Monday, December 1, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Black Review

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha was placed on the market as a counterpart to the Apple iPhone 6. Samsung wants to gains some points with high-end processing and it delivers a compact 4.7 inch smartphone that can be handled completely with only one hand. At the same time they use their own Exynos Octa Core processor. Will Samsung with the Galaxy Alpha find the perfect mix of design, quality as well as performance? We will go further into that question and will enlighten you if buying this premium Android is worth it.

With their Galaxy Alpha Samsung wants to offer the iPhone customers an alternative to the Apple iPhone 6. This smartphone integrates aluminum, clear lines, high-end processing, comfortable handling with one hand and other aspects, which you usually connect only with Apple. The new iPhones have grown in size, but at least the smaller example can still be operated by one hand. The trend goes clearly towards bigger 5.5 and 6 inch displays, however some people prefer something more handier.

The premium experience is being supported by a processor who has eight real cores, modern technology like a fingerprint scanner and pulse sensor. Still, Samsung isn't integrating all of its features, so you won't find a microSD slot same as you won't find a protection layer against dust and water. 

Case: elements made of aluminum

The manufacturer really put a lot of effort so that the Galaxy Alpha would become a premium device. That is why the frame is made completely of metal, same is the case with the well reachable and stable keys. On this device you won't find any keys who do wobble. You can find the mono loudspeaker on the lower part of the case edge, same as it's placed on the iPhone. It makes sure to reproduce a rousing sound. The aluminum elements definitely have a big influence with the first impression of this smartphone.

Considering that the Alpha Galaxy has only 115g and a dimension of 132,4 x 65 x 6,7mm it really is a convenient and very light smartphone. Yet, with the metal frame it still is upscale. 

Equipment: current Android version paired with classic TouchWiz surface.

12 megapixel: the camera makes exquisite photos and is able to record videos in 4K quality. To our delight Samsung didn't cut back on the equipment. With Bluetooth 4.0, LTE support, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with dual band mode the customer will get the most up to date transfer standards. LTE and WLAN connections can be used together in the download booster to improve the speed once more, like it is known with other smartphones from Samsung. NFC functionality does round off the overall package positively together with GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou support. In the matter of navigation and connectivity you don't have to worry with the Samsung Alpha Galaxy. 

Recordings of the 12 mega pixel camera can be saved in the internal flash memory, which is 32GB big and can't be expended afterwards. The camera is able to record videos in UHD/4K quality with 30 fps. A LED flash, auto focus and HDR recordings are available as well. The quality of those is more than satisfying. The installed front camera with 2.1 MP is more than enough for quality selfies.

For fitness friends the S health central from Samsung is already pre installed. With this feature you can see the number of footsteps you made, or you can read the data from the integrated pulse sensor. A good value pulse capture is possible, but you shouldn't expect a very high pulse monitor precision. 

Samsung uses the Google Android 4.4.4 KitKat, there will probably be an update to Android 5.0 at the beginning of the year 2015. Over the Android surface you can find the already well known TouchWiz software from Samsung. This brings some changes in the design, especially the setting menu and the home screen were modified a lot. Yet, you won't find any real differences to other Samsung smartphones. A real advantage in performance you can get with the download booster and the well configurable energy saver mode. With the energy saver mode you can limit the performance and if needed there is even an option for grey level or even the ultra energy saving mode. When the last mode is enabled you can only use the basic functions, but you can use the phone and SMS options for several more hours.

Performance: excellent speed thanks to very good hardware

Powerhouse, the hardware shows great performance in every day usage as well as in the benchmarks! 
You can find Samsung's own processor in the Galaxy Alpha. The Octa Core Exynos 5430 has four Cortex A15 cores with 1.8GHz clock frequency and for the easy tasks it uses that four Cortex A7 cores with 1.3GHz. The eight cores are being supported by 2GB internal memory and the ARM Mali T628 GPU. Even latest 3D games can be played smoothly in the highest detail settings, like with Asphalt 8. All together the smartphones profits from having a smaller resolution compared to other models with bigger displays. The hardware is more than enough for the 720p display.

Display: HD resolution for a great photo with super AMOLED technology

Like it was with the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini you can find the same Super AMOLED panel 1280 x 720 pixel in the Galaxy Alpha. With a 4.7 inch big smartphone this resolution is completely adequate. By our tested device we didn't notice any issues with the display or the color gradient.

Conclusion: fast smartphone for lovers of small display and easy one hand handling

The intentions of Samsung with the Galaxy Alpha were pretty obvious. To create a premium smartphone with high end processing and a smaller display is not a bad idea at all. When one consider, that especially Android smartphones are very large and the usual mini versions pretty much always end with a weak hardware and a high price. So the Galaxy Alpha was added to the collection to fill this gap.

With the Samsung Galaxy Alpha you get a cool smartphone with 4.7 inch display and HD resolution. The performance and the camera are very good and the battery life is adequate.

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