MicroSD on their flagships. Strange, right?

      • MITM

        who is this “everyone”?

        • Ryan Castle

          Everyone, of course. Don’t you know him?

          • Bryan Z

            LOL!

      • asd

        You are right.. When iam purchasing a phone if it does not have a micro sd slot iam not interested

      • Sean Karpa

        I really never care because even when I had it, I never used it. So you can’t use a general statement of “everyone” because I know plenty of people who couldn’t care less.

        • APai

          I guess english is not his first language, so, not to pnitpick, but he probably meant most people but said “everyone” instead.

          • Bryan Z

            no I’m pretty sure he meant “everyone” lol

      • MasterMuffin

        Yea everyone… That’s why iPhones don’t sell at all

        • Bryan Z

          yeah… “everyone” lol I actually think they are doing pretty good for a company that makes both the hardware and os.

      • APai

        actually, samsung is the only company that gives removable battery/ microsd card slot in their flagship or regular phones… and people (everyone :P) wonder why samsung sells so much!

        • http://forum.xda-developers.com/member.php?u=2926289 Jasonwsc

          I wonder why iPhone/Galaxy S4 sells so much.

          If anyone can beat Apple in terms of design, it’s Sony. I have never bought an extra battery, so only portable chargers for me. Who doesn’t want to charge two devices at once?

          • APai

            Sony makes superb designs even their UI is good / clean, though a bit sluggish as compared to launchers such as nova/ apex.

            I agree that carrying a charger pack is very handy – to charge our various devices; but a couple of batteries can be easily slipped into the pocket, and is not as bulky as the external chargers.

            the second problem i have with internal batteries is that they become weak at the end of first year, by the time they are like 1.5 years they are pretty weak (even a 30% capacity reduction is big).

            internal batteries cannot be replaced by us without a black belt in doing it these days. so even if we can procure one, the service center guys act as if they are doing a favour to us in replacing the batteries.

          • Bryan Z

            they know how to market their phones to the right people well at least iPhone does, Samsung is still trying to figure this out that’s why they make different sizes and spend way more money on marketing than apple

          • moruz

            But I bought an extended battery which is way much better than the original..so..I just have to ignore you.

        • Bryan Z

          on the contrary I think samsung sells that many phones because they spend more on marketing than any other company

          • APai

            it’s not just marketing, also, you really can’t pinpoint success of a company to A single thing. it’s a lot of things that add up to success. word of mouth, me-too factor, marketing, etc etc. obviously, removable battery is a deciding factor to a lot of my friends. ditto for removable sd cards. i keep reading the same across forums too. so that’s just my 2c

            • Bryan Z

              I can appreciate your opinion of course it is not 100% just marketing but the amount of people that buy galaxies and notes because of you can change the battery is less than the amount of people that buy these phones for how flashy samsung makes them look or for how samsung makes their phone look like they are going to add some kind of value like they did with S3 and NFC even though NFC technology doesn’t really add any value and no one uses it so as you can see yeah the main factor is marketing because this part of the business is in charge of how people perceive the product to be valuable enough to be bought which means more sales and therefore a bigger marketing budget means more sales.

            • APai

              the reason i say it’s not ONLY marketing is because samsung looks at specs and tick marks, they’ve got all of it covered. they say, we’ve got everything covered , we have ANY kind of a product you are looking for across the world and with support. the same tick mark mania is there for their flagship – which has the most of it all, and the ruboff from the name “galaxy” on the products down the line is huge. they also look similar.

              no single company does that. not apple, not sony, nokia used to play that game, but they lost the plot. that’s the reason perhaps why samsung is so successful.

            • Bryan Z

              You either are really ignorant about how businesses work, know nothing about marketing, or you are just too blind too see. NO company has everything covered.

            • APai

              why do you trip on semantics ? we say one thing or mean the approximate. when I mentioned they’ve got it all covered. I meant, yeah more or less – or – more than others.

              I do accept my ignorance, I’m just a keyboard warrior who keeps reading a few things here and there and add my 2c to the discussion.

        • tessoro

          No one that i know that uses a galaxy series has either a sd vard or a spare battery. It may ne a selling point but most ppl dont care.

      • OleBrom

        Why can’t phones have two card slots ?

    • Ryan Castle

      Everyone wants MicroSD slots. Only Sony and Samsung deliver MicroSD on their flagships. Strange, right?

    • Knightpt

      In the article you forgot to mention that Samsung S4 is made of plastic and feels cheap while Sony Z1 has an aluminium frame + tempered glass and feels realy premium.

