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Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Samsung Galaxy S5

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Introduction


Climbing to the top of the leader boards for most of the year, the Galaxy S5 continues to be a darling of a gem in the mobile space – where its reign of dominance is rarely tested. Not surprisingly, it received much acclaim for its unprecedented set of features and impressive overall performance, but its design still came off undesiring for something so high-end. That’s where Samsung does justice with the Galaxy Alpha, a profoundly better designed phone. But is looks alone enough to catapult it over the renowned Galaxy S5, especially when they’re priced identically with a 2-year contract?

Design

The Galaxy Alpha is the best designed phone out of Samsung’s camp, making the Galaxy S5’s design obsolete.

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. The Galaxy Alpha is the best designed smartphone to come out of Samsung’s camp, thanks to its solid construction, attractive metal-trimmed bezel, and compact feel in the hand. Indeed, it’s a stark contrast to the design of the language of the S5. Despite the S5’s less-than-desirable looks and its all plastic construction, it features a water-resistant element – something that the Alpha doesn’t offer.

Seeing that they’re closely related, it doesn’t shock us that they offer pretty much the same set of features, ports, and button. In fact, they share common things like their finger print sensors, removable batteries, and heart rate sensors. However, the Galaxy S5 packs on some additional amenities that clearly indicates it’s Sammy’s pride and joy – like its microSD card slot and IR blaster.


Samsung Galaxy Alpha
5.21 x 2.58 x 0.26 inches
132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm
4.06 oz (115 g)

Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Samsung Galaxy S5
5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches
142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)

Samsung Galaxy S5


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Display

The Galaxy S5 sports larger display with higher pixel density, but the Alpha is more color accurate.

Size and resolution, those are what’s most apparently different with these two displays from a first look. The Galaxy S5 stuffs a larger 5.1-inch 1080 x 1920 Super AMOLED panel into its body, while the Galaxy Alpha has a more hand-friendly 4.7-inch 720 x 1080 Super AMOLED display. While the two appear on par to one another from a details standpoint from a normal viewing distance, the Galaxy Alpha’s decision to rely on a PenTile pixel arrangement makes it less sharp – and it doesn’t help either that its resolution chimes in at 720p.

Well, a comforting quality about the Galaxy Alpha’s display is that it offers a more well-balanced color reproduction than the Galaxy S5. It’s stark contrast to the Galaxy S5’s over-saturated color reproduction, which definitely gives it that showroom wow factor, but it’s not accurate at all. Aside from that, they pretty much offer the same qualities with their displays – such as their wide viewing angles, deep black color, and similar brightness outputs.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 442
(Good)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
8183
(Poor)
2.25
5.08
(Average)
7.38
(Average)
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 422
(Good)
1.7
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6840
(Excellent)
1.96
2.19
(Good)
2.38
(Good)
View all


35 Comments
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posted on 17 Oct 2014, 05:33 6

1. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


S5 looks so old already.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 12:00 1

26. GTR722 (Posts: 261; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


And cheap...

posted on 05 Feb 2015, 08:47

36. M4th3u54ndr4d3 (Posts: 59; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


But better than alpha

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 05:35 9

2. tgom222 (Posts: 22; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)


"If you feel that the Galaxy S5 is simply too large for your liking, then it’s a logical decision to pick up the Galaxy S5. If not, stick with the Galaxy S5 for its totality and richness."

So get the S5 no matter what?

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 06:18 3

3. Cicero (Posts: 854; Member since: 22 Jan 2014)


Alpha looks better IMO.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 06:28 1

4. Anterv (Posts: 172; Member since: 09 Jul 2014)


When everyone hates that plastic, I prefer S5. IMO S5 back looks much better than Alpha, just S5 front side looks pretty old and known from previous Samsung devices. Alpha feels like premium mid-ranger, when S5 feels more flagmanish.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 06:28 4

5. UglyFrank (Posts: 1580; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


Now we know the battery test is flawed

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 06:29 2

6. MrsJedi (Posts: 25; Member since: 17 Oct 2014)


Alpha looks nicer. Plus DAT metal frame!!!

