Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Sony Xperia Z Price, Release Date, Technical Specifications Comparison, TP Thoughts

Aside from Nokia Lumia 920 and some Pinoy Android phones, I've received more inquiries about Sony Xperia Z than any other smartphone - both out and upcoming - over the past few weeks.

Most questions were about pricing and release details but a huge bulk is on how the Japanese company's current flagship handset compares against Samsung Galaxy S4.

Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z, respectively. Quoting myself in a previous entry, "SGS4 is the most powerful handset the Korean company has released so far [but] I'm not sure if it will do as well as the best-selling Samsung Galaxy S3, which preceded it. I say this only because I believe that, unlike SGS3 that simply stood head and shoulders above other Android smartphones in its category last year, SGS4 finally has legit powerhouse competitors that can totally give it a run for the money. Take for instance, the svelte Sony Xperia Z."

Yesterday, I took a bit of breather from my digital marketing projects for my clients outside the country and I decided to just answer all of your SXZ questions in one go via a TP post. So here you go, TP Friends!

Sony Xperia Z vs. Samsung Galaxy S4 Price and Release Date: According to Sony Mobile Philippines, Sony Xperia Z will become available across the archipelago within the first week of April. The official suggested retail price is Php 32,490, which is surprisingly low for a flagship device of this calibre. As for SGS4, TechPinas hasn't heard from Samsung Mobile Philippines about the smartphone's availability in the country but based on what we got from the company's international PR, the Korean handset should land here around mid to late April with SRP of roughly Php 33,000 or around the same as Samsung Galaxy S3's price upon launch last year.

Technical Specifications Comparison: Here in TechPinas, we stick to facts. Hence, I created this side-by-side SGS4 versus SXZ complete specs comparison table for your perusal. Check it out, TP Friends.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name Samsung Galaxy S4Sony Xperia Z
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category High End (Flagship Level) High-End (Flagship Level)
Dimensions136.6 x 69 x 7.9 mm139 x 71 x 7.9 mm
Weight 130 grams146 grams
Available Colors White Frost, Black MistPurple, White, Black
Operating System upon launch Android 4.2.2 Jelly BeanAndroid 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, planned upgrade to 4.2 Jelly Bean
Display 4.99 inches (~441 ppi pixel density),
1080 x 1920 pixels,
Full HD SuperAMOLED,
capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
5 inches (~441 ppi pixel density), 1080 x 1920 pixels, TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Processor Philippines: Quad Core 1.6 GHz
ARM Cortex A15 + Quad Core
1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A7,
PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU,
Exynos 5 Octa 5410 chipset
Quad Core 1.5 GHz Krait Adreno 320 GPU Qualcomm MDM9215M / APQ8064 chipset
Internal Storage 16, 32, 64 GB options,
expandable via microSD,
supports up to 32GB
16 GB, expandable via microSD, supports up to 32GB
Camera 13 MegaPixels, 4128 x 3096 pixels,
autofocus, LED flash,
2 MegaPixels front camera,
Zero Shutter Lag
13.1 MegaPixels, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus and LED flash, 2.2 MegaPixels front camera
Video Capture Full HD 1080p
30 frames per second for main camera,
Full HD 1080p
30 frames per second for front camera
Full HD 1080p 30 frames per second, 720p front facing camera (to be confirmed)
Audio and Video Playback MP4/DivX/Xvid/FLV/MKV/H.264/
/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/Flac player
Ports microUSB v2.0, 3.5 mm audio jackmicroUSB 2.0 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, ProximityAccelerometer, 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 Li-Ion 2600 mAh batteryLi-Ion 2330 mAh non-removable battery
Uptime TBDStandby of up to 550 hours, Talk time of up to 14 hours, Music play of up to 40 hours
Value-Added Features 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)
Timescape UI, Shatter Proof and Scratch-Resistant glass touchscreen, IP57 certified Dust and Water resistant, Water proof up to 1 meter and 30 minutes, 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: March 15, 2013Worldwide: February, 2013
Availability TP Guesstimate: Q2 2013, AprilTP Guesstimate: Q2 2013, April
Price Philippines: TP Guesstimate, Php 32,000 to Php 33,000TP Guesstimate: Php 33,000 - Php 35,000
Official SRP: Php 32,490

Just from looking at this table, it's clear that SGS4 has an advantage over SXZ when it comes to technical specifications. The former has a smaller footprint and is a lighter (albeit not by much) yet it comes with a better display (SuperAMOLED is superior to TFT not only in terms of clarity but also - and more importantly - when it comes to viewing angles), a more powerful Octa-core processor (Note, however, that Exynos 5 Octa just combines two Quad Core ARM-Cortex based CPUs in one chip), and a slightly larger battery pack.

What SXZ has which SGS4 simply lacks in IP57 certification proving that the handset is Dust and Water Resistant and is Water-proof even when submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. Obviously, this makes SXZ more ideal a handset for active and sporty people who need a powerful smartphone that can perfectly complement their on-the-go and borderline-rugged lifestyle. You can splash a bucket of water on Sony's flagship and it will still run like nothing happened.

Design and Construction Comparison: Samsung Galaxy S4 flaunts the same pebble-like, nature-inspired design identity and plastic enclosure as that of Samsung Galaxy S3. The main difference between the two, aside from size and the re-positioned LED flash at the back, is that SGS4 has a thicker, shinier metallic lining running down its sides making it look more elegant and durable. (Note: Some users are reporting that Samsung merely used a shinier, chrome-plated plastic in lieu of real metal to frame the sides of the phone.) On the other hand, Sony Xperia Z comes with a more industrial, glass-sandwich design that's kind of similar to that of Apple iPhone 4S only Sony made use of scratch-resistant glass on both panels. So which design is better? Well, this is purely subjective but I personally find Sony Xperia Z a tad more attractive and interesting -- maybe because I feel that SGS4's rounded design is already becoming tired.

So which flagship Android smartphone should you get? It all depends on what you're looking for in a smartphone. If you're a power user and you want no less than the best technical specifications currently available, then Samsung Galaxy S4 is clearly the way to go. Just telling it like it is, like what I always do. But if you want a phone that balances power with beauty and ruggedness, then Sony Xperia Z could very well be the ideal handset for you.

Just a few notes that you might want to consider, though: As expected of a legendary multimedia company, Sony gave SXZ cool imaging, audio, and video features, including Exmor RS, xLoud, and Sony Bravia Engine, that greatly enhance multimedia experience on the device. I've owned and reviewed several Xperia handsets in the past and I can honestly say that if there's any company that can possibly take on a Nokia when it comes to imaging innovations, it's definitely Sony. SGS4, on the other hand, comes replete with this rather new (and according to some, 'quite gimmicky') eye-tracking technology making previously unseen features like Smart Scroll and Smart Pause possible.

So which handset do you think is superior: Samsung Galaxy S4 or Sony Xperia Z? Which 2013 flagship Android smartphone do you think is more interesting? Which one better suits you and your lifestyle? Kindly share your thoughts below.