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Sony Xperia Z2 vs. Samsung Galaxy S5 Comparative Review Philippines, Camera Shootout, Specs Battle, Features Comparison

Both Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2 - two of the very best smartphones in the world today - are now officially available in the Philippines.

Samsung Galaxy S5 was formally introduced in the country via an exclusive media event - concluded by a slammin' party - held at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura in Taguig, City last April 21, 2014. In contrast, Sony Xperia Z2 was unveiled in Pinas alongside the entire 2014 Xperia Line through a very intimate and zen gathering at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati last March 12, 2014 -- though the handset didn't see official release in the country until June 1st. TechPinas: The Philippine Technology Blog graced both events.

Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 Review Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5 Review Philippines, Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Since these two flagship releases are now in the TP Hideout and have become a part of my collection, I thought of doing this comparative review as a way to help fellow Pinoy gadget fans who are still at wits' end trying to figure out which of the two they should spend their hard-earned money on. I hope you find the information I'm presenting here valuable.

Overview

"With the Samsung Galaxy S5, [the Korean Giant] is going back to basics to focus on delivering the capabilities that matter most to our consumers. Consumers are looking for mobile tools that inspire and support them as they improve their everyday lives. The Galaxy S5 represents an iconic design with essential and useful features to focus on delivering the ultimate smartphone on the market today through people-inspired innovation," shared Mr. JK Shin, President and Head of IT and Mobile Communications Division at Samsung.

"With Sony Xperia Z2 [the legendary Japanese company has taken its] premium Z series to the next level, delivering unique experiences that only Sony can offer. We have redefined the smartphone once again through our camera. Xperia Z2 offers an innovative experience that captures memories in stunning detail through 4K video shooting, or offers new ways to use the camera with our unique Xperia camera apps. Furthermore, the Best of Sony has been delivered in the sound quality and customers are now able to listen to their music even in noisy environments without interruptions thanks to our acclaimed digital noise cancelling technology," said Mr. Kunimasa Suzuki, President and CEO, Sony Mobile Communications.

Design Identity and Construction

Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 Review Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5 Review Philippines, Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Needless to say, for a lot of consumers, the way a phone looks is a major consideration when making a purchase. Beauty is subjective so I can only describe how each handset looks and which materials went into its production.

Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 Review Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5 Review Philippines, Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a design identity that's largely similar to its predecessor, the SGS4; Their front panels look identical with SGS5 having a larger display and footprint compared to the Korean company's 2013 flagship. Nonetheless, SGS5 has a few physical characteristics that distinguish it from all its siblings, including the "ridged" faux metal side frame and the near-perforated, dot matrix pattern on the soft-textured back cover creating a supposedly "modern and glamorous" look (that's quoting Samsung). Its new sleek, contoured shape comes in an array of vivid colors, including Electric Blue, Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, and Copper Gold, to "complement the style of the individual consumer".

Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 Review Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5 Review Philippines, Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Obviously, Sony Xperia Z2 looks almost identical to the smartphone it superseded - the TechPinas Badge of Excellence Awardee Sony Xperia Z1 - having the same ultra-gorgeous and very sleek glass-metal-glass sandwich Omnibalance design identity and Dust-and-Water-Proof construction as well as the Black, White, and Purple color options. (Though the 2014 iteration is lighter, taller, and slimmer than last year's flagship release.)

Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 Review Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5 Review Philippines, Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Compared to Samsung Galaxy S5, I would say SXZ2 looks and feels more luxurious in the hand as the Japanese company made use of more high-end materials (i.e., glass and aluminum) in crafting its shell. Both phones actually look and feel extremely well-made with zero flex and little to no gaps between external parts. However, Sony Xperia Z2 definitely has a more reassuring heft and its construction appears more solid and air-tight; Heck, it honestly feels like just one cold slab of glass when you hold it.

Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 Review Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5 Review Philippines, Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Apart from above-mentioned design and ergonomics differences between the two devices, Samsung Galaxy S5 has a physical home button sandwiched by the multitasking and back soft keys in front, below the display, for navigating the interface while Sony Xperia Z2 has virtual back, home, and multitasking keys. Personally, I prefer the face of Sony Xperia Z2 as it looks cleaner and more sleek.

Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 Review Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5 Review Philippines, Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Both phones come with a very premium price tag -- and if I were to be frank, based on design and construction alone, Sony Xperia Z2 gives more value for the buck. The Japanese company's flagship comes with a svelte aluminum frame sandwiched between two sheets of durable glass. In contrast, SGS5 - while having an interestingly designed back plate - is predominantly made of plastic; Heck, even the metallic accent running down its side is simply chrome-plated polycarbonate.

Display Technology: Clarity, Brilliance, and Brightness

Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z2 Review Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5 Review Philippines, Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 flaunts a 5.1 inch Full HD Super AMOLED display with 500 nits of brightness underneath scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 touchscreen. Super AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) is a display technology from the Korean Giant that integrates a capacitive touchscreen layer directly into the display instead of overlaying it on top of the display like IPS or TN. This technique results in a thinner display construction that uses less power and reflects less light for improved outdoor performance.

Sony Xperia Z2, on the other hand, features a 5.2 inch Full HD IPS Triluminos display with 482 nits of brightness protected by what the company calls "shatter-proof and scratch-resistant" glass (sans the scratch-magnet heat-bonded pre-installed screen protector found on Sony Xperia Z1). This display comes with all the benefits IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology, including superior viewing angles and more realistic color reproduction - but it's enhanced by the Japanese company's Triluminos display innovation that provides a heightened sense of depth to images, showcasing colors as they should be via a wide gamut of viewable colors, reproducing natural shades for a more vivid, richer, and more intense range that’s as close to reality as possible.

So which display is better? In terms of size, the one on SXZ2 has an edge -- if a bit; By 0.1 inch, to be exact. However, when it comes to brightness and brilliance of colors, SGS5's SuperAMOLED panel is better; Although, really, both screens are highly visible - at full brightness - even under direct sunlight. But if you're looking for accuracy of color reproduction, I think IPS Triluminos on Sony Xperia Z2 is vastly superior so you might want to go with it.

Should you get a screen protector? Yes, I think you should install one regardless of which phone you're getting. Gorilla Glass 3 and Sony's 'shatter-proof' glass are very durable but they are not completely scratch-proof. In fact, it's easy to scratch them using but a pinch of sand. I recommend premium Tempered Glass screen protector by Realook to match the value of either handset.

IP Certification and Water-Proofing Technology

One of the reasons why Sony Xperia Z1 was able to give Samsung Galaxy S4 a run for the money last year (and - I believe - for Samsung to eventually release an Active variant of SGS4) was because the former came with an IP certification for being water and dust resistant, which a lot of consumers appreciated. Learning from that episode, this year, the Korean Giant made sure that their flagship won't be left behind when it comes to ruggedness.

As a result, both Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2 - which stands on the shoulders of its predecessor - came in resistant to water ingress. But that's just about how far their similarities go as even the water-proofing technique that each device employs couldn't be more different.

Samsung Galaxy S5 is IP67 Certified, which means that "ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 meter of submersion for 30 minutes)."

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Removing SGS5's back cover and inspecting its underside, you'll see this thin strip of rubber or silicon that prevents water from entering and short-circuiting the delicate innards of the device. Aside from the air-tight and gap free construction of the display, the camera module, and the hardware buttons, the phone's "water-proofing technology" is represented by this strip along with the plastic flap covering the microUSB 3.0 port at the rear.

Sony Xperia Z2, on the other hand, is IPX5 and IPX8 Certified meaning that it is "protected against water jets - Water projected at all angles through a 6.3mm nozzle at a flow rate of 12.5 liters/min at a pressure of 30kN/m2 for 3 minutes from a distance of 3 meters. It is also protected against water submersion - The equipment is suitable for continual submersion in water under conditions which are identified by the manufacturer."

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Sony Xperia Z2 also uses rubber or silicon to keep water out -- albeit very sparingly or just on the inner part of these metal flaps covering the slots for the microSD and microSIM cards as well as the microUSB 2.0 port. Pressing the flaps properly in place, the entire handset becomes confidently air-tight and sealed.

