Sony used to be one of the innovators in the mobile industry until Samsung took over the Android smartphones campaign. Ever since, Sony has been struggling to make a mark in the market. Sony’s flagships have always been short of the competition, but Sony realized that quite soon and was one of the first to bring 5inch Full HD displays to the market with their Xperia Z.
The Sony Xperia Z was meant to breathe life into a lineup that was not worth mentioning otherwise and Sony did succeed(relatively) with its Xperia Z. Samsung on the other hand realized that it needed to step into the 6inch + category and hence we have the Galaxy Mega 6.3 that packs relatively lower spec sheet.
Lets check out how the recently released Mega 6.3 competes with Sony’s Xperia Z that was released more than 6 months ago.
Design and Build Quality
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 is reminiscent of any other Samsung Galaxy phone of the recent times and has an all plastic build with a plastic aluminum running across the device. The Sony Xperia Z, on the other hand, has a rectangular industrial design with glass at the back and solid edges. The Xperia Z looks and feels a lot more premium than the Galaxy Mega 6.3. The Xperia Z is also water and dust resistant.
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 is huge when compared to the Xperia Z in all the dimensions – height, width, thickness and weighs 50 grams more.
On the front of the phones, we have the display above which we have the earpiece and front cameras along with ambient and proximity sensors on both the phones. On the Mega 6.3, the front camera is at the right side of the earpiece, while it is on the left side in the Xperia Z.
Below the display, we have a physical home button with capacitive touch keys on either side on the Galaxy Mega while there is nothing on the Xperia Z. Navigation on the Xperia Z is limited to on-screen keys and we find that the on-screen keys take away valuable real estate from the 5inch display. The microphone is located along the bottom edge of the phone.
The positioning of keys and the design language is quite different. The Galaxy Mega follows Samsung’s typical key arrangement with only the power lock key on the right side while the Xperia Z has the power lock key, volume rocker and covered microSIM card slot.
The bottom of Galaxy Mega has the microUSB port and the microphone while there is nothing on the Xperia Z.
On the left side, the Galaxy Mega has just the volume rocker while we have the covered microSD card slot and microUSB charging port on the Xperia Z.
On the top, we have the IR blaster and 3.5mm audio jack along with secondary microphone on the Galaxy Mega while we have a covered 3.5mm audio jack on the Xperia Z.
The Galaxy Mega has plastic keys for power lock and volume rocker, while they get the job done, they look dull when compared to the finely laid out keys on the Xperia Z. The Xperia Z has a very well designed and useful circular power lock key and a thin volume rocker key. All the ports in the Galaxy Mega are open while they are covered with flaps on the Xperia Z, thereby helping its water resistance.
As we move to the back, differences continue to greet us in the form of different places for camera. The 8MP camera on the Galaxy Mega is at the top center along with the LED flash while it is at the top leftish corner on the Xperia Z. Both the cameras have the LED flash below them and there is the secondary on the Xperia Z right next to the camera. The Galaxy Mega has a textured plastic back that makes it prone to finger prints while the equally fingerprint prone Xperia Z has a much better glass back.
The back cover is removable on the Galaxy Mega and removing it, we have the 3050mAh battery along with the microSIM and microSD card slot.
Overall, the Xperia Z has a very good industrial design with glass back and feels premium and solid, however, the rectangular slab like design makes the handling tough. The Galaxy Mega is comparatively huge, hence pocketability is a huge issue and has an all plastic build quality which proves to be light weight and sturdy. Both the designs have their pros and cons and we liked the design of Xperia Z better.
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 has a 6.3inch HD(1280×720 pixels) SC LCD display with a pixel density of 230ppi which is not the best, but gets the job done. The Xperia Z has a 5inch Full HD(1920×1080 pixels) Bravia Engine 2 display with a pixel density of 441ppi. In terms of pixel density, the Xperia Z is way ahead of the Galaxy Mega, however, that is where Xperia Z’s advantage ends. The SC LCD of the Galaxy Mega 6.3 has great viewing angles, good contrast and produces truer colors when compared to the Xperia Z’s display. Xperia Z’s display suffers from poor viewing angles and the whole display has lot of unnecessary whites. Overall, the display on the Galaxy Mega 6.3 is better.
