Do we have a good one for you today – the Samsung Galaxy S7 takes on the Sony Xperia X. South Korea and Japan battle it out in this specification comparison. Samsung took a different direction last year and went from a metal frame and plastic to a new metal and glass design – certainly a step up, but oh that fragile glass can be a disaster if dropped. Sony also took a U-turn and switched up from metal and glass – a trademark of theirs for years – and went to a new all-metal construction…but somewhere along the way, their metal backing looks and feels a lot like plastic. Another of Sony trademarks bought the farm in designing the Xperia X – it is no longer waterproof – but they kept their FHD display. Let's look at some of the similarities between these two devices before we look at each one individually.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Sony Xperia X do have a few things in common – for starters, they are VERY close in physical size and weigh in at only 1-gram difference. The displays are within one-tenth of an inch, but they use different technology and have different resolutions. Both are running Android Marshmallow on a 64-bit Snapdragon processor, but different models. The S7 and Xperia X both have a microSD card for expanding the internal memory. They both have most of the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, microUSB port v2.0 for charging and data transfer. Both have a non-removable battery and Quick Charge 2.0. Sony did not include a fingerprint sensor in their US version of the new Xperia X – however, it is available on the international version.
Please take a thoughtful 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.
Samsung Galaxy S7
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has the same metal and glass look of its predecessor with only minor adjustments in the design of the edge with a few subtle changes in the metal frame – curving it ever so slightly to make it easier to pick up off a flat surface. It uses the same size display with improvements to the screen, as well as incorporating the newest of processors and a revamped camera area. Samsung also cut back on the number of its models by having one Galaxy S7 and one Galaxy S7 Edge.
The Galaxy S7 sports a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED 'always-on' display with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) The US version of the Galaxy S7 gets the newest 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. For those in other countries, you will get a Samsung Exynos 8890 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz. The Galaxy S7 packs 4GB of faster DDR4 RAM and has 32GB of faster UFS 2.0 memory, as well as expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card.
Most techies were expecting a larger camera in the new Galaxy S7, but instead, Samsung used a new Dual Pixel 12MP camera that has a larger sensor that allows in much more light and detail for better low-light shots. They also increased the aperture to f/1.7, included a faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR and they retained the OIS. The Galaxy S7 comes with a 5MP sensor for its front-facing camera (FFC) and then added a wide-angle lens, a large f/1.7 aperture, and Live HDR, which should allow for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. A large 3000mAh non-removable battery powers the Galaxy S7 and features Quick Charge 2.0 and quick wireless charging.
What features have we not already discussed, distinguish the Galaxy S7 from the Sony Xperia X? We can start with the display – it uses the always-on technology to save battery life, it has a QHD resolution rather than FHD, and it is a Super AMOLED display. The Galaxy S7 has both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay to make mobile purchases just about anywhere you can swipe a credit or debit card. The fingerprint sensor will unlock the device as well as authorize mobile payments – a feature built into Marshmallow. The Galaxy S7 has a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, and quick wireless charging. The Galaxy S7 measures 142.4 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 152 grams and is available in Black, White, Gold, and Silver costs about $670.
Sony Xperia X
Even with it change from a metal trim and glass body to the all-metal form, the new Sony Xperia X looks the part of a Sony smartphone. It has the same basic rectangle shape with the wide top and bottom bezels, and although it is a quality built device, the new metal backing looks and feels like plastic. Gone is the glass fingerprint magnet from before, but the Xperia X also lost its IP68 certification as well. Slight modifications to the edges create a smoother look and make it easier to handle the device. Another interesting note is that the designated US unlocked version is missing the fingerprint sensor, which makes no sense at all. The Xperia X also includes a mid-range Snapdragon 650 hexa-core processor, rather than the Snapdragon 820 and they still stuck with the 1080p display. Yet, Sony still cannot understand why their devices do not sell well in the US.
The Xperia X sports a 5.0-inch IPS LCD Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 441 PPI. The Xperia X uses a 64-bit Snapdragon processor – not the latest 820. Sony chose the model 650-hexa-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.8GHz and a quad-core clocked at 1.4GHz. It packs 3GB of the slower DDR3 memory, due to the limitations of the Snapdragon 650 processor. The Xperia X has 32GB of internal memory, which is expandable to 200GB via a microSD card.
The Xperia X uses the same excellent camera that Sony used on their Xperia Z5 – 23MP with f/2.0, PDAF, LED flash, and no OIS – however, it did not fare as well in testing as it did on the Z5. The FCC jumped from 5.1MP to 13MP and Sony gave it an aperture of f/2.0 and 22mm lens for selfies and video chatting. A 2620mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 2.0 capabilities supplies the power.
Many people enjoy an all-metal phone, but there are also sacrifices – such as no wireless charging and no more IP68 certified dust and water-resistant – once a Sony staple. The Xperia X does retain the dual stereo front-facing speakers. I said this in the last comparison, but it bears repeating – the Sony Xperia X, model F5121, is the US model that comes without the fingerprint sensor, yet model F5122, which is the International model, does come with a fingerprint sensor. The one redeeming feature is that both of these models use the same spectrum, so it should not matter which model you use in the US. It measures 142.7 x 69.4 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 153 grams. The Xperia X comes in White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold, and Rose Gold. It will cost you about $550.
…And The Winner Is…
I had to pick the Samsung Galaxy S7 as the winner of this comparison – it has the QHD Super AMOLED always-on display versus the FHD LCD display on the Sony. The S7 uses the newest Snapdragon 820/Adreno 530 versus the Snapdragon 650/Adreno 510. The S7 uses 4GB of faster DDR4 RAM and faster UFS 2.0 memory, while the Xperia X uses only 3GB of slower DDR3 RAM and slower internal memory. The camera in the S7 is one of the highest rated, and its battery is larger than the Xperia X. It sports a heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation sensor. You can use the S7 on all the main US networks and also have access to Samsung Pay.
The Sony Xperia X is another excellent example of a quality smartphone that just misses the mark – starting with the Full HD display, the mid-range processor, no fingerprint sensor for mobile payments, and not enough bands to cover all of the US networks.
Pricing is such that the Samsung Galaxy S7 is only $120 more than the Sony Xperia X and certainly worth the extra money for the better performance and specifications, and justifies it as the winner of this comparison.