Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 5s – specs comparison and future expectations

The iPhone's core strength has always been its premium design paired with good performance. Android phones, on the other hand, are striving to outperform it by becoming bigger, stronger, and faster, but not leaner. For a long time, the iPhone lacked a mainstream opponent to challenge it in its own elusive category of “compact premium smartphone”.

Enter Samsung Galaxy Alpha. Although its 4.7-inch display makes for a bigger phone, the Galaxy Alpha is more compact than any of today's Android flagships, and is one of the few 4.7-inch smartphones that are built to impress. Does the Galaxy Alpha finally have what it takes to challenge the iPhone? Read on, and you will see.


The iPhone 5s is the more compact and metallic of the two, but Samsung has made the slimmest Galaxy phone ever.

Both the Apple iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy Alpha feature rigid and elegant rectangular shapes. A key difference is that the Galaxy Alpha has a meticulously sculpted frame made of polished aluminum, but the rest of it is built out of familiar Samsung plastic and adorned with a dimpled back like that of the Galaxy S5. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5s is carved out of one solid block of aluminum, which gives Apple the bragging rights to a sturdier build quality, at the expense of a removable battery.

Of course, the iPhone 5s is the more compact phone, measuring at 4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches (123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm) at a weight of 3.95 oz (112 g). In comparison, the Galaxy Alpha measures 5.21 x 2.58 x 0.26 inches (132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm) at a weight of 4.06 oz (115 g). Note that the Galaxy Alpha is taller by 0.34 inches (8.6mm) and wider by 0.27 inches (6.9mm) than the iPhone 5s, but that didn't stop Samsung from making it thinner by 0.035 inches (0.9mm), and only 0.11 oz (3 grams) heavier.

What about colors? While the iPhone 5s is sold in Black, Silver, and Gold, the Galaxy Alpha will be available in Black, White, Gold, Silver, and Blue at launch. No pink? How disappointing!


The Galaxy Alpha's larger display is a clear advantage over the iPhone 5s.

The Galaxy Alpha's larger display gives it a clear advantage over the iPhone 5s. Samsung's offering towards design-conscious customers goes for a large 4.7-inch 720p Super AMOLED panel that makes the iPhone 5s' excellent 4-inch 640p IPS LCD display look and feel minuscule. However, the Alpha's higher resolution isn't equal to a bigger pixel density. The resolution of 640x1136 on the iPhone 5s' 4-inch display calculates to 326 pixels per inch, while the resolution of 720x1280 on the Galaxy Alpha's 4.7-inch display equals 312 pixels per inch. Still, since you practically won't be able to spot the additional 14 pixels per inch on the iPhone 5s' screen, it's safe to call this a tie with the Galaxy Alpha.

But which screen looks better? We haven't tested the Alpha yet, but we can tell, based on our experience and preliminary screen measurements, that it will probably be on par with the excellent color reproduction of the iPhone 5s. A pleasing viewing experience is guaranteed on both.

Related phones

Galaxy Alpha
  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 5 Octa, Octa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1860 mAh(11h 3G talk time)
iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)



1. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2280; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

*Grabs popcorn*

25. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Both phones are nothing but just a pocket hungry device. Go and buy a pair of Mi4. $320+$320=$640. And spend the rest $50 at the McDonald's.

38. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

I like how PA and all other tech media, compare iPhone6 with some mid-range Samsung phone. First time I see them making good point.

46. GeorgeDao123

Posts: 432; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

Sure, if you want your personal data will be sent to Xiaomi's server.

49. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Every company has their own personal cloud services. Apple, Blackberry etc. So what's the point.... Think apart from rumors dude...

2. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

Why on Earth would you compare a bling out S5(aka alpha) and a true next gen(maybe) Apple phone?

3. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Why not, it still has better specs than Ip5s.

5. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

Nah! Note 3 is still better.

9. tahnik

Posts: 201; Member since: Jul 17, 2011

I think you are still on the "Specifications" boat

15. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

No. The experience, utility and a true phablet experience which make a cut above other phablets.

20. sgodsell

Posts: 7531; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

So what the Galaxy Alpha has a metal case around it. What kills me is I see the majority of iPhone users buying cases to wrap around their aluminum case. What a joke. Premium materials, give me break. There are so many Android smartphones that currently best and will still best the new iPhone 6. Welcome iPhone 6 with 2gb of ram, and larger display to 2012.

32. jackskellington6

Posts: 11; Member since: Mar 14, 2014

Yupp they smack a plastic case on their premium material phone, making it a plastic phone again.

62. givemespecs unregistered

People stick cases on their Android phones, so what's your point? iPhones hold their value better than most other smartphones, so why not stick a case on your phone, keep it in pristine condition and sell it for as much as possible once you have upgraded to the next phone?

26. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

But but but "Apple's current flagship is one of the fastest, smoothest-operating smartphones on the market. As delightful as it is to use today, Android feels somewhat sluggish in comparison, even when it runs on cutting-edge hardware." Thats not what us Android people claim!!!!!! /s

33. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

If you download many apps and have a lot of things running you'll see some hiccups with Android. Yes, JB does a great job with closing out apps and unnecessary memory being consumed by apps, but the lag is there. Someone with straight AOSP, little to no apps running, will not see (or notice) lag versus someone using another device with an OEM skin, e.g. Sense, Touchwiz. Plus, the definition of "lag" may vary from person-to-person and what I see as a smooth device may be some or slight lag to another.