      I know you’ll imidiately think i’m a sony fanboy and there’s nothing i could say to make you think otherwise but realy if the XZ1 is anywhere near the feel in hand of the XZ then it’s a big big plus for the Sony, it just has a fantastic premium feel in the hand.

      • Nootral

        Sure. HTC One felt great in the hand as well. Look at how their sales are going.

        • Tom_Slaapstad

          Right, so by that logic, marketing brand association aside, Samsung has made the money by selling shiny plastic products. So upset I upgraded my kettle and toaster to aluminium from the 90s white plastic. What an idiot! Naat.

          • Nootral

            Relax dude. It’s just a phone. Besides, aluminum is not premium material.

      • On a Clear Day

        Looks and feel can be and usually are deceiving. Aluminum dents and scratches; a sealed battery compartment means that when it dies it is dead – until you find a plug or get a refurbished (also previously defective unit that failed) back as your “new” one.

        The silliest reason anyone can give to discount the S4 is to bring up the “cheap plastic” mantra. Perhaps if your goal is to impress people who frankly aren’t worth impressing with a pretty phone case – then this is a viable consideration – but since anyone with common sense who doesn’t like the idea of their phone breaking when they drop it puts a protective case on it – again this criticism is butkus.

        As for the camera – let’s face it – 99.99999 percent of the pictures taken with a phone will never be viewed again for the rest of eternity even by the people who took them, and anyone who knows about photography and values an image that has true quality sure ain’t gonna use a phone to accomplish this end. Higher and higher megapixels translates into marketing hype – in fact more megapixels do not guarantee better pictures and in fact can – but not necessarily always – produce the contrary.

        • mobilemann

          “As for the camera – let’s face it – 99.99999 percent of the pictures taken with a phone will never be viewed again for the rest of eternity even by the people who took them”

          no dude, that’s just you.

        • steve

          “99.99999 percent of the pictures taken with a phone will never be viewed again”

          You probably don’t have kids.

        • Michele Gurrado

          Hello i agree with you about the battery and the case, but not on the camera side.
          I would really like this z1 if only it has a removable battery, it’s a real plus, in my opinion.

    • Isa

      It’s a shame for those interested in the US that they have to wait so long. In Europe the Z1 is already up for pre-order. I have the impression that it’s a negative influence of the all powerful US carriers.

    • Cao Meo

      Z1 all the way .. until the price I guess. Sony means expensive.

      • dre

        can’t blame being expensive. they have to protect that reputation for the loyal fans. same thing with apple. if they cut the price, that’d alienate those who associate the brand with premiumness.

        also, cutting the price means slashing stock market value. investors panic when they know the company’s products are being sold at lower than the expected prices.

    • TheBruh

      What is a Snapdragon 600 PRO? I can’t find it on Qualcomm’s websaite.

      • Damodara das

        The “Snapdragon 600″ is a computer processing unit.
        The “Pro” is an erroneous word introduced by an Android Authority tech writer.

        • TheBruh

          Oh, AWESOME. Are there any other SoC’s on which Qualcomm and Android Authority have collaborated?

    • Damodara das

      Why do tech writers attribute image quality to the number of megapixels? The “better” camera? At the scale of a smartphone camera sensor (generally 1/3 inch sensors), more megapixels negatively impact image quality by introducing more noise.

      See this article: http://goo.gl/t2Sy9Z

      • http://forum.xda-developers.com/member.php?u=2926289 Jasonwsc

        Except that the Xperia Z1 has a much larger sensor than most smartphones.

      • N

        except that the Z1 uses 1/2.3″ sensor

    • raj

      The availability will be the key factor
      Z1 is great

    • dre

      it’d be a shame if you chose s4 with an older processor. still, s4 is not a bad choice. it’s just that z1 has a better camera, waterproofing, and more beautiful design albeit bigger.

      other advantages:

      ☺dedicated camera shutter button
      ☺non-pentile display so it is the sharper between the two
      ☺amoleds lose brightness after some time and some pixels may end up not comparable to the rest. LCD is still longer-lasting although amoled offers the advantage of power saving with black or darker themes
      ☺bigger battery

      however, lg g2 proves to be a great competitor especially with its price.

      • spade

        Xperia Z1

        • Alexandru Florin

          it has steady shot:P

          • spade

            Yeah….another gimmick thing like “fast capture” right? Good luck with that.. LOL

            • APai

              not a gimmick like raising the iso.

              steady shot works by moving the sensor slightly in the opposite direction of the movement of the hand, however, I am not sure what’s involved here. but sony steady shot usually meant that tech.

            • spade

              Ok, i don’t really know what that means, now i’m waiting for Z1 reviews against any of OIS camera especially on low light.

              Btw, i heard that the new N1 Oppo will use Sony sensor, the awkward thing is it has OIS, how come?

