Samsung Galaxy Alpha preview: First look

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The Samsung Galaxy Alpha is a surprising change in the Samsung product strategy. It certainly has many of the Galaxy S5 key selling features, while staking on more premium material such as aluminum. But it’s not another flagship, no, it’s rather an offshoot of the Galaxy family tree – something that the Galaxy S5 mini could have been but is not. A strange bird, indeed.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha press photos

That certainly doesn’t mean we don’t like it. Just on the contrary. The Samsung Galaxy Alpha presents a nice departure from the Galaxy S5 design language. The sides are machined out of aluminum, while the back no longer imitates faux leather.

The Galaxy Alpha has a smaller screen than the S5 to make it much more pocketable and also, undoubtedly, to allow it to compete with the iPhone 6 directly.

Here’s what makes the Samsung Galaxy Alpha tick.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha at a glance:

  • General: GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA/LTE connectivity;
  • Form factor: Touchscreen bar phone with aluminum sides and a plastic back cover;
  • Dimensions: 132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm, 115 g;
  • Display: 4.7″ 720p SuperAMOLED touchscreen, 312ppi pixel density;
  • Chipset: Octa-core Exynos 5 Octa 5430 chipset, including a quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7, Mali-T628 MP6 GPU
  • OS: Android 4.4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz;
  • Memory: 32GB storage, no microSD card slot;
  • Camera: 12MP auto-focus camera, 31mm focal length, f/2.2; LED flash;
  • Video camera: 2160p video recording, but also 1080p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps;
  • Front camera: 2.1MP front-facing camera;
  • Connectivity: Dual-channel, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi hotspot, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, standard microUSB 2.0 port, GPS/GLONASS receiver, 3.5mm audio jack;
  • Battery: 1,860mAh Li-Ion removable battery;
  • Misc: Fingerprint sensor; heart rate sensor;

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha is surprisingly light, it feels sturdy and the back looks like it could take a lot of beating before it gets seriously scratched. The latter benefit is certainly something we’ve missed in high-end smartphones that we’ve seen lately.

Our biggest regrets in the specs department are the lack of water-proofing and the lack of a microSD card slot.

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha live photos

We’ve got the smartphone for a few days to keep us company and we thought that we might as well come up with this quick preview of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, so you can have something to chew on, while we are hard at work on the full review. Enjoy!


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