Two of the most recent additions to the smartphone market are the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Sony Xperia Z1. Both have been extremely well received, and you may be trying to choose between them as your next smartphone purchase.
In terms of Design
Let's fasten with the design topic for a moment. We absolutely have to make the point that in terms of size, the Xperia Z1 with 5.69 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches is dangerously close to the Note 3 with 5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 inches. So close, actually, that it makes this comparison completely relevant, despite the fact that the two should technically be considered part of two different device categories. Still, as big as the Z1 is, it's still slightly smaller than the Note 3, making it feel a bit more comfortable to use. So, even though it is unprecedentedly big, the Xperia Z1 is still the easier to operate handset of the two.
In terms of Display
The Galaxy Note 3 is a phablet-sized device with a 5.7-inch display while the Sony Xperia Z1 is a camera-centric smartphone. These factors alone may help you make up your mind between the two, but if not then there is plenty more to take into account. Even though they are very close in terms of size, the Note 3 sports a significantly larger, 5.7” 1080p screen, compared to the Z1's 5” 1080p one. High-quality LCD displays are usually considered more accurate and mature compared to AMOLED-based screens, such as the one of the Galaxy Note 3. That is mostly due to the LCD's higher brightness output and natural-looking colors.
Samsung is introducing regular improvements to its Super AMOLED screens, and we are happy to see that with the Note 3, the company has almost eliminated the problem with the troublesome outdoor visibility such displays usually suffer from. As a result, the phablet's panel is almost as bright and easy to see as that of the Xperia Z1. The other specificity in this case is the fact that the Z1 utilizes a so-called TFT panel, which makes it appear quite washed out when viewed at an angle, despite the 'Triluminos' enhancements.
Size is really important, but appearance and build quality should also be considered. This is where the Sony Xperia Z1 simply blows the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 out of the water. The glass and metal casing of the Z1 presents users with a much more exquisite design that not only looks better, but feels much more solid as well. Meanwhile, the Note 3 offers you a run-of-the-mill plastic body that simulates a leather finish. The Samsung doesn't feel cheap or anything, but it is far from the classiness presented by some other companies on the market, such as Sony, HTC, or Apple.
Both handsets are charged using their microUSB ports, but there is an important difference here, as the port of the Note 3 is USB 3.0 compatible, meaning that if you have a USB 3.0 port on your computer, you will be enjoying faster transfer speeds and charging, as long as you are using the compatible cable. So, the Xperia Z1 does not have a fancy microUSB 3.0 port, but what it does have is a certain degree ruggedness with its IP 58 certification, which means it is both dust- and water-proof. Meanwhile, the Note 3 has its hallmark feature, the S Pen stylus, which allows you to take handwritten notes or why not even draw on that 5.7” canvas.