            • APai

              Sony supplies its sensors to apple/ samsung and a heap of other manufacturers. usually, they make the *entire* camera unit, and these companies assemble them with their own proprietary software/ UI over sony’s camera firmware. thats the reason why you will often get better output than sony’s phones on S3/4 or Iphone. it’s ironic.

              as regards oppo having OIS. that’s exactly what I said – steady shot is Sony’s marketing term, where OIS is oppo’s. Canon has just “IS” added to their cameras. nikon has “VR” (or vibration reduction) does that mean nikon is better vibration reduction or does canon do a better job at image stabilization just because they said so ? we are splitting hair with some marketing jargon. at the end of the day if it isnt software tricks – then its more or less good enough with any of those image stabilization methods :)

            • spade

              Yea, Sony supplies their sensor to others, the awkward is they lose to others who’s used their sensor, i know that all due to the software produced the image, but how come them(others) can make better software for their own sensor? :P

              I assume you’re already seen the leaked images comparison Z1 and L1020, any comments?

            • APai

              sony has been pretty pedestrian with their software – by this , I mean & assume that we are REALLY talking about the finer aspects – for most practical purposes, people are usually religious in their approach to cameras of phones , me included.

              as regards the images quality, I assume that they are trying for the same punchy output they are trying to achieve, just like their consumer cameras – leading the images to be over processed and having a smudgy watercolor like blotches.

            • spade

              Ok, but you still didn’t say anything about Z1 and L1020, are you impressed with Z1 or not? Just curious to know.

            • APai

              they’ve done a decent job, but I was expecting more. But it came in the form of the external attachable lens, which I presume is pretty good device for holidaying. it’s small, pocketable and a clever design. ironically nokia is mocking sony for an ingenious device. that’s pretty silly of them.

              (I’ve owned a few smartphones from Nokia, and now I’ve moved onto Sony, I have an Xperia T)

            • spade

              LOL.. So, the Z1 is not impressive enough to you, same here, actually i really hate glass on the back panel, that’s the reason i’ll skip the Z1, just like Yuga(Xperia Z), the glass on the back panel is just silly to me.
              Agree with you about Nokia but I’m not interested with external lens, just no.

            • APai

              the Z1 isn’t impressive – that’s a relative term. the camera to beat on a phone is the 808, but obviously it has the heft needed for simple physics. until maybe the pelican imaging system takes over we are hamstrung by simple physics.

              yeah – i dont like the glass panel either makes it feel fragile, even though the body maybe tough.

              the external lens is good for specific purposes. the nice thing about it – if you dont like it, you can avoid it :)

        • dre

          wow glass on the back is now a disadvantage. i’d go with you on the bezel. i don’t really understand why it’s that big when it does not even have an IR blaster.

          i just don’t agree a non-removable battery is a disadvantage. that’s 3000mah so i doubt if you’d need to take that off to have it replaced. it’s an expensive phone, a phone for people who have jobs and who don’t spend all their day with their phone.

          3000mah is more than enough to get through without needing to change batteries.

          does your s4 have OIS? this is a comparison between s4 and z1

          • spade

            Yep, glass on the back it is the disadvantage, can you imagine what your phone’s gonna be if you accidentally dropped your phone?

            Removable battery it is the fastest way when your phone’s out and there’s no place to charge it, you just need back-up batteries.

            Yep, GS4 has no OIS either, but GS4 had been released over 5-6 months ago, btw i don’t even have a GS4 or any of the Galaxy phones.

            • dre

              well, it’s the same thing with the glass front. following your logic–if having glass on the back is such a disadvantage, shouldn’t we also avoid using glass in front? if you drop your phone, it’s not just that glass back that can get damaged. i think what you’re trying to say is the problem with fingerprints and smudges. i actually prefer a matte back but i’m not convinced that something like that can be called a disadvantage.

              i’m also for removable batteries but if that’s not an option, i won’t be calling it a deal breaker.

              i just disagree with you calling those things as disadvantages like they’re really that serous. i’m not really impressed with the z1 but i think it’s not right to nitpick on those minor things.

            • spade

              LOL.. Well, at least if you dropped your phone it might be just the front panel that breaks :P

            • Cole Raney

              The front has to be glass for the type of touch screen. It doesn’t mean we need to make both front and back susceptible to cracks.

            • N

              Well SGN3 still doesn’t have OIS and was introduced along with Z1 at the same time.

              And eitherway, if you accidentally dropped your S4 or any phones, you should be able to imagine what would happen lol~ what are you saying man?

            • spade

              LOL… It has glasses on both sides, of course it will get more damage then only front glass panel!

