When it comes to the best Android phones, you will always find one of the best Samsung Galaxy phones at or near the top of the list. Perfect too: Galaxy phones have a great track record of combining style and substance to create some of the best phones for most people.
But what if you’re not most people?
I think the phone market is like the market for the best TVs: Some firms make lots of great all-rounders, but some focus on things their rivals don’t — and if those things are important to you, then The best TV because you are not necessarily the one everyone will go for. And in phones, I think the firm that focuses on different things is often Sony.
I’ve been a fan of Sony’s phones since the iPhone was a gleam in Steve Jobs’ eyes, and today’s Xperia phones are really great devices. In some respects they beat their Samsung counterparts hand-in-hand, but there are two areas in particular where Samsung does it better. So here are three things that Xperia phones do better than Samsung, and two things they really don’t.
Three reasons to choose Sony Xperia over Samsung Galaxy
1. Photography for Professionals
If you’re serious about photography, the flagship Xperia is a better cameraphone. Samsungs are fantastic, but they also rely heavily on AI processing – and that’s fine if you want a really great point-and-shoot. But if you’re a professional photographer, you don’t want your phone to decide for you; It’s your job, and you want a phone that gives you access to the controls you want so you can decide how you want to shoot the person, object, or scene. If you want to see more, we’ve put together a Sony Xperia 1 IV vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera comparison to give you all the knowledge you need.
2. Serious sound quality
We are talking about the inventor of the Walkman here. Of course the Xperia takes sound more seriously. The Sony Xperia 1 IV has a headphone jack – a headphone jack! – For absolute quality when you’re listening to high-resolution audio that no Bluetooth codec can handle, and it even has its own LDAC for high-quality audio streaming. The speakers are great too but this is a phone that is best suited for the best headphones, whether wireless or wired.
3. Movie Magic
Sony’s displays are brilliant, literally: the latest Xperia 1 IV is 50% brighter than its predecessor, delivering great contrast and detail in its much wider 21:9 display. There’s a great Creators Mode that keeps things cinematic rather than overly processed, and the processing speed is superb. If you love watching videos on your phone, then this is one of the best phones.
Two reasons to choose Samsung Galaxy over Sony Xperia
Sadly, sometimes there’s a cloud in every silver lining, and the Xperia’s undeniable brilliance also comes with some significant setbacks. For me, these are the two big players.
1. Sonys are hot, and not in a sexy way
In reviewing the Sony Xperia 1 IV, we found that gaming didn’t push the phone into lit areas, but it did tend to overheat with photo and video shooting: In our tests on a 33ºC day, the camera stayed off the phone. To do every five minutes or so. This is partly due to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, which isn’t the best at heat management, but we haven’t experienced similar problems with other phones with the same Snapdragon. And we didn’t have a rogue handset: I’ve looked at several other reviews of the same phone and the heat management and throttling have been noted by several reviewers. This is a big problem for a phone at this price. speaking of which…
2. Sonys are more expensive
The Xperia 1 IV costs £1,299 in the UK; The best Samsung Galaxy phone, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, is £1,149. In the US, the Sony is even more expensive as there are fewer configurations, so it starts at $1,599; The S22 Ultra starts at $1,199. That means if you want Sony’s better camera controls, audio, and display, you’ll have to pay significantly more for it.