Hardware and Performance
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 is powered by a 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 400 SoC with two Krait cores, has 1.5GB RAM and graphics is taken care by the Adreno 305 GPU while the Xperia Z is powered by a 1.5 GHz QuadCore Snapdragon S4 Pro, has 2GB RAM and Adreno 320 GPU.
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 comes in two variants ( 8GB/16GB variants – we have the 16GB variant) and the Xperia Z has only the 16GB variant. Out of the 16GB, both the phones have around 12GB user accessible memory and have a microSD card slot for expansion.
Out of the 1.5GB RAM in Galaxy Mega 6.3, only 1370MB is usable and when the device is idle, there is 700MB available. On the Xperia Z, out of the 2GB RAM, 1.8GB is usable and when the phone is idle, there is 1.3GB usable RAM.
The faster processor and more RAM give the Xperia Z an upper hand in terms of performance. The Xperia Z is very smooth in UI and opening apps and switching between them is quite fast. Things are equally fast on the Galaxy Mega, especially because of the lower resolution display.
In the benchmarks, the Xperia Z outperforms the Mega 6.3.
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 has a 8MP camera at the back and 1.9MP camera at the front while the Xperia Z has a 13MP EXMOR camera at the back and 2.2MP camera at the front. Both the phones can record 1080p videos at 30fps with stereo sound from the rear camera while only the Xperia Z records 1080p videos from the front camera as well.
The camera UI is different on both the phones. The camera app on the Galaxy Mega 6.3 is borrowed from Samsung’s Galaxy S4, but it does not have all its shooting modes. The camera UI on Xperia Z is typical Sony UI. Both the phones can capture photos while recording videos.
In terms of image clarity, the Xperia Z was slightly better with less noise and more details although the contrast seemed to be better on the Galaxy Mega.
You can check out the video below to get a clear understanding of the image quality of both the phones.
Galaxy Mega 6.3 has the Samsung’s custom TouchWiz UI on top of it while Sony’s Xperia Z has Sony UI. Underneath, the Galaxy Mega runs on a more recent Android 4.2.2 Jellybean while the Xperia Z runs on Android 4.1.2 out of the box, but there is an update to Android 4.2.2 available now. So, both the phones have features like quick toggles in the notification bar, lockscreen widgets and other under the hood optimizations. The Galaxy Mega has a lot of Samsung software goodies like Smart Stay and Multi-window, Samsung’s Beam while the Xperia Z does not come with much software features other than Sony’s Walkman player. Sony’s Xperia Z does come with Sony small apps which can be opened and placed anywhere on the screen – these small apps are small versions of apps like calculator, notes, voice recorder. Only one small app can be opened at a time. In terms of software, the Mega 6.3 holds a small advantage.
Both the phones are quite good for gaming and the Galaxy Mega gaming experience was excellent because of its bigger screen. All the games ran smoothly on both the devices although there were a few occasional glitches, but the gameplay experience was good. The Xperia Z gets heated up on continuous gaming.
Battery and Connectivity
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 has a 3200mAh battery while the Xperia Z has a 2330mAh battery. In terms of battery life, the bigger battery in the Galaxy Mega is definitely better as it has to power a relatively low resolution display and less power hungry chipset.
In terms of connectivity, both the devices are equipped with features like WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, NFC, WiFi Direct, USB OTG and microUSB(MHL) connectivity. The WiFi version in the Galaxy Mega is 801.11 a/b/g/n/ac while it is only 802.11 a/b/g/n. The bluetooth version is 4 in both the devices. The Xperia Z supports HSDPA+ with download speeds unto 42Mbps while the Galaxy Mega supports just HSDPA with download speeds unto 21Mbps.
The Xperia Z was meant to be Sony’s flagship and it did save the company while the Galaxy Mega was Samsung’s try at huge phones. Overall, both the phones are well balanced in terms of features and pricing although Galaxy Mega cannot be defined as a phone alone considering its enormous size.
Advantages of Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 over Sony Xperia Z
- Bigger and better display
- Better battery
- Better software features
- Better gaming and multimedia experience
Advantages of Sony Xperia Z vs Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
- Better build quality – solid and premium
- Water and dust resistance
- Better camera
- Better performance
Contributed by Monish Kumar