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Our Verdict

There’s little in it between the iPhone 5s and Sony Xperia Z2 since both have top-end hardware and performance. The question is really do you want a small smartphone with iOS and a fingerprint scanner or a big waterproof one with Android? Yes, my verdict is a question.

The smartphone market is one of the most hotly contested in technology so it can be difficult to know which device to invest your money in. Here we compare Apple’s flagship  iPhone 5s with the new Sony Xperia Z2. (And now there’s an Xperia Z3 on the way, so keep that in mind before you buy.)

See also: 21 best smartphones: The best phone you can buy in 2014.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5s review: Price

Although Sony’s official price for the Xperia Z2 is £499, it can be purchased for less elsewhere. Most retailers have it listed at £540-550 placing it at the same level as the iPhone 5s which costs £549 for the cheapest model.

It’s worth pointing out that there is only one model of the Xperia Z2 while Apple’s smartphone is available in difference capacities – see the storage section for a closer look.

With pricing looking pretty well matched, read on to find out how the iPhone 5s and Xperia Z2 differ.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5s review: Design

Little and large is a good way of describing the difference between the iPhone 5s and Xperia Z2 in terms of design. The iPhone is still much smaller than Android flagship devices with its 4in screen.

Both handsets use a combination of aluminium and glass, with each offering a premium feel. A key difference is that with Sony, you get dust- and waterproof capabilities so is more suited to the outdoors type of user or if you want to take photos underwater.

The Xperia Z2 is on the unwieldy side of things and it weighs a lot at 163g; the iPhone 5s weighs just 112g in comparison. The iPhone 5s is smaller and lighter, but it’s more delicate than the Xperia Z2 and will need a case if you want to keep its original looks.

Colour options are important so the Xperia Z2 comes in black, white and purple while the iPhone 5s is available in space grey, silver and gold.

See also: Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 comparison review: Android flagship are closely matched.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5s review: Screen

The significant size difference between these two smartphones is due to their screens. The iPhone 5s has a 4in screen and the Xperia Z2 has a 5.2in alternative.

There are pros and cons to each so while the iPhone’s display is easy to use one-handed, the extra real-estate of the Xperia Z2 makes tasks like browsing the web and watching video easier and better. If neither of these sounds right for you, look for a device with a screen around 4.5in.

With a Full HD panel, the Xperia Z2 offers a higher resolution and pixel density to that of the iPhone 5s. The iPhone is no slough though and with a smaller screen, the resolution doesn’t need to be as high – its pixel density is still lower at 326ppi against 424ppi.

It sounds like a big difference but both screens are high-end so it’s more important to pick the size which will suit you better.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5s review: Processor and performance

The iPhone 5s was the first smartphone to be equipped with a 64-bit processor and while Android phones are still waiting for the technology, the Xperia Z2 has a competent Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 under the bonnet.

Apple has one up on its rival thanks to the low-power M7 motion coprocessor which can count your steps, showing your performance with the Fitbit app.

We can look at clock speeds and amount of cores all day but let’s face it both these devices offer top-end performance.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5s review: Storage

As we mentioned earlier, the Xperia Z2 only comes in a single storage capacity, a very standard 16GB. The iPhone 5s also starts at this amount but you can buy 32- or 64GB models if you’re willing to spend more.

Sony’s counter attack in this area is a microSD card slot which can accept up to 64GB cards. This means it has the potential to have more space than the largest iPhone and at a lower expenditure. Apple has never decided to offer expandable storage.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5s review: Unique features

With similar hardware hardware and performance on offer across the market, unique features are becoming more important to distinguish smartphones from rivals. The iPhone 5s’ unique feature is its Touch ID fingerprint scanner which means you can unlock the device without inputting a passcode. It’s embedded in the home button which is pretty cool.

In this comparison, the Xperia Z2 has its waterproof design and it also has stereo speakers (one driver at each end of the phone). Furthermore, it comes with noise-cancelling headphones (MDR-NC31EM) which are worth around £40.

You may also find the Xperia Z2’s built-in NFC chip useful which the iPhone 5s does not offer.

Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5s review: Cameras

Sony hasn’t changed the camera in the Xperia Z2 compared to its predecessor so it keeps the 20.7Mp camera with Sony’s Exmor RS sensor. We like the fact there is a dedicated camera button since you’ll have to use the volume buttons on the iPhone 5s to take snaps if you want to avoid using the screen.

The camera is a force to be reckoned with and even though the iPhone is rated at 8Mp, its large pixels, backside illuminated sensor and dual-tone flash make for great photos and videos in different conditions.

For videos, both smartphones can shoot in slow motion and offer an HDR shooting mode for videos and stills. The Xperia Z2 has one up on the iPhone 5s because it can record (and output) video in 4k resolution (2160p).

Sony Xperia Z2 vs iPhone 5s review: Software

Android and iOS is a big difference between these two and whether you’re already invested in one platform could help make your decision between them a lot easier.

We’ve reached a point where Android and iOS are the best and most popular mobile operating systems available – though you may well prefer Windows Phone, in which case don’t buy either of these.

Apple’s iOS 7 is a big change from the previous version with a flatter, more colourful look with better multi-tasking. Like Android, there’s a drop down notification bar and the Control Center gives access to settings like screen brightness, Wi-Fi and music playback. The App Store is excellent with developers putting high priority on the platform and the apps are both plentiful and generally high quality.

The Xperia Z2 comes pre-loaded with the latest version of Android, 4.4.2 KitKat and Sony’s user interface still looks much the same as is it has done in the past. It’s stylish, easy to use and comes with a good amount of decent wallpapers, widgets and the like. There’s certainly nothing majorly wrong with it but there’s arguably a lack of extra features – Sony keeps things simpler than HTC, Samsung and LG.

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Ipad Air Vs Xperia Z2 Tablet Comparison Review

Pros

Cons

Our Verdict

Ultimately it is a matter of personal preference. Both these tablets stand head and shoulders above the rest of the 10in tablet world. They are thin and light, well made, designed and built. They offer great displays and excellent performance, decent cameras and so on. and they are priced the same. The main difference is that the iPad Air runs iOS7 and the Xperia Z2 Tablet runs Google’s Android OS. Both have their supporters – which one are you?

