First Galaxy Alpha review is already out, here are the key findings

August 13, 2014

samsung galaxy alpha hands-on (1) Hi-tech.mail.ru

The Galaxy Alpha just launched today, and while Samsung shared many details about the device, there’s nothing like real hands-on impressions to get to know a smartphone.

Fortunately, Russian website Hi-tech.mail.ru managed to obtain a Galaxy Alpha in advance and put out a good hands-on review just minutes after the device’s official unveiling.

You can check out the review (in Russian) here. We’ve highlighted some of the most interesting aspects below.

  • The dimpled texture on the back of the device is shallower than the Galaxy S5’s, and as a result, less visible.
  • Unlike the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Alpha features a subtle grid pattern on the front, which matches the color on the back.
  • The thin profile and rubberized texture gives the phone a very good grip.
  • Despite the larger screen, the Galaxy Alpha is not much larger than the iPhone 5S.
  • Unlike the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Alpha is not water resistant.
  • The space available on the device is about 25GB out of the advertise 32GB. No microSD card slot.
  • Despite the small size of the battery, the Alpha managed 11 hours in a HD video playback test, comparable with the Galaxy S5 Mini (2100 mAh). The review concludes that the Alpha won’t be able to get you through a full day without recharging.
  • The display is bright, with great viewing angles, and good visibility in sunlight.
  • Camera is “decent.”
  • The Galaxy Alpha is Samsung’s first device with a nano-SIM card.
  • The review’s conclusion – good phone, but you can do better for the price.

Are you impressed with the Galaxy Alpha?

Comments

  • http://www.techweez.com/ Martin Gicheru

    Held it sometime back. One thing I was most impressed by is the display, it actually looks sharper than the Galaxy S5 even with less than full HD. The phone also feels light while at the same time compact.

    Nano-SIM, I get they are trying to make it easy for iPhone users to move but I’d prefer we all stick with micro-SIM.

  • Mvrcel Lgt

    No

    • http://zorgplanet.tourism.com Spaceman spiff

      nice profile pic,by the way

  • http://geekinkuwait.blogspot.com/ Abhishek Kumar

    The phone is beautiful *.*

    • Luka Mlinar

      Really? O.o

      • http://geekinkuwait.blogspot.com/ Abhishek Kumar

        Well its just my opinion. :/

        • Luka Mlinar

          Fair enough :)

    • DAVID DOUILLET

      For a Samsung this phone is really well built and good looking, and to be honest this phone is competing with the iPhone. And tries to sell to the iPhone fans.

      • WPhotography

        seriously? The phone is repulsive!

        • Jesus

          Well it’s just your opinion :/

          • WPhotography

            No. Fact.

          • Andrew T Roach

            That’s not how opinions work.

    • Stanley08

      AGREE!

  • neo_R

    Price?

  • harrold

    the leaked note 4 pics… it looks like this but just wider ._.

  • Daniel

    Samsung needs to realize that software UI is not their strong point. They shouldn’t skin Android and leave it as it is. I know Samsung wants to get away from Android and Google and that is why they keep TouchWiz, but it is not a solution. Samsung had and still has crappy software and UI. As long as it runs TouchWiz, I am keeping my hands off it.

    • das

      i disagree ,stock android is useless and lack features ,i like pulldown menu controls such as screen brightness that android does not provide ,plus stock android camera software is shit

      • Daniel

        If all those things you want would be available as a separate install it would be great because it will make us both happy. You can install every feature you want, and I can uninstall what features I do not want. It is a win-win situation.

      • DePanda

        me i would go with Cyanogenmod!

        • das

          which is buggy as shit !

          • Andrew T Roach

            Fraid not. Since you don’t know brightness controls have been on stock a while: Im going to guess that you’ve been on Wiz a while.

            CM 11 is better than Googe Stock at this point in stability and performance. And especially in privacy.

          • das

            u just confirmed stock android copies elements of touchwiz.

      • Andrew T Roach

        All available via 3rd party apps. That’s why Android is Android. And you can install and uninstall them at will, in any combination you want.

        • das

          and thus often ads lag

    • MJay

      Sorry my friend, but touch wiz is useful for some because I love all the note 3’s features. Stock android is too boring and lacks features. I have to agree with das. Please do not give me the custom ROM crap because that is too much trouble for a person to have to go through to have features. I think Samsung should get some help with the ui and software because it does slow down the phone some. They should also stop with all the bloat ware, but go say make it stock android is a no no. I had a nexus 5 for 3 weeks and sold it. The majority of android users prefer those features that you all protest against. The very small majority want stock android, which consist of a lot of you all here. The average user (which make up the majority of the android platform) do not know the difference between touch wiz and Android; however, they do know Samsung’s features.