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 10:58

22. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


after all plastic metal frame looks good.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 07:12 1

7. yowanvista (Posts: 340; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Imho they should have done the comparison using the international Exynos Galaxy Alpha instead of the US S801 one.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 07:16 7

8. bucky (Posts: 2459; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


I held the Galaxy alpha for the first time today. That is probably the nicest looking android phone I have seen.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 08:20 1

10. roldefol (Posts: 4097; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Compared to all other Android phones, or compared to Galaxy phones?

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 09:05 5

13. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10434; Member since: 14 May 2012)


All Android phones imo. Period.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 09:22 1

17. roldefol (Posts: 4097; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


To me, it looks a lot like the Galaxy SII with those tight corners and that protruding camera. I'm sure the materials are really nice for a Samsung, but design? I think both the One (M7 and M8) and G3 did more to advance Android design.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 11:05 1

24. bucky (Posts: 2459; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


Agreed. All android phones. It's just clean, simple and well thought out.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 07:20 1

9. bendgate (unregistered)


Make alpha with note4 specs.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 08:21

11. roldefol (Posts: 4097; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


4.7” quad HD screen? Sure, why not.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 09:04

12. bendgate (unregistered)


You don't want something like that? And 5 inch screen ofcourse.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 09:16

16. roldefol (Posts: 4097; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


With a 5" screen, it won't be the size of the Alpha, it'll be the size of the S4. Not a bad thing, but not really compact.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 09:11 1

14. egghead71 (Posts: 5; Member since: 17 Oct 2014)


They did... they call it the Note 4

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 10:59

23. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


ok your message has been sent to samsung mobile .

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 09:15 3

15. egghead71 (Posts: 5; Member since: 17 Oct 2014)


This is like an object lesson from Samsung. Every reviewer harps on "design" and "build quality" or "premium materials." Samsung is saying OK, we give, but look at all the stuff you have to give up to get your "premium build" at the same price point. We'll give you a lesser screen, a lesser camera, no removable battery, no SD card. In short, your new Galaxy phone will do less, but it will look great doing it. Seems like a bad tradeoff to me.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 09:24 1

18. egghead71 (Posts: 5; Member since: 17 Oct 2014)


Ha ha, my bad. Looks like Alpha has removable battery, but not waterproof. The point remains, giving things up for what some consider "premium build."

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 10:20

20. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10434; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Note 4 has all but IP67 rating so idk what you're talking about.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 10:48

21. egghead71 (Posts: 5; Member since: 17 Oct 2014)


Talking about the Alpha. Note 4 comes in at a higher price point.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 12:37 1

27. Philipand96 (Posts: 92; Member since: 12 Jul 2014)


The only "comment" that the "Orchard dwellers" can level at Samsung is metal and premium feel.

Premium feel ain't so good if that metal is a Terminator?

What these "revisionist" fail to mention is these facts
1) Apple iPhones were originally made from plastic
2) Apple then touted metal premium feels so much, the iPhone5C failed to sell as they were seen as the "poor man" alternative, and dropped

3) Metal only feels premium because they conduct heat better (I bought brand new METAL Nokia E6 after Nokia dropped Symbian (Dual Camera [video call] 8Mp QWERTY & touch screen phone, that has Nokia Maps for under 1/2 the cost of a Bold 9900)

Both plastic and metal scratch, the E6 has always been protected by a S-line case, the scratches on metal are more noticeable

Premium will mark especially iPhones which are aluminium a very soft metal

4) Apple imo are extremely slow in adding features, e.g. in 2010 the iPhone4 became the first iPhone to have camera flash!

Re ALPHA / S5

I credit Samsung execs with a great deal of nous and the Galaxy Alpha is NOT a flagship phone despite comments coming from them as post S4

I did not see the Alpha until a couple of days after and it is clear that Samsung were demonstrating that Samsung could make a better iPhone than Apple and the Alpha show they can (only Apple dropping the 32Gb version take some sheen away as had there been a 32GB the Alpha is both better and cheaperhttp://www.phonearena.com/phones/compare/Samsung-Galaxy-Alpha,Apple-iPhone-6/phones/8618,8346

The Alpha is directed at those who insist on metal and Samsung KNEW that any upgrade to the iPhone5s would be minimal

Very few if any would switch to the Alpha after the S4 for the reason you already cite

Again plastic v metal, unlike skin on the human body being the largest organ the plastic covering forms a minor % in the S5 which has a touch creen still Gorilla glass, (the iPhone dropped Gorilla glass.