The iPad no longer has the tablet market to itself. As 7in Androids such as the  Nexus 7 and  Tesco Hudl offer cheaper but acceptable alternatives to the iPad mini, market share declines even as tablet sales go up. But the iPad Air remains the king of the 10in tablet in the premium space… until now. Sony’s Xperia Z2 Tablet changes things.

This is a premium tablet priced to match the iPad Air. And it doesn’t look out of place in such rarified company. the Xperia Z2 Tablet is thinner and lighter than the iPad Air, appears to be a better performer, and is waterproof and dustproof. So should you choose the Xperia Z2 Tablet over the iPad Air? Read our iPad Air vs Xperia Z2 Tablet comparison to find out.

For more on both read our individual reviews: Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: slim, light, powerful Android tablet is best iPad Air alternative and iPad Air review – latest iPad is great, but is the iPad still the best tablet? For a wider view of the tablet market, read: best tablets of 2014.

iPad Air vs Xperia Z2 Tablet comparison: UK price

The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet and the iPad Air both retail with a starting price of £399 for the 16GB WiFi-only model. In the case of the Xperia Z2 Tablet this scales up to £449 for the 32GB WiFi only model, and £499 for the 16GB LTE model. There’s no 32GB tablet with cellular connectivity, or anything with bigger storage.

The 32GB Wi-Fi iPad Air costs £30 more at £479. The 16GB LTE Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet costs the same as Apple’s equivalent iPad. Apple does offer a 32GB cellular model, at £579. Other options include 64GB and 128GB Wi-Fi only- and cellular iPad Airs. These range from £559 for the 64GB Wi-Fi iPad, up to £739 for a 128GB Wi-Fi and cellular iPad Air.

So there is more variety in the iPad Air range, but if you want a 32GB Wi-Fi-only tablet the Xperia Z2 Tablet is cheaper. One other thing to consider: a quick online search suggests that if you shop around you can get the Xperia Z2 Tablet cheaper than you can the iPad Air. But it’s marginal. Price is not a key differential when considering whether to buy the iPad air or Xperia Z2 Tablet. (See also: best Android tablets of 2014.)

iPad Air vs Xperia Z2 Tablet comparison: build quality, design

Let’s look at the Sony, first. Straight out of the box we are smitten by the Xperia Z2 Tablet. It is the thinnest and lightest 10in tablet you can buy – noticably thinner and lighter than the iPad Air, which is itself famously easy to hold and carry. The Wi-Fi Xperia Z2 Tablet weighs just 426g – or 439g if you opt for the LTE version.

It’s exceptionally thin, too, at just 6.4mm. Again, that’s thinner than the iPad Air (and any other 7in or 10in tablet you can name).

And it matters, not just for reasons of tablet oneupmanship. Holding the Xperia Z2 Tablet feels great, despite the large, 10.1in display, and for lengthy periods of time in standing, sitting and lying positions. Previously we have preferred 7in tablets such as the Nexus 7 or iPad mini, simply because the bigger tablets feel to bulky to hold when watching movies or reading books. But you could spend hours using the Xperia Z2 Tablet without wrist-strain, even when reading in bed. That’s a big win.

It doesn’t, of course, solve the problem of having to carry your 10in tab in a bag where a Kindle-sized 7-incher can slip into a coat pocket – but the trade off of larger screen to weight and bulk feels like a deal worth making with the Xperia Z2.

And you can just sling this tablet into a bag, too. The Xperia Z2 Tablet is waterproof and dust resistant. It’s built to last and feels so, constructed principally of metal and glass, but with a rubbery outer coat around the back and on the corners. That rear cover provides grip but does get grubby with fingerprints, though.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and your views may differ, but we think the Xperia 2 Tablet is a good-looking device, too. It’s a simple, stylish device. A slice of black or white tech sharing the same rounded corners and metal frame as the Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone but – to our eyes at least – looking somewhat smarter for larger scale. Our complaint is functional rather than stylistic, in that the bezel is a little larger than we would like. We presume that this is a trade-off in return for the incredible thinness (not a phrase ever used about your author). (See also: 10 best tablets for children.)

It’s available in black or white. We tested – and prefer – the black Xperia Tablet Z2.

The iPad Air is primarily a portrait-mode tablet in 3:4 aspect ratio, yet one that works well on its side in landscape. Contrast this with successive Google Android tablets that take a 16:9 widescreen, a shape that’s better for video but when used for reading webpages or ebooks in portrait you get an overly tall narrow window.

When we first tried the new iPad Air we though it quite widescreen in appearance, not unlike a 16:9 device. The proportions didn’t look right any more – by slimming the edges but not the sides, the tablet looked too tall, not so aesthetically ‘right’.

Foremost, the iPad Air is about lightness. We tried a 128GB iPad with 4G modem and on the scales this – the heaviest possible version of the iPad Air – does weigh just 478g, and is only 7.5mm thick. If you’ve used any previous full-size iPad, you’ll notice immediately the transformation from that circa-650g weight. But pick up the Xperia Z2 Tablet and you’ll notice further lightness.

In general handling, the iPad Air is very light none the less. Yet we found the shape and feel much less tactile than the shape of the iPad 2, 3 and 4, with their gently curved radiuses at the rear and smooth snag-free edges around the front. The iPad Air has harder, less well finished edges which may add more purchase to the fingers but make it less satisfying to handle.

You will decide which you prefer to look at based on subjective critera. But we prefer the Sony based on comfort when holding it, and it is dust- and waterproof. (See also: 10 best budget tablets of 2014.)

iPad Air vs Xperia Z2 Tablet comparison: display

The design of both of these tablets is of course built around a 10in display. It’s the bit you’ll be looking at, so let’s take a closer look right now.

The Xperia Z2 Tablet in fact sports a full HD 10.1in display. This packs a whopping 1920×1200-pixel resolution, giving it a pixel density of 224ppi. That’s up there with some pretty decent smartphones, but not quite as sharp as the market-leading iPad Air. It’s an IPS display and the aspect ratio is 16:10, so viewing angles are good but there is a little screen space under utilised when watching movies.

