Sony Xperia Z1 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Xperia Z1 and Galaxy Note II

I’ve been using my Xperia Z1 for a week now and here are my thoughts comparing it with my previous Note 2 (which I still have for sale). What sold me was its sturdy aluminium body that wrapped around the 2.2 GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor, 3000 mAh battery and a 20.7 megapixel camera with G-lens f2.0 aperture on top of its IP58 waterproof and dustproof.

I won’t be going into in-depth review as you could find them scattered around online. My reviews are my own opinion been using both phones.

Prior buying this phone, I was considering to get Note 3 myself however seeing how everyone else started jumping into phablets bandwagon, I decided to take absense from Samsung path and goes for Sony instead. What I found out? Definitely an upgrade from my Note 2.

Xperia Z1 and Galaxy Note II
The Xperia Z1 has only 5″ display, 0.5″ smaller than Note 2. However, where Note 2 has 720 x 1280 pixels making it 267 ppi pixels density, Xperia Z1 has 441 ppi pixels density thanks to its 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution on a small screen. This translated to layman terms meaning the images and videos look incredibly sharp on this phone and the color is well saturated. Both phones has protective glass, although Sony added a layer of shatterproof plastic on top of the glass. This layer can be peeled off but keep in mind while peeling off the plastic layer gives you clean glossy screen, it also removes any writing on your phones (SONY logo etc) and worst of all, your warranty.

Both phones run on Android Jelly Bean, The Galaxy Note II currently runs on Android 4.1.2 while Sony Xperia Z1 runs on Android 4.2 out of the box. While I’ve been using Samsung TouchWiz for quite some time, I find it easy transitioning to Sony’s launcher. The absense of S Pen although put off some, makes no difference to me as I seldom using it. Though, you can still take notes on Xperia Z1 or using floating window. And even though Xperia Z1 is a phone with no hardware button, I often keep tapping on the bottom bezel a lot. I guess old habit coming from Note 2 user 🙂

Coming from Samsung Galaxy Note II, my front jeans pocket usually looks bulky, due to the mammoth size of my beloved phablet. Now, with Xperia Z1, my jeans pocket doesn’t look bulky anymore but the weight is still there though. Xperia Z1 weigh 170g, 12g lighter than Note II.

Sony’s Xperia Z1 comes with a 20MP camera with G-lens f/2.0 aperture, whereas the Note II offers 8MP. On paper, Sony Xperia Z1 trumps Samsung Galaxy Note II with its superior camera but the truth is, while added megapixels does gives your photos advantage over another, either camera will take very good photos. As for the frontal cameras, Sony Xperia Z1 again comes out on top with its 2MP camera versus 1.9MP on the Note 2. Sony includes handful of scene modes such as Soft skin, Soft snap, Anti motion blur, Landscape, Backlight correction HDR, Night portrait, Night scene, Hand-held twilight, High sensitivity, Gourmet, Pet, Beach, Snow, Party, Sports, Document and last but not least Fireworks. A tip for you new users, to access these scene modes, you will need to change the image quality to 8MP as the scene was not present if you set the camera to 20MP.

Battery life on Sony Xperia Z1 seems to be as good as what you get on Samsung Galaxy Note II eventhough its capacity is only 100mAh less than Note II’s 3100mAh. I suspect that possibly because of the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 built in the phone requires more juice. Running for 24 hours uncharged with 3G on, browsing Lowyat forum, facebook, whatsapp, stalking instagram etc. and still left with 10%. It does heat up faster than Note II but that probably due to the heat dissipation from the hardware sandwiched in between two protective glass.

There you have it, my personal review of Sony’s latest flagship Xperia Z1. It may not have the S Pen but it does give you other advantages in return, being able to use it in a pool and on the beach. 😀 I’m now waiting for my magnetic charging cable to arrive so I don’t have to keep open and close the micro usb slot.



  1. Sony has proved its worth and credibility in mobile sector by introducing advance technology and features in its phones. It has brought latest features from time to time to satisfy the needs and requirements of the users.