Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review

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By Jayanta Ghosh

Finally Some Metal

This is a much improved better looking smartphone from Samsung. And its launch gives tough time to iPhone and Sony Z3. So we feel this is the right device at the right time from Samsung. At IFA 2014, Samsung Galaxy Alpha impressed many with its looks and feel.  Samsung comes with its new design approach with the Galaxy Alpha. It features a sophisticated design in a carefully constructed compact body with a metal frame and a solid finish that gives you a premium feel.

Looks and Features:
Galaxy Alpha is slim and light and equipped with a 4.7-inch HD Super AMOLED display and is powered by an Octa Core processor which delivers high performance via Advanced Multiprocessing, alternating between the cores as per the workload. There is also 2GB of RAM, a 4G modem and 32GB of internal storage. It has 12 MP (rear) / 2.1 MP (front) camera and 1860 mAh of battery. It runs on Android 4.4 KitKat with Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay. The Galaxy Alpha also includes innovative features such as Ultra-Power Saving Mode, S Health, Finger Print Scanner, Private Mode, Heart Rate Monitor and connectivity with the latest Samsung Gear Fit, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and the recently announced Gear S wearables. The Galaxy Alpha supports 4G, LTE CAT 6 which supports up to 300 Mbps download speeds.

Performance:
The entire design of the handset is very fresh from Samsung. The chassis is super slim and the metal frame is similar to that on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 design. In the hand, it feels wafer thin and feather-light, with a weight of 115g. Samsung has kept the back of Alpha a removable polycarbonate back rather all-metal uni-body chassis. Samsung has decided to put a 720p screen on the device which is a bit of a disappointment. The 4.7-inch Super AMOLED screen on board boasts a resolution of 1280×720 and images & videos look bright and clear. The Galaxy Alpha is a speedy performer across the board. It is blisteringly fast and handles most tasks with ease. It’s also a pretty good gaming performer. The Galaxy Alpha’s software follows a well-worn path Samsung’s TouchWiz UI atop the latest Android 4.4.4 KitKat. And for the most part, it is identical to the software you’ll find on the Galaxy S5 and the smartphone comes with 32GB internal storage.

However, Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with microSD slot of up to 64GB for additional storage, while the Samsung Galaxy Alpha has no external storage. Content looks great on the Alpha’s screen, especially that captured with the smartphone’s rear camera; you can have a shortcut to the camera straight from the lockscreen. For Selfies, the 2.1 megapixels front-cam has enough software to ensure photos retain focus. The Alpha continues the tradition of coming with a heart sensor and a finger scanner. Battery life is also very decent as we found the 1860 mAh battery runs 23-26 hrs in day-to-day usage, but power saving mode can give you a 39 hrs of battery life in a single charge.

The Alpha blew away most of its competitors in the benchmark scores on the 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark test it scores 20,458. The Galaxy Alpha also scored high on the Quadrant benchmark, coming in at 23,334.

Price: INR 39,990/-
Pros

  • Best looking Samsung
  • High resolution screen

Cons

  • No expandable memory
  • No water-resistant coating

Select specifications:

  • Operating system: OS Android OS, v4.4.4 (KitKat)
  • Display size: 720×1280 pixels, 4.7 inches (~312 ppi pixel density)
  • Display type: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Dimensions: 132.4×65.5×6.7 mm (5.21 x2.58×0.26 in)
  • Weight: 115 g (4.06 oz)
  • Internal memory: 32 GB, 2 GB RAM
  • Battery: Li-Ion 1860 mAh battery
  • GPU: Mali-T628 MP6
  • CPU: Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7
  • Primary camera: 12 MP, 4608×2592 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, check quality
  • Primary camera features: dual camera, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, panorama, HDR