              SGN3 is a phablet dude, definitely it was another target of the audiences, which mean not for cameraphone fans!

              Btw, i just know that Z1 has it own tech on camera, it was called bionz, that tech had been used on Sony DSLR, hope that will par on OIS camera, can’t wait for Z1 reviews.. LOL :P

        • mike

          It’s got OIS, in the name of bionz

          • spade

            Indeed, that how it should be..thanks for the info :P

    • Nootral

      Z1 is upgrade from Z. Wait till S5 comes out as the Z should primarily compared to the S4. By then S5 will have higher specs.

      • nameofthewind

        based on what i see, the time s5 comes out there will be another Xperia(Z2 or some other letter as name) probably early next year, Sony is really gaining their momentum since Xperia Z(SP, ZR, ZL etc)

        • Nootral

          Well, comparing phones is a moving target so comparisons only make sense if both phones launch at the same time like HTC One and S4. Z1 launched 6-7 months after the S4 so this is new tech compared to old tech. The same story will come out in March next year, S5 specs vs Z1 and I’m pretty sure S5 will have higher specs than the Z1.

    • Nootral

      Water resistant device more handy than removable batteries? I change batteries everyday. How many times do we wash our phones in the sink or go swimming.

      • xperia Z

        I do wash my Xperia Z everyday.

        • Nootral

          And I’m sure you did that before you got a waterproof phone as well

          • Rooney-

            Ha ha.. Nice reply mate:)

          • Superprelude

            Worst reply ever. lol

      • http://forum.xda-developers.com/member.php?u=2926289 Jasonwsc

        A good display and water resistance can be pretty important at where I live. Equatorial regions have either a super sunny day or a rainy day that might even cause flooding.

        Triluminos+water resistance might just be what I need.

        • Nootral

          I live in an equatorial region. The areas that flood are in poorer and denser areas to which most people that live in those places won’t be able to afford a Z1. As for rain – umbrellas

          • weed

            Haha, youre nuts. Poorer areas really? Go tell that to the hundreds of millionaires who got flooded in Pasig City, Metro Manila.

            Umbrellas, lol.

            • Nootral

              Hundreds yes. What about the thousands of poor people in Marikina, Tondo, Pasay, or cramp areas in Mandaluyongplus the mass of squatters along Pasig River. I can name a few more poor areas that can’t afford waterproof phones let alone umbrellas or even food

      • APai

        I don’t know about your part of the world, but where I live there are people who are constatnyl on the move in the rainy season which is a good 6 months a year. so xperia Z is SO handy! I’ve seen it with doctors and dentists, who also vouch for that handy feature

        • EvenInTheDarkestHour

          People are easily distracted and confused, it’s not just for drownings. I live in a high humidity/frequent rain area, and work in kitchens (temp variations, high humidity) water proof/resistance is important to me too. Some of the performance degradation over time can be attributed to exposure to moisture, the effects of which are cumulative.

          • APai

            yeah, in humid weather, just a couple of drops of sweat in the mic/ earphone jack or the speakers can wreak havoc.

      • dre

        so how often do you replace your batteries?
        with 3000mah, you won’t run out of juice the day through.

        i’d agree waterproofing is more preferable compared to removable batteries.

        really people. you replace batteries that often? please think of how the plastic back suffers every time you peel that back off.

        • Nootral

          I track investments on my phone from 8am to 5pm zero screen timeout. I replace the battery 2 to 3x a day.

          Besides, what is the percentage of phones that are waterproof. That’s right, very little because the need for it is not that much. If waterproofing was really necessary, then 50% of phones would be waterproof today. But that’s not the case.

          • dre

            and how many phone users are investment-trackers like you?

            can’t they do the same with a phone with 3000mah battery? would checking investments on the web take all that juice? you live in a neighborhood where you can’t charge your phone after 16 hours?

            who said that waterproofing should be required? which argument are you answering with that statement?

            if you really have to replace your battery that often and you still chose an s4 with its small battery, i think something’s wrong with you. you know it can’t last for all your needs but you still got that device. the note 2 lasts longer. you can even make it last longer by using a dark theme for your amoled display. motorola has a smartphone with a bigger battery. there are many chinese phones with beefier batteries.

            apparently, you just enjoy peeling off your s4′s back… it’s not a matter of practicality but plain brand loyalty. if you know you’d have to frequently replace your phone’s battery, i think it’s wiser to find a better device.

            good luck to your plastic back cover wearing out too soon.

