Do we have a good one for you today – the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge goes up against the new Sony Xperia XZ. The Galaxy S7 Edge counterpart and its smaller Galaxy S7 are arguably the best smartphones of 2016 and certainly the bestselling. How does this new Sony Xperia XZ stand up to the Galaxy S7 Edge? Does it have the same quality and specifications or is it such a value that we have to pick it over the Samsung? The Galaxy S7 Edge is made from a steel frame that holds two pieces of Gorilla Glass together while the Xperia XZ is an all-metal construction with the usual Sony 'look.' Despite their differences 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 Edge and Xperia XZ do have quite a bit in common. We can start with the physical size with the S7 Edge having a slightly larger frame but weighing 4 grams lighter. The displays, are close in size – 5.5-inches on the S7 Edge and 5.2-inches on the Xperia XZ – however they use a different technology and resolution. The US variant of the Galaxy S7 Edge 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. The camera sections are great on both models but go about achieving their results differently. Even though the Xperia XZ has almost twice the megapixels, the Samsung actually gives better results. They are both 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 Edge and the newer Type-C reversible port in the Xperia XZ) for charging and data transfer.
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 Edge
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge had done its 'thing.' It sold in large numbers and was then moved to the side-shadows to make way for the Galaxy Note 7. After the Note 7 recall, the S7 and S7 Edge were renewed as sales and promotions are once again in full swing – Samsung even added the popular Note 7 Blue Coral color. The Galaxy S7 Edge has the same metal and glass design updated a bit, and while the dual-curved screen does look awesome, it does not have that initial 'wow' factor. How does this aging premium smartphone hold up to the new Sony Xperia XZ? Let's look and see just how they compare to one another.
The Galaxy S7 Edge sports a 5.5-inch QHD Super AMOLED 'always-on' display with dual curved edges. This gives it a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 534 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Depending on where you live there are two processors used in the Galaxy S7 Edge. In the US you will get the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz. Elsewhere, you will get Samsung's Exynos 8890 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3 GHz. The 820 processor uses an Adreno 530 GPU, and the Exynos 8890 uses the Mali-T880 MP4 GPU – either set of processors will do an excellent job for you. The Galaxy S7 Edge packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers 32GB of UFS 2.0 memory, with expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card.
Samsung decided instead of going larger (16MP – 21MP) they would use a new Dual Pixel 12MP sensor for the primary camera with an increased aperture of f/1.7, included faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR, LED flash, and OIS. The S7 Edge has a 5MP wide-angle lens with a larger f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR for its FFC for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. Samsung increased the battery size to a larger, non-removable 3600mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 and quick wireless charging as well.
The Galaxy S7 Edge uses an always-on display to help conserve battery life, by letting you see your notifications without having to turn on the primary display. The dual curved edges are not only eye-catching but they do provide some limited functionality. Besides the standard Android Pay, you also have the option of using Samsung Pay, which expands your mobile buying power. The Galaxy S7 Edge provides 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 is available in Black, White, Gold, and Silver, costing about $790 – however, bargains and specials are everywhere.
Sony Xperia XZ
Sony always has difficulty selling many smartphones in the US. We have to give Sony credit for getting the Xperia XZ to the US faster than most devices, but they did not include the software for the fingerprint sensor. If you want to flash the UK firmware to the US Xperia XZ, then you can use the fingerprint sensor. The Xperia XZ retains the all-metal backing they started using on the last model after a long history of using metal and glass. It retains the familiar Sony 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 Edge.
The Sony Xperia XZ sports only a 5.2-inch IPS FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 PPI. Sony did include the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. It packs only 3GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 64GB of expandable internal memory. Although 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, but according to our review it ran fine the rest of the time.
For its primary camera, 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. For its FFC it uses a huge 13MP sensor 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 for a rapid charge.
The Xperia XZ does put out some good sounds with its Hi-Res audio, found also in the Galaxy S7 Edge, but it utilizes that great sound through 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 was another easy pick and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is the winner of this comparison. It lists for only $90 more in price, but can often be bought at a discount since it has been around since April. It has a larger display but only a slightly larger body. It has a better display with its AMOLED technology and QHD resolution. It also has the 'always-on' display that is not only convenient but also saves battery life. It is packing more RAM, has as good or better camera, it has a functioning fingerprint sensor, a larger battery, incorporates wireless charging, provides a heart rate monitor and a SpO2 sensor. It also includes Samsung Pay and can be used on all US networks.
Sony is asking $700 for the Xperia XZ and yet it still uses an FHD display, has only 3GB of RAM, and can only be used on GSM networks like AT&T or T-Mobile. Even the fingerprint sensor does not work on the US model. The Xperia XZ does have great sounding stereo front-facing speakers, but the is certainly no reason to pay $700 for this device when the Galaxy S7 Edge offers so much more for the money.