In June this year Sony released the Sony Xperia Z3+ as a response to Samsung’s Galaxy S6, which has taken over the market ever since April. Unfortunately, the Xperia Z3+ failed, as it didn’t reach its competitor’s standards and even more, it had some major issues with overheating. Sony didn’t give up the fight and announced, during the IFA press conference, three new phones: Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact and Xperia Z5 Premium.
Apparently, Sony has skipped a number and decided to impress by launching three new models by October. In the end, the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact was available from the end of September, while the Sony Xperia Z5 was released as expected in October. Although the Xperia Z5 Premium seems to have more chances at competing with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5, it is expected to be released in November. After all, can the Sony Xperia Z5 compete with the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 5, which has been around since August? That’s what we’re going to find out!
Design, Body, and Durability
The first big difference between the two phones is their design. Like any other Sony devices, the Xperia Z5 has a more “boxy”, rectangular design and seems to be made out of a metal case, but in fact it’s made out of frosted matte glass, which gives it a mirror like effect. As for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5, it is slimmer, curvier and looks more stylish than Xperia.
As for the smartphones bodies, don’t be fooled by the phone’s designs, the Xperia Z5 is slightly slimmer and smaller in size. As it is considered an actual phablet Galaxy’s Note 5 dimensions are 6.03 x 3.00 x 0.30 inch (153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm) while Xperia’s Z5 size is 5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 inch (146 x 72 x 7.3 mm).
Both devices use Nano-SIM cards and have fingerprint sensors implemented, but Xperia comes with an improved feature, it is IP68 certified, meaning that it is dust proof and water resistant. Sony’s Xperia Z5 resists 30 minutes immersed in liquid over 1.5 meter. On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 comes with an S Pen Stylus, which has a click-in holster, a recessed button and an updated S Note app.
Display, Resolution and Camera
Two different styles of smartphones have to come with two completely different displays. The Note 5 has a 5.7” Super AMOLED display with 16M colors and capacitive touchscreen. With 1440×2560 pixels resolution and the corning Gorilla Glass 4, Note 5 rightfully deserves is phablet title. As for Xperia Z5 it has a 5.2” IPS LCD display with similar 16M colors and capacitive touchscreen. As for the 1080×1920 pixels screen, it is actually made out of scratch resistant glass that has an oleophobic coating. If not by size and design, Xperia Z5 seems to be more durable that its competitor.
Also, when it comes to cameras, Sony worked really hard to surpass Samsung. Front or rear camera, Xperia Z5 focused on more mega-pixels. Xperia’s 5.1 MP, 1080p, HDR front camera surpasses Galaxy’s Note 5 typical 5 MP camera. While considering the rear camera, Sony built its Xperia Z5 with a 23 MP camera taking pictures up to 5520×4140 pixels photos. Although Samsung’s Note 5 16 MP rear camera takes 5312×2988 pixels photos, Samsung included more features to help its users take the perfect photo. As for video recording, don’t worry, both companies support 4K video formats.
Performance, Storage, and Connectivity
To reach expectations, Xperia Z 5 was equipped with powerful specs, that are close to the best on the market today, while Note 5 kept its renowned highly performant specs.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 stuck to its 64-bit Exynos 7 Octa 7420 processor with the 1.5 GHz A53 and 2.1 GHz A57 Cortex combined with the ARM Mali-T760 MP8 graphics processor. As for Xperia Z5 it is powered by the 64-bit Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810 processor with quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 and 2 GHz Cortex-A57 in combination with the Adreno 430 GPU. A big disadvantage is the fact that Galaxy Note 5 doesn’t support microSD’s and although it can either have 32 or 64 GB storage capacity with 4 GB RAM, Xperia Z5 has 32 GB storage capacity with 3 GB RAM and can also reach up to 200 GB storage capacity with a microSD.
Although the processor’s capabilities don’t compare, Xperia Z5 wins when it comes to storage capacity, which is really valued by most smartphone users. But Note 5 is the only smartphone that lets you write by hand. By being high performant phones, they both support 4G connectivity and have the same Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n dual-band connection. With GPS incorporated, but with a small difference in Bluetooth connection, as Xperia Z5 has a 4.1 Bluetooth incorporated, while Note 5 has the 4.2 version, the smartphones seem to be slightly different.
Battery and Software
Both phones seem to have downgraded batteries in comparison to their predecessors, both with different advantages and disadvantages. Xperia’s Z5 non-removable Li-Ion 2900 mAh battery, can last up to a day and has various energy saving modes installed and more importantly it has a fast battery charging feature, as it brings your battery up to 60% in 30 minutes. But, it cannot be charged wireless like Galaxy’s Note 5 non-removable Li-Po 3000 mAh battery, can be. Although Note’s 5 battery lasts an average of 15 hours, it did beat its predecessor average of 12 hours. With various power saving modes and the wireless charging capacity, the battery’s life might not seem to be less functional than that of the Xperia.
When it comes down to software, both devices are built to be compatible with the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Operating System and are added on the list of smartphones that will receive the updated version of Android OS, the 6.0 Marshmallow.
Overall, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is an excellent smartphone with a premium price, the 64 GB version having a $800 price range, while the 32 GB costs roughly $700, but storage is needed as the phablet doesn’t support microSD. Also, it doesn’t seem to be very much upgraded in comparison to the last years Note 4 model. Although, that writing by hand feature does make it unique.