            • Nootral

              Get off your high horse. who are you go to judge how I use my phone or what I have. U just don’t like it because I have an S4. Batteries are known to weaken after prolonged use. The worse part is carrying a battery pack or getting caught with low power and trying to find a place to plug my phone. I know because I use to own an LG Nitro. As for home use, I don’t like my phone connected while powering because I move around the house. The phone rings in my bedroom and I’m in the living room, I have to run back to answer it. It’s suppose to be a mobile phone.

              Here’s another thing – people with non-removable batteries dim their phones to save power when they’re out for fear of draining the battery. I don’t have to because I carry a spare rather easily. What’s the point of having a nice screen if it’s dimmed to 35%.

              As for plastic back, who cares. It’s a phone. deal with it. Plastic back wearing out? You kidding me. Besides, if it wears out, I buy another one.

            • dre

              oh see. gotcha!

              you’re really just making stories here. the real sensible reason for a removable battery is to replace it for EMERGENCY purposes and to have it changed once it has already worn out over time. your ridiculous “2-3 times battery change everyday” is simply stupid.

              good luck inventing more stories to back your samsung fanboyism.

              i never said i don’t like the s4 and i don’t like it when others choose the s4. in fact, i like it very much. it’s compact and it comes with a multitude of features including the IR blaster which z1 lacks. i just can’t stand fanboys like you who try to justify everything because they are very proud owners.

              quit being a fanboy. open your eyes and be more reasonable. don’t invent stories just to back your point because you sound ridiculous.

              i didn’t say you have to “dim” your screen. i said use a dark theme so not all of the amoled pixels are used. a lot of blacks on the display mean less consumption. i love oled displays too because of the opportunity to conserve power; that’s why i also like the s4.

            • Nootral

              Why would I make this all up. You asked me and I told you. You want me to fit your argument and you’re pissed because I disagree with you. I don’t care what you like or not and stop assuming.

            • dre

              i don’t know why you’re doing that. i’m not asking you to conform to my opinion. i’m just pointing out your ridiculousness. you’re always free not to respond if you think i don’t make sense. you don’t have to prove yourself if you think you’re right, if you think your way of doing things is sensible enough for you.

            • Nootral

              You’re the bloody idiot. You don’t like the idea of phones with removable batteries to be replaced. Essentially, you want to treat such phones like they are non-removable by extending the battery life, suggesting things like put the screen on black because it’s AMOLED. I have a removable battery so I don’t have an issue replacing it when the power drops to 10%. I don’t want to dim my screen. Lastly, you are concerned about wearing out the back plastic cover. You are worried about a back plastic cover that costs $5 to replace. Seriously, what school did you graduate from – IDIOT UNIVERSITY?

            • dre

              at least not from the school that “uneducated” you. it’s not just the plastic back cover that gets worn out with your constant battery changing. the conductors also wear out so there will be times when the batteries fail to connect properly—in case you don’t know that. didn’t your university teach that? my idiot university also taught me some common sense to make me realize that it’s stupid and inefficient to use a smartphone to “track my investments” 8am-5pm. also, my idiot university taught me to be consistent with my arguments. i can recommend you to be educated by my idiot university if you want.

            • Nootral

              Oh, you’re gonna give me a lecture now on the basics of phones, etc. Why are you trying to shove your ideas? Does that make you feel better. Well then, I agree with you then. You can sleep now knowing I agreed with you. I’m a liar, I don’t track investments, I use my phone inefficiently, I’m an idiot, I should use dark wallpapers because it’s AMOLED. What else? Any more bits of knowledge you want to give me? Thank you for being the smart one. I can’t go on living my life without gurus like you. I gotta go, I have to replace my battery.

            • dre

              yes, it certainly makes me feel better “enlightening” the minds of severely deranged fanboys who would do everything to defend their favorite brands.

            • Nootral

              And I’m assuming you’re not since you’re on this website? Stop being so smug, it’s irritating.

            • Nootral

              You’re so smug judging people so fast you don’t even know me. Who the hell do you think you are?

            • dre

              wow! you’re now resorting to that kind of argument? you’ve really run out of ideas, didn’t you?

            • Nootral

              No. I have not run out of ideas. You’re here to impose your ideas and also judge people. That is what makes you so smug. That’s all I have to say on this matter. I’m tired of you.

            • Nootral

              BTW, here is your quote “good luck to your plastic back cover wearing out too soon.”

            • dre

              wow, you can replace your battery really quick.

              wow, you don’t seem to have the ability to follow conversations/discussions.

            • Nootral

              I carry a spare battery in case the power runs out when I’m out. Do I need to explain that a bit more?

            • dre

              this response is one of the signs of a liar or somebody who concocts stories. please learn to be consistent with your concoctions. you said you replace your batteries 2-3 times a day and now you’re saying you only carry a spare battery when the power runs out and you’re out? weeee

              care to answer the rest of my arguments in the post you replied to?