Sony tells us that the Xperia Z2’s display has been given a colour boost thanks to TRILUMINOS and Live Colour LED – designed to increase the colour accuracy, depth and gradation. Which is nice.

Of course, all that is so much window dressing. What matters is that we found the Xperia Z2 Tablet’s display to be simply stunning. It displays crisp, vivid colours. Watching TV and movies is great. Photos are faithfully reproduced with great clarity but not too much colour as you sometimes find with OLED displays on smartphones. And text documents are sharp, even when you zoom in.

The Xperia Z2 Tablet’s touchscreen responsive in use, bar the almost imperceptible lag that is found on all Android devices when compared directly with their iOS equivalents. And from our initial roughhouse tests at least it seems reasonably immune to scratching. Our only complaint was that the display was all but impossible to see in natural daylight.

The iPad Air is primarily a portrait-mode tablet in 3:4 aspect ratio, yet one that works well on its side in landscape. When we first tried the new iPad Air we thought it quite widescreen in appearance, not unlike a 16:9 device. The proportions didn’t look right any more – by slimming the edges but not the sides, the tablet looked too tall, not so aesthetically ‘right’.

The iPad Air screen is in essence unchanged since the first iPad with Retina display – a 9.7in capacitive touchscreen using IPS technology which delivers rich, faithful colours and clear viewing from any angle.

Strictly speaking it is a 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit MultiTouch display. And that IPS display is blessed with fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.

That 2048×1536 resolution makes for a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch (ppi). You may find the odd tablet that is sharper, and certainly a few smartphones, but when you look at the iPad Air’s display you see only a vibrant and sharp display. And it is sharper than the Xperia Z2 Tablet’s screen, although both displays show even detailed text in fine detail.

We’re going to call this a draw. The iPad is sharper but smaller, and we prefer the aspect ratio of the Sony tablet. But both are great displays.

iPad Air vs Xperia Z2 Tablet comparison: specification, performance

As you would expect at the premium end of the market the Xperia Z2 Tablet is blessed with a strong specification. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz – the same chip as the superfast Xperia Z2 smartphone. This is a Krait 400 CPU with which you get Adreno 320 graphics. It’s paired with 3GB RAM.

Other key specs include a massive 6000mAh battery, and a MicroSD slot so you can add up to 64GB of storage. Our 16GB model had 11.2GB available to use out of the box.

It all adds up to a beast of a tablet. Despite the thin and light shell the Xperia Z2 Tablet is a snappy performer. We’ll get into synthetic benchmarks in a moment, but the most important thing to say is that you will find the Z2 Tablet fast and responsive. As fast and responsive as any Android device we have used, even when placed under load.

Benchmarks are fun because they give you an idea of where a tablet or smartphone ranks against its rival, but take them with a pinch of salt. They are synthetic test designed to give you a number, not hard-and-fast rankings. None the less, the Xperia Z2 Tablet’s benchmark performance backs up our subjective experience of a superfast tablet – mostly.

The exception was the SunSpider Javascript test from which we got a decent but not amazing average score of 1099ms. Lower is better in this test which measures your browser’s ability to handle Javascript, and the iPad Air blitzes the Xperia Z2 Tablet with a score a little faster than 400ms. We have to say that we found web browsing on the Xperia Z2 tablet a joyous experience, and only occasionally laggy. But this is one to chalk up to the iPad.

We ran a GFXBench test to benchmark graphics performance. In the T-Rex (onscreen) test we got our best ever tablet result of 1,530 frames at 27fps (averaged over three runs). The Xperia Z2 Tablet will chew up and spit out even the most demanding Android games, and beats out the iPad Air which averaged 1,187 and 21fps.

And then there is GeekBench 3. This is a somewhat controversial all-round benchmark as some Android manufacturers have been accused of designing their devices to perform abnormally well in this test. (Allegations they almost all deny, by the way.) So make of this what you will, but the Xperia Z2 Tablet smashed GeekBench 3 to bits in our tests. It returned an average single-core result of 967, a more important multi-core score of 2719. That’s the fastest multi-core result we’ve ever got from a 10in tablet, comparing well with the iPad Air’s 2703 points in multi-core mode; and 1487 points for a single core.

All you can really take from this is the fact that the Xperia Z2 Tablet is a fast and responsive tablet. It really is. But then so is the iPad Air as can be seen by those excellent synthetic benchmark results. It runs an A7 processor clocked at 1.39GHz, paired with 1GB RAM.

We’re a little troubled by the sometimes unsmooth interface. This is a general criticism of iOS 7 but one we didn’t expect to see on the latest iPad with bestest-yet graphics processor.

Most apparent with app zooming, when you open or close an app and return to the home screen, we saw jittery animations. It’s not always apparent, and we suspect many people will probably not notice, let alone be troubled by it. Elsewhere in text scrolling and pinch-to-zoom actions there were no such issues, as free and fluid as ever.

If you trust benchmarks you will say the Xperia Z2 Tablet is the faster performer in most but not all respects. If not, we are happy to report that both the iPad Air and the Xperia Z2 Tablet are at the pinnacle of tablet performance. Both are great in use with only occasional lag.

iPad Air vs Xperia Z2 Tablet comparison: camera

Both also have pretty good cameras, particularly for tablets. Pick up the Xperia Z2 Tablet and you’ll find an 8.1Mp camera around the back. This has autofocus and captures 3264 x 2448 pixel images which look good on the Xperia Z2 Tablet’s display. Additional features include Exmor RS for mobile, which is designed to help users take good-looking shots in any light, as well as geo-tagging, touch focus, face- and smile detection, HDR and a panorama. The rear-facing camera captures 1080p video at 30fps.

Up front there is a 2Mp webcam for selfies and video chat.

The iPad Air has a rear-facing 5Mp iSight camera, with f2.4 aperture. On the front is a 1.2Mp HD webcam. The former takes full-HD video. The front-facing camera is a 720p video camera for FaceTime and Skype. We found night-time Skype calls were more clearly lit than before.

