Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review
Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review
Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review
Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review
Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review
Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review
Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review
Introduction

Design, it’s arguably the first thing that draws people to a particular phone. From afar, certain devices have such a strong pull thanks to their solid designs – while others are simply forgettable due to their ordinary, boring looks. Samsung, as we all know too well, is a company that has taken the Android scene to a grander scale thanks to its line of top performing Galaxy smartphones. Having its devices armed to the tooth with all of today’s cutting-edge hardware, as well as some extra goodies, the only underwhelming thing about its phones is the lack of attention with their designs.

Yes, they’ve been able to improve upon the design of their phones with each iteration, but as a whole, they pale in comparison to the modern and industrial designs we see from companies like HTC, Apple, and Sony. However, that’s all changing with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha – a device that not only bears several rich qualities, but it has a design to die for. With this on tap, will it finally erase Samsung’s reputation of making top performing handsets that have no substance with their designs?

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Quick start guide

Design

Utterly gorgeous from head-to-toe, the Galaxy Alpha is the best looking phone we’ve seen from Sammy – ever!

Whoa! This folks is arguably the best looking smartphone Samsung has produced. That’s quite a remark to hear from us, since Sammy’s phones have never been too profound or polarizing with their designs. Indeed, the Galaxy Alpha’s chassis is mostly comprised out of plastic, but the overall construction of the phone is strengthened and elevated thanks to the premium aluminum trim that’s outlining the edges of the phone. It’s a pleasant contrast to the plastic, but it very much looks similar to the chamfered bevel edge of the iPhone 5/5s.

Another pleasant design characteristic of the Alpha that we relish a whole lot, is quite simply how compact, thin (0.26-inches), and lightweight (115 gr) it is. For a smartphone packing along a 4.7-inch display, we’re astounded by how compact it is to hold in the hand – more so when our thumb can comfortably extend to all corners of the screen without excessive stretching. Better yet, it’s unbelievably lightweight too, to the point that we barely notice its presence. Sure, the design shares some similarities to the Note 4, but we prefer the soft touch matte finish of its rear casing more than the Note 4’s leather-like pattern.

Before this, Samsung’s phones were pretty much using cookie cutter designs that lacked substance behind them. However, we give them credit for being daring for a change! If this is what we’re seeing now, we’re undoubtedly excited to see what they have in store with future flagships.

The placement of its buttons and ports are similar to other Samsung phone, like how the power button is placed on the right edge – while the volume control is on the left. Other familiar items found around its trim include its microUSB 2.0 port, various microphones, speaker grill, and 3.5mm headset jack.

Interestingly enough, it packs some features we first saw in the Galaxy S5 – like its finger print and heart rate sensors. With the former, it’s again incorporated into the home button and relies on the same implementation, which is a hit-or-miss process at times. As for its heart rate sensor, which his placed in the rear of the phone, it’s one of those things that simply add to the phone’s geek credit.

Even though it share some of the Galaxy S5’s new features, there are others missing. For example, the Alpha doesn’t offer a water-resistant constriction, nor does it pack an IR blaster. You can say that the tradeoffs were necessary in order to give the phone its more compact and more appealing design.


Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Dimensions

5.21 x 2.58 x 0.26 inches

132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm

Weight

4.06 oz (115 g)

Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches

138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm

Weight

4.55 oz (129 g)

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5

Dimensions

5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches

142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm

Weight

5.11 oz (145 g)

Motorola Moto X (2014)

Motorola Moto X (2014)

Dimensions

5.54 x 2.85 x 0.39 inches

140.8 x 72.4 x 9.9 mm

Weight

5.08 oz (144 g)

Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Dimensions

5.21 x 2.58 x 0.26 inches

132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm

Weight

4.06 oz (115 g)

Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches

138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm

Weight

4.55 oz (129 g)

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5

Dimensions

5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches

142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm

Weight

5.11 oz (145 g)

Motorola Moto X (2014)

Motorola Moto X (2014)

Dimensions

5.54 x 2.85 x 0.39 inches

140.8 x 72.4 x 9.9 mm

Weight

5.08 oz (144 g)

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



Display

The size and resolution of the display are decent, but Sammy’s decision to going back to a PenTile matrix arrangement softens its overall glow.