            • Nootral

              Yes I’m a liar and you speak the truth. Of course. You’re the internet police, cracking down on liars on blogs such as these. Keep up the good work Officer.

            • dre

              ran out of ideas now?

            • Nootral

              You need help dude. There are doctors for this. Call Samaritans or something if you’re lonely. You can get help. It’s not too late.

          • dre

            “I track investments on my phone from 8am to 5pm zero screen timeout. I replace the battery 2 to 3x a day.”

            sir, i’m really baffled by how your brain works. it’s either you’re making things up or you’re just plain stupid.

            if you need a device you don’t want to turn off because you are tracking investments without turning the screen off, it’s more sensible to get a computer, bring a portable charger with you, or get another device more fitting for the purpose you’re using it. you change batteries 2-3 times a day? really? wow! what a sense of practical judgment.

            i yield. i yield. nobody can win an argument with someone who thinks the way you do.

            • Nootral

              Why does it bother you if I change my battery 2 to 3x a day? does that affect your life? And your suggestion to carry a portable charger instead of a spare battery, are you nuts?

            • dre

              i’m sure i’m not (nuts). and now i’m sure you are.

              replacing the battery too often leads to the loosening of the connectors. aahhhh…. i can’t get over it… 2-3x battery changing in a day … gods, what is this guy smoking? he can afford to buy a $600+ smartphone but he does not seem to have common sense.

              he seems to be making a lot with his investments that he willingly subjects his s4 to the damage of frequent battery draining and changing. does this guy know how electronics work?

              does he realize that if he simply got himself a mini computer/netbook that can be connected to a DC power source, he does not have to change batteries and “lose track of his investments” ?? does he realize that if he carries a portable charger, he does not need to get interrupted with his investment monitoring by a drained battery? does he realize that when he says he does not turn his s4′s screen off because he is monitoring his investments, it implies that he does nothing else but do investment monitoring? —which means that that is probably his bread and butter and he’s just doing it on a tiny smartphone screen because he blindingly adores samsung’s flagship device ?? doesn’t he realize that it’s more efficient to do it on a more proper web-connected device?

              gods, please touch this guy’s intellect for him to be set free from the possession of samsung fanboyism. please bless his family.

        • Nootral

          The fact that Sony introduced a waterproof feature does not mean it will become the required feature for smartphones. Waterproof phones are niche products. Sales of the S4 have not been hurt by lacking this feature. In fact, taking out the removable battery and SD Card might even hurt sales. Samsung Active, check the sales of that supposed waterproof phone. I’m sure sales of the Active are significantly less than S4.

          • zk

            s4 active – is ugly thing.

      • Superprelude

        Most people would not need to change their batteries during the day, unless they install some bad apps to drain battery.

      • katuss

        seriously? you change your phone battery always? i wonder why the iphone users didn’t have this problem till today….

        if the battery drains you can charge it always… even if the battery fails you can change it even if it is non removable

        but once your phone is water damaged, that’s something hard to fix. don’t always expect it to dry and work afterwards

        both has it’s own pros and cons live… it’s up to the users to decide what he wants

    • http://www.ribut.info/ Dian Ribut Riski

      Still vote for Xperia Z1 :P

    • Noah

      This article is interesting but seems biased towards Sony.

      Xperia Z1 is bigger and heavier so it may get seriously uncomfortable to carry it around (as if the S3 / S4 wasn’t big enough…): 144 x 74 x 8.5 and 170 g instead of 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 and 130 g. But its design is nicer, that’s for granted (if it’s the same as the Z).

      Yes, the camera has more pixels than the S4 but has someone else rightly pointed out, it means noisier results. It also means either bigger files or risk of lower-quality compression. As long as there is no shot comparison, this doesn’t look in favour of Sony.

      Battery is larger in the Z1 but with hungrier components. And it’s the first time I read the S4 battery is average though, it’s been praised often enough in tests so I’m not sure where this is coming from.

      No hard figures to back up this claim, however, so once again let’s wait for a real comparison. In the mean time, Z1 specs mention a ~13-hour GSM talk time, it’s 17 hours on the S4. Specs state a 6.6-hour video playback time (which format?), tests have shown more than 10-hour longevity with 1080p (and performing much better than other competitors).

      Finally a sealed battery is never a good design practice IMHO, and who needs a waterproof phone, really… do you call anybody while in the shower?

      I like the other sensors and the IR of the S4 that the Z1 seems to lack, but they’re not essential. At least, both have GPS & GLONASS which is always more comfortable.

      The S4 is there, has been for a while, we yet have to see when the Z1 will be available.

