Do we have a good one for you today – the new Sony Xperia Z4 goes up against the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Both devices are very similar in their design using strictly metal and glass, while both retain their familiar 'Xperia' and 'Galaxy S' look. The Galaxy S6 Edge is strikingly different in that the display curves down on both sides to give it a well-balanced and unusual – in a good way – look. The Xperia Z4 and Galaxy S6 Edge have that premium look and feel of a true flagship smartphone.
While these two devices may have a similar build on the outside, they are very different on the inside. The displays are similar in size, but are vastly different in the technology they represent. They both use a 64-bit processor, possess 3GB of RAM and have a 32GB or 64GB internal storage options, however, the technology and specs are different in all three areas. These two devices have excellent cameras, but are different in their execution and specifications. The Xperia Z4 and Galaxy S6 Edge both have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, NFC compatibility, a microUSB port for charging and data transfer, non-removable batteries and they both offer quick charging options.
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 individual device in greater detail 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.
Sony Xperia Z4
The Sony Xperia Z4 is their latest flagship, and we hope that rumors of it reaching the US will be a reality. Sony has also made a quality product, but often times it is behind the technology of its rivals, for instance, Sony is still using a 1080p display rather than the newer 1440p display. They always have put a great camera in their Xperia devices, but still refuse to add OIS. One of their biggest problems is still their distribution channels – they just seem to have troubles with their relationship in getting their devices to the US carriers.
The Xperia Z4 is basically an updated Xperia Z3 – the Xperia design is intact – your basic rectangle with rounded corners with its beautiful composition of metal and glass…much like the Galaxy S6 Edge. Minor improvements were made on the outside edges, such as the charging port was moved from the side of the device to the bottom, and even though it is still waterproof, it no longer needs a sealed cover. The magnetic charging pins on the side were removed and the SIM card and microSD card slots are now consolidated into one port. These small, but welcomed changes really help clean up the device.
The Xperia Z4 sports a 5.2-inch FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI) versus the 5.1-inch QHD display on the Galaxy S6 Edge with 577 PPI. The devices are both using a 64-bit octa-core processor with the Xperia Z4 using the popular Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz, while Samsung decided to use its own 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor. Both devices pack 3GB of RAM, but the Xperia Z4 uses DDR3 and the Galaxy S6 Edge uses Samsung's own faster DDR4. The Xperia Z4 offers you a choice of 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage with room for 128GB of expansion via a microSD card slot. Samsung did away with their expansion slot on the Galaxy S6 Edge and instead offers devices with a choice of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB of storage, which use their newest UFS 2.0 Flash memory technology.
The Xperia Z4 also carried over the excellent camera area from the Xperia Z3, although Sony still refuses to add OIS. The main camera is 21.7MP with autofocus and LED flash and the large 5.1MP front-facing camera (FFC) and 25mm wide-angle is great for selfies and video chatting. The Galaxy S6 Edge comes with a 16MP main camera and 5MP FFC. The Xperia Z4 sports a larger 2930mAh battery versus the 2600mAh in the Galaxy S6 Edge, comes with dual, front-facing speakers, has an FM Radio and is IP68 certified making it dustproof and waterproof. The Xperia Z4 will come in Black, White, Copper and Aqua Green and will be running the latest Lollipop. Pricing looks to be about $630 off-contract and no availability has been announced, other than May/June.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Samsung really changed their approach in designing the new Galaxy S6 series this year, not only in its choice of materials, but they also offered two models – the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. In the basic design, the plastic has been replaced with an aluminum unibody and Gorilla Glass on the front and on the back. The Galaxy S6 Edge has a dual curved display that almost looks like it wraps around the sides of the device. It comes in a variety of colors, such as White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and an exclusive Galaxy S6 Edge color, Green Emerald. The Galaxy S6 Edge is beautiful from every angle with a premium feel and solid build.
Even though the Galaxy S6 Edge has the curved display, it still sports the same sized display as the Galaxy S6 – a 5.1-inch Quad HD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 577 PPI compared to FHD display and 424 PPI on the Xperia Z4. Samsung made several bold decisions this year and one was to go with their in-house 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor. It has four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.1GHz. The Xperia Z4 is using the very capable 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor. The Galaxy S6 Edge is packing 3GB of the much faster DDR4 RAM as well as using Samsung's new, faster, UFS 2.0 flash memory offering 32GB/64GB/128GB models with no room for expansion – another bold move. This compares to 3GB of DDR3 RAM and the slower standard internal eMMC used in the Xperia Z4.
This is the best camera Samsung has ever put in a smartphone and it scored an 87/100 from DxOMark, the best rating to date. The Galaxy S6 Edge is using a 16MP sensor with autofocus, LED Flash, a wide f/1.9 aperture, Live HDR and OIS. Samsung increased the FFC to 5MP and they wisely added the f/1.9 aperture and Live HDR for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting and then added a 120-degree wide-angle lens for better group shots. The Xperia Z4 cameras are excellent, but they will not out-shoot the Galaxy S6 Edge. The 2550mAh battery is much smaller than the 2930mAh in the Xperia Z4, but it should get you through an entire day with moderate usage. However, if you run into trouble, the new Samsung non-removable battery – another bold move – can charge up to 4 hours of usage in only 10 minutes and they included built-in wireless charging.
The Galaxy S6 Edge does have a few features not found on the Xperia Z4 besides its unique curved display – it has a QHD AMOLED display, it is Samsung Pay ready, it has a fingerprint sensor is PayPal certified, includes a heart rate monitor, an oxygen saturation sensor and built-in wireless charging for both Qi and PMA standards. It has a built-in IR Blaster, faster battery charging and includes Samsung's UPSM to extend battery life. It is running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and will cost you about $300 on a two-year contract and $700 off-contract for the 32GB model.
…And The Winner Is…
As far as specifications go, I have to pick the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge as the winner of this competition, even though it may cost you an extra $100. Sony's Xperia Z4 is a premium device, make no mistake about that, however, the Xperia Z4's dual front-facing speakers, expandable storage and dust/waterproof capability is simply not enough to overcome the features on the Galaxy S6 Edge.
The Galaxy S6 Edge has a better display, better processor in its 14nm design, faster DDR4 RAM and faster UFS 2.0 Flash Memory. It includes a fingerprint sensor that is PayPal certified, a heart rate sensor, an oxygen saturation sensor, faster battery charging, Samsung's UPSM (Ultra Power Saving Mode) to extend battery life, a top-rated camera with OIS, a built-in IR Blaster, offers wireless charging for both Qi and PMA standards and is Samsung Pay ready. It also has the 'WOW' factor of the dual curved display that will turn everybody's head.
When and if the Xperia Z4 gets out of Japan, it is a solid offering in the smartphone world, but even with its attributes, it falls a little short in this competition.
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