Technical Specifications and Value Added Features

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name Samsung Galaxy S5Sony Xperia Z2
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category High End (Flagship Level) High-End (Flagship Level)
Dimensions142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm
Weight 145 grams163 grams
Available Colors Electric Blue, Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, and Copper GoldPurple, White, Black
Operating System upon launch Android OS 4.4.2 KitKat skinned by TouchWizAndroid 4.4.2 KitKat skinned by Sony Xperia UI
Display 5.1 inches (~432 ppi pixel density), 1080 x 1920 pixels, Full HD Super AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 3, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors 5.2 inches (~424 ppi pixel density), 1080 x 1920 pixels, Triluminos, IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, X-Reality for mobile, Shatter-proof and scratch-resistant glass
Processor Quad Core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801 SoCQuad Core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8974AB Snapdragon 801 chipset
RAM 2 GB RAM3 GB RAM
Internal Storage 16 GB options,
expandable via microSD,
supports up to 128 GB
16 GB, expandable via microSD, supports up to 64 GB
Camera 16 MegaPixels, 5312 x 2988 pixels, Autofocus, LED flash, Features: World's Fastest Autofocus Speed of just 0.3 seconds, Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD Video and Image Recording, Geo-tagging, Touch Focus, Face and Smile Detection, Image Stabilization, HDR (Rich Tone), Selective Focus, Virtual Tour Shot, Shot&More,

Front: 2 MegaPixels
20.7 MegaPixels, autofocus, LED flash, BSI Sensor, 1/2.3'' sensor size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, HDR, panorama,

Front: 2.2 MegaPixels, BSI Sensor
Video Capture 4K UHD 2160p 30 frames per second, Full HD 1080p @ 60 frames per second, video stabilization, dual video recording, Front: Full HD 1080p 30 frames per second4K UHD 2160p 30 frames per second, Full HD 1080p @ 60fps, 720p @ 120fps frames per second for main camera, video stabilization, Full HD 1080p for front camera
Audio and Video Playback MP4/DivX/Xvid/FLV/MKV/H.264/
H.263/MP3/WAV/eAAC+/Flac
MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV/MP3
/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/Flac player
Ports microUSB v3.0, TV-out (via MHL A/V link), 3.5 mm audio jackmicroUSB v2.0, TV-out (via MHL A/V link), 3.5mm Audio Jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, Infrared, EDR, 3G HSDPA, 100 Mbps; HSUPA, 50 Mbps, HSPA+; LTE (for the Quad Core variant): Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL, NFCWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, Infrared, EDR, 3G HSDPA, 100 Mbps; HSUPA, 50 Mbps, HSPA+; LTE: Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL, NFC
GPS Yes, with GLONASS and A-GPSYes, with GLONASS and A-GPS
Sensors Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Gyroscope, Barometer, Proximity, Finger Scanner, Heart Rate MonitorAccelerometer, Digital Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity
Network 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, 4G Network LTE2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, 4G Network LTE
SIM Card Type microSIMmicroSIM
Battery Removable 2,800 mAh Li-Ion batteryNon-Removable 3,200 mAh Li-Ion battery
Uptime Standby Time of 390 hours and Talk Time of 21 hoursUp to 740 Hours of Standby, 120 hours of Music Play, 19 Hours of Talk Time
Value-Added Features IP 67 Certified Dust and Water Proof up to 1 meter and 30 minutes, Fingerprint Scanner, Heart Rate Monitor, Floating Touch, Eye-tracking features, Latest Version of TouchWiz, Group Play, Story Album, S Translator, Optical Reader, Samsung Smart Scroll, Samsung Smart Pause, Air Gesture, Air View,
Samsung Hub, ChatON (Voice/Video Call, Share screen, 3-way calling), Samsung WatchON, S Travel (Trip Advisor), S Voice Drive, S Health, Samsung Adapt Display, Samsung Adapt Sound, Auto adjust touch sensitivity (Glove friendly), Safety Assistance, Samsung Link, Screen Mirroring, Samsung KNOX (B2B only)
Glass-Metal-Glass Sandwich Omnibalance Design, Shatter Proof and Scratch-Resistant glass touchscreen, IPX5 and IPX8 Certified Dust and Water Proof, Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2, OptiContrast, Direct Touch Display, xLoud, Exmor RS, PlayMemories Online, Walkman, PlayStation Mobile, OmniBalance Design, One-touch Sharing, One-touch Mirroring, One-touch Listening, One-touch Back-up, Smart Connect, MirrorLink for Safe Driving, SmartTags, HD Voice, Battery STAMINA mode
Announcement Worldwide: February 24, 2014 at MWC 2014 BarcelonaWorldwide: February 24, 2014 at MWC 2014 Barcelona
Availability Official:
Philippines - April 11, 2014
Official:
Philippines - June 2014
Price Official: Php 34,990
Kimstore: Php 29,999 Upon Launch
Official: Php 33,990