      • dre

        well, there’s a research about the most common causes of phone damage. water damage tops them all.

        hence, you got this waterproof device. it’s somewhat scientific unlike your highly opinionated blabbering.

        i agree, though, that the writer seems biased towards sony. however, it’s quite obvious sony wins here. battery and waterproofing alone wins the game for sony. also it’s being compared to the older version of s4.

        • Noah

          Blabbering yourself, kid, keep civilized will you ;)

          The battery tests show that the S4 lasts longer than what Sony claims for their phone (usually higher than real numbers), so why do you think Sony “obviously wins here”? Just because the battery has a higher capacity? What about consumption? That would be more scientific to consider the whole, and especially tests, so as I said, it looks like the S4 is still better despite being available for months now, but let’s wait for facts to confirm that.

          As for the statistics, from what I have seen the most frequent damage cause is by far dropping the smartphone, not damaging it with water. And that’s from statistics, unlike your highly opinionated claim:

          http://www.squaretrade.com/press/study-reveals-smartphone-accidents-cost-brits-12bn
          http://www.plasticmobile.com/blog/tag/common-smartphone-accidents/

          Anyway, a phone doesn’t need to be water-resistant for most of the spilling accidents, only for the drowning ones. So for safety considerations I’d rather have a lighter and smaller phone, less prone to be dropped and more easily repaired if so.

          Another important point of view is the cost of repairing the phone or recycling it, where a sealed device is hardly a winner.

          • dre

            hey ancient man,

            stay in context!

            the comparison here is between the z1 and the older s4 with the s600 processor, not the s800 version.

            with that processing power difference alone, sony is already the clear winner. the s800 comes with on-board LTE, better graphics processor, and myriad other advantages over the old s600.

            that alone makes the z1 the clear winner.

            also, xperias are known to have longer talk time that galaxies even with their smaller batteries. amoled displays win on video playing but not on web browsing because of the white pages that need to light up all of the amoled displays.

            don’t be blinded by your dedication to samsung.

            also, compare your batteries. that’s 2400 mah vs 3000 mah. which do you think will last longer? at the least, they should be at par with the amoleds set to use a dark theme.

            a uk survey showed that the most common reason for phone damage is water damage. that’s the reason sony is trying to stick with waterproofing even if it means having a bigger device.

            i’d have doubts with the z1 winning if it’s the s800 version of the s4 or if it’s the lg g2 it’s being compared with.

            • technology

              It’s 2600mAh, not 2400mAh. And by the results of the Z ultra (with the same specs and battery) in gsmarena battery test, you see that it isn’t come even close to the S4.
              Also, the difference between the S800 and the S600 isn’t really that big as you trying to claim and both of them won’t have any problem dealing with whatever you throw at them in 1-2 years from now.
              So it comes to features (S4 is the clear winner here), camera (on the paper the z1 is the winner but we have to wait for comparisons), display (we need a comparison to know which one is better) and design which is a matter of preference.
              So bottom line, both devices are great and it’s really comes down to what you look for in a phone. IMO, the G2 is best all around smartphone right now and the note 3 is the best phablet.
              You maybe prefer the Z1 (or any other smartphone) and some other phablet than the note 3.
              Again, these days it comes to what you need in your smartphone and there is not such thing “the best smartphone” and there is no one flagship which is better than other flagship.
              Noah prefers the S4 and you prefer the Z1.

            • dre

              well there is a huge difference between s600 and s800, mr technology. read on that so you’ll know. even the benchmark tests would show how big the difference is. it also comes with the significantly faster lte a. that isn’t huge enough a difference for you?

              compare galaxy s4′s (s600 version) antutu score of 26/27+ to lg g2′s 35+. the s800 also comes with better graphics processing.

              if you’d argue that all the s800 power are not practically usable yet, be reminded that it is still an advantage as it means that your device is somewhat future-proof.

              the gsmarena battery test result of the z ultra is actually decent. i expected worse. i really thought it’s going to be lower than the xperia z’s 42 hours.

              also, remember that that z1 has a smaller display. that’s 6.4″ to 5″. that’s a considerable difference.

              still, i’m not trying to impose my opinions on you or on the other person above. was just giving my response. i actually prefer g2 over z1 because it has more features. thing is, the comparison here is between the s4 and z1.

          • dre

            i apologize for being harsh☺ didn’t mean it.

      • Noah
      • zk

        Waterproof is very interesting thing. I like idea – you use phone on picnic without care and later you just wash your phone. That’s nice.

      • N

        talking about the camera, don’t forget that the Z1 uses a bigger 1/2.3″ sensor and has F/2.0 aperture.

