Do we have a good one for you today – the Samsung Galaxy S7 goes up against the new Sony Xperia XZ. The tried and true Galaxy S7 and its Galaxy S7 Edge counterpart are arguably the gold standard of smartphones for 2016. Just how does the Sony Xperia XZ stack up in quality, specifications, and value? The all glass and metal framed Galaxy S7 has a solid build and is very comfortable to hold in your hand. The all-metal Sony Xperia XZ is a typical Sony design – a rectangle with large bezels, but comfortable sides making it easy to hold for long periods. Despite their difference these two devices do have many things in common that we will take a look at now, and then later we will look at each device to try to determine a winner of this specification comparison.
The Galaxy S7 and Xperia XZ do have quite a bit in common. We can start with the physical size of the slightly larger frame and 9 grams of extra weight. The displays, while almost identical in size, use a different technology and resolution. The US variant of the Galaxy S7 and Xperia XZ both use the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual-quad cores clocked at 2.15GHz. They both use an Adreno 530 GPU for extreme graphics. They both have 32GB/64GB models that are expandable 256GB via a microSD card. Both have great camera sections but go about it differently on how they achieve their results. Even though the Xperia XZ has almost twice the megapixels, the Samsung actually gives better results. They both are IP68 certified dust and water resistant. They both use a non-removable battery with Quick Charge 2.0/3.0 for a rapid charge. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a USB port (MicroUSB v2.0 in the Galaxy S7 and the newer Type-C reversible port in the Xperia XZ) for charging and data transfer.
Please take a careful 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
Manufacturers and consumers all wait to see what the Samsung Galaxy S series looks like and how it will sell. The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge outsold all other Android smartphones even though it was just a refinement of last year's complete makeover. Samsung went from a plastic backing to a glass and metal construction for the Galaxy S6 model and for the Galaxy S7 they refined the design ever so slightly with all the latest and greatest components inside. The real shocker was the camera area decreased in megapixels – 16MP shooter to a Dual Pixel 12MP shooter – naturally, we expected to see a 21MP or 23MP camera.
The Galaxy S7 sports 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with a great density of 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Samsung added an 'always-on' display, which should help save battery life as it keeps you informed of notifications. Samsung went with their two variants of the Galaxy S7 – the US model gets the newest 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. Other countries will receive the 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 DDR4 RAM and has 32GB of the faster UFS 2.0 memory, as well as possible expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card.
Samsung has tweaked the megapixels in its camera area every year and this year is no different. Samsung is using a new Dual Pixel 12MP camera that has a larger sensor than the old 16MP it is replacing. Samsung also increased the aperture to a large f/1.7, included a faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR and they retained the OIS. The Galaxy S7's FFC comes with a 5MP sensor, a wide-angle lens, the same f/1.7 aperture as the primary camera, and Live HDR, which allows excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. Samsung also increased the non-removable battery to 3000mAh, and it features Quick Charge 2.0 and Quick Wireless Charging for both Qi and PMA standards.
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. Standard is the heart rate sensor and Oxygen saturation sensor, as well as a fingerprint sensor to unlock the device or authorize mobile payments. 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 and costs about $670, although, special pricing and even GOGO are happening all of the time.
Sony Xperia XZ
We have to give Sony credit for 'rushing' to get the new Sony Xperia XZ smartphone to the US except somewhere along the way they did not 'activate' the fingerprint sensor nor can the device be used on Verizon or Sprint networks. If you want to flash the UK firmware to the US Xperia XZ, then you can use the fingerprint sensor. Oh, Sony, why do you make it so hard for the US to use your devices? The Xperia XZ retains the all-metal backing, the rectangle shape, and large top and bottom bezels. At a price of $699, it should have all of the bells and whistles. Let's see how it stands up to the Galaxy S7.
The Sony Xperia XZ sports a 5.2-inch IPS FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 PPI. Sony went out and grabbed the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz and packed only 3GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 64GB of expandable internal memory. While Android is designed to run on as little as 512MB RAM, the 3GB in the Xperia XZ did show a few signs of lagging on certain apps – otherwise, it ran fine.
The Xperia XZ sports a new 23MP Sony lens with an aperture of f/2.0, 24mm, phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and laser autofocus, and LED flash. It sports a huge 13MP FFC with a f/2.0, 22mm, and HDR capabilities to give you great selfies or video chats. The Xperia XZ uses a 2900mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0 to give yourself a rapid charge.
The Xperia XZ does put out some good sounds with its Hi-Res audio (also in the Galaxy S7,) but it utilizes that audio via dual front-facing stereo speakers. It does come with a more up-to-date Type-C reversible port for charging and data transfer. It measures 146 x 72 x 8.1MM and weighs in at 161 grams. It comes in Mineral Black, Platinum, Forest Blue, or Deep Pink. It will cost you a sizable $699 for this Sony flagship.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
This dual was actually an easy pick – the Samsung Galaxy S7 is the winner of this comparison. It cost less, has a better display, an always-on display, more RAM, as good or better camera, it has a functioning fingerprint sensor, it can be used on all US networks, has a slightly larger battery, it offers, wireless charging, a heart rate, and a SpO2 sensor.
The Sony Xperia XZ still uses an FHD display, less RAM, can only be used on AT&T or T-Mobile networks or other GSM carriers such as MetroPCS and Cricket, and you must flash the UK firmware onto the US Xperia XZ to use the fingerprint sensor. The Sony Xperia XZ does have great sound coming from the dual front stereo speakers, but that is no reason to pay $700.
However, when you compare features and the price, it is a no-brainer, the Galaxy S7 wins this competition.