      • Daniel

        As I replied to “das” if Samsung features would be user installable, it would be great because everybody wins. If I want to install TouchWiz, I can install it, if I want the Samsung camera app, I can Install it, if I want the Samsung notification center, I can install it. etc.

        • tomn1ce

          Yes that would be nice. I have no problem with touchwiz. I see a lot on here complaining about it. I have the Note 3 and this is my first samsung touchwiz device. My previous was the G-Nexus, which I would install roms because I found stock Android to be pretty lame and lacking many features that I would get on certain roms. The main reason why I rooted my G-Nexus was to customize the soft keys and then when LMT Launcher became functional I went with that and got rid of the soft keys altogether. Till this day I don’t know why Google doesn’t make the soft keys customizable out of the box. Back to touchwiz, Samsung should just make some or most of their bloatware available in the Play Store for those who want certain things to pick and choose what they want. I have had the Note 3 for about 7 months now and it still runs nice and smooth with touchwiz and all….

    • Michael Muyunda

      Thats what the nexus devices are for. A lot of Samsungs features are useful e.g multi window or the ability to shrink the screen for one handed use.

      • Daniel

        I am not talking about the features, those can be turned on/off. I am talking about those that can not be turned off or uninstalled.

        • Michael Muyunda

          Like wot

          • Daniel

            Like the Camera App, the Messaging app, the Calendar app, and every other app that can be replaced by another in the Play store. The notification center could be user replaceable. If I want to use Google’s calendar app, why can’t I uninstall Samsung’s one? If I want to install it later on, I should be able to do it through Samsung’s App store. If I want to use Google’s camera or another camera app from the Play Store, it should allow me to uninstall the Samsung Camera app. If I install Nova Launcher, I should be able to uninstall the TouchWiz launcher. I do not like Samsung’s settings menu, it is very complicated, has a ugly UI and the launcher should be able to change its UI to, the same with the notification center.

          • Michael Muyunda

            You can disable those apps though and with kitkat you can choose your default messaging app. But I get your point. I just don’t think there’s enough people who care so, for those who do, your only option is custom ROM which is fairly easy to install these days.

          • http://geekinkuwait.blogspot.com/ Abhishek Kumar

            Typical Samsung hater. Can you uninstall system apps on Sense? Or LG? I agree Touchwiz is buggy but at least you can set alternative apps as your default camera, messaging or even dialer as you wish.

          • Daniel

            I do not hate Samsung or Lg or HTC. I want to get the Note 3, but I can’t get over TouchWiz. I have had unplesant experiences with various Samsung devices in the past. I gave them several opportunities to make me like their devices.

          • Andrew T Roach

            Good on ya Daniel. Voting with your dollar is the only thing that matters.

          • Andrew T Roach

            Yeah that’s why I use pure AOSP and CM Roms. No built in baggage. I don’t even have to use Google Services if Im feeling like not letting them know every detail of my life.

          • mbowen

            The home button delay has nothing to do with lag, you can disable the svoice and that delay goes away..

  • http://giveaway-free.herobo.com/ Slobodan Zekić Bobek

    oho

  • Mike Sam

    Nobody need Full HD, when the Smartphone has 312 PPI. Look at the G3, 2.560 x 1.440 an bad battery life, without pros.

  • MasterMuffin

    I guess the screen saved its battery life. Great I guess

    • Andrew T Roach

      20nm chip in here. A first for mobile SoC’s. 20-30% battery savings right there.

      • MasterMuffin

        Completely forgot about that. Anyways most of my negative thought towards this device are now completely gone. A great move from Samsung against Apple with right marketing

  • krazyking

    I really don’t get Samsung. Why release this phone? Who would buy a mid range phone with flag ship pricing? Crappy specs in a better looking device? You should have just made the S5 with this body and design. Enjoy your declining profits Samsung.

    • Anonymousfella

      Crappy specs in a good looking device at flagship price? I think the every iphone buyer falls in that segment which buys such a device. So many people you could say…

      • WPhotography

        You wouldn’t know a good looking phone unless Sergey used it…

    • Fabian Taveras

      Mid range? Ummmmm dude I have seen pics from GSM arena that show the alpha having superior benchmarks to the galaxy s5 and htc m8. And not to mention what’s wrong with having a 720p screen? The only 2 problems that I have seen that are a problem is no ip67 and no SD card but that was included it would be amazing.

    • Andrew T Roach

      Yeah this Exynos equals or beats 801 in all benchmarks. And its gonna be 30% more efficient at baseline because its built in 20nm instead.

  • JL

    Anyone who dislikes TW has never used a Note (1, 2, or 3). What do you people have against progress?

    • MJay

      Could not agree more.

    • Ayo Victor Ogunfunmi

      I’ve used a note 2 and a note 3 and I hated TouchWiz with a passion. The features it has does not outweigh that disadvantages it gives; slower speed, more memory consumption, less storage, useless apps.

