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The development of portable nuclear instrumentation demands compact high sensitivity detectors operated at room temperature. The sensitivity of these detectors mainly depends on two parameters: absolute efficiency and energy resolution in the range 10-1500 keV. In order to provide high efficiency, large volumes are needed. For semiconductor detectors able to operate at room temperature, the largest effective volumes with acceptable resolution are achieved with CdZnTe coplanar-grid and pixel detectors. On the other hand, new scintillation materials have been recently developed with spectrometric capabilities only reachable, some years ago, with semiconductors. In this work we compare the performance of two states of the art detectors of different technologies with relative large volume: a coplanar-grid CdZnTe detector with dimensions 15 mm×15 mm×10 mm and a LaBr3(Ce) crystal with volume 18 mm×18 mm×30 mm. The CdZnTe crystal was made by Yinnel Tech (USA) and the detector was manufactured by BSI (LV). The LaBr3(Ce) scintillator was grown and made by Saint-Gobain (F). The energy resolution for the CZT detector is 2.05% FWHM at 662 keV. The resolution for the scintillator at this energy is near 3%. The total efficiency was studied in a setup with calibrated point sources. The experimental spectrum were compared with Monte-Carlo simulations performed with Geant4. Loss of total and photopeak efficiency due to detector defects was analyzed. The implications of the results of this comparison are discussed with regards to the practical use of these units.