Clearly, it's a mixed bag when it comes to the technical specifications of these two landmark, high-end devices. There are some areas where Samsung Galaxy S5 edges out Sony Xperia Z2 but SXZ2 is also better than its main competitor in other departments.

Looking at the specs comparison table, Samsung Galaxy S5 is slimmer, thinner (albeit not by much), and lighter than Sony Xperia Z2. The former also has more sensors - specifically the fingerprint scanner and the heart rate monitor, has an additional Infrared connectivity option, features a more updated microUSB 3.0 port, and has bigger internal storage. But most importantly, SGS5 is powered by the slightly more powerful Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801 SoC with faster CPU and GPU clock speeds. To be specific, you get 2.5 GHz for the Quad Core Krait 400 CPU and 578 MHz for the Adreno 330 GPU on MSM8974AC versus 2.3 GHz for the Quad Core Krait 400 CPU and 550 MHz for the Adreno 330 GPU on the MSM8974AB chipset running Sony Xperia Z2. Both SoCs, though, have the same LPDDR3-1866 memory controller.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Truly top-of-the-line and industry-leading, Sony Xperia Z2 and Samsung Galaxy S5 both belong in that exclusive and premium group of handsets from 2014 to have an Antutu Benchmark Score that's above 32,000. Overall, SGS5 got a higher score - thanks to its Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801 chip's CPU Integer and CPU Float-point performance - but looking at the breakdown, SXZ2 - having 3 GB of RAM - out-scored its competitor in the RAM operations and RAM speeds department. Frankly though, the high-level 3D and HD gaming performance, screen transitions, and overall touch experience are just about the same on both devices; I mean, the variance is way too small to be perceptible.

On the other hand, Sony Xperia Z2 is superior to Samsung Galaxy S5 when it comes to display size, RAM, imaging capabilities, and battery size. Users will get a larger - if a bit - 5.2-inch Full HD IPS LCD, 3 GB of RAM for more efficient multitasking as opposed to just 2 GB on SGS5, 20.7 MegaPixel autofocus camera with LED flash and incorporating the 1/2.3-type Exmor RS for mobile CMOS image sensor, Sony’s award-winning G Lens, and intelligent BIONZ, and a larger, non-removable 3,200 mAh Li-Ion battery pack versus the removable 2,800 mAh Li-Ion pack on Samsung Galaxy S5, which - as expected - results in longer standby time for Sony's flagship phone.

Side Note: Although Sony Xperia Z2 has a more powerful imaging sensor, the SGS5 actually offers the world’s fastest autofocus speed up to 0.3 seconds. Also, Samsung Galaxy Galaxy S5 has a new Selective Focus feature allowing users to focus on a specific area of an object while simultaneously blurring out the background. With this capability, consumers no longer need a special lens kit to create a Bokeh or shallow depth of field (DOF) effect.

