Buying a new mobile phone can be a bit of a complicated process. So many of us today are dependent on our mobiles for constant contact, either for personal or professional reasons so getting a good quality phone is essential. And a top of the line new release is likely to cost you well over £500, so you're going to be making a big investment.
Getting the right combination of features for your money can seem tough. Ideally, you should compare different models until you find the one that's the best value for your cash. However, this isn't always easy to do. Mobile phones do all have spec sheets that list their performance stats and features, and you can find these online. But reading these sheets can be overwhelming for the average shopper because there's just so much technical language involved.
That's why we're here to help you. We've looked at some of the top selling and best mobiles on the market, and then matched models up in head to head comparisons. This lets you see quickly and easily which is the better phone. So if you want to get the best phone for your cash, then keep reading and find out which of today's two models gets our seal of recommendation.
Introducing the Two Phones...
We have two truly amazing devices in the line-up today. The first is Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 model. Last year the Galaxy S III was widely considered by experts to be the best phone on the market, and we're wondering whether Samsung can do the same thing this year with the S4. It's a monster of a phone with some huge specs; it's fast and sleek and does everything you'd expect from a phone and more. But there is some stiff competition around.
Sony's new Xperia Z Ultra is a phablet device. This means that it has all the functions of a phone as well as the larger screen of a tablet computer. Phablets are becoming more and more popular these days, as more people use their mobiles for reading, editing documents and even working on presentations, things that really benefit from that larger screen. And the Z Ultra is one of the top phablets on the market. So which of these two should you invest in?
What You'll be Paying...
Much of the price of a mobile phone depends on where you're shopping, be it online, through and operator or at a retail store. Today we're giving you prices from the mobile operator O2, since they usually have the best deals on top of the line phones.
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is going to cost you around £600 from O2 SIM only. If you want to sign a contract to avoid paying that hefty price up front then you can get the Xperia for no money down on a £42 a month calling plan.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is going to run you about £550 from O2 SIM only. And on contract you can again get the Galaxy for no money down, but this time on a £32 a month contract.
These are both touch screen Android phones running the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system. Both have full 4G capability, so you'll have faster mobile internet speeds. You will need a dedicated 4G data plan from your operator to take advantage of this though, or else your device will connect over 3G by default.
Both models also have the latest in Bluetooth support, running version 4.0 to give you faster data transfer speeds and meaning that your phone will use less battery power when connecting.
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra...
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra only has a couple of advantages over the Samsung Galaxy S4, but they are pretty significant. Firstly, it runs a faster processor having a massive 2300 MHz model as opposed to the mere 1900 MHz model on the Galaxy. So the Xperia is more powerful, snappier and more responsive than the Galaxy is.
This is a phablet device, so obviously it has a larger screen, and the screen on the Xperia measures in at 6.4 inches versus the regular 5 inch screen on the Galaxy. This extra screen space does give you a better viewing experience, but it also means that touch screen typing is a lot easier and more comfortable.
The Sony gets better battery life too. It gets around double the standby time per battery charge cycle than the Samsung gets, averaging around 34 days versus the Galaxy's 15 and a half days. So you'll be charging your phone a lot less often. Finally, the Xperia also has a built in FM radio, whilst the Samsung doesn't. This is a necessary feature by any means, but it might be nice to have.
The Samsung Galaxy S4...
The Samsung Galaxy S4 isn't without a few advantages of its own though. It has double the internal storage, having a 32 GB memory as opposed to the 16 GB memory on the Xperia. So you can store double the amount of music, photos and data on your Galaxy. It also has a superior camera, the 13 MP built in device being capable of capturing more fine detail than the standard 8 MP camera on the Xperia, meaning that you get much better picture quality.
The Xperia might have the bigger screen, but the Samsung has a better quality display. Around 30 per cent more PPI (pixels per inch) on screen make the display crisper and sharper than that on the Sony. And given the smaller screen size, the Galaxy is around 30 per cent smaller than the Xperia. It's lighter too, weighing in at 130 grams versus the 212 gram Xperia. So the Galaxy is more portable and easier to carry around with you all day.
Which is Better...
Both are great, but processing power and screen size tend to be the most important characteristics in a mobile, and for these two reasons we're recommending the Sony Xperia Z Ultra today.