Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs A5 vs A3: specs comparison

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs A5 vs A3: specs comparison
Last year, Samsung execs gathered together, and concluded that the single biggest obstacle against their Galaxy line of phones' world domination was design. Specs they had mastered, but users were constantly clamoring for a little something something in the premium chassis department.

Well, that little something materialized in the form of the ultrathin, metal-sided Galaxy Alpha, that is undoubtedly a piece that looks and feels very premium, yet still keeps the signature removable plastic back cover. After reviewing the Alpha, we think that Samsung is on to something here, but now it went even further, and released the all-metal Galaxy A3 and A5, with sealed aluminum bodies. Let's recap what can we expect from those allegedly pricey lookers.

Samsung is actually making a U-turn with these not only in terms of design, but in specs as well, as it has equipped them with "mere" HD 720p and qHD 540x960 pixels AMOLED displays, and powered the phones with a lowly Snapdragon 410 that carries Adreno 306 GPUs, while the Alpha comes with more powerful chipsets. The 410 is a 64-bit processor, though, so the new metal phones from Samsung are Lollipop-ready, too. The A3 comes with 1 GB of RAM, while the A5 doubles that amount, so both fit nicely within their respective low-end and the midrange categories. 

Tailoring these phones to the youth demographic, Samsung gives quite a bit extra in the camera department, outfitting the A5 with a 13 MP sensor, compared to 12 MP in the Alpha, while even the lowly A3 still comes with an 8 MP shooter on the back. It's the frontal cameras that are more interesting here, though - Samsung placed 5 MP wide-angle snappers on both, knowing perfectly well that the kids love'em selfie times. It has also introduced a few new software shenanigans to beautify and edit your selfie, before posting it on the social networks as if that's the real you. These include Wide Selfie, Palm Selfie, Animated GIF, Beauty Face Features, and Rear-cam Selfie - selfies go for the kill with those.

The choice of battery capacities is a bit underwhelming - a 1900 mAh juicer for the Galaxy A3, and a 2300 mAh one for the A5, though these are perhaps the highest capacities Samsung could fit in such Slim Jims. Given the wonders that Samsung achieved with the 1860 mAh pack of the Alpha, we wouldn't discard the possibility that these two are going to have excellent endurance either, though. Any takers?

Samsung Galaxy A5 vs Samsung Galaxy A3 vs Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Display

Display size

5.0 inches
4.5 inches
4.7 inches

Resolution

720 x 1280 pixels
540 x 960 pixels
720 x 1280 pixels

Pixel density

294 ppi
245 ppi
312 ppi

Technology

Super AMOLED
Super AMOLED
Super AMOLED

Screen-to-body ratio

71.14 %
66.09 %
70.22 %

Camera

Rear

Single camera
Single camera
Single camera

Main camera

13 megapixels
8 megapixels
12 megapixels

Hardware Features

Autofocus
Autofocus, CMOS image sensor
Autofocus, CMOS image sensor

Specifications

Aperture size: F2.0
 
Aperture size: F2.2; Focal length: 31 mm

Video recording

1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)
1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)
3840x2160 (4K UHD) (30 fps), 1920x1080 (Full HD) (60 fps), 1280x720 (HD) (120 fps)

Recording format

MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV
MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV
MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV

Features

Video calling
Video calling
High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Digital image stabilization

Front

5 megapixels
5 megapixels
2.1 megapixels

Video capture

 
 
1920x1080 (Full HD)

Design

Dimensions

5.48 x 2.74 x 0.26 inches (139.3 x 69.7 x 6.7 mm)
5.12 x 2.58 x 0.27 inches (130.1 x 65.5 x 6.9 mm)
5.21 x 2.58 x 0.26 inches (132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm )

Weight

4.34 oz (123 g)
the average is 6.1 oz (174 g)
3.89 oz (110 g)
the average is 6.1 oz (174 g)
4.06 oz (115 g)
the average is 6.1 oz (174 g)

Materials

Back: Plastic; Frame: Metal
Back: Plastic; Frame: Metal
Back: Plastic; Frame: Aluminum

Biometrics

 
 
Fingerprint (swipe)

Features

 
 
Touch sensitive control keys

Hardware & Performance

System chip

Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 8916
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 8916
Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5433

Processor

Quad-core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53, 64-bit
Quad-core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53, 64-bit
Octa-core, 1800 MHz, ARM Cortex-A15 and ARM Cortex-A7

GPU

Adreno 306
Adreno 306
Mali-T628 MP6

RAM

2 GB
1.5 GB
2 GB LPDDR3

OS

Android (5.0 Lollipop, 4.4.4)
Android (5.0 Lollipop, 4.4.4)
Android (5.1 Lollipop, 4.4.4), Samsung TouchWiz UI

Battery

Capacity

2300 mAh
1900 mAh
1860 mAh

Talk time (3G)

15.00 hours
the average is 23 h (1378 min)
12.00 hours
the average is 23 h (1378 min)
11.00 hours
the average is 23 h (1378 min)

Music playback

68.00 hours
60.00 hours
37.00 hours

Video playback

12.00 hours
11.00 hours
10.00 hours

FEATURED VIDEO

15 Comments

1. Industriality

Posts: 131; Member since: Sep 08, 2014

Meh, fat bezelz and low screen rez strikes back.

3. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

May be for flagships but for mid-rangers 250ppi and above is decent to good.

10. Philipand96

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Samsung have just posted another loss and afaik said they stated they would release LESS phones This is a perfect example of 2 phones when one will do and a mix and match 4.7" is the main Alpha and the near same size 4.5" and 5.0” the lesser versions. There should have only been ONE variant at possibly 5.5” There are TOO many variants of phones and don’t need the Alpha range to mirror the Galaxy (also metal clad) Most people do NOT or will not look at a comparison and I just wonder if a store will carry all three? Samsung should have stuck to the script with the Galaxy Alpha having memory expansion (as do 99.9999% of Samsung phones phone) Apple in ditching the 32Gb iPhone6 version made the 32 Gb Alpha ONLY comparable/ competing to the 16Gb iPhone as 64Gb iPhone COSTS MUCH MORE but had twice the Alphas' memory THE Alpha WITH memory expansion would have meant the better “iPhone Alpha clearly higher specs which cost less than even the 128Gb iPhone 6 instead of 16gb These 2 versions both have expansion, so ONLY now is the Alpha range competing with all iPhone 6 memory (both A3 & A5 could not be released with better specs than the flagship but TWO phones?)

2. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

If the Galaxy A5 is about $400, then the Ascend P7 will be the better choice because it's also about $400 and has better specs and screen resolution, design also looks better too. If can spend a bit more, why not get the Xperia Z1 Compact for about $450? Aside from the smaller screen, you get better specs and better camera. Unless you're a die-hard Samsung fan, nobody can stop you from getting the Galaxy A5.

4. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

Your comment (and name) shows you are die hard xperia fan. The overly old and outdated z1 compact is just not even 50% good as A3 leave A5 aside. This is all metal and is much much better than plastic, glass whatever. Most of the people don't care about z*** compact and A series would easily kill it.

6. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

So, I'm a die-hard Xperia fan judging by my name? Oh cool, another blind twat. Didn't you see I mentioned the Ascend P7 as well? Oh great, what a blind twat. Who cares about the Z1 Compact being outdated? Most consumers are looking for value for the money. At least it has better specs and camera and will be getting few more Android updates in the coming years. You think the A5 is the better phone because of it's material? Oh goodness gracious, what the hell are people thinking these days? All I can say is that you're a die-hard Galaxy fan judging by your comment, attitude and blindness. A'ight, since you think the A5 is an overall better phone, you get the A5 on the first day it launch, k? That's it, I'm done with you.

12. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

I really like the Alpha and A series but would wait and watch to get final reviews. And also wait for my phone to get 2yrs older. Buying a phone depends on several factor so very much thanku but not interested in ur advice sir!! Also I like my phone to be beautiful so I pointed out the metal thing and I prefer. My iPads Mini full aluminium casing feels so good to hold that I refuse to compare it with Nexus 7, Tab 4 etc. I don't think z1 compact specs are any better than the A5. Infact A5 is better with bigger screen, lighter premium body. I care a s**t about MP and dust resistant so A5 is more VFM IMHO than Z1/3 compact and z1 compact is old now. A new model is new and interesting always. Im done with you and dont care to read ur replies further. Thanks u.

13. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

Also Super Amoled over IPS anyday. Brighter, more vivid colors, better blacks, little more battery life, quality feel, not so common.

5. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Why not 610 in A5?

7. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

400$ for a 400cpu thats on a 150$ Moto G? Pathetic samsung. Your pricing is way off. That A5 would be fantastic for around 250$. No wonder your profit is SO MUCH DOWN.

8. afraaa

Posts: 138; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

price for spec is too high .. samsung again wants to profit . they really don't getting tired of galaxy shaped phone !!! they actually tie apple hands tight , atleast they have small amount of devices . really like new metal design on note 4 but ,,, if u be galaxy owner u really will feel boring .

9. B-power

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

The A5 is a good mid-ranger. It's a step in the right direction. Hope the price is right.

14. Symon_Fleece

Posts: 351; Member since: May 30, 2014

does 410 64-bit is better than regular snapdragon 400?

15. HarryWild

Posts: 60; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

Looks like another Verizon or maybe Sprint exclusive. Definitely not T-Mobile! LOL!

17. robertkoa

Posts: 88; Member since: Apr 27, 2014

The ridiculous " Thinness Race" and race to a phone 3 to 4 ounces in weight are severely limiting battery life/size, camera sensor advances, speaker phone quality and volume. The same Pro Reviewers who rave about the beauty of a 6 mm thick Device also Complain about poor Battery Life, bad Speakers etc. You Can't Have it Both Ways. So let's have Consumer Phones which are 6 mm thick and underfeatured, underpowered AND let's have PRO DEVICES with no compromise batteries and CPUs and Cameras, PRO DEVICES must be thicker , 8 to 10 mm for high power batteries, bigger Camera Sensors, especially in Compact Devices with 4,7" screens. With these A5, A3, we are seeing this problem, and to some degree with Alpha. So , let's see the Pro Compact Field expand. Note 4 and Note 5 Compacts in 4.7" size.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.