Sony Xperia Z3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Full smartphone specs comparison

Sony has just announced the Xperia Z3 smartphone, which replaces the less-than-a-year-old Xperia Z2 with a slimmer, lighter and more powerful handset. But is the Xperia Z3 any match for the Samsung Galaxy S5? Should you buy the Xperia Z3 or part with your cash for Samsung's popular flagship?

Let's break down the spec differences and take a look.

Display

On the surface of things, the Sony Xperia Z3 and Samsung Galaxy S5 have virtually identical screen sizes. Measuring 5.2in and 5.1 in respectively, there's very little difference between them.

This similarity carries through into the handsets' resolutions. Both boast 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, but the S5 has an ever so slightly higher pixel per inch density (ppi) of 432 compared to the Z3's rather precise 423.64ppi. At a glance you won't really see much of a difference though - if anything, the raised ppi is just compensating for the slightly larger screen size on Samsung's flagship.

Size and weight

It's in actual dimensions, however, that we start to see some real differences. The Xperia Z3 measures 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm (w x d x h) compared to the S5's 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm. Clearly then, the S5 is slightly taller and slimmer than its Sony rival, though it's just a touch thicker.

Still, that shouldn't send the Z3 rushing to the dietician just yet. Considering it has a slightly bigger screen, it's understandable it should be a touch wider, and actually it boasts some beautifully slender bezels to maximise every bit of that 5.2in display. Where it does stumble slightly is weight, measuring 152g to the Galaxy S5's lightweight 145g.

A 7g difference is sure to be noticeable - and it's certainly enough to warrant Samsung winning this round - but then again it's not quite enough for us to start recommending that the Z3 doubles as a bicep curling device.

Battery

A key selling point of the Z3 is the claim that its 3,100mAh battery can last up to two days of standard use before being charged. That's a seriously impressive announcement, and with Sony's famous STAMINA mode (which disables all background applications when the screen is switched off) you can be sure that the Z3 will offer some of the best power-saving options in the mobile market.

In contrast, the Galaxy S5 has a 2,800 mAh battery. This is by no means bad, but considering both handsets have similar screen resolutions and identical Snapdragon 801 processors with 2.5GHz of RAM, they'll be packing similar power. Consequently, the Z3's extra juice sends the smartphone a big leap in front of the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Cameras

Since Sony also manufacturers cameras to pay its bills, it's of no surprise that the Xperia Z3 boasts a very impressive camera. The 20.7-megapixel snapper combines crisp autofocus with LED flash, meaning it can take high-quality photos even in low light. Budding James Camerons will also be pleased to know it offers 4K video, and a 2.2-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and Skype calls.

Saying that though, a 16-megapixel count on the Samsung Galaxy S5 isn't exactly stingy either. It's just not quite as breathtaking, and photos don't come out quite as crisp.

Conclusion

With its prolonged battery life and boosted camera, you should theoretically be able to take the Sony Xperia Z3 away on a weekend break (forgetting its charger) and still take stunning shots for the duration of your stay. In everything else though, the two smartphones are fairly level. To make this particular choice between the two, you may have to simply use aesthetics and user interface as your deciding factor. What would you choose?

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Specifications

Sony Xperia Z3 Samsung Galaxy S5

Display

Screen size 5.2in 5.1in
Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 pixels 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Pixel density 423.64ppi 432ppi
Type TRILUMINOS Super AMOLED

Processor and battery

Family Snapdragon 801 Snapdragon 801
CPU Krait 400 Krait 400
Cores Quad-core Quad-core
Clock speed 2.5 GHz 2.5 GHz
GPU Adreno 330 Adreno 330
Battery 3,100 mAh 2,800 mAh
Claimed 3G talk time 14h talktime 21h talktime

Storage and memory

RAM 3GB RAM 2GB RAM
Internal storage 16GB 16/32GB
microSD Yes Yes

Camera

Rear 20.7-megapixel 16-megapixel
Video 4K 2,160p
Front 2.2-megapixel 2-megapixel

Wireless

Standard 4G LTE 4G LTE
Wi-Fi WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
NFC Yes Yes
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.0
Integrated wireless charging Yes Yes

Dimensions

Size 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
Weight 152g 145g
Operating System Android 4.4 KitKat Android 4.4.2 KitKat
Price (SIM-free) £549 £549
Availability September 2014 Now