We’ve always praised the Samsung Galaxy S3 for its strengths and called it out for its weaknesses. It is a decent device and it is rewarding to use it, however when it comes to design, it fails in a few areas.
One of these areas is the build quality. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is ok if you are looking for a smartphone slab with curves, the build quality is fairly robust, however it fails when it comes to materials.
The cheap plastic, that is slippery, does let down the premium grade handset.
Then you look at the recently announced Sony Xperia Z, they haven’t had any issues with material quality. However things change here as instead of the runner matte plastic, the device has been made in the Dragontail reinforced glass on the back and the front.
This material is said to be around 6 times the strength of Gorilla Glass 2. The shape of the handset is rectangular and it doesn’t offer the most creative silhouette when you take a look back at other devices from the company. Of course having a 5 inch screen does limit the device.
The handset is 7.9mm thick and the outside edges have some panelled trim that is interesting, with silver accents. Thanks to the Android interface, the front of the handset doesn’t have controls or buttons.
The winner here has to be the Sony Xperia Z.
The display of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is Super AMOLED, with a size of 4.8 inches, which had 306ppi and a resolution of 1280 x 720. However the picture quality is a little low thanks to PenTile.
The display does remain sharp, while contrast and brightness is good, with colours that are rich.
The touchscreen of the Sony Xperia Z is larger a 5 inches and it is LCD, with 443ppi and resolution of 1920 x 1080p.
The screen has white tones that are very pure and great brightness, it also has the OptiContrast technology, so the blacks are deep, while the Sony Mobile Bravia engine 2 ensures colours and saturation that has been improved.
The winner here again is the Sony Xperia Z.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes in 16GB or 32GB internal storage. There was a 64GB device, however this was discontinued. The handset has support for microSD up to 64GB.
The Sony Xperia Z comes with 16GB and it supports SD only up to 32GB.
Typically 16GB is enough for the average user, however the Samsung Galaxy S3 does beat the Sony handset here with more options for internal storage and larger SD card support and so it is the winner.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has the 1.4GHz Exynos quad core processor along with 1GB of RAM and the Mali-400MP GPU.
Android runs very well on this and it is excellent when it comes to playing games that are high end and multi-tasking. There is now slowdown here.
The Sony Xperia Z has the quad core processor; it has the Snapdragon S4 which was clocked at 1.5GHz. it also has 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 320 GPU.
This means that in benchmark tests it should be faster and is should be the more efficient handset, due to the lower-nanometre technology.
Thanks to the faster clock speed and more RAM, there is a lot of difference. This means the device is future proofed when it comes to being able to run games that will be released in the future.
The ARM Cortex-A15 processors are thought to be coming out this year and they may take over from the Cortex A9 architecture of the two handsets.
The winner in this category has to be the Sony Xperia Z.
In regards to the OS, both of the handsets have Jelly Bean 4.1. The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with Touchwiz, while the Sony Xperia Z had the Sony user interface, this happens to be very different from the devices predecessors.
The user interface of the Sony handset is a great deal more colourful than the monochromatic devices from the past. Themes are lively and icons and menus have the Android style to them.
However the handset is still distinctive enough that you know it comes from Sony.
Underneath the exterior Android runs faster and it is also smoother than ever before. Multi-tasking is superb, the menu layouts are logical and there are interface elements that are intuitive. These are things which both of the devices share.
The winner here is a draw.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is a great device, however it is had its time and the Sony Xperia Z is the next generation of handsets that will knock the Samsung handset from the pedestal it sits on.
Samsung will even out the balance when they release their Samsung Galaxy S4, however for now the Sony handset is the king.