You won’t be buying the iPad Air or the Xperia Z2 Tablet as your main camera. But if you take photos and video with your tablet you won’t be disappointed. Both are solid performers in this respect, no better than they ought to be. You can find more detail in our individual Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: slim, light, powerful Android tablet is best iPad Air alternative and iPad Air review – latest iPad is great, but is the iPad still the best tablet? articles.

iPad Air vs Xperia Z2 Tablet comparison: software

This is the classic iOS vs Android battle: in this case iOS7 for the iPad Air vs Android KitKat for the Xperia Z2 Tablet.

Sony’s Xperia Z2 Tablet runs Android 4.4 KitKat, with relatively little customisation. It does have Sony’s user interface over the top of vanilla Android. It’s a stylish customisation that thankfully doesn’t take over the OS in the way that Samsung’s and HTC’s do.

KitKat is Google’s best ever tablet OS. Feature rich, easy to use and good to look at. It offers full access to the Google Play app- and media stores, as well as Sony’s own stores and apps.

You can simply mount the Xperia Z2 Tablet as external storage on your PC, but Sony also provides software to make pairing and synching a little easier.

Flip over to the iPad Air and iOS looks fresh and modern, with features that help keep it on a par with (if not ahead of) Android.

However, iOS 7 still lacks customisation, so anyone hoping for Android-style widgets, or merely the ability to change the default keyboard, will be disappointed.

Apple’s walled-garden approach hasn’t changed, and that’s largely a good thing. You can’t install apps except through the App Store, which means tight security and less piracy.

It’s interesting that Microsoft ditched transparency in Windows 8, since this is a major part of iOS 7. Apple says it helps to orient you, and we can’t help but agree. Overall, iOS 7 is a success.

So should you choose it and the iPad Air rather than the Android-toting Xperia Z2 Tablet? It really is impossible to say. Both are stable and fast, feature-rich operating systems.

You can argue the toss over which offers access to the most tablet-specific apps (it’s iOS), but it is unlikely you will find any major apps missing in either. And although the iTunes media stores are brilliantly easy to use and stocked with the latest tablets, Android offers you access to multiple stores so you can shop around for the best deal.

iPad Air vs Xperia Z2 Tablet comparison:  battery life

We haven’t yet had time to properly test the Xperia Z2 Tablet’s battery life and will update this review when we do. Our early experience of using the Z2 Tablet suggest that it won’t be a problem, despite the killer power specs. That 6000mAh battery cell should help. And, according to the company, there’s also the Battery STAMINA mode, designed to prolong battery life. We’ll test it and get back to you.

But the Xperia Z2 Tablet is unlikely to beat out the iPad Air. Battery life here is exemplary, with Apple assuring around 10 hours continuous use, while we found that occasional but steady use meant it could last the best part of a week between charges.

With the caveat that it may change, for now we give the battery life nod to the iPad Air.

iPad Air vs Xperia Z2 Tablet comparison: which should you buy?

Ultimately it is a matter of personal preference. Both these tablets stand head and shoulders above the rest of the 10in tablet world. They are thin and light, well made, designed and built. They offer great displays and excellent performance, decent cameras and so on. and they are priced the same. The main difference is that the iPad Air runs iOS7 and the Xperia Z2 Tablet runs Google’s Android OS. Both have their supporters – which one are you? Find out more about which tablet to buy in our

Specs Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet: Specs

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 – SGP541, SGP521, SGP551

LTE 700/800/850/900/1700/1800/1900/2100/2600 – SGP521

LTE 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2600 – SGP551

Micro-SIM

266 x 172 x 6.4 mm

439 g

TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours, 1200 x 1920 pixels, 10.1 inches (~224 ppi pixel density), Multitouch

stereo speakers

3.5mm jack

microSD, up to 64 GB

16 GB

3 GB RAM

GPRS

EDGE

HSDPA, 42 Mbps

HSUPA, 5.8 Mbps

LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot

Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP

NFC

microUSB v2.0 (MHL 3)

8.1 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, 1080p@30fps, HDR

2.2 MP, 1080p@30fps

Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat)

Qualcomm MSM8974AB Snapdragon 801, Adreno 330

FM radio with RDS

GPS

Non-removable Li-Po 6000 mAh battery

Sony Xperia Z3 Vs Sony Xperia Z3+ Comparison: What’s The Difference?

Our Verdict

The Z3+ is a faster version of an already very fast smartphone, and few users would complain that the Z3 is slow. However, the processor change brings it up to speed with its 2024 smartphone rivals, and we appreciate the extra storage space as standard (and Sony has managed it without removing the microSD card slot). The other improvements are nice, but unless you’re a Sony enthusiast there’s little here to warrant the expense of an upgrade from the Xperia Z3. In fact, we still highly rate the Z3 Compact – a smaller version of Sony’s Z3 with a much more attractive price of £280 (Amazon), and that could well be half the asking price of the Z3+.

Sony has unveiled its Z3+, the UK version of the Sony Xperia Z4 that was last month announced in Japan and successor to the Sony Xperia Z3. We explain what’s new in the Sony Xperia Z3+ in our Z3 vs Z3+ comparison review.

In this article we are focusing on the key specifications of each Sony phone. For more in-depth information see our full Sony Xperia Z3 review and our hands-on Sony Xperia Z3+ review.

Note that the Sony Xperia Z4 is sold only in Japan. It’s the same as the Z3+ mentioned here, but comes with DTV (Digital TV) and FeliCa (a contactless RFID smart card system)

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Price and UK availability

The Sony Xperia Z3 has a £549 RRP, but it’ll cost you just £360 SIM-free at Amazon. At £549 it was £50 cheaper than the Sony Xperia Z2 that launched in March 2014, which kept it in line with its Samsung and HTC rivals and made sense given its minor improvements over its predecessor.

Sony was rumoured to be putting an end to its biannual smartphone refreshes and when no Z4 appeared at MWC 2024 that certainly appeared to be the case. However, it has today (26 May) unveiled its Z3+, which is another phone that features only minor improvements over its predecessor.

Sony has yet to reveal UK pricing for its Z3+, which will go on sale in the UK in June, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see another £549 RRP, making it £30 cheaper than the HTC One M9 and £50 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S6.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Design and build

The Sony Xperia Z3 has a very similar design to every other Xperia before it, with the same rectangular shape, boxy corners, rounded edges and front- and rear glass panels. And the new Sony Xperia Z3+ is almost identical – but not quite.

