With the Mobile World Congress 2014 underway, two of the surefire winners that truly stole the show are the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2. Long rumored and anticipated flagships, the two smartphones are set to duel against each other in winning the hearts (and pockets) of consumers that are looking to upgrade their current mobile phone. How would the two fair against each other? Who wins over the other? We try to find out here.
The Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2 are quite interesting when compared in terms of their overall design and feel. Although the S5 is taller and wider than its predecessor the S4, compared to the Z2 it is actually shorter and lighter, making it more manageable when handled by hand.
However, the Xperia Z2, being made from more premium materials (glass front and back plate, aluminum frame casing) than the S4, offers a more classy and elegant design than the S4. Sony’s OmniBalance design, albeit a true homage to Apple’s design philosophy, exudes an aura of confidence and sophistication that is yet to be replicated by Samsung on any of its devices.
Both devices are certified to be waterproof, although the Xperia Z2 has a higher certification (IP58 vs IP57) that enables the device to be waterproof up to 1.5 meters. The Galaxy S5 is only waterproof up to 1 meter of water.
Screens of both the Galaxy S5 and the Xperia Z2 are almost indistinguishably great. The S5 packs 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display while the Z2 has a 5.2-inch IPS. Both have 1920 x 1080 display resolution, which in real life simply translates to a great viewing experience.
Under the hood though, the Z2 boasts of a Live Color LED technology for its display, which is said to mean brighter, more vivid images without oversaturation.
Powering the Galaxy S5 is a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 quad core processor, slightly faster than the 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 used by the Xperia Z2. Dedicated image signal processors are onboard both processors, which translates to 45% improvement in camera sensor speed in processing. RAM on the Galaxy S5 is 2GB, while 3GB are available for the Xperia Z2. In actual usage though this should not be much of an issue. Both smartphones come with 16Gb of onboard memory and a microSD slot for further expansion.
In the imaging department, the two flagships shine as expected. The Galaxy S5 builds on top of its predecessor and now has a 16MP primary camera and 2MP front-facing camera. The Xperia Z2, meanwhile, features a 20.7MP main shooter and 2.2MP secondary. Both have LED flash and are capable of 4K photo and video recording as well as slow motion capture.
Running on Android 4.2.2 KitKat, the Galaxy S5 and the Xperia Z2 provides their own interface overlays on the stock UI of the latest Android OS. For the S5, the phone features flatter, rounder icons, reworked menus, and (as expected) a lot of new features to play with. The Z2, on the other hand, also packs its own enhancements to Android with improvements such as Double Tap to Wake and Smart Call functionalities.
Okay… Now the question remains, who wins in this battle of two 2014 smartphone flagships? We say neither of the two.
If there is someone walking away as winners, it would be us, the consumers. Both devices seem great, at least based on what we’ve seen so far in the Mobile World Congress. Each have their strengths and weaknesses, although on the big picture, the two are very capable and well-built devices. The additional features and differences in specifications are all but too minute to sway us in favor of the other. And at the end of the day, the decision of which is better boils down to your preferences and how you actually plan to use your device.