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IFA 2014: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Sony Xperia Z3 specs showdown

After Monday's round of press conferences, two flagships - the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Sony Xperia Z3 - have sailed out of the Internationale Funkausstellung and needless to say we're incredibly excited about both, having been impressed by the Note 3 and Z2. However for the sake of the greater good we're going to compare the Note 4 and Xperia Z3.


This isn't really a fair fight comparing a phablet to a phone, but the Note 4's screen is extremely good. The Note 4 features an resolution normally reserved for gaming monitors but the mouth watering 2,560 x 1,440 pixels and an eye-bleedingly precise 515ppi.

To be fair, the Z3 has a full 1080p screen that uses Sony's patented TRILUMINOS display and gives video and pictures a depth of colour not often seen on mobile devices.

Size and weight

Again the comparison isn't really valid due to the Note 4 being so much larger than the Xperia Z3 (5.7in to 5.2in) but at that point the choice is based more on what you're looking for in a device. However what is surprising is that the vastly bigger Galaxy Note 4 weighs just 24g more than the Z3, and almost as shocking is that the Note 4 is barely more than a millimetre thicker than the Z3 .


Samsung have yet to release any information about the Note 4's battery life, but sporting a 3,300 mAh Li-On battery we can expect at least a days charge from the device. With Samsung's "Adaptive Fast Charging" and "Ultra-power saving" technology (which promise 0 to 50 per cent charge in 30 mins and 24 hours life on 10 per cent battery, respectively) the Note 4's battery life should be acceptable.

However Sony made an incredibly bold claim at its IFA 2014 press conference and estimated the Xperia Z3's battery life to be "about two days." If that claim is accurate then we could be looking at a paradigm-shifting flagship. The Xperia Z3's predecessor (the Z2) had an already impressive battery life, but the battery in the Z3 is a 3,100 mAh rather than the Z2's 3,200 mAh. Only time will tell if Sony's battery life claims are accurate.


When it comes to cameras Samsung never had a chance against Sony. Both camera's film in 4k...and that's where the similarities end. The Sony Xperia Z3 has a beastly 20.7-megapixel camera that contains a lot of pure Sony camera pedigree with a plethora of options that should satisfy the serious photography hobbyist. The Galaxy Note 4 has a not-too-shabby 16-megapixel effort of its own and Samsung have proven that their mobiles take photography pretty seriously...just not as seriously as Sony.


Both handsets are impressive bits of kit. One thing that's important to remember is that the Z3 has a range of usability functions such as water-proofing and dust-resistance.

It seems that the devices have separate focuses; the Xperia Z3 is looking to be a great phone, the Galaxy Note 4 is trying to be a full computing solution in your pocket. If you want a phone that you can take anywhere, that'll take the environmental hazards in its stride the Xperia Z3 is for you, however if you're looking for a power horse that'll accomplish many of the tasks you currently use your tablet/PC/laptop for, the Note 4 is your best bet.


Sony Xperia Z3 Samsung Galaxy Note 4


Screen size 5.2in 5.7in
Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 pixels 2,560 x 1,440 pixels
Pixel density 423.64ppi 515ppi

Processor and battery

Family Snapdragon 801 Snapdragon 805 or Exynos 5433
CPU Krait 400 Krait 450 / Coretex-A53 and Coretex-A57
Cores Quad-core Quad-core/ Quad-core and Quad-core
Clock speed 2.5 GHz 2.7 GHz / 1.3 GHz and 1.9 GHz
GPU Adreno 330 Adreno 420 / Mali-T760
Battery 3,100 mAh 3,300 mAh
Claimed 3G talk time 14h TBC

Storage and memory

RAM 3GB RAM (opens in new tab) 3GB RAM
Internal storage 16GB 32/64GB
microSD Yes Yes


Rear 20.7-megapixel 16-megapixel
Video 4K 4K
Front 2.2-megapixel 3.7-megapixel


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 v4.1
Integrated wireless charging Yes Yes


Size 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm
Weight 152g 176g
Operating System Android 4.4.4 KitKat Android 4.4.4 KitKat
Price (SIM-free) £549 TBC

Availability September 2014 TBC

Read more:

Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Hands-on review (opens in new tab)

Sony Xperia Z3 hands-on review: An iPhone-killer that chooses substance over style (opens in new tab)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: Specs comparison (opens in new tab)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Full specs comparison (opens in new tab)

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Full smartphone specs comparison (opens in new tab)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs the iPhone 5S: Specs Comparison (opens in new tab)

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Apple iPhone 5s: Full smartphone specs comparison (opens in new tab)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Google Nexus 5: Which should you buy? (opens in new tab)

Sony Xperia Z3 vs LG G3: Full smartphone specs comparison (opens in new tab)