New Delhi: What do you consider when buying a high-end premium phone from a top-end manufacturer? Is it the screen size, the display resolution, the raw processing power, app ecosystem, battery size or its overall looks? Surveys suggest that an overall smooth experience contributes the most when consumers go for a purchase. India TV Tech dig in deep to compare two high-end smartphones, the Galaxy Note 3 phablet and the Xperia Z1 smartphone.
When launched in 2011, the first generation Galaxy Note phablet looked comically large and two generations later, it still is. Though the third generation is not the world's largest, it still has a 5.70-inch display that gives it the title of being a huge smartphone. The Note 3 has roughly the same size as the Note 2, with bezels being trimmed down to allow for that extra 0.2 diagonal inches of screen. It is also substantially lighter and thinner, at 168 grams, down from 182. I won't call it one-handed phone, but it is easier to use in this way than any previous Galaxy Note device, because of certain design improvements.
On the other hand, Sony Xperia Z1 is a super-charged refresh of the Sony Xperia Z offering a super-sized 5-inch HD screen. At a first glance, the Xperia Z1 gives the impression that it has got it all. The edging at Z1 now has a very slight curve which the company is designed to make the phone solid. The Sony Xperia Z1 exhibits a higher-quality finish than before. The tablet has a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel display, with 441ppi (pixels per inch) density, which means that when it comes to things like browsing the internet, you can make out fine details without the need to continuously zoom in and out.
Let us go in details:
Design and build
Sony Xperia Z1
The Z1 features some crucial yet minor differences as compared to the previous Z smartphone. The Z1 has the same glass front and back but now uses a two tone aluminium frame to join the two together. The Z1 is 8.5mm thick and weighs 169g. The Z1 comes with Sony's clever 'OmniBalance' design that evenly spreads its weight across the whole smartphone so that it always feels 'in the hand.' The Z1 has rounded edges and offers smooth surfaces on all sides. The phone features tempered glass covered by shatterproof film on front and back.
In terms of position of ports, the wireless charging port, microSD, and micro USB ports remain on the left side of the body. One the back there is front camera lens, sensors and a notification LED along with Sony branding. While a 3.5 mm audio jack is placed at the top part of the phone, the bottom end has the speakers with a large speaker mesh. On the right, the phone sports the microSIM slot, smaller on/off button and the volume rocker, now joined by a dedicated camera button. The left has the magnetic dock connector right in the center and above it are the micro SD and micro USB slot. The same spine sports Sony's signature machined aluminum power button and volume rocker.
The phone is held together by a sturdy silver-coloured aluminium frame that adds to the phone's weight. Since the Z1 is water and dust resistant phone, all ports and slots are covered with fibreglass flaps to protect the phone. This means it can survive being fully submerged in more than 1m of water for more than 30 minutes.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 looks a lot similar to the first-generation Note than the Note II, which was more curved. Essentially the Note 3 is plastic but on the back the company has given it a textured finish to make it look like leather and this also offers the much needed grip. The good part is that you can remove the plastic cover to access the Note 3's sizable 3,200mAh battery as well as the microSD slot which is cleverly stacked on top of the microSIM port.
But somehow, the company managed to make the Galaxy Note 3 slightly smaller than its predecessor, measuring 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm. Thanks to a more manageable weight (168g) the device is certainly the most manageable Note smartphone to date. The giant size of the smartphone means that you need to constantly reshuffle it up and down your palm to reach out for the volume rocker and power/lock keys located towards the top on the left and right sides of the handset.
The front of the phone is dominated by its 5.7-inch Full-HD Super AMOLED display. On the whole the company has kept the bezels narrow on the left and right sides. The sensors, front camera, notification light and earpiece grill are placed above the Note 3's screen. While the power button sits on the right, the left side has the volume rocker. A 3.5mm headset jack and Infrared receiver are placed on the top and a new USB 3.0 port sits at the bottom along with a small speaker grill and the slot for the S-Pen stylus.