    • Luca

      I’ve just ordered one in the sony online store ^^

    • kimLJT

      as an s3 lte current owner, I prefer really this z1 (no doubt) than note 3. z1 size itself just fit exactly with my hand and those impressive rear cam and being a waterproof is really such a big deal for me :). love you sony, hope I can upgrade in the near time :D.

      • Kettzy

        Did you wet your S3?

        • kimLJT

          of course I didn’t and don’t have any plan to do it, I am not insane yet :P

    • zx6guy

      Another reviewer too afraid to do a battery comparison.

      • LAKAME

        This is not a review :|

        • zx6guy

          Replace “reviewer” with “author” and my point stands.

          • LAKAME

            It does not. Doing a battery comparison requires a lot of time, which no one doing a hands-on video or comparison video at IFA has. How do you expect them to do a battery comparison in just a few minutes?

    • Christo Norman

      Z1 want want want

    • Erm

      how about Note 3?
      It is the real competitor

      • LAKAME

        Why? Note 3 should compete with Z Ultra.

        • Erm

          Yeah it should with ultra but S4 is old now and note3 ,Z1 have released together ,would be better to compare to new phones

          • Kettzy

            Z1 should be compared with Galaxy S4 LTE-A version. It comes with Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.3 GHz and Adreno 330 GPU, same as Z1. It will make Z1 sweat like a pig.

            • Erm

              Not the same..S800 S4 comes with MSM8974ab which has clock boosts(for memory and gpu) vs the normal MSM8974….

    • Erm

      how about water proof cases ?
      No need of sacrificing removable battery.Anyone tried that?

    • http://www.ebog.me/ Ebog

      I still preferred over Xperia Z1, a great design that I want

    • dre

      ugly wallpaper! look how it looks better when other images are viewed on the z1. that’s why people still think xperia displays suck. stupid sony put an awful wallpaper that negates their efforts with the triluminos display.

    • Cristi13

      Yeah, the z1 one wins, no comparison about the camera and still wins! I mean they never dissapointed when it comes to camera on their phones. I’m still not sold to this, because I know sony will fuck up something about this.phone (i have a xperia s). Like they always do.

    • ryq24

      Samsung wins in the marketing department and sometime that counts the most.

    • Mohsin

      now apple in deep trouble, do some innovation as early as possible with iPhone6 and skip the iPhone 5s

      • Nick b

        True.

    • airrmedia

      I really like Xperia Z1 20 mega pixel camera and I think Sony has a really good chance of taking a bigger market share of the android phones. There mobile device has a sleek design and sharp display. Good versus comparison.

    • Ronny

      Xperia Z has good battery life? The writer proves that he’s a Sony fan. Galaxy S4 octa version has better battery life than Xperia Z, the S4 snapdragon is even more better. That’s the truth from other reviewers and also from my own test. I don’t mind non-removable battery but as long as it packs very large battery capacity. I can only respect Motorola MAXX phones that has adopted that direction.

    • Ahmed Amr Al Wakeel

      I dont know….. the sharp edges looks awkward for me o_0

    • Aaron

      i truly believe the reason Samsung sells so many devices is one thing: physical navigation buttons. I desperately wish Sony would implement physical buttons but Sony phones are still the sexist either way. The z1 is a beast!!! Can’t wait!

      • M3D1T8R

        Funny, Samsung’s terrible buttons with their backwards layout is THE reason I had to ditch them (had an S3 last year). Once I got used to using a Nexus 7 regularly, I can’t go to a screwed up button layout, physical or non isn’t really the issue. Very happy with my current DNA. But that’s what makes Android great, different devices for different people. Choice is a good thing.

    • APai

      for now I’d go with sony. it’s UI is also very subtle and polished. on lesser devices the UI stutters occasionally. overall build and design Sony has finally got it just right.

    • Bester

      Why you are comapire with s4 old model with sony new model…without knowing don’t tell lies if u have sense compare with Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A..

      Whats Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A.
      Chipset : Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800
      Processor : Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 CPU speed.
      GPU : Adreno 330
      RAM : 2GB
      Storage : 32GB(user memory-24GB), expandable to 64GB via microSD card.
      So how dare you to tell lies about Samsung gpu, cpu & storage capacity……

    • KOK X

      OK thanks

    • DrSlump

      According to me a removable battery is more usefull than a sealed phone. Usually, i don’t use my phone in very wet situations, and i never put my phone in water.
      In my experience, after 2 years of use, i changed my galaxy s2 battery with a brand new one buyed from amazon, and now my phone works again as it worked the day one.

    • alice C

      whats more according to these comparision http://comperio.co/en/smartphones/sony-xperia-z-vs-samsung-galaxy-s4-gt-i9500.html i can see thah xperia is much more better than S4 :)

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