Forget the Plus in the new Xperia’s model name – the Z3+ isn’t a phablet version of the Z3, with both adorning a 5.2in full-HD (1920×1080) panel. In fact it’s slimmer and lighter, slimming down from 7.3- to 6.9mm, and 152- to 144g.

It’s also lost that fiddly little flap over the Micro-USB port, which can make charging a pain (don’t worry – it’s still IP65/IP68-certified for dust- and waterproof protection). And there’s now just a single cover for the joint SIM and microSD card slot.

You’ll find the same black, white and green colour options available for both Z3 and Z3+, although Sony says it has developed a new interpretation of its copper model.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Hardware and performance

A 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip, Adreno 330 graphics and 3GB of RAM allowed the Sony Xperia Z3 to fare very well in our benchmarks last September. We saw 2805 points in Geekbench 3.0, 29fps in GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex and 804ms in SunSpider. Also see: What’s the fastest smartphone 2024? 

Things get a lot faster with the Sony Xperia Z3+, whose 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor runs Android Lollipop out of the box. As before there’s 3GB of RAM, but you’ll now find Adreno 430 graphics and 32- rather than 16GB of storage as standard, which can be boosted with a microSD card up to 128GB in capacity.

From the Xperia Z3+ you can expect performance on par with the HTC One M9, which recorded 3778 points in Geekbench 3.0, 867ms in SunSpider, 50fps in T-Rex and 24fps in Manhattan. However, we won’t know which phone is faster until we’ve run the Z3+ through our benchmarks.

The battery capacity has been reduced from 3100mAh to 2900mAh, which likely explains the reduction in size and weight. Sony claims it will still last two days, although we need to get the Z3+ into our lab to check. A quick charger is available for the Z3+, but not supplied in the box. 

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Cameras

Sony’s Xperia Z3 came with a 20.7Mp rear camera and a 2.2Mp front camera. Nothing has changed in the core hardware in this department, although one could argue that it didn’t need to – the Z3 is a great camera phone. There are a few software tweaks, though, with a new Gourmet mode and Superior Auto’s ability to recognise 52 scenarios. Superior Auto and SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode are now available for the front camera, too. Also see: Best camera phone 2024.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Audio

Audio quality is excellent from the Sony Xperia Z3, and it’s improved further with the Z3+. 

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Connectivity

Not much has changed on the connectivity front. You’ll get the latest 4G and Bluetooth connectivity, plus support for NFC, DLNA, GPS, PS4 Remote Play and more, but the Xperia Z-series flagship still lacks high-end features seen in its rivals such as a fingerprint scanner and wireless charging.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Software

Whereas the Sony Xperia Z3 came preinstalled with Android KitKat, an update to Lollipop is now available, bringing it into line with the Z3+. Both reveal a fairly vanilla implementation of Lollipop, but allow you to customise the Quick Settings in the notification bar. We did notice a fair amount of preinstalled bloatware, however, including Spotify, Vine, AVG, Kobo Books, Office Suite.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Verdict

The Z3+ is a faster version of an already very fast smartphone, and few users would complain that the Z3 is slow. However, the processor change brings it up to speed with its 2024 smartphone rivals, and we appreciate the extra storage space as standard (and Sony has managed it without removing the microSD card slot). The other improvements are nice, but unless you’re a Sony enthusiast there’s little here to warrant the expense of an upgrade from the Xperia Z3. In fact, we still highly rate the Z3 Compact –  a smaller version of Sony’s Z3 with a much more attractive price of £280 ( Amazon), and that could well be half the asking price of the Z3+.

Also see: Best new phones coming in 2024.

Follow Marie Brewis on  Twitter.

Specs Sony Xperia Z3: Specs

Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS

5.2in Triluminos Display (1080×1920, 424ppi)

2.5GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU

Adreno 330 GPU

3GB RAM

16GB internal storage

microSD slot (up to 128GB)

20.7Mp rear camera AF with LED Flash

2.2Mp front camera

Video recording at up to 2160p

Wi-Fi up tp chúng tôi 4.0

NFC

4G LTE Cat 4

Nano-SIM

3100mAh battery

Dust and waterproof (IP68)

72x146x7.3mm

152g

Sony Xperia 1 Vs Xperia Xz3

Our Verdict

The Xperia 1 features a dazzling, tall display and superior camera capabilities to the XZ3, making it undoubtedly the better choice for those wanting the ultimate Sony handset. That being said, the XZ3 is still a fine offering, so if the lack of an Ultra-Wide camera and larger screen doesn’t put you off, then the current reductions in price could make it an excellent bargain.  

Best Prices Today: Sony Xperia 1

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Price

$429.99

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Sony has updated its flagship range with the new Xperia 1, but how much of a step forward is the handset from its predecessor that only appeared six months ago? We take a look at the differences between the Xperia 1 and the Xperia XZ3.

Xperia 1 vs XZ3: Price and availability

The new Xperia 1 is available to pre-order now on a range of plans from  Carphone Warehouse,  EE,  O2,  Sky Mobile and  Vodafone, and has a SIM-free price of £899. It’s expected to ship on 30 May.

With news of a replacement on the horizon, this has seen prices for the Xperia XZ3 drop from its original £699/$999. Check out the best Xperia XZ3 deals for the latest offers.

We’ve also compared the Xperia 1 with the Galaxy S10.

Best in Show – See our MWC 2023 Award Winners!

Xperia 1 vs XZ3: Design and build

Sony has built a distinctive look for its hardware in recent years, with the blocky lines taking on softer curves with the XZ3. With the Xperia 1, this continues albeit in a taller chassis built to house the new 21:9 format display.

The good news is that the Xperia 1 is slimmer and narrower than the XZ3, shaving off millimetres here and there to provide a more comfortable feel in the hand.