As for the value-added features, most of SGS5's much-talked about "additional capabilities" - highlighted by the fingerprint unlock support and S Health application package - are made possible by the additional Finger Scanner and Heart Rate Monitor sensors that come with the device. As for Sony Xperia Z2, most "extra features" - including WalkMan, PlayStation, xLoud, and X-Reality for Mobile - reinforce the legendary Japanese company's expertise and superiority when it comes to providing users with an excellent multimedia and gaming experience.

Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 Review Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5 Review Philippines, Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Sony's Xperia UI and Samsung's TouchWiz User Interface don't just serve as skin for the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system but are also each company's effective vehicle for bringing unique and innovative experiences to the platform.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
SGS5 is the first handset from the Korean company to come with a Heart Rate Monitor (located at the back of the device, beside the phone's LED flash for the camera). This feature is embedded into Samsung's S Health application and, basically, all it does is that it measures your heart rate for plotting on a graph or for whatever fancy or relevant, immediate or future purpose it may serve.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung's 2014 flagship - just like Apple iPhone 5S - comes with a Finger Scanner on top of the thin oval home button - like a laminate or overlay - for unlocking the phone. You can also use it for authenticating your Samsung account or to pay for online purchases via Paypal -- but not for authenticating Google Play purchases. There's a whole section in the handset's Settings dedicated to this feature.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Multi-Window is a feature not unique to Samsung Galaxy S5 but I find it to be far more useful and less gimmicky than some that only come with this year's flagship. I love it when I click on a link on Facebook and it opens the browser on the second window.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Sony Xperia Z2 doesn't have a Heart Rate Monitor or Finger Scanner but it comes with Tap To Wake-Up Feature allowing you to quickly turn on the phone's display simply by double tapping on it. To complement this, I've installed "Screen Off and Lock" widget on my SXZ2 and the combo has really saved the elegant home button from wear and tear.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Being a Legendary Multimedia company, Sony's handset software innovations focus on enhancing visual and audio experiences on their devices. X-Reality Mobile, for instance, automatically processes images and videos, removes distortions and reduces noise resulting in clear, crisp, and more lifelike content for the user's consumption.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
ClearAudio+, on the other hand, instantly optimizes the sound settings for each music track that you play on Sony Xperia Z2 depending on its genre. There's also Dynamic Normaliser making sure that there's hardly a perceptible sound volume difference from one music or video track to the next.

Personally, I find SXZ2's plethora of unique enhancements to be more valuable for daily use. I mean, for instance, I jog and workout but I ever rarely find myself having to check my heart rate using S Health of Samsung Galaxy S5. Also, I'm not sure if its because of my clammy hands -- but often, I get an error whenever I use the SGS5's finger scanner to unlock the phone so I just turned it off and went back to just using an unlock pattern.

Camera Specifications and Sample Photos

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

If there's one department where I can confidently say that Sony Xperia Z2 has sheer superiority over Samsung Galaxy S5, it would have to be in terms of the camera or imaging performance -- especially in indoor or low-light macro shots.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Let's talk about hardware. Sony Xperia Z2's 20.7 MegaPixel autofocus camera features the company's award-winning G-Lens, has an aperture size of F2.0 and comes with a sensor measuring 1/2.3".

Aperture is basically the width that the camera lens opens when photos are taken, and is measured in f-stops; The lower the f-stop value, the better. On the other hand, sensor size determines how much light a camera uses to create an image. Simply put, image sensors are made of millions of light-sensitive spots called photosites to record the information or subject seen through the lens. Naturally, the higher the sensor size, the better.

Compared to Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5 only has a 16 MegaPixel autofocus camera with aperture size of F2.0 and sensor measuring just 1/2.6".

Sony Xperia Z2 Camera Button
Sony Xperia Z2 has a dedicated hardware camera button with springy tactile feedback.  I find it a bit too near the edge, though; Prompting me to use two hands when taking photos or - when using just one hand - clicking the button using my index finger while using my pointer finger, thumb, and ring finger to hold the phone in securely in place. Samsung doesn't have such button but you can use the volume rocker to take shots.

Same Subject Camera Shootout
All photos were taken using automatic settings and with no flash. Kindly click on them for larger view.