The Galaxy S range have high end specs naysayers harp on the build

The Alpha is another range (NOT a flagship as Samsung Flagship HAVE MICROSD EXPANSION) this range for the “tactile” and superior to the repeated specs on the iPone 6 e.g 4 years stuck with an 8MP camera since the iPhone 4S

Anyone who was on contract with an IPhone5 is if they want an ACTUAL upgrade better of with the S4 / S5 / NOTE 3/ NOTE 4 or Alpha as the iPhone 6 is just larger display iPhone 5 that has Apple Pay added.

The Iphone 6 comes 2 years after the iPhone 5, and is NOT an upgradehttp://www.phonearena.com/phones/compare/Apple-iPhone-5,Apple-iPhone-6/phones/7378,8346

The Alpha is a niche phone designed PURPOSELY to look like an iPhone and aimed at those who do not want to buy the same iphone over and over again

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 10:11

19. Symon_Fleece (Posts: 335; Member since: 30 May 2014)


Alpha for design, smaller and more compact

s5 for display, camera, microSD card slot, bigger battery and waterproof.

But s5 is better than alpha. they almost have same features, but s5 has some extras, and it is cheaper too. :)

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 11:32

25. rromerof (Posts: 46; Member since: 28 Nov 2012)


Totally biased: "At the end of the day, we seriously feel that it’s a matter of size preference. If you feel that the Galaxy S5 is simply too large for your liking, then it’s a logical decision to pick up the Galaxy S5. If not, stick with the Galaxy S5 for its totality and richness." So you must pick up the S5 because you say so. Anyway, I have never seen this display resolution (720 x 1080): "...while the Galaxy Alpha has a more hand-friendly 4.7-inch 720 x 1080 Super AMOLED...".

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 17:39

28. FarmerStyle (Posts: 37; Member since: 17 May 2014)


both are ugly -_-

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 18:23

29. gigaraga (Posts: 1454; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Nice, got even nicer.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 16:03

30. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)


"If you feel that the Galaxy S5 is simply too large for your liking, then it’s a logical decision to pick up the Galaxy S5. If not, stick with the Galaxy S5 for its totality and richness."

might wanna fix that unless you wanna confuse some readers @John.V

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 07:30

31. robertkoa (Posts: 87; Member since: 27 Apr 2014)


I agree with Bendgate above where he says an Alpha Device with Note 4 Specs.

Alpha Pro with Note 4 Specs and price would be greatest Android for me .

I think many Pros who need Device for Work, would greatly appreciate Power in the smaller Form.

I never cared too much about a Phone's appearance but after seeing Alpha I do appreciate the appearance a lot and it feels very sturdy and durable.

I appreciate Phone Arena screen test measurements, many Reviewers complained of yellow or off color screen on Alpha - it is accurate, helpful for Designers, Artists, Media People , Photographers to have color accuracy, even though 720 p.

Nice Comparison.

posted on 24 Nov 2014, 10:38

32. stevieb23 (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Nov 2014)


This is my 3rd week with a samsung alpha after having the s5. I can say that its the nicest phone I've ever had very comfortable to hold and being so thin it is very light and perfect to use with one hand. In my opinion 4.7 inch is a perfect size for a mobile phone. Design apart, when I put both phones side by side screen colours on the alpha looked more natural and browsing on the internet( connected with the same wifi) the alpha was doing the job faster then the s5. When it comes to camera the s5 16 mp is the best you can get, but the alpha 12mp is not bad at all. For me it does not make any difference. What I miss is the IR blaster which was usefully connected with my tvs and cable and it was fun in waiting areas with tvs. I also miss the s5 2,800 mAh battery which gave me a whole day of heavy usage and still had some percentage left when connect to the charger.

On the whole the alpha is a great phone better designed.

posted on 23 Jan 2015, 00:18

34. wsoul1 (Posts: 10; Member since: 19 Mar 2014)


"Climbing to the top of the leader boards for most of the year, the Galaxy S5 continues to be a darling of a gem in the mobile space"

umm ok

posted on 24 Apr 2015, 14:22

37. threebee (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Apr 2015)


Any one have problems with calls going straight voice mail? I have an Alpha.
I have to reset it all the time and even done a factory reset and its still doing it.

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