Dimensions

Xperia 1: 167mm x 72mm x 8.2mm; weight is yet to be confirmed

Xperia XZ3: 153mm x chúng tôi x 9.9mm; 193g

Sony returns to its tried-and-tested fingerprint sensor on the side of the device rather than on the back as was on the XZ3, there are also stereo speakers but sadly this year doesn’t see the inclusion of a headphone jack or wireless charging, just the standard USB-C port instead.  

The battery also remains a 3330mAh capacity, which is a slight concern considering the new display. The water resistance has seen no change either, with both devices sporting IP65/IP68 ratings.

Xperia 1 design highlights

Slimmer, taller chassis, 21:9 screen

Fingerprint sensor back on the side

Specs & features

As you’d expect, the Xperia 1 comes with the latest silicon on offer, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, with is paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. This is expandable by up to 512GB via the included microSD card slot.

All of these mark incremental improvements over the Snapdragon 845, 4 GB RAM, and 64GB of storage on the XZ3.

Display

Perhaps the biggest difference between the models is the display. This year Sony has moved from the 18:9 screen ratio on the XZ3 to a taller 21:9 format. This means that you will be able to watch movies in the same format as cinemas, not to mention a large proportion of Netflix content, with no black bars or notches to get in the way.

It’s also a luscious 6.5in 4K HDR OLED screen, the first in a smartphone, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6. Now, the XZ3 had an excellent display too, but this newer panel is a thing of wonder, which will be aided by the X1 mobile engine that upscales and processes content.

Cameras

Going with the trend for 2023, Sony has upgraded the camera array to include three lenses, which is two more than the solitary 19Mp shooter on the XZ3. The full complement is made up of a 12Mp wide-angle (26mm Dual PD with OIS), 12Mp telephoto (52mm, OIS), and 12Mp super-wide (16mm) optics.

This is augmented by Sony’s BIONZ X for mobile technology, allowing the Xperia 1 to capture 4K HDR video, plus there are 8 pre-loaded profiles in the camera pro app which can be applied before the video is taken, thus avoiding any post-processing degradation.

Xperia 1 specs highlights

Newer, faster processor

More RAM

Double the onboard storage

Taller 4K HDR OLED panel

Three main cameras, including new Super Wide lens

Here’s a breakdown of the full technical specifications for both units;

 Xperia 1Xperia XZ3Operating SystemAndroid 9 PieAndroid 9 PieDisplay6.5in OLED 4K HDR6.0in OLED QHD+ HDRProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 855Qualcomm Snapdragon 845Memory6GB4GBStorage128GB (expandale via microSD)64GB (exandable via microSD)MicroSDYes – up to 512GBYes – up to 512GBMain camera12 Mp Wide (26mm Dual PD with OIS), 12Mp Tele (52mm, OIS), and 12Mp Super Wide (16mm) 19Mp f/2.0 main camera, 4K HDR recordingSelfie camera8Mp13Mp f/1.9Wi-Fi802.11a/ac/b/g/n802.11acBluetooth55LTE4G4GGPSYesYes  SimNanoNanoBattery3330mAH3330mAhNFCYesYes  Dimensions167mm x 72mm x 8.2mm153mm x chúng tôi x 9.9mmWeightTBC193gPrice£899£699

Software

Android Pie 9 is preloaded on the Xperia 1, but the XZ3 has it too, so there’s little difference between them. The Sony skin is lightweight, which is something we’re very glad about, and either device is a fine representation of the platform.

There are a few extra touches, such as the side-sense feature that allows menus and shortcuts to be triggered by tapping on the Xperia 1’s flanks. Multi-tasking also comes into its own thanks to the extra display real estate available, and Sony has included a Smart Stamina protocol which monitors battery use and helps prolong the times between needing to find a wall socket to recharge.

Related stories for further reading Specs Sony Xperia 1: Specs

6.5in OLED screen with 4K resolution, 21:9 aspect ratio

‘X1 for mobile’ engine

Gorilla Glass 6 front and rear

Triple 12Mp rear cameras (ultra-wide, wide and telephoto)

Support for recording 4K HDR video in 21:9, 24fps

8Mp selfie camera (3D support)

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

6GB RAM / 128GB storage

MicroSD up to 512GB

Hybrid dual-SIM (tray can accept second SIM or microSD)

3300mAh battery

USB-C

IP68 water-resistant

Bluetooth 5 / NFC / 802.11ac

Android 9 Pie

Colours: Black, Grey, White, Purple

Dimensions: 167 x 72 x 8.2mm

Htc One M9 Vs Sony Xperia Z3

The new HTC One M9 has arrived but  Sony’s Xperia Z4 won’t land until later this year. Until then, the firm’s flagship phone remains the Xperia Z3, but can the six month old device match up to HTC’s new stunner? Find out in our HTC One M9 vs Sony Xperia Z3 comparison review. Also see  Best smartphones 2024 and  Best Android phones 2024.

As expect, the HTC One M9 was unveiled at MWC 2024 in Barcelona just hours before the Samsung Galaxy S6 but Sony simply brought along its new Xperia M4 Aqua and Xperia Z4 Tablet. It might seem unfair to compare the brand new M9 to last year’s Z3 but the two will have to compete in shops and at mobile operators until the Z4 arrives. We will, of course, do a comparison between the Z4 and M9 when that’s possible.

HTC One M9 vs Sony Xperia Z3 review: Price

Now on sale across the UK, the HTC One M9 is yours for the cool price of £579 which is the premium price tag you’d expect from a flagship phones. The nature of retail means that the old (in smartphone terms) Xperia Z3 is a lot cheaper than when it first went on sale. At the time of writing, you can pick it up for around £390 so that’s a significant saving compared to the HTC One M9. Also see: HTC One M9 UK release date, price and specs.

So the big question is whether the HTC One M9 is worth paying almost £200 extra for. See how they compare across design, hardware and software below.

HTC One M9 vs Sony Xperia Z3 review: Design and build

The HTC One M9 looks almost identical to last year’s HTC One M8 and that’s not exactly a bad things since it’s one of the most stylish and attractive smartphones money can buy. We like the new two-tone colour look but it’s a shame that the device is a little thicker at 9.7 mm and remains a fairly weighty 158 g.

