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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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.



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35 Comments

1. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

S5 looks so old already.

26. GTR722

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 20, 2012

And cheap...

36. M4th3u54ndr4d3

Posts: 67; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

But better than alpha

2. tgom222

Posts: 34; Member since: Jul 08, 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?

3. Cicero

Posts: 1129; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Alpha looks better IMO.

4. Anterv

Posts: 178; Member since: Jul 09, 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.

5. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Now we know the battery test is flawed

6. MrsJedi

Posts: 25; Member since: Oct 17, 2014

Alpha looks nicer. Plus DAT metal frame!!!

22. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

after all plastic metal frame looks good.

7. yowanvista

Posts: 341; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

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

8. bucky

Posts: 3783; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

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

10. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

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

13. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

All Android phones imo. Period.

17. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 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.

24. bucky

Posts: 3783; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

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

9. bendgate unregistered

Make alpha with note4 specs.

11. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

4.7” quad HD screen? Sure, why not.

12. bendgate unregistered

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

16. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 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.

14. egghead71

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 17, 2014

They did... they call it the Note 4

23. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

ok your message has been sent to samsung mobile .

15. egghead71

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 17, 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.

18. egghead71

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 17, 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."

20. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

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

21. egghead71

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 17, 2014

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

27. Philipand96

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 12, 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

19. Symon_Fleece

Posts: 351; Member since: May 30, 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. :)

25. rromerof

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 28, 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...".

28. FarmerStyle

Posts: 37; Member since: May 17, 2014

both are ugly -_-

29. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Nice, got even nicer.

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