When you look at camera phones there are two that will stand out. These are the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and the Sony Xperia Z1. Both of these phones offer amazing cameras, and experiences that are very different to other camera phones. It is important that you look at the experience that you are going to get with each of these phones. You have to look at the cameras, the interface, and how you can use the camera on the phone to determine which one will afford you the best experience.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Vs. Sony Xperia Z1
The Design of the Samsung S4 Zoom
The S4 Zoom has a very different design to any phone that has come from Samsung. The front of the phone has the same design as the S4 Mini. However, the back of the phone look more like a Samsung compact camera. The phone has the same protruding lens that a compact camera has, which makes the phone look more like a camera than a smart phone. The phone also has a grip bulge that you can use like on a normal compact camera.
The Design of the Sony Xperia Z1
The design of the Xperia Z1 is more like a phone than the S4 Zoom. The overall design is almost the same as the design of the previous Xperia phones. However, there is a difference between the designs that you need to know about. The Xperia Z1 offers a metal frame, which replaces the rubber that was used with the Xperia Z.
The overall design of the Sony phone is stunning and it does look better than the Samsung. The in-hand feel is much better, as the phone actually fits very well into the hand. The lack of any bulges at the back make the overall design more phone like and easier to handle.
The Experience with the Samsung S4 Zoom
The S4 Zoom offers two very different experiences depending on what you are looking at. The overall use of the camera phone is considered to be mediocre by many, and this is due primarily to the design of the phone. The actual camera experience is very good, as would be expected from the hardware that you are getting.
The problem with the design of the phone comes when you try and take a picture. The grip bulge at the back of the phone is meant to help you hold the phone to take a picture. However, the grip is not actually large enough to offer the grip that you need to do this with one hand. You need to hold the phone with two hands and this does not allow you to quickly take a picture.
The shutter key on the screen is also a bit too close to the edge of the screen. This means that even if you are holding the phone with one hand you could have a problem taking a picture. The risk of dropping the handset when you hold it with one hand is high, and may mean you end up dual hand committed. There is no sleep to snap function that would have made the phone a lot easier to use.
The S4 Zoom offers a 16 megapixel camera with optical zoom. The zoom is offered by the lens that you find on the back of the phone. The lens ring offers a number of functions that will make many people very happy. You can use the ring to dial through the different shooting modes that the camera offers.
The problem with the ring is that it does start to rotate when you use the phone one handed, which can cause a number of problems.
The pictures that you get with this phone are very good, and on par with any compact camera. The images are also better than the ones that you will be getting with the average camera phone. The detail in the images is amazing, and this is due in no small part to the incredible camera hardware specs that the phone has employed.
The Experience of the Sony Xperia Z1
As the Xperia Z1 does not have the strange back that the S4 Zoom offers the handling of the phone is very easy. You do not have to worry about not being able to grip the phone when you use it. This means that you should look at the overall camera experience that you are able to get; no hindrances.
The hardware on the Xperia Z1 is better than that found with the S4 Zoom. The camera is a 20.7 megapixel camera, with a larger sensor than most of the other phones on the market. The wide angle lens of the camera also makes it a very good camera to use.
The user interface that you will find with this phone is very easy to use, particularly with the Sony Superior Auto mode. This mode will offer you all the best setting for the situation in which you are taking an image. Of course, there are a number of other modes that you are able to use once you get the hang of the camera interface.
The expectations that people have had for the camera on this phone have been very high. Sony has not disappointed with the Xperia Z1 camera experience. The images are very realistic and the colors bright and lively. There is no over saturation of the colors, which could otherwise make the images look unrealistic; think Samsung.
The exposure and detail that you get is excellent as well. There are some times when the exposure is not what it should be, but these are few and far enough between to keep the user happy. The amount of detail is very good, especially when you consider that you are taking a picture from a phone.
If you are looking for the best camera phone then you need to consider the S4 Zoom and the Xperia Z1. Of the two phones the Xperia Z1 does offer the better experience because of the phone design. The design allows you to easily hold the phone and take pictures. However, at distance, pictures with the Zoom are certainly better.
When trying to make a decision on which provider to purchase the Samsung Galaxy S4 from, Phil Turner viewed this page on the uSwitch website to get up to date deals.