Z5 Premium vs S7 Edge cam AH

Phone Comparisons: Sony Xperia Z5 Premium vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

April 7, 2016 - Written By Cory McNutt

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium goes up against the new Galaxy S7 Edge.  The glass and metal Z5 Premium takes on the glass and metal Galaxy S7 Edge – both devices have a solid build and look like a premium flagship.  While Sony did round off the edges somewhat, it is the more square of the two devices. The Galaxy S7 Edge’s sculptured metal edges make it somewhat easier to hold and pick up off a flat surface. Let’s look at some of the similarities of these two devices before we look at each one individually.

The Xperia Z5 Premium and the Galaxy S7 Edge are close to the same physical size with the Z5 Premium slightly larger and 23 grams heavier.  Both displays are identical in size (5.5-inches) but use a different technology and resolution.  They both use a Snapdragon processor, but different models, both sport a 32GB of internal memory (S7 Edge also offers 64GB) and both offer expandable memory.  The Z5 and S7 Edge both take great pictures, but use different methods to obtain them.  Both have a fingerprint sensor and both offer a rapid charging method for their batteries.  The Z5 Premium and the S7 Edge both enjoy IP68 certification for dust and water repellency.  They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.1 on the Z5 and v4.2 on the S7 Edge), GPS, NFC, and a microUSB v2.0 port for charging and data transfer.

Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons.  From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.

Specifications

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium AH 2 04Sony has not changed its Xperia formula for many years.  It will be a rectangle block and well-constructed out of metal and glass with a premium look and feel, good battery life and a great camera.  However, by the time the device finally gets into the hands of the public – at least the US – the technology seems a little dated.  The Xperia Z5 Premium follows that same recipe except that Sony took the display and jumped it from a 1080p display, bypassed the QHD display, and went directly to a 4K display with 806 PPI.  However, do not get too excited, because 4K is in service only when needed and most of the time running at 1080p to conserve battery life.  The internal components are those used in early 2015 smartphones, but the Z5 Premium was not available until December.  The newest flagships from Samsung and LG use new Snapdragon 820 and Sony is once again pushed back to the end of the line.

The most interesting aspect of the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium is its unusual display – it is a 5.5-inch IPS LCD 4K with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 and an astounding 806 PPI.  The 4K resolution is only ‘on’ when you are actually watching something that takes advantage of the 4K.  The rest of the time, it operates in 1080p or Full HD mode – the resolution of choice for Sony.  Sony has something against QHD displays – probably if asked, “why not just use a QHD display that is on all the time” – Sony would tell you they do that to conserve battery life.  The Z5 Premium uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz.  The Z5 Premium uses 3GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory but has the option to expand an additional 200GB via a microSD card.

Sony was one of the first mobile phone  to include a great camera, and that continues today – even without using OIS.  The Z5 Premium has a new 23MP sensor with phase detection autofocus, f/2.0 aperture, and an LED flash.  For the front facing camera (FFC) Sony put in a 5.1MP with wide-angle for selfies and video chatting.  When it comes to power, the Z5 Premium uses a large 3430mAh non-removable battery that Sony claims will get you through two days and incorporates a quick charge feature.

The Xperia Z5 Premium does have dual stereo front-facing speakers, and will work on AT&T or T-Mobile networks in the US.  It will come in Chrome, Black or Gold and cost you close to $800.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Edge PanelsSamsung decided to cut out the ‘middleman’ in their Galaxy S7 series – the Galaxy S7 Edge (5.5-inch) falls right in the middle of the S6 Edge (5.1-inch) and the S6 Edge Plus (5.7-inch), and hopefully, this will mean just one Edge model this year.  The outside of the S7 series does not physically look too differently from the Galaxy S6 series it replaces – but there are a couple of subtle design improvements.  Most of the many upgrades are inside the device, and that certainly takes some of the excitement out of the new S7 Edge this year, as we always look forward to a new model design.  The Galaxy S7 Edge is still an appealing device, in particular with the sexy display and those dual curves and a body of curved metal and glass.  Let’s look at the specifications and innovations and a closer look at the new Galaxy S7 Edge.

The Galaxy S7 Edge sports a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED ‘always-on’ display with a QHD resolution and 534 PPI. The S7 Edge gets its name from a dual-curved display where the ‘edges’ can function on their own – to access your ten favorite contacts quickly, use as a bedtime clock, news ticker, alerts and more.  The Galaxy S7 Edge uses either the newest Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz, if you live in the US. Anywhere else, it will use an Exynos 8890 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz. The S7 Edge packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers either 32GB or 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 memory with room for expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card.

This year Samsung did a major overhaul to the camera area of the Galaxy S7 Edge by removing last year’s popular 16MP shooter on the S6 models and replaced it with a new Dual Pixel 12MP with a larger sensor.  This allows it to take in more light and information than the smaller 16MP sensor.  The aperture increased to f/1.7 and they included fast phase detection autofocus, auto HDR and retained OIS.  The improvements should mean better low light and action shots. The S7 Edge uses a 5MP wide-angle lens, f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR shooting for its FFC for great selfies and video chatting.  The S7 Edge includes a larger 3600mAh non-removable battery with quick charge and quick wireless charging as well.

What other features distinguishes the Galaxy S7 Edge from the Z5 Premium?  We have to start with the dual-curved edge display – it is beautiful to view, offers some functionality and is always using the QHD resolution.  You can also use Samsung Pay to make mobile purchases just about anywhere you can swipe a credit or debit card.  The S7 Edge also has a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor and quick wireless charging.  The S7 Edge measures 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 157 grams and available in Black, White, Gold and Silver, costing about $790, although the carriers are offering many specials at this time – even BOGO.

…And The Winner Is…

Samsung-Galaxy-S7-Edge-AH-NS-wet-titanium-logo-2

Summary

With both devices costing roughly the same, it takes that part out of the equation and makes it easier to pick the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge as the winner of this comparison. The display on the Z5 Premium may use 4K on occasion, the S7 Edge display uses QHD all of the time, uses the Super AMOLED technology, ‘always-on’ technology and offers the dual curved display.  The processor and GPU in the S7 Edge are superior in every way to the Z5’s. The S7 Edge offers more RAM, faster UFS 2.0 memory, certainly an equal or better camera technology and a slightly larger battery with built-in quick wireless charging. Not to mention the ability to do Samsung Pay mobile purchases, the inclusion of a heart monitor and oxygen saturation sensor.

The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium is a solid device, but except for the 4K display and great battery life, it simply has nothing over the Galaxy S7 Edge.  It uses last year’s processor, less RAM, slower memory and is difficult to come by at a very expensive price.  If you are in love with Sony devices, then the Z5 Premium will make you happy, but if you want the superior smartphone in this comparison, the S7 Edge is the logical choice.