Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review
A New and Interesting Samsung Device
With Apple consistently trumping Samsung on the flagship sales chart, it looks like the South Korean company has got a bit sick of finishing second. Samsung’s answer to the iPhone’s dominance is the Galaxy Alpha, the first of what we hope is a continuing trend of truly competitive flagship smartphones.
So, just how good is this new iPhone competitor? Has Samsung finally come up with a handset that can beat the iPhone hands down? We take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Alpha to tell you all of its good points, bad points and overall ranking compared to other flagship smartphones.
Samsung was widely criticised when it revealed the Galaxy S5 and its plastic, rubberised chassis. Fans were in uproar and reviews of the handset mentioned this style in a poor light.
Now it seems that Samsung has learnt its lesson with the Galaxy Alpha, finally giving fans a somewhat metallic design to drool over.
Boasting a stylish and smooth aluminium trim around the entirety of the handset, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha has an aura of professionalism around it, something other handsets have lacked in recent years.
This is helped by the incredibly slim build which measures up at just 7mm, giving it a compact and lightweight look and feel.
The main area of the back side is once again made of the same material as the S5, but it’s much more bearable this time around, and gives the Alpha a distinct look compared to any other smartphone on the market.
All of the standard ports are where you’d expect them to be, with the physical home button also making a home beneath the 4.7” display on the front side.
Overall, this is by far one of the best designed handsets we’ve ever seen from Samsung, it mixes practicality and style beautifully, and with its metallic trim, finally pleases the majority of Samsung fans.
Phone Set Up
With a fresh new design comes a fresh set of specs, and having come in as Samsung’s new iPhone competitor, the Galaxy Alpha certainly has a lot to prove.
Getting a glimpse at its 4.7” Super AMOLED display definitely isn’t a let-down, and you can tell instantly that its quality is right up there with some of the best.
Packing in 312 pixels per inch, the sharpness is there, and with the tech behind the screen working at full throttle, there is very little to complain about.
In a new move from Samsung we find 32GB of non-expandable storage, much like previous iPhone offerings. Of course 32GB is more than enough for most, but if you’re a serial memory hogger you may want to look elsewhere.
2GB RAM sits alongside an Exynos octa-core processor, making the Galaxy Alpha tremendously fast to use on a daily basis. The responsiveness is there, and lag isn’t even close to making its way onto the device.
Finally, with Android 4.4.4 KitKat holding the keys on the software front, you know you’ll be getting a solid and updatable service as well.
Samsung already has a bevy of features to choose from, so it didn’t come as much of a surprise to see the Galaxy Alpha relying on them to bring in sales.
The fingerprint scanner which features on the Galaxy S5 is one such addition and is once again certified by PayPal, meaning it can be used to pay for things via apps.
Similarly, the Ultra Power Saving Mode from the Galaxy S5 is included as well, promising to make your battery last as long as possible, something we’ll mention in more detail later.
Kids mode, S Health and many other Samsung apps are also included on the Galaxy Alpha, making for an experience not too far off the one on the S5. This shouldn’t be considered a problem though, especially considering just how good the S5 is.
Although the Galaxy Alpha won’t be winning any awards for originality, it definitely continues the strong showing started by the Galaxy S5.
Camera & Video
Samsung has consistently performed to a high level when it comes down to photography, with handsets like the Galaxy S5, K Zoom and Note 4 all showing off great lenses.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha proves to be yet another good effort from the South Korean company, again showing off a stunning set of cameras which are more than capable of competing at the highest level.
A 12 megapixel lens adorns the back of the device, whilst a 2.1 megapixel lens handles all the selfies for the Alpha, both of which perform phenomenally well.
Samsung has once again included a tonne of features for both lenses on the software side of things, and with 1080p video quality, the handset really does perform all round.
The Galaxy Alpha matches the smartphone average when it comes down to standard battery life with its 1,860mAh juice pack. But whilst we can’t moan about this, we aren’t exactly overwhelmed by it.
The inclusion of Ultra Power Saver Mode is obviously a massive plus on this front, giving us an extended life if we choose to stop certain other parts of the phone running.
In general though we would have to list the battery at a so-so kind of level, it just doesn’t stand out enough to get us ranting and raving about it.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha is a great addition to what is quickly becoming one of the strongest smartphone collections on the market.
Its quality alongside the iPhone will be interesting to see, but we definitely think it can give it a run for its money.
It is let down slightly in a few areas, but overall the Galaxy Alpha is looking like a flagship phone worth thinking about.
Written by Luke Hatfield