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Sony Xperia XZ2 vs Samsung Galaxy S9: This battle has gone too far

28 February 2018 5

The two giants Samsung and Sony announced their latest flagships at this year MWC show. Being the latest flagships both the devices will compete with each other in the market. Both the latest flagships are running on the Qualcomm's latest Octa-core Snapdragon 845 SoCs so the battle in terms of performance is pretty much same. This year Samsung introduced Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus at the MWC with slightly revamped design rather bringing a completely new design. Samsung's focus for this year was to bring the best possible hardware and top-notch camera sensor.

In last year or so the smartphone OEMs pay special attention to camera capabilities of their flagships. Undoubtedly the camera becomes an essential aspect for any flagship to flourish in the market. To retain their number one position in the flagship market, Samsung stepped up their camera game with the Galaxy S9. The company introduced one of its kind cameras for the Galaxy S9 to ensure it takes lead over other flagships in the market.

Sony's latest flagship XZ2 is featuring a stylish design with 2:1 display. Finally, Sony also entered the arena of releasing smartphones with 2:1 display. Samsung refined the design, specs, and camera whereas Sony brought innovative design, powerful hardware, and improved camera. Both the devices are bringing a number of luring features to attract customers. For sure who are looking to grab new flagship smartphone, they will consider both Galaxy S9 and Xperia XZ2. Both the devices will be available in March, the on-time availability of Sony's flagship will certainly provide customers a pretty solid alternative to Galaxy S9.

Like always we put new smartphones in head-to-head comparison to give our readers a pretty good idea about in what aspects Galaxy S9 and Xperia XZ2 excels. So without any further delay, let's start with the design of both the devices.

72 x 153 x 11.1 mm
5.7 inches - 2160x1080 px
68.7 x 147.7 x 8.5 mm
5.8 inches - 2960x1440 px
Go to comparison page
Design

Ahead of the Xperia XZ2 announcement, We heard a number of times that Sony could revamp their OmniBalance design and the good thing is finally Sony updated their old brick design with a more stylish metal-glass clad design. It's a welcome change from the Sony which was criticized for retaining the blocky design when OEMs are shifting to glass and metal bezel-less design. The Xperia XZ2 chassis is made up of metal with glass covering the front and rear. The device glass is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

Although Sony brought a taller 2:1 display but they are yet not ready to completely reduce the bezels. The bezels are significantly reduced from the predecessor, the rear side is slightly curved which makes it as an easy device to grasp with a single hand. The rear side of XZ2 is adorned with single circular camera module with fingerprint scanner below it. The fingerprint scanner is significantly lower than the camera module which makes it easy to access without smudging the camera sensor. The volume and power buttons are on the right edge. The front-facing side lacks any physical button.

As I mentioned above the Samsung Galaxy S9 isn't a completely revamped phone instead it shares aesthetics with the last year Galaxy S8. The Galaxy S9 features glass and metal sandwich design, it is still one of the best-looking smartphones. On the front you will get a full front-facing display without any physical button. The rear side has single camera module with fingerprint scanner right below it. One of the prominent difference in this year Galaxy S9 is the placement of fingerprint scanner below the camera module instead right next to it.

The Galaxy S9 volume controllers are on the left edge whereas the power button is on the right side. The Galaxy S9 and Xperia XZ2 are IP68 certified devices which means they can resist water up to 1.5 meters deep for 30 minutes. Samsung retains traditional 3.5mm headphone jack for the Galaxy S9 but that's not the case with the Xperia XZ2.

Display

Both the companies adopted the latest trend of bringing taller displays. The Xperia XZ2 is the Sony's first smartphone with 2:1 display whereas Samsung adopted this trend last year with the Galaxy S8. Samsung once brought dual curved Super AMOLED display whereas Sony relied on their Bravia's LCD panel.

The Galaxy S9 sports a 5.8-inches display whereas the display panel on XZ2 is 5.7-inches. The display aspect ratio of Galaxy S9 is 18.5:9 whereas the XZ2 display aspect ratio is 18:9. Sony XZ2 has significant bezels on top and bottom of the display whereas S9's display has minimal bezels which give it more pleasant and stylish looks.

In terms of resolution, the Galaxy S9 has Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels whereas the XZ2 has a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The Galaxy S9's display is sharper, brighter and saturation level is also pretty good. It's important to mention that by default the Galaxy S9's resolution is Full HD+ to save battery life.

Hardware

Under the hood, both the devices have the top of the line hardware. The Galaxy S9's US variant comes with Snapdragon 845 SoC whereas the rest of the world will get Exynos 9810 SoC powered variant. The Exynos chipset performs slightly better than the Snapdragon SoC. Sony Xperia XZ2 is also powered up by the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 SoC.

