Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs. Sony Xperia Z1

As we get closer to the holiday shopping season, a slew of high-end smartphones are being launched to grab headlines as well as the attention of the consumers. Two phones that recently entered the market are the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Sony Xperia Z1. With both phones being released at the same time, it is only natural that a comparison shootout be done. So, let’s see what each of these phones has to offer.

Design and Display

In terms of design and display, both these phones are polar opposites of each other. Starting off with the construction of the two phones, the Galaxy Note 3 has been made using polycarbonate plastics where the rear of the phone offers a faux leather feel, whereas on the Xperia Z1, Sony has opted to create their phone using a combination of aluminium and glass, with the body being made from aluminium and the front and back are encased in shatter proof and scratch resistant glass. On top of this, the Xperia Z1 also comes an IP58 rating, which certifies that the device is dust proof and water resistant. For offering a more premium build to the consumer, the Xperia Z1 wins the design department.

The displays of the two phones offer a similar viewing experience with minor differences being the criteria of comparison. The Galaxy Note 3 comes equipped with a 5.7-inch AMOLED display running at a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels, making it a Full HD display. The Xperia Z1, on the other hand, comes with a 5-inch TFT LCD display also running at Full HD resolution of 1080x1920 pixels. Now, although AMOLED displays offer a sharper image than LCDs, it is the Z1 that comes out with a higher ppi count of 441 ppi compared to 386 ppi on the Galaxy Note 3. The higher ppi can be attributed to two features on the Xperia Z1. Firstly, the Z1 comes with a smaller display than the Galaxy Note 3, which has a compression effect on the visuals. Secondly, the Z1 also receives some tech from the TV line of Sony, namely the X-Reality Engine present on certain Sony Bravia televisions. In addition to this, Sony have also gone ahead and fitted the 5-inch Z1 display with Triluminos display. What this tech entails is that videos on the Xperia Z1 will run at nearly the same quality of larger Full HD TVs. On sheer specs alone, the Xperia Z1 also takes the display round. However, it all comes down to personal choice as both displays offer stellar viewing experiences and the decision rests with the consumer as to which is the better display.


The internal hardware that both devices possess is identical to each other. Both the Galaxy Note 3 and the Xperia Z1 are equipped with quad-core Snapdragon 800 processors and an Adreno 330 graphics unit in both phones providing assistance. The Galaxy Note 3 has a slightly higher clock speed of 2.3GHz compared to the 2.2GHz present on the Xperia Z1. The slight difference in clock speed won’t translate into any real world differences in performance and both phones are more than capable of handling anything that is thrown at them. Both devices take a similar approach to the battery provided in the phones. The Samsung comes with a 3200mAh unit while the Sony comes packed with a 3000mAh unit. The slightly larger battery puts the Galaxy Note 3 ahead in terms of lasting more than a day but the Xperia Z1 is just as capable of lasting the same amount of time.

While the grunt of the two devices is identical, it’s a different story when it comes to the memory on both the devices. The Xperia Z1 is available in one variant that offers 16GB internal storage along with 2GB RAM to help things along. The Galaxy Note 3, on the other hand, comes in three variants of 16, 32, and 64 GB internal storage, all of which are accompanied by 3GB RAM. While both devices come standard with expandable microSD slots that can hold up to 64GB, the prospect of having nearly 120GB available makes the Galaxy Note 3 a more attractive device to the power users. In addition to this, the extra gig of RAM that the Note 3 gets will aid in providing a better multitasking experience.



This segment again sees Sony pulling in tech from its other departments, this time imaging, to offer a very attractive package to the on-the-move photographers. Sony has gone ahead and given the Xperia Z1 a massive 20.7 MP image sensor, which also receives Sony’s G lens branding. Samsung’s offering, on the other hand, comes with a 13 MP image sensor, which puts it at par with most flagship smartphones in the market now but well behind the image quality that can be attained by the Xperia Z1. The Xperia Z1 and the Galaxy Note 3 are capable of capturing video at 1080p resolution with the difference being that the Xperia Z1 captures at 30fps while Samsung gets it done at 60fps. Both phones also come standard with 2 MP front cameras that can capture video at 1080p resolution at 30fps as well as an LED flash to light up subjects for the rear camera. So, this segment belongs to both the devices as the Xperia Z1 provides better pictures and the Galaxy Note 3 produces better videos.


In recent months, many manufacturers have been releasing and announcing various companion devices to accompany their devices. Samsung and Sony are no different. Both manufacturers have released smartwatches, the Galaxy Gear and the Sony SmartWatch 2, respectively. In addition to this, Sony has also recently released an attachable lens camera. While Sony has made this device compatible with all smartphones, regardless of manufacturer, it is expected to run the best with Sony’s flagship.

To End It

The constant, rapid pace of technology ensures that the most powerful smartphone today is usurped by a new one in mere months. However, both the Galaxy Note 3 and the Xperia Z1 have been built to last a long time and while a better phone may come along in a matter of months, settling for one of these two behemoths would not be a regretful decision. So, which should you buy? If you like taking good quality pictures and watching HD movies on-the-go then the Xperia Z1 is for you. If you want a better multitasker that is powerful as well then the Galaxy Note 3 is the match for you.

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Nikhil Tamhankar

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