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Sony Xperia Z vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 2: spec comparison

MobileGuides
by James Laird
, 25 Jan 2013Guides
Sony Xperia Z vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 2: spec comparison

With all eyes in the tech world now fixed on February's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, CES 2013 seems like an eon ago. Yet the legacy of this year's Consumer Electronics Show is still very much nascent. Products announced at the annual showcase are only now beginning to near our grasp, be they 4K televisions or potentially revolutionary gaming consoles like Nvidia's Project Shield. The Sony Xperia Z is another gadget that is at once tantalisingly close and agognisingly out of reach. Until the headline-grabbing handset does debut in the UK - more on that at the end of this article - let's see how it compares to the mobile industry's benchmark large-screen handset, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

Size and weight

Sony's 5in Xperia Z is one of the most slender devices on the market, sizing up at just 7.9mm in depth and tipping the scales to the tune of 146g. The powerhouse Galaxy Note 2 is a predictably larger machine, with a girth of 9.4mm, a weight of 180g, and a diagonal screen measurement of 5.5in.

Display

The Xperia Z looks like it's really going to dazzle in the display department, featuring a Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and a stunning density of 441ppi. The Galaxy Note 2 offers a standard HD resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels at a less impressive 267ppi, though it does come with the extra half-inch of screen real estate.

Storage and memory

To our knowledge, the Xperia Z is set to debut with 16GB of on-board storage, though we wouldn't be surprised if a 32GB iteration appeared on the scene soon after. Content hoarders are thus likely to find the Galaxy Note 2 the more appropriate device, as Samsung's smartphone/tablet comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models - though only the first would be called widely available. Both products feature a microSD card slot so users can cheaply and easily augment storage. Both handsets also each pack 2GB of RAM under the hood.

Processor and battery

Both the Xperia Z and the Galaxy Note 2 feature quad-core chipsets. The Sony device sports a Snapdragon S4 SoC, comprised of Krait CPUs clocked at 1.5GHz and an Adreno 320 GPU. The Galaxy Note 2 has a Samsung Exynos 4412 configuration - 1.6GHz Cotex-A9 CPUs complemented by Mali-400MP graphics. The Note 2 packs a hefty 3,100mAh battery with a claimed 3G talk time of up to 16 hours - a spec that easily bests the Xperia Z's 11 hour jabber boast.

Software

In the Xperia Z and Galaxy Note 2, the Android platform has two of its biggest stars and both ship with Jelly Bean 4.1. Diehard fans of Google's mobile OS may find themselves leaning towards the Samsung device, as it is rumoured to be getting an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update in early-2013.

Camera

The Xperia Z looks like it has one of the very best cameras in the high-end smartphone segment, sporting a compact-quality 13.1-megapixel Sony Exmor RS sensor. This sets it apart from its 2012 rivals which - like the Galaxy Note 2 - tend to feature 8-megapixel primary snappers. The Z's 2.2-megapixel front camera also shades the 1.9-megapixel axillary shooter found on the Samsung.

Connectivity and wireless

Though network availability has yet to be confirmed, the Sony Xperia Z supports the LTE standard and we would expect it to join EE's 4G party this spring. The Galaxy Note 2 is also 4G LTE-ready and features on the same spectrum, making the duo equally attractive for consumers concerned with high-speed mobile broadband. Both devices also feature NFC technology, but neither can juice up wirelessly.

Extras

ITProPortal writes a fair few spec comparisons, but not many contain this section. That could well change in 2013, however, as manufacturers increasingly look to differentiate their offerings by way of a little extra swag. With regards to the Sony Xperia Z, we're talking about the fact that it's dust and water resistant - to a military standard, no less. The Galaxy Note 2, of course, comes with Samsung's S Pen stylus, a precision input aid that many users find beneficial to productivity.

Price, availability and opinion

Following an official European launch at MWC in February, the Sony Xperia Z should hit the UK in early-March. The device is already up for pre-order via online retailer Clove and pricing has been provisionally set around the £520 mark. The Galaxy Note 2 is currently available and shipping as normal, retailing SIM-free through channels like Amazon for roughly £480.

There's not a lot in it price wise, and if you're looking for a flagship smartphone, chances are that saving £40-odd isn't your primary concern. You want the right phone and the Note 2 and Xperia Z are very different devices. With its extra screen real estate, the stylus-rocking Note 2 is the more professional of the two handsets, while the super-svelte Xperia Z is a sexy little number you'd be proud to flaunt on a night out.

With camera quality serving as a tiebreaker, the Sony Xperia Z and its 13.1-megepixel sensor gets the speculative nod for now, but this really is as tight as spec showdowns come. Of course, we won't really know which device is superior until we get our hands on an Xperia Z review sample and take it for a spin, so stay tuned - that's exactly what we plan to do.

 

Sony Xperia Z

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Display

   

Screen size

5in

5.5in

Resolution

1,920 x 1,080 pixels

1,280 x 720 pixels

Pixel density

441ppi

267ppi

Type

TFT LCD

AMOLED

Processor and battery

   

Family

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4

Samsung Exynos 4412

CPU

Krait

Cortex-A9

Cores

Quad-core

Quad-core

Clock speed

1.5GHz

1.6GHz

GPU

Adreno 320

Mali-400MP

Battery

2,330 mAh

3,100 mAh

Claimed 3G talk time

Up to 11 hours

Up to 16 hours

Storage and memory

   

RAM

2GB

2GB

Internal storage

16GB

16 / 32 / 64GB

microSD

Yes

Yes

Camera

   

Rear

13.1-megapixel

8-megapixel

Resolution

4,128 x 3,096 pixels

3,264 x 2,448 pixels

Video

1080p @ 30fps

1080p @ 30fps

Front

2.2-megapixel

1.9-megapixel

Wireless

   

Standard

4G LTE

4G LTE

Wi-Fi

802.11 b/g/n

802.11 a/b/g/n

NFC

Yes

Yes

Bluetooth

v4.0

v4.0

Integrated wireless charging

No

No

Dimensions

   

Size

139 x 71 x 7.9mm

151 x 80.5 x 9.4mm

Weight

146g

180g

Operating System

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Price (SIM-free)

£520 via Handtec

£485 via Amazon

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