I first encountered the Samsung Galaxy Alpha during the IFA tech show in Berlin. In the large Samsung stall, this smartphone stood out for being different from the ones the Korean tech giant has brought to us in recent times. But is the Samsung Galaxy Alpha different? We check out.
Design: This is the first thing that will make you realise that this phone is different. And it seems to have been a conscious effort by Samsung designers to keep it different from the rest of the Galaxy crowd. So the phone has a aluminum ring running all around it that gives it a very premium feel and sets it apart from the other all-plastic Galaxy phones. The rear flap is plastic though and wafer thin too. In this form factor, Samsung could have tried a non-removable battery, especially since the phone has no card slot. Around the screen the bezel has a slight texture which appeared a bit distracting to me. But this is among the thinnest phones around at 6.7 mm and also among the lightest weighing just 115 grams. It is also the most stylish phone coming out of Samsung stables for sometime, at least till the Note Edge reaches Indian shores.
Display: This is Samsung’s forte and you can see the 4.7-inch screen carry the legacy forward. This is not a Full HD screen, but you will not find this one lacking in anyway.
Performance: With an Octa-core setup running the phone, I did not encounter any lag or sluggishness. Multitasking is real fast and apps launch in a jiffy. The phone also stays super cool whatever you make it do.
Software: The software is not stock Android, but it is definitely stock Samsung. The software is just what you would encounter on the Samsung Galaxy S5 or other top Galaxy phones. No complaints on this front.
Camera: The 12 MP camera is fast. In fact, it is faster than most Android phones, except maybe the HTC M8 and E8. It is a pleasure watching the phone lock the focus and the results are sharp and clear. The camera comes with a handful of preset modes and comes with the option to download more.
Storage: This is one feature that differentiates this phone. There is no expandable memory on the phone and you will have to do with the 32 GB that comes with it. The phone has over 25 GB of storage for you to use. You will need to use cloud services diligently to make the storage last longer.
Battery: The battery is not large, but it will easily last over 12 hours with serious use. Keep the brightness low to make it last longer.
Verdict: The Samsung Galaxy Alpha is a good option for Samsung fans as well as those trying to switch over to a top end smartphone. At the price of R39,990 the Alpha is ideal for those who don’t want a phablet or spend as much as a flagship.
Display: 4.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
Processor: Exynos 5 Octa 5430 (Quad-core 1.8 GHz + quad-core 1.3 GHz) processor
Operating system: Android 4.4.4
Storage & memory: 2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage
Camera: 12 MP (rear); 2.1 MP (front) camera
SIM type: 4G LTE nano-SIM
Battery: 1860 mAh battery
Estimated street price: R39,990