Sep 16 2013

Sony Xperia Z1 Vs. Samsung Galaxy S4

Everywhere you look, it seems that mobile phone manufacturers are creating their own flagship devices. The success of the iPhone and Samsung smartphone lines is being challenged by phones like the Motorola Razr HD, the Nokia Lumia 920, and now the Sony Xperia Z1, announced to the world this month. The Xperia Z1’s main competition is going to be the Samsung Galaxy S4. The two phones have many similarities that invite comparison. Can Sony’s device stand up against a manufacturing giant like Samsung? Let’s take a look at what’s in store.


The Sony Xperia Z1 went with sharper edges than the S4, giving it a sleek look complete with metal trim and flat front and back. It looks quite a bit classier than the S4, and with its IP rating guaranteeing it as dust- and water-resistant, its overall design trumps Samsung’s. The only acknowledgement Samsung gets here is that the S4’s rounded corners are a bit easier to handle. Overall, though, the point goes to Sony.


Both devices have 5″ screens at resolutions of 1080p. At first glance, you may not notice much of a difference, but the technology behind the screens is not at all the same. The Galaxy S4’s display is a Super AMOLED HD model, while the Z1 has a Triluminos screen, mimicking the technology of Sony’s television sets. The Triluminos is a bit newer technologically, but as far as how the display looks, the two phones are on about the same level.

Processing Power

It’s an easy win for the Sony Xperia Z1 in this category. The Z1 powers itself with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chip, a step up from the S4’s Snapdragon 600. That’s not to say the S4 is a slow phone – it’s not – but for those looking for an extra boost from the processor, the Z1 is clearly the victor. With such impressive specs, the Z1 will be set to retail around $800. It’s a steep price to pay but coupon sites like this can give you significant saving when you buy it at the right time and with promotion code.


Both devices run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, but there’s been no word yet on eventual updates to the system. Each phone’s user interface adds their own touch, and which one is better comes down largely to a question of preference. The Z1’s UI is a bit simpler, while Samsung’s TouchWiz interface offers a variety of helpful features to flesh out your experience. If we had to choose a winner, we’d say Samsung, if only because it looks a little smoother, but it’s not by much.


The news on the camera front for Sony’s phone is extremely enticing, just looking at the specs. Its camera is an impressive 20.7 megapixels, complete with an Exmor RS Sensor, a camera shutter key, and G Lens optics. This promises better photos and more smoothly-running videos than the S4 is able to manage. The Z1 wins here as well.

Who Wins?

While both the Sony Xperia Z1 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 promise to be high-quality smartphones from smart manufacturers, we’re intrigued by the Z1’s list of features. They’re forging some new territory, particularly with their camera and their impressive processor, and that alone could keep them in the big leagues. We suggest you keep an eye out for the Z1. It’s definitely going to be making some waves.

John Parker loves to blog about mobile phones and money saving tips. He got 20% off regular price on a Galaxy smartphone at Virgin Mobile when he applied coupon codes online.

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