Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Comparison

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Comparison

By Rich W Woods

Let me say this: I have never been a fan of Samsung phones. Anyone who knows me and anyone who follows For the Love of Tech knows it. Last year, I reviewed the Galaxy Note 4 and it was titled A Perversion of Innovation. A few weeks later, I reviewed the Galaxy Note Edge, which was called Samsung Makes the Note 4 Worse.

Imagine my shock when I was absolutely delighted by the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Now, let me explain why I went with the S6 Edge. I had to choose one. I absolutely hated the Note Edge and found it uncomfortable to hold and I thought I should be able to speak on some authority about the Galaxy S6 Edge. At the same time, I’ll know what the experience from the regular Galaxy S6 is like because it’s a regular phone.

I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge for a day now. The question I just had to ask myself was, “Which phone should I compare it to first?” I know that if I compare it to the OnePlus One, I’ll get a ton of page views. After all, the OnePlus One is a very passionate community. I could compare it to the iPhone 6. After all, the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 are the two most coveted phones in the world at the moment. Then I decided that I should do more tests and possibly take more sample photos before I do either.

After running my first battery test, which is Geekbench 3 with the dim screen off, I declared that the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has the best battery I have ever seen. It finally knocks the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact off its position. There it was. It was time to compare the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge to the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Specs

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Processor Exynos 7420 1.5 GHz Quad Core, 2.1 GHz Quad Core 2.5 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 801
GPU Mali-T760MP8 Adreno 330
Display 5.1″, 1440p, 577 ppi, AMOLED 4.6″, 720p, 312 ppi, IPS LCD
Body 142.1×70.1×7 mm, 132 g 127.3×64.9×8.6 mm, 129 g
Camera 16 MP, 2988×5312, 5 MP Front 20.7 MP, 5248х3936, 2.2 MP Front
Video 4K UHD – 30 fps, 1080p – 60 fps, Front 1440p – 30 fps 4K UHD – 30 fps, 1080p – 60 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps
Aperture f/1.9 f/2
Sensor Size 1/2.6″ 1/2.3″
Focal Length 28 mm 25 mm
Pixel Size 1.12 μm 1.12 μm
Storage 32/64/128 GB 16 GB, Expandable to 128 GB
Battery 2600 mAh 2600 mAh
Price $799/$899/$999 $499

Now there’s a couple things to remember when you look at these specs. The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is a scaled down version of the Sony Xperia Z3, which has 3 GB RAM and a 1080p display. The reason I bring it up is because if you want to compare the Galaxy S6 Edge to the Xperia Z3, it’s a simple comparison because those are the only things that are different, just like there are very minor differences between the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge, other than cosmetic, so theoretically, you could draw a conclusion of a comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Sony Xperia Z3 from this comparison.

Now let’s get back to the task at hand. Obviously, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has a better processor. It has a better display too. There’s no doubt about that; however, I don’t think there’s a benefit to 1440p. I think that 1080p is plenty, if not still too much at times. Things like color accuracy are more important.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Rear Camera

Both of these two devices have very high resolution rear cameras. It doesn’t matter. Keep in mind that a 1080p display is only 2.1 MP, so everything is scaled down. If you’re on a 4K display, you’re still only looking at 8.3 MP.

What does matter is things like aperture and sensor size. A larger aperture and a larger sensor size allows more light to enter the lens, allowing for better low light performance. Both of these phones also have large sensors and large apertures.

I found the Camera app on the Galaxy S6 Edge to be very interesting because it has been completely overhauled since the last time I used the TouchWiz Camera app in the Note 4. Modes in the Galaxy S6 Camera app consist of Auto, Pro, Selective focus, Panorama, Slow motion, Fast motion, Virtual shot, and it allows you to download extensions which, I might add, includes the rear cam selfie feature. I have to say, removing bloat from the camera and making it available as an extension, genius.

Sony’s Camera app also has a ton of unique features, such as an auto mode, manual, multi camera, sound photo, 4K video, live to YouTube, background defocus, social live, sweep panorama, timeshift burst, AR effect, portrait retouch, and you can add more.

