Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs. Sony Xperia Z Ultra Preview (Part 1)

Which one of these highly anticipated smartphones will come out on top? Photo:

WASHINGTON, July 4, 2013 — Phablets right? Who would have thought, back in the feature phone era – when every manufacturer was focusing on releasing smaller and smaller devices, that it will come a time when people will actually want bigger phones, or smartphones in this case.

Granted, back then the screen was rather small (monochrome, no touch screen) with the rest of the phone’s massive body housing the numeric keyboard, the battery and the rest of the device’s internals. Nowadays, manufacturers are racing towards the ideal “edge-to-edge” screen. Talk about evolution, right?

SEE RELATED: Sony Xperia Z Ultra, huge mobile star, but will it be successful?



Anyway, we recently talked about both the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, and since these two devices are most probably going to be among the highlights of the holiday season, we thought it would be a good idea to place their known or rumored hardware specifications side-by-side in order to give you a comparative overview.

Of course, since the Galaxy Note 3 hasn’t been officially announced this won’t be a definitive guide but more like a preview of one of the hottest clashes of the year. And don’t worry, even though Samsung hasn’t spilled the beans yet we have a pretty accurate idea of what to expect. So without further ado …

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Sony Xperia Z Ultra

SEE RELATED: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 keeps teasing us, release date still not close

DISPLAY. This is probably the most important aspect of the two devices. While the Sony Xperia Z will feature a 6.4 inch TRILUMINOS display (full HD resolution, 344 pixels per inch), the Galaxy Note 3 will have a significantly smaller panel (5.9 inch according to most rumors, with some reports also mentioning a 5.7 inch display).

The Galaxy Note 3 will most likely come with a Super AMOLED display with full HD resolution which means that it will have a better pixel per inch density than the Xperia Z Ultra (374 ppi or 387 ppi, depending on the screen size).

We all know what a Super AMOLED panel is capable of (technology wise, it will probably be very similar to the one used on the Galaxy S4), it remains to be seen how Sony’s new TRILUMINOS display will turn out. In theory, images should be more vivid and richer as the technology allows the panel to display a wider range of colors.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra will also bring a new software processing technology (called X-Ray Engine) which should make everything look sharper, reduce noise and improve the overall quality of both images and videos.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Staying in the display department, what is a phablet without a stylus? While the Galaxy Note 3 will most likely benefit from an improved S Pen (Samsung’s proprietary stylus), the Xperia Z Ultra will work with any stylus out there, with its display being able to take input even from a regular charcoal pencil. We know that the S Pen experience is great (and it will probably get better with Note 3), but the ability of using anything as a stylus sounds really cool. It remains to be seen how Sony will implement this tech and what level of fidelity and control it will provide.

We’re aware that recent rumors point out that, aside from the Super AMOLED Note 3 model, Samsung is also developing a Note 3 with a flexible / indestructible screen and one with an LCD panel. We’re advising you to take these rumors with a huge boulder of salt. The flexible / indestructible screen technology is not yet ready for mass production, and while an LCD Note 3 is definitely possible, it will only lead to fragmentation and user dissatisfaction. We just need to point out those frustrated Samsung customers who recently bought a regular S4 only  to find out that a much powerful version is just around the corner – the Snapdragon 800 powered Galaxy S4 LTE-A.


It’s no secret that the only gripe we had with Samsung’s Galaxy S4 was that it was built from the same “cheap looking” plastic the manufacturer is renowned for, in a time when HTC is releasing all-aluminum devices, LG and Google put glass on both sides of the Nexus 4 and Nokia is building some solid and good looking polycarbonate smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Unfortunately, despite earlier rumors claiming that Samsung is considering giving the Note 3 a metal chassis, all the recent leaks have shown plastic Samsung Galaxy Note 3 prototypes. Recent reports are claiming that Samsung’s Design 3.0 phase (which allegedly focuses on improving the build quality) will only come into fruition sometime during 2014. So, all in all, expect the Galaxy Note 3 to follow the same design cues like all the other 2013 devices from the South Korean manufacturer.

On the other hand, Sony’s Xperia Ultra Z Ultra will feature, just like the regular Xperia Z, a metal frame and tempered glass on the back. As a consequence, the Xperia Z Ultra will also be dust and water proof while the Note 3 … will not.

Well guys, we don’t mean to bore you with a long article so we’ll conclude here the first part of our Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Sony Xperia Z Ultra Preview. There are many more interesting aspects to talk about so stay tuned for the 2nd episode, later this week.

In the meantime, the comments section is at your disposal.


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Vlad Andrici

Vlad writes about the mobile industry after cutting his teeth on gaming. A technology fan, a telecom and IP engineer in the real world, Vlad made his online debut writing about games as founder and editor of from which he has transitioned towards the mobile industry (smartphones and tablets). 

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