Sony Xperia 1 II vs Samsung Galaxy S20: Android face-off

If you’re on the hunt for a new Android phone that packs pretty much every feature going then you’ll likely be looking at both the Samsung Galaxy S20 series and the Sony Xperia 1 II. Thankfully we’re going to put them head-to-head to see which is best for you.
Samsung’s Galaxy S range is the Android king, but if you’ve got money to spend then there is more competition worth looking at. Namely, one of the surprise Android phones of the year comes from Sony – a brand that has struggled to define itself in the smartphone space for years.
Want a deeper look? Here is our Samsung Galaxy S20 review and our Sony Xperia 1 II review.
Sony Xperia 1 II vs Samsung Galaxy S20 – Two of the best displays around
While these are two Android phones that pack many of the same features, they’re clearly aimed at very different markets. The S20 series – which includes the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Ultra and S20 Plus – is thoroughly aimed at the mass-market, while the Xperia 1 II feels a little more niche.
The 6.5-inch screen, for example, on the Xperia 1 II is aimed directly at those who love watching videos on their phones. It’s a tall, narrow 21:9 screen with a 4K resolution and cinema-grade colour accuracy. It’s a great panel that doesn’t have any notches or cutouts to draw your eye away from the content. You do only get that 4K benefit when supported content plays though (and that is a rare occurrence as it is missing from big streaming apps like Netflix and Prime Video) and a big missing feature is a boosted frame rate. The Xperia sticks to a 60Hz panel, which is noticeable when you compare it to Galaxy S20.
Sony Xperia 1 II The S20 comes in three sizes: 6.2-inch, 6.7-inch and 6.9-inch. Each is a 120Hz OLED, with a QHD+ resolution (you’ll need to lower this to FHD+ to get that 120Hz though) and full HDR 10+ support. It’s not as tall as the Xperia and has a cutout in the middle for the front camera, yet it remains a fantastic panel.
These are two great displays that offer something different. Go for the S20 if you want variety of size and a brighter, faster panel. While the Xperia 1 II offers plenty if you’re big into mobile video viewing.
None of these phones do much with their designs. The Ultra version of the S20 is big and heavy, while the S20 and S20 Plus are thin, light and a little bit unimaginative. The Xperia 1 II lacks the curved display of the S20 and has a more boxy look.
All the phones have an IP68 rating and glass backs for Qi charging, however only the Xperia has a headphone jack. You’ll also find far better speaker quality on the Xperia, again showing the focus on media.
The Galaxy S20 series Related: Samsung Galaxy S20 vs S20 Plus
Sony Xperia 1 II vs Samsung Galaxy S20 – Specs and cameras
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