S5 vs Z2 Collage

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Sony Xperia Z2 – Comparing the Flagships

February 25, 2014 - Written By Cory McNutt

Two of the most exciting smartphones this year at MWC have to be the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2. Two very different companies – one from South Korea and the undisputed “king of the Android hill,” and the other from Japan and a company with name recognition, but has struggled in the smartphone industry. As I started to compare both of them and look for the differences, I realized that they are very much alike. Both devices ready to hit the market about the same time and probably close to the same price. The question is – which one will grab your attention and hard-earned dollars?

Design

Everybody really thought that Samsung would follow the roads paved by HTC and Sony using metal, glass, or a combination – anything but plastic.  Even if they would have used plastic and metal, but with the new Galaxy S5, Samsung did not budge and stayed with pretty much the same design formula of the S4- they did change the back to a soft and flexible pleather with dimples that look like they are from a golf ball.  The Sony Xperia Z2 maintains its glass and metal structure with the real look and feel of quality.

The Galaxy S5 is slightly smaller at 142 x 72.5 x 8.1mm and 145g and the Xperia Z2 measures in 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2mm and weighing in at 158g.  The S5 does have a removable battery, which does add a certain amount of charm.  Both devices are water and dust resistant, the S5 offers IP67 and the Z2 has both IPX5 and IPX8.

Display

Again, Samsung surprised us in this department – everybody was expecting the next generation QHD display but they stuck with the Full HD display at 1920 x 1080.  The Galaxy S5 has a slightly smaller screen at 5.1-inch vs the 5.2-inch Xperia Z2, which also has the same Full HD display.  Samsung is relying on its Super AMOLED display and Sony is hoping that its Reality Display and Triluminous technology helps it stand out.

Hardware and Specs

Both devices have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, the Z2 is clocked at 2.3GHz and the S5 is clocked at 2.5GHz.  The Z2 has 3GB of RAM and the S5 is packing only 2GB.  The Z2 has the larger battery with 3200mAh vs 2800mAh – although the S5’s battery is removable and is supposed to have 20-percent greater capacity than a normal battery.

The Galaxy S5 has a few unique features to make it stand out from the crowd – it added a fingerprint reader built into the home button, they also added a heart rate monitor that is located by the LED flash that you place your finger on, although we are not too sure how many people will take advantage of the sensor. It also has the newer USB 3.0 charging and data transfer plug. The Xperia Z2 has noise canceling earphones that use power from the phone, but the system only works with the earbuds supplied with the phone.

Software

Both phones come with Android 4.4 KitKat, the latest operating system. Both devices use their own skin over pure Android, however, Sony’s is probably a little closer to pure KitKat. Samsung has finally “improved” their TouchWiz to make it somewhat less cumbersome – some love it and others hate it, but one thing is for sure, the user is offered many options.

Camera

Whichever one of these devices that you choose for your smartphone, you will get great pictures. The Xperia Z2 continues to use a specially designed 20.7 MP camera and the Galaxy S5 bumped their camera up from 13 MP to 16 MP and both can record 4K video. Each camera has its own set of software goodies to help differentiate them from each other, but you will be happy with the pictures from either device.

Summary

This battle is just too close to call – the Samsung includes a fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor and built-in pedometer.  The Galaxy S5 is still an impressive piece of electronics with many options incorporated into the device and its software, but its “yesterday” look may turn some people off.  The Xperia Z2 definitely looks like a more premium device with its metal and glass construction, but the question with Sony always remains – how much will it cost and how available with it be to the worldwide audience.

Please let us know on our Google+ Page which device you are leaning towards, or maybe neither device is the right one for you – give us your opinion, we would love to hear from you.