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Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: What’s the difference and which should I buy?

If you’re torn between Sony’s and Samsung’s latest wares, let us shed some light on the situation by pitting the Sony Xperia Z2 against the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Design

If you’re familiar with any of Sony’s of Samsung’s recent top handsets, it’s more of the same in both camps. The new Galaxy S5 is a more complex beast than its predecessors, weaving together chrome touches and a grippy new textured back, but it still relies on a design that’s mostly plastic.

Xperia Z2 1Galaxy S5 1

Sony’s Xperia Z2 looks like it’s wearing a sharp suit by comparison to S5’s jumper and jeans. Toughened glass and a milled aluminium frame look the part, even if this shiny coat is an absolute fingerprint magnet. Our biggest criticism would be that it hasn’t evolved much from last year’s Xperia Z1, whilst Samsung has clearly tried something new.

Both phones are distinctive in that they each boast waterproofing, so fear not if you drop your phone in the bath, they won’t mind. Samsung wins out with a couple of additional tricks in the form of a swipey fingerprint sensor for unlocking as well as making PayPal payments and a heart rate sensor for the fitness conscious, stuck on the back.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Screen

Media junkies are spoilt for choice with this pairing. If you like eye-wateringly intense colours, Michael Bay-style, then the 5.1-inch Super AMOLED of the S5 is the display for you, otherwise, the more accurate colours of the Xperia Z2’s 5.2-inch screen might be the preferred option.

Z2 vs S5 screen

Both rock Full HD resolution too so pictures, movies and games looks pin sharp whichever phone you fancy.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Performance and battery life

On the inside both phones boast Qualcomm’s snappy Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, the S5’s chip is clocked a little faster, but the Z2 has an extra gigabyte of RAM to play with.

In real-world use, this means that both phones run buttery smooth. The Z2 might age more gracefully than the S5, but as far as we can tell, right now both phones feel tightly screwed together and as sharp as a razor, not least because they both run stylised versions of the latest Android KitKat OS too.

Z2 S5 split

The biggest changes have been made to Samsung’s TouchWiz interface and it’s a lot cleaner than previous versions, but we’re fans on Sony’s slick and sophisticated UI.

Both support micro SD cards up to 128GBs but if you want more inbuilt storage, the S5 is the only one that’s available as a 32GB model; the Sony sticks with just 16.

In the battle of the batteries it’s also a pretty even playing field. Both phones will see you through a day and a half on a charge. In our experience, the Z2 gives up the ghost just ahead of the Galaxy S5 and what’s more the S5’s battery is removable, which some might prefer.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Camera

As camera features go, both phones are packed to the gills. Samsung decided to go big this year with a 16-megapixel snapper boasting a more refined camera experience than previous Sammy’s. It makes for some sharp shooting and works well in most conditions, not to mention you can film in slow motion, 4K and get crazy with unique camera features like its 3D video tour mode.

Z2 natural lightS5 natural light

Z2 high contrastS5 high contrast

But if Samsung went big, Sony went bigger. The Z2 rocks a mighty 20.7-megapixel sensor that goes toe to toe with the S5’s camera. In most situations, we’d say the Samsung may just have the edge, but the Z2 is the undoubted king of low-light photography in this battle, and the one to go for if you plan on using your phone to document those messy nights out with your mates.

Z2 low lightS5 low light

The Z2 also matches the S5 with weird and wonderful shooting modes like Augmented Reality dinos and live streaming to Facebook and it also offers up 4K and slow-motion recording with its Timeshift Video mode.

Truth be told, even down to the wire it’s neck and neck.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Verdict

This could possibly be one of the closest comparisons in recent memory. Samsung has clearly tried hard to ensure the Galaxy S5 is a killer smartphone, whilst Sony didn’t have to work as much to update the last year’s phone to keep it relevant.

The internal hardware, battery life, feature set and even price are nearly identical so in truth it really boils down to design.

Z2 in the handS5 in the hand

The look and feel of these devices is distinctly different: The Galaxy S5 is the colourful, playful court jester, whilst the sharp looks of the Z2 experience mean serious business. Whichever you pick, we promise you’ll be impressed.

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