    • Matthew Plewa

      Ummm they havent changed their ui since I believe 2.2…. Touch wiz is outdated and still lags. The whole let’s change how setting work confused the crap out of my s3 friends and was completely pointless. Yes Samsung has added some nice features. However so has lg and it lacks this lag.

      • sachouba

        Actually, the Galaxy S5 goes faster than the LG G3 in speed tests. And LG has only copied Samsung’s features (Multi-Windows…)

        • Matthew Plewa

          Really After all we know about benchmarks you still try to use them. What a joke

          • sachouba

            Oh no, I’m talking about a real life speed test from PhoneBuff on YouTube.

          • Sachin

            The G3 wins if you consider multitasking as well but that’s thanks to it’s 3GB of RAM which trumps the S5’s 2.

          • Jerry Rich

            You’re the joke, next time get the facts before you make a fool out of yourself.

          • The-Sailor-Man

            If you read iAnand that called Samsung “cheater”, you must read his next article , where he write that ALL DO THE SAME.

      • Jerry Rich

        Clearly you are not familiar with anything Samsung except your confused friend’s S3. The TW ui has changed substantially. For your information, I have NO lag on my S5 and neither have my non confused friends who have the S5.

        • Iliyan Conev

          What about the heat? I bet after 5min of constant use you can cook an egg and have a nice breakfast. Been there done that Samsung are out of my list, because of battery issues and the overheating.

          • Bryan Kwong

            I highly doubt your experience is universal across all Samsung devices. My S3 never had heating issues

          • Andrew T Roach

            Plastic devices keep heat inside the device. The S5 throttles faster than glass and metal flagships.

        • Andrew T Roach

          Press the home button. See the lag.

    • Jesus

      They obviously don’t care about multi window. If they did, TW is baws.

    • iTriune

      i’ve used it and i’m not a fan. it gets progressively slower over time too…..

      • The-Sailor-Man

        iBS

  • Fabian Taveras

    This phone has the potential to be great but not ip67 is a bummer and no SD card is also a pretty huge con. Idk I still I still like this phone but I find myself leaning towards the gs5 or the LG g3.

  • Marc Pilon

    Disappointed very… not much innovation. Poor battery. So what are the alternatives? What can i get better for the price?

    • ethan503

      xperia z1 compact and incoming z2 compact

      better camera, 2300mah battery, water resistant, SD slot,

      its just like the z1, but smaller

      z2 compact should be coming soon

  • Android Fans

    No, one more the rubberized back grip phone from samsung…
    it’s only refreshment version of the galaxy series…

  • alfreduran

    Hi! OMG similar to the iPhone 5S, seriously!

    • The-Sailor-Man

      LOL . iPhone looks like sh…, beside the Alpha. Are you blind?

      • alfreduran

        No way, btw, my device

  • Sal

    This phone is just….. meh.

  • Jonathan Kramer

    It certainly looks much more premium but I don’t think it’s a game changer, nor anything as innovative as the Oppo One+1 or even Nexus 5.. Since I’ve owned a GS3 for 2 years now, I’m not sure I’d go with another Sammy phone unless it hit all the check boxes for quality, PRICE and features.. I’m gonna wait to see what the new Moto X+1 looks like or the next generation Google phones

  • Will S.

    Meh, I bet the GS5 with a metal back cover would be cheaper than this…

  • jjredfish

    “Apple” – “Alpha”

    Slavishly copied Apple signature chamfered edges.

    Pathetic Samsung. Just go away.

    • Jesus

      you’re trying too hard.

      • jjredfish

        Actually it is very easy.

        You just open your eyes.

        • The-Sailor-Man

          You say that to the Jesus????

      • jjredfish

        It’s not hard at all. Just open your eyes.

      • jjredfish

        It’s not hard at all. Just open your eyes.

  • Denmark de Guzman

    better design than S5

  • HotelQuebec

    iPhone 5S looks like a boring sardine can next to the Alpha.

  • milagroful

    I guess enough people complained so they made a shinier phone. I like plastic with removable backs and light weight and durability.
    This phone is missing too much compared to the s5 and note 3 to make it worthwhile. But then again people spend $3000 on a purse so they would probably love to fill it with shiny over priced accessories.

  • engid

    Looks like my next phone (personal opinion). 720p is good enough for me on a 4.7″ screen. 32 (25) gb are enough too, I like how it looks and the battery…. well, I can always keep a spare one in my pocket as I did with my galaxy s2. Definitely an improvement over my HTC one x+ :D

  • Cory

    That video just gave me a headache. I’m now dizzy

  • The-Sailor-Man

    Good think is that now, the menial tech media compare iPhone with mid-range Samsung phones.
    It was about time.