Sony’s Xperia Z3 is less striking in design but still premium with an aluminium frame and glass on the front and back. It uses the now classic Xperia square shape which to most doesn’t look as attractive as the curvy M9. It’s a thinner phone at 7.3 mm but is almost as heavy weighing in at 152 g.

You’ll know which you prefer the look of but a key difference in design and build is that the Xperia Z3 is, like previous generations, fully dust- and waterproof to an IP68 rating. This means you can use it in the bath, drop in down the loo and in other H2O situations without worry.

HTC One M9 vs Sony Xperia Z3 review: Hardware and performance

HTC and Sony haven’t budged much on screen size over the last couple of years so the HTC One M9 remains at 5in and the Xperia Z3 is a little bigger at 5.2in – a difference which isn’t going to make a dramatic impact. It’s worth noting that Sony has a smaller version called the Xperia Z3 Compact while HTC hasn’t yet announced an alternative model of the M9.

Each phone offers a Full HD resolution so there’s also no real difference in quality at 424 ppi for the Z3 and 441 ppi for the M9. With the screens on par with each other, look elsewhere to decide between the two phones.

Inside the Sony Xperia Z3 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, which is quad-core 2.5 GHz and there’s 3 GB of RAM. Being newer, the HTC One M9 has the more up-to-date Snapdragon 810 which is octa-core (quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 2 GHz Cortex-A57), also with 3 GB of RAM.

There’s more raw power inside the M9 then, and you can see the difference across most of our benchmark tests – the Z3 closely matches the results from the M8. However, from a user perspective there isn’t quite the same gap. Both of these phones offer top end performance.

Geekbench 3

GFXBench T-Rex

GFXBench Manhattan

SunSpider

HTC One M9

3778

50 fps

24 fps

867 ms

Sony Xperia Z3

2805

29 fps

13 fps

804 ms

Also see:  what’s the fastest smartphone 2024.

Each phone has a microSD card slot capable of dealing with up to 128 GB memory cards to this negates the internal storage difference a little.

Wireless connectivity and additional features is closely matched with both the M9 and Z3 coming with built-in dual-band 11ac Wi-Fi, NFC, GPA and 4G LTE. Neither has a fingerprint scanner or heart rate monitor (look to Samsung for those) but the M9 does have an IR blaster and slightly newer Bluetooth with version 4.1 compared to 4.0.

HTC and Sony both go big on audio features on these phones and the M9 is the best in terms of built-in speakers with BoomSound front facing stereo drivers and now supports 24-bit audio playback. The Z3 also has decent front facing speakers, though and supports High Res audio playback, too.

With HTC’s move from UltraPixel to a simply higher resolution camera, the M9 and Z3 are once again closely matched on photography. At 20.7 Mp apiece the sensor is very similar and both can shoot video in 4K. One thing we like about the Z3 in this area is the inclusion of a dedicated shutter button which can also be used to quick launch the camera app.

For selfie fans, the M9 is slightly ahead with the UltraPixel from the M8 on the front of the phone offering excellent quality. The Z3 is hardly bad though, with a 2.2 Mp front facing camera.

Removable battery fans will need to look elsewhere as both these phones have designs which hide the battery away. Sony’s Xperia Z3 has the larger battery at 3100 mAh compared to 2840 mAh and we found that both last a couple of days with varies usage before needing to be charged. Both offer battery saving software with Stamina mode on the Z3 and Extreme power saving mode on the M9. Neither has wireless charging built-in.

HTC One M9 vs Sony Xperia Z3 review: Software

Although the Xperia Z3 comes pre-loaded with Android 4.4 KitKat, it’s upgradable to  Android 5.0 Lollipop – the HTC One M9 comes with Lollipop out-of-the-box.

It’s not as simple as the two running the same core version of Google’s mobile operating system, though. Sony has its Xperia user interface while HTC’s One M9 comes with Sense 7.0. While each is recognisable as Android the style and the way you interact with the phone varies.

For example, Sense has a vertically scrolling app menu and BlinkFeed as part of the homescreen panels (although you can remove it). New features of Sense 7.0 include greater customisability with themes and Sense Home which dynamically changes which app icons are shown base on whether you’re at home, work or on the go.  

Sony’s Xperia interface is closer to stock Android and doesn’t have any major tweaks, but some useful widgets and some decent apps such as Walkman. We’ve already mentioned High Res audio support but the Z3 also has PS4 Remote Play which is good news for PS4 owners. You can play full blown PS4 games on the phone over the same network as the console which is pretty cool.

There are pros and cons to each user interface here and it really comes down to a personal choice. We recommend trying each out in person before making a commitment.

Reasons to buy the HTC One M9:

Gorgeous design, Snapdragon 810, 32 GB storage as standard, IR blaster, BoomSound speakers.

Reasons to buy the Sony Xperia Z3:

Waterproof design, cheaper, High Res audio, PS4 Remote Play.

Specs HTC One M9: Specs

Android 5.0 Lollipop with Sense 7.0

5in Full HD screen (1080×1920)

Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 64-bit, octa-core

3 GB RAM

32 GB storage, microSD card slot (up to 128 GB), 100 GB Dropbox cloud storage

20 Mp rear camera

4 Mp UltraPixel front camera

dual-band 11ac Wi-Fi

NFC

Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX

Infrared transmitter

GPS

non-removable 2840 mAh battery

70x145x9.7 mm

158 g

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Vs Note 4 Comparison Review

Our Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was one of the biggest smartphone (or phablet) launches of 2014. With significantly faster hardware and a fantastic Quad HD screen, and now available from just £449, you don’t need us to help you decide whether you should buy the Note 4. That said, at £289 the Note 3 is an absolute steal, and you will not be disappointed with either smartphone.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was unveiled in September and remains one of the best phablets you can buy, but how does it compare to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3? We reveal all in our Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4 comparison review. Also see:  Best smartphones 2024 and Best phablets 2024. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: UK price

Bought SIM-free, the older Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is much cheaper than the Note 4. At the time of writing you could pick up a new 32GB Note 3 in white with two batteries and a free 8GB Micro-SD card from eBay for £289, although the auction site notes that the price for the Note 3 trends at around £339.

