With Samsung currently on top of the smartphone world with its Galaxy S8 flagship, it’s hard to discount the kind of flagships that are available in the market today. While LG has a flagship of its own, which we’ve discussed at great lengths, there’s a silent competitor in the form of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. We’ll talk about this Sony offering today, which has all the potential to make it big internationally provided Sony announces it in all markets. The handset comes with a powerful 4K resolution display, which is perhaps one of the biggest highlights of the smartphone. But it’s not a one-trick pony, as you’ll find out throughout this article. Be sure to read on so as to get a better understanding of the device, and to ascertain how it fares against devices like the Galaxy S8 and other flagships in the market.
|Samsung||Samsung Galaxy S8 - Dual Sim||622.01|
|Sony||Sony Xperia XZ Premium||534.12|
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium, as we’ve discussed already, comes with a fairly attractive hardware specs sheet under the hood. Prominent among the features is the presence of a 5.46-inch 3840 x 2160 resolution display, which we know as UHD or 4K resolution. This might be overkill for a 5.5-inch smartphone, but the kind of colors it produces is second to none. It’s a fantastic mobile display as we’ve seen with the Xperia Z5 Premium which was launched in late-2015. If the predecessor is any indication, we don’t expect the handset to have great viewing angles or sunlight visibility, but its color reproduction should be fairly decent.
As for the Galaxy S8, it comes with a pretty impressive display of its own. Known as the “Infinity Display”, the handset offers a truly immersive experience for the customers with its dual curved edge display. To make things better, there’s no bottom bezel on this Samsung flagship, allowing the company to use more space for the display panel. The fingerprint scanner has been placed on the back this time, which has done wonders for the frontal design of the flagship. The handset houses a massive 5.8-inch display on the front, thanks to the cut-down bezels. The resolution is a more reasonable 2560 x 1440, otherwise known as Quad HD. The fact that Samsung uses Super AMOLED displays on its flagships is always a big plus as it allows customers to get the best experience and proper sunlight visibility.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a highly rated camera on board, as reviewed by experts. The handset currently stands at third place in DxOMark’s camera ratings, with the device scoring 88 points, just two points shy of the newly launched HTC U11. The company is using a 12-megapixel f/1.7 sensor here, with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) on board. This should be sufficient to offer pretty decent images from the rear camera. The front has an 8-megapixel f/1.7 sensor which lets a lot of light in the pictures, ultimately leading to amazing selfies. Samsung has put in a lot of work into this particular front camera, which is understandable given how selfie-driven the market has become. Overall, the Galaxy S8 is a solid performer in the camera department.
The Xperia XZ Premium uses a slightly larger 19-megapixel sensor (f/2.0) with EIS or Electronic Image Stabilization, which does all the work without requiring a full-blown OIS sensor on board. The camera also comes with laser autofocus on board, a term which was popularized by LG a couple of years ago. In the selfie department, the Xperia XZ Premium comes with a 13-megapixel f/2.0 sensor, which is comparable to some of the selfie monsters that we’ve seen from China. Although its performance is yet to be truly tested, the handset no doubt has a decent set of cameras on board.
The Xperia XZ Premium packs the octa-core Snapdragon 835 chipset under the hood, which is considered to be the gold standard among mobile SoCs today. It’s packing four Kryo cores of 2.45 GHz and four Kryo cores of 1.9 GHz, offering optimum performance for both moderate and heavy usage. The Adreno 540 GPU handles the graphics on the device, which, again is a big plus. There’s 4GB of RAM on board as well, which should be enough to get most things done without skipping a beat. Taking these factors into account, the Xperia XZ Premium is a pretty power packed offering.
The Galaxy S8 features the same CPU/GPU combination as the Xperia XZ Premium, but surprisingly, is the only Snapdragon 835 equipped smartphone available in the market today. That’s mainly because Samsung partnered with Qualcomm for the development of the chip, and has hence acquired short term exclusivity over the chipset. So until June or July, this will probably be the only Snapdragon 835 equipped smartphone available in the market. Talking about the RAM, well, the Galaxy S8 is no different from the Sony offering in this area either. It comes with a decent 4GB of RAM, which should be enough to do menial or heavy duty tasks on your smartphone. This capacity is said to be perfect for smartphone performance given that this is the right amount of RAM that a device can handle.
Samsung is using a pretty conventional 3,000 mAh battery with the Galaxy S8. While this is not the most by any standards, it’s plenty to keep your device juiced up for a day. Given the fact that Samsung offers a bundle of battery saving features with the Galaxy S8, the handset is a pretty decent acquisition. The battery backup will ultimately depend on the way you use your smartphone. If you are a moderate user who doesn’t often look at your phone, then you will probably eke out more than a day on full charge. On the other hand, if you’re a heavy duty user, you might be forced to use your charger two or three times on the Galaxy S8.
The Xperia XZ Premium is slightly better here, as it comes with a 3,230 mAh battery on board. While this won’t get a lot more done, it will surely look good on paper. However, considering the fact that the phone comes with a 4K resolution display, we don’t think you should expect a lot of battery on a full charge. That being said, Sony is bound to have a few software features to enhance the battery backup of your smartphone, so we’re quite optimistic.
Both phones come with IP68 certified water/dust resistance on board, and are pretty capable underwater as well. Bear in mind, however, that the companies probably won’t cover water damages under warranty. So you probably shouldn’t take it to deep sea diving with you. But the two handsets should comfortably survive a dunk in the kitchen sink, rains or even a swim in the pool, so it’s more durable than one would think. This feature is turning out to be a prerequisite with modern day flagships, which is a pretty good trend.
Moving on, both the Galaxy S8 and the Xperia XZ Premium come with 64GB of onboard storage, which can further be expanded with the help of a microSD card. You can add cards of up to 256GB, which means you can effectively have nearly 300GB of storage with both smartphones.
Further, both phones are finally making the big transition to USB Type-C. However, both Samsung and Sony aren’t yet prepared to do away with the 3.5mm headphone jack as of yet, and with good reason. This means the customers will be able to use conventional 3.5mm headphones with the two handsets.
The Galaxy S8, much like its predecessors, comes with support for Samsung Pay, which is a revolutionary wireless payments system. Lastly, the Galaxy S8 comes with Android 7.0 Nougat by default whereas the Xperia Z5 Premium will come bundled with Android 7.1.
While both phones look like absolute monsters on paper, there are a handful of differences in terms of performance. We peg the Galaxy S8 a bit higher on this comparison as it comes with features and upgrades that are more in sync with the customers today. While Sony has managed to cram in a lot of features with its new flagship, it seems like the Galaxy S8 is more balanced with regards to both software and hardware. Not to mention the fact that it’s already available in the markets. If you were ever on the fence to buy the Galaxy S8, there’s no time like right now to get it.