51. engineer-1701d unregistered

true nextgen iphone 6 with last 2 years tech sure chunk if thats what you think is next gen, iphone is now many years late getting bigger ram,battery,screen and nfc just to name a few things. dont ever try calling a iphone nextgen

61. Philipand96

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Samsung in releasing the Alpha is stating that the Alpha when it comes to spec is a better phone to upgrade to than anything Apple is releasing. Apple have taken Samsung to court 3 time over copying and it cannot have escape any of the execs @ Samsung of whose phone the Alpha resembles, even the name Alpha. Deliberate as Samsung never release a flagship phone with memory expansion Whilst the specs for the 4.7" have not yet been released, Apple have confirmed that it will have an improved camera but remains 8Mp Ram will increase to 1.5 GB minimum most likely 2 GB the 1 GB leak is a faked document. The specs of the Alpha WILL prove to be superior to the 4.7" iPhone6 and also cheaper which the majority of phones are The Alpha specs are not those of Samsung flagship, but are above that of 8Mp iPhone6 There are a number of phones which clearly resemble an iPhone; however the Apple iPhone has come out BOTTOM when it comes to specifications. Apple IMO have panicked and brought forward the announcement by 10 days to 09/09/2013 right in the middle of the IFA trade show. They are many phones being showcased and the true "next gen” Apple iPhone specifications won’t register as premium even in 2012, The competitors are building metallic phones 4.7" and above with much better specs and which cost a lot less, A plastic shell was the reason why Samsung phone were not considered premium, GONE! plus there is a removable battery With the subdued speicfication of the forthcoming iphone Apple will lose some of its customer base.

63. givemespecs unregistered

Sorry but you are on the wrong planet pal. This will be the biggest selling iPhone so far. Yes, on paper it will seem inferior to most other Android flagship devices, but in real life, it will be at least as good as these same devices in terms of performance and reliability. It will be a step up in design and performance over the 5S and Apple fans will willingly pay the premium price tag, in their tens of millions. Most Apple users I know are professional people, and they are not mugs. There must be something good about the iPhone to make these people part with their hard earned cash. It's not about specs, it's about the overall experience, and no other manufacturer delivers the experience that Apple delivers. Personally speaking, I really like the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. I think it is probably the nicest looking phone Samsung have produced in a while. I'm also quite excited about the Note 4, but I won't be buying either of these devices, because I'm not smitten with the Android experience.

66. slyaii

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 24, 2013

The problem with Apple hard core fans is that they don't know what the competitors have to offer. They never held one or want to view one. Most people want to fit in. They want a common ground to communicate and feel appreciated. They don't want to leave unless someone they admire leaves. If you own an iphone and someone you admired gets the Android device, you will get one. Apple fans don't have characters and make their own decisions. I would rather admire an apple fan that goes out of apple eco and tries new things. If the new things are not for them, go back. That takes a lot of balls. Getting out of the comfort zone and experience. The majority of apple users are tunnel and makes claims out of speculations. I have been an iphone users since the 3 to 5s. i switched over to android 2 years ago and never looked back.

4. twens

Posts: 1182; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Android users are getting empty headed each day. You guys think specs are everything. Name one game or app on the AppStore that the alpha can't handle? This are the type of phones android needs to start producing to close the gap between iPhone sales not those heavy weight spec phones which uses all it's processing power to push abnormal pixels. Samsung is getting practical, you guys should use your common senses and appreciate the effort.

6. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Can't use common sense when you're blinded by hatred.

52. engineer-1701d unregistered

lets just see what happens when iphone 6 has a bigger screen maybe a 720p or 1080p screen running with apps, i see a lot of hiccups coming

22. sgodsell

Posts: 7531; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

What the hell are you rambling about. Android has had a number of phones already that run practically all the stuff on the play store. Just look at a moto G for instance. Oh yeah and its a 1/3 the price of an iPhone 5s. Its even cheaper then an iPod touch. Samsung already has a number of devices that are great already. What's this bring really a metal case. So does it make it better? To some, maybe. To the smart ones, No. The smart people see that the majority of iPhone users still put a case on their phone to protect its aluminum.

27. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

And 1/3 as good looking also… Lol.

53. engineer-1701d unregistered

dont forget the otta box iphone people that make it massive,

7. tahnik

Posts: 201; Member since: Jul 17, 2011

Am I the only one here who thinks Alpha almost looks like iPhone? Just make that home button round Samsung and you will be done.

44. thartist

Posts: 45; Member since: Jul 14, 2014

Actually that's the whole point of it.

54. engineer-1701d unregistered

same with the iphone 6 take the round button off and its a htc m8 i bet htc wishes they did not have the rule saying no suing apple now

64. givemespecs unregistered

Don't be silly, it will be two thirds the thickness of the M8!

8. adecvat

Posts: 654; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

"The Galaxy Alpha's larger display is a clear advantage over the iPhone 5s" Pentile with flicker is better? Nice.

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