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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2 – Benchmark Comparison

Times are changing, mobile technology is advancing, so it’s only logical for us to once again revisit the benchmark smackdown that should in theory show beyond the shadow of a doubt what the world’s strongest smartphone is.

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Why only three?

As I hope you all remember, we’ve started this series of benchmark comparisons a couple of months ago by pitting the Galaxy S4 against the S4 LTE-A, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z Ultra, after which we’ve added LG’s G2 in the mix.

Now I’m afraid it’s time to ditch the GS4 and HTC One (they’re slowly but steadily getting outdated, you see), as well as the S4 LTE-A (still unavailable outside Korea) and Xperia Z Ultra (too big, too niche, also only available in parts of the world). At the same time though, we’re ecstatic to welcome the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Sony Xperia Z1 in this increasingly competitive war, so ultimately the fight will be between the two and the G2.

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On paper, the three should start the duel on (almost) equal footing, as they all pack quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors paired with complementary Adreno 330 GPUs. Then again, Note 3’s chip is the only one clocked at 2.3 GHz (the other two are 2.2 GHz units), plus Samsung’s “next big thing” also comes with 3 gigs of RAM in tow.

Not to mention Sammy, Sony and LG all have their own personal understanding of what software optimizations, skins and UIs should look like, which, as you’ll soon see, will produce unexpectedly different scores in most synthetic benchmarks. All that being said, the ultimate benchmark smackdown of the fall of 2013 starts in 3, 2, 1…

AnTuTu scores

LG G2: 29,000 – 35,000 points

Samsung Galaxy Note 3: 29,000 – 33,000

Sony Xperia Z1: 17,000 – 26,000

Before jumping to conclusions, a very important disclaimer, which is not only valid for AnTuTu, but all the benchmark results we’re going to show you. While the G2 is already up on store shelves and has been thoroughly tested and reviewed in its final commercial form, the other two have been formally unveiled just last week and the only one-on-one time reviewers have been able to get with them has been with pre-release prototypes.

In other words, don’t take Note 3 and Z1’s scores for granted yet, even if there’s a good chance they’ll not be considerably boosted once the phones see daylight.

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That said, Xperia Z1’s AnTuTu performance is head-scratchingly poor. Even if we take the thing’s highest score, it still puts it, along with its Snapdragon 800 CPU, barely above the S600-powered Galaxy S4. What the hell happened there, Sony?

Meanwhile, the G2 snatches this crown from the Note 3 quite comfortably… at the moment, albeit 2,000 points doesn’t sound like a gap impossible to cover once people get their grubby hands on a finished, fully optimized Samsung phablet.

Vellamo Metal

Galaxy Note 3: 1,200 points

Xperia Z1: 1,000

LG G2: 950

Samsung-GALAXY-Note-3

Surprise, surprise, as one of Qualcomm’s most reliable benchmarks, measuring “CPU subsystem performance of mobile processors”, puts the Note 3 ahead of the pack and the G2 in last place. I honestly have no idea why the ranking is so different than in AnTuTu and the only explanation I can muster is one of the two tests has to be wrong. Probably AnTuTu, even though those scores are based on several tests, while these just on one.

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt and 2.7 Rex (1080p off-screen)

Galaxy Note 3: 68 and 23 fps

Xperia Z1: 55 and 23

LG G2: 54 and 22

The G2 is dead last once again, this time in a competition of GPU performance. But as all three phones pack the exact same GPU and Full HD displays, the software and possibly RAM are yet one more time the key elements that boost the scores up or force the lowering of the bar.

Galaxy Note 3

Bottom line or at least bottom line based on two tests, Samsung has done wonders with skinning, forking and optimizing Android to squeeze every last drop of CPU and GPU juice out of the S800/Adreno 330 combo, whereas LG has failed in rising to the occasion. For now…

SunSpider

Galaxy Note 3: 650 milliseconds

Xperia Z1: 830 ms

LG G2:900

Something wrong with the above order? Nope, it’s just that with SunSpider you’re rooting to get the lowest result, not the highest. The benchmark measures JavaScript performance, which in a nutshell translates into web browsing speed (when dealing with the popular programming language known as Java).

