Excitement is building in the run-up to MWC 2016, where we expect to see some of the year's biggest devices for the first time. The Samsung Galaxy S7 will be there, but could the Sony Xperia Z6 also be revealed? And if it is, which of the two phones will be the bigger deal? This is what we think, according to what we know about each of them so far.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z6: Price and release date
The Samsung Galaxy S7 will make its first appearance at MWC will be on February 21. After this, it will only be a matter of time before it hits stores, and it's likely we'll be able to get hold of one before the end of the first quarter of 2016.
Many believe the Sony Xperia Z6 will also be presented at MWC, but nobody's really sure. The date is consistent with Sony's short launch cycles, but the shortage of leaked images and rumors suggests that the Japanese company will keep its new flagship under wraps a little longer.
Samsung and Sony are two of the more expensive mobile phone companies, so it would be prudent to assume a price of around 700 Euros / US$780 for each of them.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z6: Design
Don't expect any surprises from either phone in the design stakes. According to the latest reports, Samsung has largely stuck with the design language it used for its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in 2015, while Sony hasn't altered its OmniBalance design principles since the line began. The details might get tweaked, but the overall appearance of both phones will be similar to that of their predecessors.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z6: Display
The screen of the new Galaxy S7 has been all but confirmed as 5.1 inches, and there is reportedly a 5.5-inch Edge variant too. It has also been speculated that Samsung will implement Clear Force, its own version of Force Touch technology, which reacts to different pressures applied to the screen.
The last four iterations of the main Xperia Z phone have had 5.2-inch screens, and we expect that trend to continue with the Xperia Z6. One of the first rumors about the Xperia Z6 range suggested that it would comprise five members, a Compact and a Premium device, like the Z5 line, plus a Mini and an Ultra model. This seemed far-fetched at the time and has not been backed up with further evidence since.
Regarding the resolution, it would be logical to expect a QHD display from the Samsung and Full HD from the Sony. This would result in a pixel density identical to that of previous models, ie, 576 ppi for the S7 and 424 ppi for the Z6.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z6: Performance
Both Samsung and Sony claim their phones are among the most powerful on the market. Their last two models scored similarly in the main performance benchmark tests – an average of around 60,000 points on AnTuTu – and that's likely to be the case with the new phones too.
The Galaxy S7 could come in two variants for different geographical markets. Those handsets released in Asia and the US would contain a Snapdragon 820 processor, while the European would be powered by the Exynos 8890. Rumor has it the Xperia Z6 uses Snapdragon 820.
Camera quality is an area in which Samsung and Sony typically excel. The latest high-end models from each manufacturer are among the best phone cameras on the market, albeit for different reasons.
Two of the highlights of the camera of the Xperia Z5 were hybrid image stabilization and continuous autofocus, which makes taking pictures much faster and more effective. All of this in a high-quality lens with a maximum resolution of 23 MP.
Samsung’s major 2016 launch featured the Sony IMX240 sensor with a resolution of 16 MP, which is able to take photos of higher quality than any other model in the company.
Looking at the history of each company, it could be expected that Sony would maintain the same sensors from its previous launch for the Xperia Z6.
However, for the Galaxy S7, an improvement over its predecessor is expected. There are rumors about a 12 MP sensor with Briteicell technology and an aperture of f/1.7.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z6: Battery
VentureBeat, the prestigious tech blog, claimed that Samsung said it would increase the battery in its new flagship model to 3,000 mAh. Sony, on the other hand, has reduced the size of the battery in its flagship model since the Xperia Z2, so it’s hard to imagine that the company would decide to install a battery greater than 3,000 mAh.
Regardless, despite their relatively small batteries, both the Xperia Z5 and the Galaxy S6 do a great job of being energy efficient, and the key to continuing this does not lie in the number of milliamp hours their successors have, but in their new software solutions or fast charging options.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z6: early verdict
It’s difficult to predict which of these two phones will become the most popular among users. The previous high-end models of the two companies are still very relevant, so the Z6 and S7 both have a lot to live up to. Keep an eye on this page, as we'll update it when we know more about each device and have been able to further discover which is more impressive.
Which device are you looking forward to the most? Tell us your views in the comments.