As for the Sony Xperia Z5, the difference is huge when it comes to its failed Xperia Z3+ version. Although specifications are not highly improved, the overheating issue promises to be resolved. The price range is similar to the Note 5, being situated in the $700 range, depending on the region it is sold in, some discounts were made to attract customers, as the phone was released pretty late and doesn’t offer much more than the Samsung Galaxy S series.
In my opinion, both smartphones are amazing, yet different in so many ways. At the same price you can either have a better performing Samsung Galaxy Note 5, but it will lack in storage capacity. While, Sony Xperia Z5 has storage problems covered and also offers the possibility of taking high quality and underwater photos. In the end it depends on what you expect from your phone and probably what kind of design suits your preferences more.
Pixel 8 Pro runs Google’s generative AI models
Rick Osterloh, Google’s SVP of devices and services, says the Pixel 8 Pro will be the first hardware to run Google’s generative AI models.
At an event today, Osterloh said the Pixel 8 Pro’s custom-built Tensor G3 chip, which accelerates AI workloads, can run “distilled” versions of Google’s text- and image-generating models to power image editing and other apps.
Osterloh said, “We’ve worked closely with our research teams across Google to take advantage of their most advanced foundation models and distill them into a version efficient enough to run on our flagship Pixel.”
Google improved Magic Eraser, its photo-editing tool, to remove larger objects and people smudge-free using on-device models. Osterloh claims that this improved Magic Eraser creates new pixels to fill in shot gaps, producing a higher-quality image.
Osterloh says a new on-device model will “intelligently” sharpen and enhance photo details, improving zoom.
On-device processing benefits audio recording. The Pixel 8 Pro’s recording app will soon summarize meeting highlights.
Gboard will use a large language model on the Pixel 8 Pro to power smart replies. Osterloh claims that the upgraded Gboard will provide “higher-quality” reply suggestions and better conversational awareness.
Osterloh said an update in December will add on-device generative AI features except for Magic Eraser, which appears on the Pixel 8 Pro at launch.
Telegram launches a global self-custodial crypto wallet, excluding the US
Telegram, with 800 million monthly users, is launching a self-custodial crypto wallet. The move will solidify its presence in the vibrant crypto community that has grown from its chat platform and may attract more people to crypto.
Telegram and TON Foundation announced TON Space, a self-custodial wallet, on Wednesday at Singapore’s Token2049 crypto conference, which draws over 10,000 attendees.
Telegram has a complicated blockchain relationship. After the SEC sued Telegram over a massive initial coin offering, the chat app abandoned its Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain project in 2020. The Open Network Foundation (TON Foundation), founded by open-source developers and blockchain enthusiasts, supports the development of The Open Network (TON), the blockchain powering a growing number of Telegram applications, including the wallet.
The Open Platform (TOP) and TOP Labs, a venture-building division, created the TON-based wallet.
TON Space will be available to Telegram users worldwide without wallet registration in November. The U.S., which has cracked down on the crypto industry and promoted many crypto apps to geofence users, is currently excluded from the feature.
Google’s massive antitrust trial begins, with bigger implications
The Justice Department’s landmark antitrust case against Google began in court today, setting off a months-long trial that could upend the tech world.
At issue is Google’s search business. The Justice Department claims that Google has violated antitrust laws to maintain its search title, but the company claims that it does so by providing a superior product.
The Justice Department sued Google for civil antitrust in late 2020 after a year-long investigation.
“If the government does not enforce the antitrust laws to enable competition, we will lose the next wave of innovation,” said then-Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. “If that happens, Americans may never see the ‘next Google.’”
A large coalition of state attorneys general filed their own parallel suit against Google, but Judge Amit Mehta ruled that the states did not meet the bar to go to trial with their search ranking complaints.
The search business case against Google is separate from a federal antitrust lawsuit filed earlier this year. The Justice Department claims Google used “anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means” to neutralize threats to its digital advertising empire in that lawsuit.
Justice Department attorney Kenneth Dintzer set the stakes for the first major tech antitrust trial since Microsoft’s late 1990s reckoning on Tuesday. “This case is about the future of the internet, and whether Google’s search engine will ever face meaningful competition,” Dintzer said.
Beginning the trial, the government focused on Google’s deals with phone makers, most notably Apple, that give its search product top billing on new devices. Dintzer claimed that Google maintains and grows its search engine dominance by paying $10 billion annually for those arrangements.
“This feedback loop, this wheel, has been turning for more than 12 years,” he said. “And it always benefits Google.”
Google lawyer John Schmidtlein refuted that claim, hinting at the company’s legal defense in the coming weeks.
“Users today have more search options and more ways to access information online than ever before,” Schmidtlein said. Google will argue that it competes with Amazon, Expedia, and DoorDash, as well as Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
Google planted the seeds for this defense. According to internal research, Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan said last year that more young people are using TikTok to search for information than Google Search.
In our studies, almost 40% of young people don’t use Google Maps or Search to find lunch, Raghavan said. “They use TikTok or Instagram.”
Google will be decided by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in the coming months. We’re far from that decision, but the company could be fined heavily or ordered to sell parts of its business.
The trial could change Google’s digital empire if the Justice Department wins. Other tech companies that dominated online markets in the last decade are also watching. If the government fails to hold an iconic Silicon Valley giant accountable, big tech will likely continue its aggressive growth trajectory.
If the Justice Department succeeds, the next decade could be different. The industry-wide reckoning could cripple incumbents and allow upstarts to define the next era of the internet, wresting the future from tech titans.
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