On the same site the Galaxy Note 4 commands an extra £200, although we found it SIM-free at Amazon for £449. That puts at very least a £110 price difference between Note 3 and Note 4.

Few people will buy either the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or Note 4 outright, instead choosing a two-year tariff from one of the UK’s mobile operators. If you are looking for the cheapest deal, though, check out the best SIM-only deals 2024. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Design and build

With both Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Note 4 featuring a 5.7in screen, there isn’t too much difference in the size and weight of these two phablets. The Note 3 measures 151.2×79.2×8.3mm and weighs 168g, while the Note 4 is 153.5×78.6×8.5mm, 176g. Both come with an S Pen, but the Note 4’s has been redesigned to work more like a real pen. Also see: Best new phones coming in 2024.  

But there are some differences between Note 3 and Note 4 in terms of design and build. For a start, whereas the Note 3 comes in Jet Black, Classic White and Blush Pink, the Note 4 also comes in Copper Gold.  

The Note 4 has the same soft-texture rear cover, but now has a premium metal frame. 

Also new to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a fingerprint scanner, heart-rate monitor and a UV sensor.  

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Screen

While both phablets feature a 5.7in screen, Samsung concentrates on quality over size with its Note 4. Like the LG G3, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 features a Quad HD (2560×1440) screen. Until you see Quad HD and full-HD side by side it’s impossible to appreciate just how awesome is the difference. The Note 4’s display is significantly more impressive than the Note 3’s full-HD (1920×1080) panel, with a staggering pixel density of 515ppi against the Note 3’s 386ppi. 

It was heavily rumoured that, in common with the Samsung Galaxy Round, a version of the Note 4 would be available with a curved (or flexible) screen. In fact, we got the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Processor, graphics and performance

When the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was released in September 2013 it totally blew away all other contenders in terms of performance. Its 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core chip, paired with 3GB of RAM and Adreno 330 graphics, turned in an extraordinary 4057 points in Geekbench 2, 54fps in GFXBench Egypt, and 589ms in SunSpider. And that’s still fast even today. 

Things get even faster with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – although it may not be obvious from the benchmarks, which have since been updated. However, as you can see from our comparison of all the latest smartphones we’ve tested in our article  What’s the fastest smartphone 2024, the Note 4 is incredibly fast. Its 2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 chip, 3GB of RAM and Adreno 420 graphics powered it to scores of 3272 points in Geekbench 3.0, 1367ms in SunSpider, and 27- and 11fps in GFXbench 3.0’s T-Rex and Manhattan tests respectively. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Storage

Not a great deal has changed on the storage front, and like the Note 3 the Note 4 comes with 32GB of storage with microSD supported, here up to 128GB. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Connectivity

One difference is the addition of Samsung’s Download Booster, first seen in the S5, which pairs 4G and Wi-Fi to offer a theoretical max download speed of 400Mb/s. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Cameras

There have been a few tweaks in the photography department. Now fitted with a 16Mp (rather than 13Mp) rear camera and a dual- (rather than single-) LED flash, the Note 4 is capable of capturing better photos than the Note 3. Both phones are, as before, able to capture 4K UHD video at 30fps, full-HD at 60fps, and slow-motion HD at 120fps. 

The front-facing camera in the Note 4 is also improved, now a 3.7Mp monster with a f1.9 lens and a Wide Selfie mode. The Note 3 features a 2Mp front camera. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Software

Both phones run Samsung’s latest TouchWiz interface over Android KitKat, although you can expect Samsung to upgrade each to Android Lollipop within the coming months. The Note 4 already has a Lollipop-cards-style recent apps menu, and the transparent clock/weather widget looks nice.

Multi Window isn’t new, but it lets you use two apps at once in a split-screen view. These windows can be resized, too, to allow more space for an app that requires it, for example. The Note 4 also offers the ability to view a window as a pop-up screen that can be moved around and will let you continue working in the background.

The Air Command wheel lets you access features such as Action Memo, Screen Write, Image Clip and the new Smart Select feature by pressing the small button on the side of the S Pen. By default this appears when you remove the S Pen from its holder, but if you find that annoying then you can change the settings to do something else or nothing at all.

A swipe away from the main home screen is the ‘Magazine’ BlinkFeed-style aggregator, which can be customised or removed if it’s not to your taste.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is supplied with a generous 3200mAh battery, which Samsung claims offers up to 13 hours of internet usage over Wi-Fi, and about the same for video playback. In our tests battery performance was strong, lasting long enough to get us through a full day and with enough juice left over to get us into the office the next day. 

The Galaxy Note 4 has a slightly larger 3220mAh battery, and supports fast charging – from zero- to 50 percent in 30 minutes. However, it didn’t blow us away with its battery life performance, and as with the Note 3 we found only a little bit of juice would be remaining on the second day. 

One thing we do like in the Note 4 is Samsung’s Ultra Power Saving mode, which switches the screen to a greyscale interface and turns off non-essential features to squeeze out every last bit of life once the battery capacity gets critically low.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was one of the biggest smartphone (or phablet) launches of 2014. With significantly faster hardware and a fantastic Quad HD screen, and now available from just £449, you don’t need us to help you decide whether you should buy the Note 4. That said, at £289 the Note 3 is an absolute steal, and you will not be disappointed with either smartphone.

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.

Specs Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Specs

GSM 3G/HSPA+/LTE, GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900MHz), LTE (800/850/900/1800/2100/2600MHz), HSPA+ (850/900/1900/2100MHz)

802.11a/b/g/n/ac

Bluetooth 4.0

NFC

2.3GHz Quad GHz CPU Speed

Accelerometer, Geomagnetic, Gyro

USB 2.0, USB 3.0

3.5mm Stereo Earjack

MicroSD External Memory Slot (up to 64GB)

Micro SIM

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

32/64GB Memory

151.2×79.2×8.3mm

168g

3200mAh Standard Battery

5.7in FHD sAMOLED 16M Colour Depth, 1920×1080

S Pen

CMOS, 13 MP BSI Sensor, Auto Focus, Smart Stabilisation, LED Flash (High CRI), and Zero Shutter Lag

CMOS, 2MP BSI sensor with Smart Stabilisation, Full HD recording @30fps

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