Five ways the Xperia Z2 is better than the Galaxy S5
This is a Guest Post by Harish J.
Sony and Samsung have launched their opening salvos in this year’s high-end smartphone battle. While Samsung is still the de facto leader in the smartphone segment, contributing to a third of all smartphone sales worldwide, Sony has made remarkable strides last year with the Xperia Z and the Xperia Z1. This year’s offering, the Xperia Z2, looks largely the same as the Xperia Z1, but features changes in the internal hardware. Samsung has similarly stuck with a familiar design with the Galaxy S5, albeit deciding to go with a perforated back, which serves to differentiate the handset from last year’s Galaxy S4.
Both devices have a lot of similarities, like full-HD screens and cameras that can shoot 4K video as well as dust and water resistance abilities. However, the Xperia Z2 outshines the Galaxy S5 in all of these segments, as we shall see below.
The Xperia Z2 features a similar OmniBalance design that was first seen on the Xperia Z, and then on the Xperia Z1. The design of the Xperia Z2 does lend the handset a blocky look, but the device is comfortable to hold and feels like a premium handset. The Galaxy S5’s soft touch plastic back on the other hand, does not feel like it belongs on a device that costs 47,000. The sides of the Galaxy S5 too do not feel particularly comfortable to hold, and the chrome finish is in fact made of plastic. The Xperia Z2’s Gorilla Glass and aluminium construction means that it is a much better looking device than the Galaxy S5.
The Xperia Z2 is certified IP58 dust and water resistant, while the Galaxy S5 is certified IP67. The IP in the certification stands for Ingress Protection, and measures a device’s ability to withstand the elements. The first number in the standard measures the protection against dust, which in the case of the Xperia Z2 is 5. A level 5 protection against dust means that there is a chance that dust might enter the device if all the flaps are not secured. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S5 comes with a level 6 protection against dust, which means that the device is dust-tight.
While the Galaxy S5 wins when it comes to dust protection, it loses out when it comes to water resistance. The second number in the IP standard measures the water resistance of the device, which in the case of the Xperia Z2 is 8. This indicates that the device can be immersed in over 1 meter of water for over 30 minutes and can still function. The Galaxy S5 features a level 7 protection, which allows the device to be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for under 30 minutes. What this essentially means is that while the Galaxy S5 is water resistant, the Xperia Z2 is waterproof.
Both the Galaxy S5 and the Xperia Z2 are flagship devices, and as such feature the latest hardware that is commercially available. However, the Galaxy S5 version sold in India comes with Samsung’s own Exynos 5422 octa-core SoC and not the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC that was used in the U.S. edition of the handset. Samsung is known to launch handsets running its in-house Exynos SoC in non-LTE markets, which gives the South Korean manufacturer a chance to gain more market share in the mobile processor market.
What this means for consumers is that instead of Qualcomm’s latest 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 801, which is admittedly the fastest SoC commercially available today, Indian users will be receiving an octa-core Exynos 5422 that is clocked at 1.9 GHz for the four Cortex A15 cores and 1.3 GHz for the four Cortex A7 cores. All eight cores used in the Exynos 5422 are stock ARM cores, whereas Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 features four customized cores in the Krait 400 line that are more energy efficient while delivering more performance. In case you were wondering, the Xperia Z2 in India comes with the Snapdragon 801.
Not only does the Xperia Z2 feature a better SoC, it also takes the crown in the memory segment. The Xperia Z2 features 3 GB dual-channel LPDDR3 RAM, while the Galaxy S5 comes with 2 GB RAM, which is lesser than what was included in last year’s Galaxy Note 3.
The 20.7 MP sensor on the Xperia Z1 is one of the best that is currently available, and can even take the fight to the likes of the Lumia 1020, which comes with a 41 MP camera sensor. While the Galaxy S5 features a new ISOCELL camera, it is nowhere in the same league as the one on the Xperia Z1. Although the Galaxy S5’s camera can shoot true-tone HDR and comes with a lot of additional shooting modes, most of the users would not use these modes when taking images or shooting video.
Samsung has been oft-criticised for its user interface, and while the manufacturer has toned down the amount of gimmicky features and refreshed the layout on the Galaxy S5, the UI still does not feel modern. The South Korean manufacturer has had a long history of bloatware on its handsets, which it calls useful utilities. Meanwhile, Sony has decided to go with an aesthetic design with its Evolution UI, which is seen on the Xperia Z2. Sony’s user interface has to be the second best manufacturer skin as far as the design and usability are concerned, after HTC’s Sense.
Overall, the Xperia Z2 looks and feels like a much better device when seen next to the Galaxy S5. The one thing that may be a factor in its sales might be the cost, as the Xperia Z2 price in India is currently Rs. 46,990. We do have to mention that the cost will come down once other retailers start offering the device. The slightly higher cost notwithstanding, we do not see any reason why one should choose the Galaxy S5 over the stellar Xperia Z2.