Samsung Galaxy S5














Sony Xperia Z2














Looking at the photos, I think those taken using Sony Xperia Z2 - as expected - look more crisp and clear. Also, their colors are replicated more accurately as the ones shot using Samsung Galaxy S5 appear to over-emphasize red shades -- most obvious on the fried chicken shot.

Battery Saving Features

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Both Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2 come with extreme power saving features that are unique to devices made by the respective companies -- and in the case of SGS5, unique to the specific release.

SXZ2 - just like its predecessor - features the Japanese company's Stamina Mode which preserves or conserves power when you don’t need it and lets you get the most out of the battery life when it's needed. This way, according to Sony, you can experience an improved battery life without having to sacrifice any important features on your device. When you turn on Battery Stamina Mode via Power Management Settings, data traffic and WiFi connectivity are automatically blocked, and background activities are queued or altogether prevented from waking up the system when the device is unplugged and the screen is off for longer than one minute. This innovation from Sony - I find - helps at least triple the standby time of Sony Xperia Z2. And when your battery level hits 20%, you may choose to activate SXZ2's Low-Battery Mode, which can automatically turn off all connectivity options, video and audio enhancements, and location services as well as lower screen brightness to further extend the device's uptime.

In comparison, Samsung Galaxy S5 has a similar Power Saving Mode that can limit the maximum performance of the CPU, reduce screen frame rate, turn off soft key lights, disable vibration feedback, and queue notifications when the screen is off. And if that's not enough, you can activate the phone's unique main battery-saver feature called Ultra-Power Saving Mode that turns the phone's display to black and white (grayscale) and limits the number of applications that can be used for maximum standby time. Obviously, the latter mode greatly affects user experience on SGS5 so I find myself only activating it when my phone's battery level hits 10% and I'm still on the road, away from an electrical outlet.

Having used both handsets for weeks now, I find that - when consistently turned on - Sony's Stamina Mode tends to produce longer uptime compared to Samsung's regular Power Saving Mode. With SXZ2 non-removable 3,200 mAh Li-Ion battery pack, Stamina Mode keeps me from charging the phone to an outlet even after a day and a half on a full charge with mixed usage, which include checking and updating social networking accounts, browsing my favorite websites, taking several photos, listening to a few music tracks, watching Youtube for around 30 minutes, texting, and calling. On the other hand, I find myself recharging my Samsung Galaxy S5's 2,800 mAh battery pack after a whole day of regular use.

Official Demo Videos

At the party following Samsung Galaxy S5's official announcement, I got the chance to have a conversation with Mr. Coco Domingo, the Product Marketing Head of Samsung Philippines' Mobile and IT Business. He gave me an exclusive full demo and quick specs rundown of the SGS5. Thankfully, I got the whole thing on video and I hope you can check it out, TP Friends.


You can learn more about Sony Xperia Z2 Philippines by watching my exclusive interview video with Mr. Vincent Dela Cruz, Assistant Manager of Sony Philippines for Mobile Communications, during the flagship handset's official launch in the country last March 12, 2014 held at Fairmont Hotel in Makati City;


Pinoy Gadget Fan Initial Reactions

What do Pinoy consumers think about Z2? Last February 26, 2014, I asked my TP Friends on Facebook and Twitter what they think about Sony's new flagship smartphone. Here are some of the top responses:

Mic Jam shared, "I like the design: It's slimmer but still water-proof. [I also like] the new IPS screen, which improves the viewing angles, the camera, which can now shoot 4k video, and of course, the stereo speaker that can rival HTC's Boomsound."

Francis Michael Velasco Depalco said, "It's Sony, so there's no question about [its quality]. Besides awesome specs, the premium executive look is always a plus against other leading brands. Xperia user for 3 years now."

According to Noel David, "Sony Xperia Z2's design is almost the same as the previous flagship, Z1. They added only few changes to "patch" the issues of the previous flagship which is already a great phone. They changed from TFT display to IPS, they put additional power by adding RAM (3GB) and increasing its processor's clock speed (2.3Ghz). They increased the battery capacity (3,200mAh from 3,000 mAh). And also they removed the Anti-Shatter Film that many users complain about because it gets scratched easily. As of now, I can say Sony Xperia Z2 will be one of the best smartphones upon its release."