Appearance alone, the design of the Alpha suggests that it’s a beast of a phone. Unfortunately, that doesn’t quite extend to its display – a modestly sized 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 Super AMOLED display. We can certainly agree that its resolution doesn’t scream something that we regard as top notch, but even though its pixel density of 312 ppi reads decently on paper, the fact that it reverts back to using a PenTile matrix arrangement lessens its sharpness. In fact, it lacks the crisp details we’ve been exposed to on recent Galaxy devices.

Despite that reality, there are several other attributes that make it very attractive. In the past, AMOLEDs in general have the reputation of producing overly saturated, inaccurate colors. However, they’ve been able to tone it down – to the point that it’s more accurate. Yeah, it’s still not quite perfect, but it’s a lot closer to achieving that than the Galaxy S5’s display. At the same time, its color temperature of ~6800 K gives the display a very realistic tone – so it’s not too cold. Outdoor visibility isn’t too much of a problem either, seeing that the phone automatically increases the brightness to a potent 422 nits. And finally, it’s able to maintain its clarity at even the widest of viewing angles.

Samsung has surely been tweaking its AMOLED panels, so they no longer have that reputation of simply being over-saturated. For all of the improvements Samsung has done of late, we’re just still a little disappointed that they opted to go back to using a PenTile matrix arrangement for something so premium in nature.



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118 Comments

1. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

best looking from samsung? i think note 4 looks better.

2. NotAGeek

Posts: 279; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Yep,the combination of metal trim and faux leather looks stunning IMO. The dimple cover just ruin the design

3. deacz

Posts: 162; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

same design more or less just in a smaller neater package.

11. maherk

Posts: 6640; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Although I am getting the Note 4 and I like the way it looks, I still prefer the Alpha's design a bit more. The hump on the camera is smaller, the back looks like the leather you find in the premium package of an S-Class, and I like the placement of the led and heart rate monitor on the Alpha.

26. Industriality

Posts: 131; Member since: Sep 08, 2014

Tried both : N4 -> awesome screen Alpha : Awesome build, even better than N4 !

69. BypassiCloudLock

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 13, 2014

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71. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The Alpha is the best looking phone out right now IMO. The Note 4 looks nice but the 8.9 mm ruins the look a bit. Complain that phones are too thin all you want but the 6.7mm on the Alpha and the 6.9mm on the iPhone 6 make a huge difference in terms of sexiness.

78. pulkit1

Posts: 354; Member since: Jul 03, 2014

best looking samsung phone for sure but it is not the best looking phone by a long shot . looks are subjective anyways .

81. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Did you read the part where he wrote 'IMO' ?

92. Siapaya

Posts: 17; Member since: Jul 24, 2014

this is note 4 wanna be #lol i think samsung keep their design with additonal metal frame #lol

99. lamnpt

Posts: 12; Member since: Feb 26, 2014

But, the back and rear speaker of Alpha nicer than the Note4.

4. Vinayakn73

Posts: 207; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

give me same phone with 5.2 inch screen without touchwiz or with two launchers and I'm sold

13. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

without pentile too

23. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

that pentile display shows better white balance then iPhone. It has better outdoor visibility then iPhone. Better blacks because for obvious reasons. Better viewing angles. Better contrast and minium brightness. Its also much more power efficient and it comes very handy in UPSM which LCDs can't. Just don't simply jump on the hate pentile bandwagon. Understand that it is not the same display as S3 just because it has the same resolution. Read some reviews before making such ignorant statements.

30. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

you forget 720p pentile looks like 360p thats inportant

31. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

If you've used the phone in person you'd know how inaccurate your comment is.

42. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

It's not that simple. PenTile RGBG (a la Galaxy S, Galaxy S3, GNex) is not nearly as clean as RGB stripe, but it's definitely better than a lower resolution RGB. The best I could come up with is that PenTile ppi is around 5/6 of the equivalent RGB ppi. So that 312 ppi is roughly equal to 260 ppi, or 600p. Not good by 2014 standards, but not terrible. What I don't get is why Sammy didn't use an S-stripe 4.7" screen like the old Moto X.

34. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

also there is no big difference in any department you listed above. I didnt get why you compare it with iphone as if iphone only device with rgb ? you know z3 has 700 nits brightness better blacks ? can you distinguish the difference with your eye in real life ? viewing angles , there is no big difference too so you say 4 nits hurt your eyes ? doesnt matter if its power efficient it doesnt effect much on battery

40. maherk

Posts: 6640; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

"better blacks ? can you distinguish the difference with your eye in real life ?" You are such a hypocrite buddy. Your supernatural eyes can tell what pixel arrangement a screen uses, but question if someone notices the better and deeper blacks amoled screens offer? Shtoopid boy.

44. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Oops.....you got'em by the balls on that one, sire ! haha :D

50. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

r u samsung fanboy ?

51. maherk

Posts: 6640; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Nahhh. I am a Samsung fan and maybe I am a bit of an Android fanboy. But the sure thing, is that you are a Samsung hater, kiddo.

53. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

kiddo ? ok I knew you r fanboy. no Im not hater check my other comments from other articles. but I hate pentile thats sure.

80. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

See that's a typical reply when the cat is cornered. Call someone a fanboy just because you yourself don't have an answer to his question. If you aren't really a Samsung hater, I am sure you'll have a valid reason.

45. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Look and re-read my comment. My points are FACTUAL and not what I think about the display. Replies like 'hurt your eyes', 'no big difference', etc. are just biased points of what you think. They are very subjective. If you have an objective point feel free to counter me. Simply putting Pentile display are bad without doing any credible research just goes to show how weak argument is. Don't be a stereotype and criticize Pentile without studying the underlying advancements the tech has gone through.

49. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

because I care about real life experince. I dont care what samsung says about display . If its looks bad to me it means its bad. whats the point having good viewng angles while you cant identify difference ? Im just a normal customer do i have to do research when I comment about screen ? we arent a engineer or something pentile looks horrible compared to rgb in same resolution . it doesnt take to be display expert

52. maherk

Posts: 6640; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Well if the display experts gave their final judgment that the Alpha's 720 screen is crisp, then you fanboyish remarks means nothing. At the end of the day, people will believe what them experts say not what an ignorant cat has to say about screens.

55. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

what if they say pentile sucks ? I guarante you wont accept the truth bcause you r blind fanboy. I believe my eyes not experts bcuze I will use device not them. and last thing try to respect others' decisions and opinions dont go mad when somebody thinks different than you. Im not a samsung hater but you apple hater ... grow up

61. maherk

Posts: 6640; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

"what if they say pentile sucks ? I guarante you wont accept the truth bcause you r blind fanboy." IF, that's the keyword in here. 1st they won't, because everyone is complementing Samsung for their latest generation of Amoled screens. "I believe my eyes not experts bcuze I will use device not them." Again, your claims mean nothing when experts give their words. ANDDD you will never use the device, because it is a Samsung. "and last thing try to respect others' decisions and opinions dont go mad when somebody thinks different than you." Their is a big difference between giving your opinion and twisting facts. Claiming something when experts gave their words about it, especially when you have never used the product. "Im not a samsung hater but you apple hater ... grow up" Says the boy that spends his life on Samsung articles, every single one of them, hating on its products and hailing Apple and their "innovations".

62. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

''Says the boy that spends his life on Samsung articles, every single one of them, hating on its products and hailing Apple and their "innovations". '' what ??? prove it or just stfu lol this is the stupidest thing I've ever read I hailed apple lol ok maherk its time to sleep for you

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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)

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