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-3-Hands-On

It comes as no surprise that the Note 3 prevails yet again, although, even knowing Samsung and their incredible software optimizing work, the gap between the leader here and the competition is mind-boggling. Well done, Sammy, truly well done!

Benchmark Pi

Galaxy Note 3: 98

LG G2: 99

Xperia Z1: 115

Another test where “lower is better”, this time evaluating the CPU speed, as well as the overloading of an Android device and the software smoothness, Benchmark Pi also shows the Note 3 on top of everybody else’s game, but only by a whisker.

xperia-z1

And now it’s the G2 that breathes down the new GNote’s neck, meaning LG has most likely done at least one thing right in the software department: it hasn’t filled the 5.2-incher to the brim with unnecessary bloatware. Which is not what one can say about Sony, I’m afraid.

Wrap-up

Five different benchmarks, four of which have been topped by the Note 3, three of which by a mile. Is there anything left to comment? I think not, other than congratulating LG and Sony for their decent yet not solid enough efforts. Maybe next time, guys, maybe next time. As for Samsung, what can I say, they’re the man! 

Via [Phone Arena] (1), (2), [GSM Arena] (1), (2)

12 Comments

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  1. Everywhere it is being sold, it is being sold subsidized by carriers including the LTE model on Three UK, and O2 in the UK. Again, what basis do you have to believe that the Z1 will be subsidized by most major carriers and the Ultra will not? The plain Z is only subsidized by T-Mobile in the US so what makes you believe that the Z1 will somehow be expanded to most if not all major US carriers yet contracted on the Ultra to not be subsidized by anyone in the US including T-Mobile.

  2. You do understand there’s a big difference between it “covers most carriers” and carriers sell it directly, in subsidized form, right? And yes, there is a very important, rational reason to think the Z1 will be picked up by America’s major networks and the Z Ultra no: size!!!

  3. Samsung has really perfected the software optimization. There are many who don’t like the non stock looks, but there are quite a few out there who prefer Samsung over others ONLY cause of the software enhancements that they offer…

  4. So what happens when a software update comes out… do you review again and again because the figures change…?

  5. The C6806 gets just about every band the C6833. Both cover most carriers quite well. The C6806 specifically has 1700 MHZ for T-Mobile. The C6806 will launch in Canada in October but only the black colored one will be for sale there.

    Face it, there is no rational reason to think that the Ultra will be in less markets than the Z1. The Ultra including one LTE model has already been launched which is more than can be said about the Z1 and Note III you included.

  6. Right. But that still doesn’t prove it will be picked up by US carriers. Just look at the Xperia Z. It started selling on T-Mobile like five months after Europe.

  7. Google search – “C6806”. That model is specifically made for North America whereas the C6833 is made for Europe and Oceania and the C6802 is the non–LTE model made for the international market. All three versions are for sale at Negri Electronics albeit on pre–order for the C6806.

  8. I meant that the Xperia Z Ultra is only available in parts of the world and odds are it will remain that way (for instance, I don’t see any major US carrier picking it up). Whereas the Z1 will likely land on at least one or two American networks…

  9. “Xperia Z Ultra (too big, too niche, also only available in parts of the world)”

    The Z1 isn’t available anywhere in the world yet it can be included? Too big to compete in this lower size class sounds about right since on this spec along with a practically tied CPU and GPU , is why many people will choose the Ultra over these phones.

  10. The Note 3 is superior in every way to both. You can’t find the S-pen functionality in any competitor on the market, so that feature cannot be dismissed. It’s one of the main reasons I’m opting for a Note 3.

  11. Ok.

    Still, if its battery life doesn’t suck and you don’t insist on having a stylus, Z1 is the best one out of these 3.

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