Do we have a good one for you today – the Sony Xperia XZ goes up against the new Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017). Both devices come with an all-metal backing, a solid build quality, and good specifications. The two smartphones are different in shape with the Sony Xperia XZ keeping in form with its squared off look while the Galaxy A7 has a typical rounded corner Samsung look, complete with its home button at the bottom. Which one of these devices has what it takes to win this competition? Let's see just what these two smartphones have in common and just how much they differ.
These two devices do have a few things in common. The displays are a half-inch apart in size, which makes the physical dimensions different with the smaller Xperia XZ weighing in 20 grams heavier. The displays use different technologies but share a Full HD resolution. The Xperia XZ and Galaxy A7 both pack 3GB of RAM and offer a 32GB model with expandable memory via a microSD card. The camera areas are very different, but both will give you a great picture. They both have a rather large front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies and video chatting. Both offer a non-removable battery, although the Galaxy A7 has a much larger battery, and they both have rapid charge capabilities. The usual suspects are here – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a reversible Type-C port 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.
Sony Xperia XZ
There are many loyal Sony followers, but if you live in the US market, sales are not near where Sony would like them. However, when your flagship device, the Xperia XZ, only works on AT&T or T-Mobile and the fingerprint sensor does not have the necessary firmware to operate, it does not take a marketing genius to figure out what is wrong. Just as Samsung began using a glass back on their flagships, Sony decided to abandon glass, so the Xperia XZ uses an all-metal backing but still has the familiar Sony rectangle shape, curved on the sides to make it easier to hold. It incorporates Sony's love for a large top and bottom bezels along with a Full HD display. Let's see how it stands up to the new Galaxy A7.
Sony avoids using QHD displays and continues to do so in Xperia XZ. The Xperia XZ sports their usual IPS Full HD display of 5.2-inches with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a respectable 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Sony grabbed the best processor they could at the time, the 64-bit Snapdragon 820. It is a quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz and with the Adreno 530 GPU. It packs only 3GB of DDR4 RAM, and you can have your choice of 32GB or 64GB of expandable internal memory.
Sony does right by its cameras, and this tradition continues on the Xperia XZ. The Xperia XZ sports a new 23MP Sony lens for its primary camera with an aperture of f/2.0, 24mm width, phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and laser autofocus, and LED flash. The FFC uses a large 13MP sensor with a f/2.0, 22mm, and HDR capabilities allowing you to take great selfies or do video chatting. The Xperia XZ uses a smaller 2900mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0 to give you a rapid charge.
The Xperia XZ does have a couple of areas in which it excels – its camera and Hi-Res audio that produces great sound through the earphones or the dual front-facing stereo speakers. It is IP68 certified for dust and water resistance – something also found on the Galaxy A7. The Xperia XZ only operates on GSM networks, and that includes AT&T or T-Mobile in the US – no Verizon and Sprint. It has no working fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device or for authorizing mobile payments, although mobile payments are still possible because of its NFC capability. 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.
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
Samsung's new Galaxy A7 (2017) could not be mistaken for anything but a Samsung smartphone. It has their typically rounded corners, speaker grate at the top with the Samsung name under it, and an oval home button at the bottom. The Galaxy A7 has an all-metal aluminum body unlike the Galaxy S series, which uses a glass backing. It is designed to fit comfortably in your hand, and it includes some decent specifications for a mid-range phone, and why shouldn't it with a price tag of $530. The Galaxy A7 also includes the IP68 certification for water and dust and has a new side-positioned loudspeaker. Let's see just how this new Galaxy A7 mid-range holds up against the flagship Sony Xperia XZ.
The Galaxy A7 uses the same size display like Samsung's flagship, the Galaxy S7 Edge but does not use the Quad HD resolution. It sports a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED FHD display giving it a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 386 PPI. Samsung added the 'always-on' screen on the Galaxy A7 to help save battery life. It is a great feature to check the time, date, or notifications without turning on the main display. The Galaxy A7 uses Samsung's Exynos 7880 octa-core processor clocked at 1.9GHz and a Mali-T830MP2 for graphics. The Galaxy A7 packs 3GB of RAM and has 32GB of expandable internal memory up to 256GB via a microSD card.
The primary camera on the Galaxy A7 uses a 16MP lens for with a large aperture of f/1.9 and includes autofocus and a LED flash. Samsung added a huge 16MP camera for the Galaxy A7's FFC that also comes with the same f/1.9 aperture as the primary camera. This size FFC will give you excellent low-light selfies and video chatting experience. The Galaxy A7 comes packing a larger non-removable battery of 3600mAh and features rapid charging.
The Galaxy A7 is available in some Asian markets now and early next month will launch in Europe – there is no word on when or if there will be a US release. If it does come to the US as is, it too can only be used on AT&T or T-Mobile. It comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with no word about an upgrade to Android Nougat. The device will allow mobile purchases and can use both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay, which will allow A7 users to make mobile purchases just about anywhere they can swipe a credit or debit card. Samsung, like Sony, included IP68 certification against dust and water. The Galaxy A7 has an unusual side-mounted speaker. The Galaxy A7 measures 156.8 x 77.6 x 7.9mm, weighs in at a hefty 186 grams, is available in Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist, and Peach Cloud and costs about $530.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
Even though the Sony Xperia XZ is considered a flagship device and the Samsung Galaxy A7 is regarded as a mid-range device, I am selecting that Galaxy A7 as the winner of this comparison.
The Galaxy A7 has a larger, AMOLED 'always-on' display, the same amount of RAM and expandable memory as the Xperia XZ. It also shares the IP68 certification and includes a working fingerprint sensor and Samsung Pay. You get all of this for about $170 less than the Xperia XZ.
Yes, the Xperia XZ may have a faster processor and dual stereo speakers, but overall, the Galaxy A7 gives you more value for your dollar.