Both the devices Octa-core chipsets are accompanied with 4GB RAM and built-in native storage is 64GB. The storage is further expandable using MicroSD card. In terms of performance both the devices are equally good to handle your daily tasks as well as HIFI gaming tasks.

Specs Galaxy S9 Xperia XZ2
Display 5.8-inches 5.7-inches
Screen resolution 1440 x 2960 pixels 1080 x 2160 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 845/ Exynos 9810 Snapdragon 845
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 64GB Expandable via MicroSD 64GB Expandable via MicroSD
Rear camera 12MP 19MP
Front camera 8MP 5MP
USB Type-C Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack Yes No
Battery 3,000mAh 2,870mAh
IP68 Yes Yes

Software

As OS both Xperia XZ2 and Galaxy S9 are pre-installed with Android Oreo 8.0 straight out of the box with different custom UI layers over the stock OS. The Galaxy S9's custom UI layer is slightly thick over the stock OS. The UI experience on both the devices is quite different. Both the companies brought different custom UI for their flagships, it is customer's own preference whether they like XZ2's custom UI or the Galaxy S9's UI. One thing is confirmed the UI on both the devices is quite slick and works smoothly without any lag.

With the S9, Samsung brought AR Emoji feature which turns your selfie into an Emoji which can be sent to others as GIF. Sony also brought a 3D model feature which scans user face to create the model.

Camera

Both the devices feature powerful camera sensors to be amongst the best in the market. The Galaxy S9 is featuring one of its kind camera sensor of 12MP with a variable aperture between f/1.5 to f/2.4. In low-light conditions, the camera adjusts aperture to f/1.5 whereas in daylight conditions the aperture shifts to f/2.4. You don't need to do it manually instead it shifts automatically. Samsung flagship smartphones cameras are undoubtedly rated as the best in class and from last few years Samsung Galaxy S series devices are packed with excellent camera sensors but in the last couple of years, Google takes lead over Samsung due to their software support for Pixel smartphones.

On the other hand, Sony cameras despite having higher megapixels were not as good as their competitors, however, with the Xperia XZ2, Sony paid attention to camera modules. The XZ2 is packed with a 19MP rear snapper with an ISO 12,800 sensitivity, apart from it the device also features custom image signal processor to provide better processing of images in real time.

Both the devices support 4K video recording and also slow-motion Full HD video recording at 960 frames per second. The devices are pretty good at capturing videos, these features will surely attract those who use their smartphones to capture videos more often. Sony also hints to bring the better camera incoming smartphone with better capability to capture in low-light conditions but that isn't coming to Xperia XZ2.

Price

As far as prices are a concern both the devices fall in premium flagship category so you will have to spend a hefty amount to grab any one of this smartphone. As expected the Xperia XZ2 is slightly cheaper than the Samsung's Galaxy S9. The XZ2 will be available for £699 in the UK. The pricing for the US and other regions is still not confirmed but we can expect it to be around $700 for the US customers.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S9 can be grabbed for £739 in the UK, the device cost $719 in the US. At current currency exchange rate it will available for around AU$1300 in Australia. The Galaxy S9 up for pre-orders in most of the regions with a release from mid- March whereas Sony stated the XZ2 will be available in March, the exact release date is still in dark.

Battery

Both the devices are featuring somewhat similar battery cell. The Galaxy S9 is running on a 3,000mAH battery cell same like its predecessor whereas the XZ2 lights are kept on by a 3,180mAh battery. Both the devices are featuring a number of techs to ensure better battery life and the good thing is both supports Qi Wireless charging. For charging both have USB-C port which quickly recharges the device in less than 100 minutes.

Conclusion

The Galaxy S series is known for bringing the top of the line hardware with the refined build quality and overall experience from Samsung. The latest Galaxy S9 isn't a brand new smartphone instead the company refined the predecessor device with a number of new features to makes it a worthy upgrade. Fortunately this year Sony also stepped up their game by releasing refined XZ2 flagship which is not only powerful but also overall experience is pretty good to wow buyers.

Sony could reduce price tag slightly further to attract buyers looking for a new flagship alternative to Samsung Galaxy S9. Both the devices will be available in March, this certainly is a good news for those looking to grab new smartphone pretty soon. In the end, we would like to hear our readers thoughts in the comments section below regarding the latest flagships from Sony and Samsung. Feel free to share your views with other fellow readers. Stay tuned for more comparisons in coming days.

(last update 19 December 2018 @ 06:19)

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