Now that I’ve had the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact sitting on my desk for the last six months, I can tell you that I haven’t used any except two of those camera features. I’ve used 4K video recording, which is something you would think is in the normal video settings, but it’s not.

I have also used the Live on YouTube feature, which allows the user to easily stream live videos to YouTube. I actually started using it recently, as I’ve been posting more and more videos to the For the Love of Tech YouTube channel. I thought it would be nice to supplement it with a live feed. The quality sucks. You have no options at all. You can’t zoom or change the aspect ratio from 4:3. Lighting is terrible. People watch the live stream and comment about how you should change the way you record video, meanwhile you’re trying to explain that it’s just the live feed that they just watched, because the live feed remains on YouTube. But I digress…

There is one more thing I would like to point out. Many have told me that the Samsung Galaxy S6 has the best camera they have ever seen, that there’s a “wow” factor. I want to point out that they tend to look great because the display on the device is so beautiful. You cannot walk into an AT&T Store, snap a picture with the display model, and think you have a good feel for the phone’s camera. Here, we’re going to put them side by side on the same display.

Please note that in order to enlarge the image, simply click or tap on it. To view the full size image, there is a link in the carousel.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

This is an interesting case. I think that the colors are more balanced in the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge; however, they are also more saturated, although I don’t know if I would say oversaturated.

Take a look at the fourth photo down. Those are blue flowers. The Galaxy S6 Edge shows them as purple. The Xperia Z3 Compact renders them as blue but uses purple in the middle. The color was off for the Xperia in the photo above that as well.

Low light is an interesting case as well. The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has always been amazing at night. It appears that that photo was taken before the sun was fully set, right? No, it was pitch black outside. With the flash on, I would say the Sony is the winner as the subject seems to be a bit overexposed in the photos taken with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Front Camera

Resolution can matter in a front camera when it gets really low and it has bad software, but that’s not the case here. In fact, hardware rarely matters at all in a smart phone camera. Software and firmware is what matters the most. Actually, let me rephrase that before you send me hate emails. Hardware is the least important of the three.

One thing I found interesting about that redesigned Samsung Camera app is that they took out the rear cam selfie feature, which was actually a pretty great feature. I suppose they’re considering the front camera to be on par with the rear camera at this point.

As far as video goes, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact does 1080p at 30 fps, which is right on point for a 2.2 MP sensor. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge uses the same resolution the Note 4 brought into play, which is 1440p.

Now I find this a bit odd. Most phones don’t record 1440p because most people don’t watch videos on a 1440p TV. Most TVs (if not all) are either 1080p or 4K, not in between. I suppose, with YouTube being played on PCs with 1440p monitors such as the Surface Pro 3 I’m typing this on right now, it does make some sense.

Wow. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has a much, much larger field of view, which is great for group selfies. Also, I’ve always found the front camera on the Sony Xperia Z3 to be just terrible. This is no different.

Samsung also provides a wide angle option for the Galaxy S6 Edge. Check it out.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Wide Angle
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Wide Angle

You want to talk about group selfies. That’s how it’s done.

Overall, I would have to say that the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge edges out the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact on the rear camera and kills the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact on the front camera.


All Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Camera Comparisons

All Photos Used for Samsung Galaxy S6 Camera Comparisons

All Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Camera Comparisons

All Photos Used for Sony Xperia Z3 Camera Comparisons

About the author
Rich Woods

Being a computer programmer wasn't enough to fulfill his love of technology. In 2013, Rich founded For the Love of Tech and has been writing about his love of tech ever since.


    The s6 is easily the winner. Loads of detail and the pictures just seem to pop from the page. I suppose that ultimately the end photo is all that matters, but as the reviewer has said in previous comparisons, using the z3 compact is very close to picking up a proper compact camera. There’s nothing easier when I’m out on an MTB, cold, gloves on, just take out damp phone, press shutter key. Priceless.
    Brilliant review.