Finally, quoting Pat Mark R. Evangelista, "Sony Xperia Z2 is definitely [a clear upgrade] to last year's Xperia Z1. Viewing angles on the phone is improved, thanks to the newly adopted IPS technology. This phone is first to [get the freshly released] Snapdragon 801 chipset, which promises an improvement on imaging and decoding department plus speed improvements than that of the Snapdragon 800 series. Sony UI, formerly known as TimeScape UI, had its relatively minor overhaul. The notifications panel now has quick settings tab to separate the notifications from the settings toggles, which is not present in the previous Sony smartphones. This phone ships with the most recent version of Android, Android 4.4.2 KitKat which delivers a very smooth experience. Overall, Sony Xperia Z2 is just like the Sony Xperia Z1 with some minor improvements both on the hardware and on the software side."

A few hours after the announcement of Samsung Galaxy S5 at MWC 2014, I asked my TP Friends on Facebook and Twitter what they think about Samsung's new flagship smartphone. Here are some of their comments:

Raff Astor shared, "Saw the specs, some small reviews and comparison videos. Seems to me that Samsung Galaxy S5 brought only a small change in terms of overall design. The big improvement Android phone manufacturers should develop and improve is the quality of photos when they are uploaded online especially on Instagram. [...] Overall, S5 seems to be a small leap forward from the previous S series release. It's good and well improved yet it still lacks something that would "wow" every smart phone users."

Bryan Jonas Sayas added, "The heart rate monitor was a stupid move. Not everyone would use it; It's almost mainly for showing off. On the other hand, it shoots 4K and has an optical stabilization which fills what the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is lacking."

Migs Canillas said, "They should have went with a metal body. Or at least a plastic body that doesn't look cheap (ala Samsung Galaxy S4). The dotted back looks weird."

According to Nikenelson Macaraig Pangilinan, "Disappointed with the design. I will stick with my Samsung Galaxy S4. If ever, I would go for the Sony Xperia Z2."

Paulo Ducut shared, "The Samsung Galaxy S3 was the game changer. SGS4 just maintained it. But the SGS5? Let's see what the market says."

To which Nico Aguila agreed, "Yes, the SGS3 was the phone that met all the expectations and more. After that, there's hardly any difference between Samsung's flagship offering compared to that of other manufacturers. With SGS5, in a sense, Samsung copied the waterproofing technology of Sony (like what we've already seen on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active) and the first generation Nexus 7 for the dimples."

Quoting Nikko Manay, "Samsung Galaxy S5 is such a huge disappointment. Samsung should wake up and start thinking of new 'wow factor' features to give their smartphones and not just imitate the other brands."

Kitt Rebulanan tried to explain why most users felt disappointed when they say SGS5, "Everyone got let down, most probably because of all the hype. Maybe Samsung should have waited to release the new flagship 'til maybe Q3 or Q4 2014."

Jezer Garcia was very frank in saying that "Samsung Galaxy S5 is 'not worth to upgrade' [as] Samsung has already reached the tipping point where everyone is not surprised anymore."

Verdict

As I've shared at the top of this post, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2 are two of the best smartphones in the world today -- so I don't think you can go wrong choosing either one of them. However, to be completely honest, I think aluminum-clad Sony Xperia Z2 looks and feels more premium and more like a device donning such a hefty price tag. Also, it doesn't hurt that the Japanese company's 2014 flagship has a far better camera, a larger battery, a wider set of audio and video enhancements, a slightly bigger display showing more accurate colors, and has more RAM. Samsung Galaxy S5's main advantage is that it has a more powerful processor - if a bit - and it is equipped with a Heart Rate monitor and a Finger Scanner -- for users who must have those. All things considered, I give Samsung Galaxy S5 a score of 9.7 TP Stars and Sony Xperia Z2, 9.9 TP Stars.

TP Exclusives

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