Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review – Device with Great Design

One of the things which many people didn’t like in the Samsung smartphones was the design. Some users didn’t like the plasticky feel of their devices but with Galaxy Alpha Samsung is ready to show the world that it pays attention to the user feedback and is going to keep ruling the smartphone world. Galaxy Alpha is clearly the best looking smartphone Samsung has ever made.

Unboxing

Here is an unboxing video of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha showing various items you get with the device in the Indian retail package.

Retail Box Contents:

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
  • USB Charging Adapter
  • microUSB cable
  • Headsets
  • Quick Start guide & other leaflets

Design & Build Quality

The first thing which we noticed about the device was its weight, it weighs 115 grams and feels very light in hand. The device is very sleek and measures just 6.7mm in thickness. Unlike previous Samsung smartphones, it comes with a metal chassis with plastic back.

IMG_2240

The front of the device is protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 4 which makes it the first device in India to come with Gorilla Glass 4. The device has small bezels around the display which helps in making it a compact device. It comes with a 4.7 inch Super Amoled Display.

Above the display you have an earpiece, 2.1 megapixel front facing camera, proximity & ambient light sensors and notification LED which is only visible when it lights up.

IMG_2244

There is a physical home button along with two capacitive touch buttons – multitasking & back present below the display. There is a fingerprint scanner embedded into the home button. The accuracy of the fingerprint scanner was pretty good and it has an accuracy of around 80%.

IMG_2246

On the right side of the device you have a power/lock key and the volume rocker is present on the other side. The keys are made of metal and are easy to locate & use.

IMG_2251

3.5 mm Audio hack and a secondary mic for noise cancellation is preset at the top of the device. You can also notice two tiny breaks in the metal top, these are the antennas.

IMG_2250

The microUSB port, primary mic and loudspeaker is present at the bottom. Placing the loudspeaker at bottom ensures that speaker is not blocked or covered when you place the device on tablet or soft surface like bed.

IMG_2248

Moving to back, you will find a 12 megapixel camera along with LED flash and heart rate sensor. The back of the device is made up of plastic and it can be removed to access SIM card slot and battery.

IMG_2241

Underneath the back cover you have a nano SIM card slot and a 1860 mAh battery. The phone does not support microSD.

IMG_2252
Overall, Galaxy Alpha is a great device in terms of design & build quality. We can say it is the best looking smartphone from Samsung.

Display

Galaxy Alpha comes with a 4.7 inch Super AMOLED display which has a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. It comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection which makes it less prone to scratches or damage in case it falls on the floor as compare to any other smartphone available in the market.

The display has good viewing angles and brightness levels. The sunlight readability and color reproduction of the display is pretty good and one of the best in this price segment.

Hardware & Performance

The phone is powered by a Exynos 5 Octa Core processor (Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7) along with 2GB RAM and Mali-T628 MP6 GPU. The device performs pretty good because it comes with a great hardware specifications with optimized the software.

We performed three benchmark tests on the device – Antutu, Quadrant standard and Nenamark2. The device performed pretty well in all the tests. It scored 60 fps in the Nenamark 2 test, 22,484 in the Quadrant standard and 49,749 in Antutu Benchmark test.

So, according to benchmarks Galaxy Alpha is a powerful device which can handle all your daily apps, multitasking and gaming needs with easy. But what about real life scenario? We used the device for around 2 weeks and never faced any kind of lag or slowness in the UI or while multitasking. The device can handle all the games available for the Android platform with ease. We played two high end games- Asphalt 8 and Nova 3 on the phone and didn’t face any issues or lag.

The best part is there is no heating issues with device, so you can enjoy gaming for long duration. It comes with 32 GB internal storage and does not support microSD card. Talking about other connectivity & hardware features, it supports WiFi, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC, Fingerprint scanner and Heart rate sensor.

The fingerprint scanner is accurate but heart rate sensor needs more improvement. But if you compare other devices in this price segment you don’t get any dedicated heart rate monitor in those devices, so it is an added advantage.

Phone is able to run most of the video & audio formats without any problems. The loudspeaker present on the device is loud and clear. Overall, Galaxy Alpha is a powerful device which can handle all your needs without breaking a sweat.

Software

Galaxy Alpha runs on Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS with TouchWiz UI on top. The interface is smooth and there is no visible lag in the UI. TouchWiz offers a lot of features to the users like Multi-window where you can run two apps simultaneously on the screen.

Screenshot_2014-12-13-12-48-08 Screenshot_2014-12-13-12-48-29

If you concerned about your privacy then you can use the private mode feature present in the device which helps you in securing your content on the device like photos and files using your fingerprint. Such files will not be visible in normal view and can only be accessed in private mode.

Screenshot_2014-12-13-12-48-37Screenshot_2014-12-13-12-48-58

Additional useful apps present on the device include S health, S voice and My Magazine. The device does not lack anywhere in terms of software. We don’t have any complaints with the software present on the device.

Camera

Samsung Galaxy Alpha comes with a 12 megapixel back camera with LED flash. The camera interface offers lot of features to the users. On the right side you have video recording key, camera shutter key mode selection option and gallery shortcut. The camera supports various modes like beauty face, shot & more, Panorama, Virtual tour, Dual Camera and Auto mode.

Screenshot_2014-12-13-12-47-59

Selective focus, HDR option and various other camera settings can be accessed from the left. Here are some samples captured using the back camera of the phone:

20141213_122612 20141213_125531 20141213_125901 20141213_125935 20141213_125944 20141213_125947

Overall, the camera can capture good quality images in day light but quality is average in low light conditions. The back camera can record 4K videos which has lot of details. The phone also has a 2.1 megapixel front facing camera that takes decent selfies.

Battery Life

Galaxy Alpha comes with a 1860 mAh removable battery which has a rated talk time of around 11 hours on 3G & standby time of upto 350 hours. With moderate usage the battery lasted for an entire day. For heavy users it can last for around 10 hours of continuous usage which is good for most of the users.

Conclusion

Samsung Galaxy Alpha is available for Rs 39,000 in Indian market which is a decent price tag for a compact and good looking device. It is a great device in terms of design and performance. It is a perfect device for anyone looking to buy a high end device but don’t want to buy a phablet.

Pros:

  • Good design
  • High performance
  • TouchWiz UI (smooth & feature-rich)

Cons:

  • No mciroSD card support

Author: Akshay Aggarwal

Akshay is a Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Technology and Gadgets. He is very passionate about blogging and has been blogging since 2009.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *