Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review

Call Quality

There’s just too much robotic toned voices on both ends of the line.

Sadly, its call quality isn’t all that pleasing, mainly because voices on both ends of the line have a robotic tone to them. Even though the earpiece is pretty powerful, we have difficulty in trying to comprehend those robotic toned voices. Heck, it even poses a problem when we switch over to the speakerphone.

Battery

The battery is smaller, of course, to accommodate its smaller footprint, but it still delivers excellent battery life.

Don’t let its removable 1860 mAh battery will disappoint you, seeing that it delivers excellent battery life from a full charge. For normal usage, we’re able to get close to a solid 1.5 days of operation from it, which even lends itself in being a long-lasting thing for power users.

In our own battery benchmark test, the Galaxy Alpha achieves a time of 7 hours, 50 minutes – a tally that puts it in good company.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Alpha
7h 50 min (Good)
Apple iPhone 6
5h 22 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy S5
7h 38 min (Good)
Motorola Moto X (2014)
5h 45 min (Average)

minutes Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Alpha
108
Apple iPhone 6
147
Samsung Galaxy S5
122
Motorola Moto X (2014)
176


Conclusion


Cutting straight to the chase, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha is an excellent, all-around phone. From taking photos, to its battery life, it earns plenty of high marks from us. However, its refreshing design change is what we’re most impressed about. No longer are we presented to the same plastic feeling that the company has churned out time-after-time in the past. Oh no! Instead, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha signals a new direction for Sammy in being a company that can take great pride in the design of its devices. Not only is it sporting a premium feel, but the compact size of the phone helps to give it a charming demeanor that’s been lacking of late with these 5-inch and up sized devices we’ve been exposed to of late.

In order to pick up this thing, you’ll need to fork over $200 with your signature on a 2-year contract with AT&T – the same price as Sammy’s own flagship in the Galaxy S5. Indeed, each phone boasts their own unique qualities, but there’s something more rewarding when investing the money into the Galaxy S5. Yes, it’s a bigger phone and has a higher resolution screen, but it also benefits from having other amenities thrown into its package – like a water-resistant construction, an IR blaster, and the wealth of software features that accompany its TouchWiz experience. So you have to choose – either the compact size and premium construction of the Alpha, or the better specs and features of the larger but not as premium Galaxy S5. If you prefer the smaller size, the iPhone 6 is always a good alternative, sporting more premium design, but slightly bigger size for the same screen diagonal.

Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 4.4.4
Kernel Version: 3.4.0-2629325
Build Number: KTU84P.G850AUCU1ANH8




Pros

  • Premium design that’s accentuated by its aluminum trim bezel
  • Compact size doesn’t compromise its solid construction
  • Perfect for one-handed typing
  • Excellent battery life, despite smaller capacity battery

Cons

  • Camera suffers from blurring & weak low lighting performance
  • Voices sound robotic in tone, so it’s sometime hard to comprehend calls
  • Display uses PenTile matrix arrangement, so it’s not as sharp as we’d like

PhoneArena Rating:

8.8

User Rating:

9.5
13 Reviews

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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: 6999; 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: 6999; 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: 6999; 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: 6999; 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: 6999; 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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