Samsung Galaxy Alpha Better Than iPhone 6?
Here comes the Alpha, Samsung’s first attempt at a modern-day smartphone clad in metal taking obvious design cues from the iPhone while blending in the look of previous Galaxy models.
Boasting of “sophisticated design in a carefully constructed compact body with a metal frame and a solid finish”, Samsung’s Alpha press release is buzzword heavy – style, cutting-edge, elegant aesthetics, unique, powerful, calming, eye-catching, beauty, convergence, unrivalled, advanced, practical, tactile, optimal and so on.
Of immediate note when looking at the Alpha’s specs, which we reprint below, is the Alpha’s decidedly non-Alpha screen resolution, a 4.7-inch screen with a mere 1280 x 780 resolution at 320 PPI (pixels per inch), on a “brilliant” HD Super AMOLED display.
This contrasts with the Full HD 1920×1080 res screen used with the Galaxy S5, which itself pales into comparison with the LG G3’s 1440×2560 display with an incredibly sharp 538 PPI – something we’re not sure if the even the iPhone 6 will match when it arrives in September.
JK Shin, Samsung’s CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Comms puts this down to what Samsung thinks the market wants, stating: “The Galaxy Alpha was built and designed based on the specific desires of the consumer market.
“With an entirely new appearance, the Galaxy Alpha focuses on both beauty and functionality combining a stunning metal frame and slim, light weight design with the same powerful hardware and features users expect from a flagship Galaxy mobile device”, continued Shin.
Aside from the clear metal framed iPhone influences the Alpha displays, it also seeks to be thinner at 6.7mm than the iPhone 5S at 7.6mm, and presumably hopes to be thinner than the upcoming iPhone 6 models which will launch in the same September timeframe the Alpha arrives.
Offering the super-fast Category 6 4G LTE that can hit download speeds of up to 300Mbps and upload speeds of up to 50Mbps, other headline specs include an Eight-Core processor comprising Quad 1.8GHz + Quad 1.3GHz internals and the latest Android KitKat 4.4.4 OS.
There’s also a fingerprint sensor, a 12 megapixel rear camera and 2.1 megapixel front camera, 4K HD video recording capability (3840 x 2160 at 30fps), 802.11 WiFi b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, NFC, the Ultra Power Saving mode, a ‘private mode’, connectivity for Samsung wearables and an 1860mAh battery.
For a phone that so boldly claims to be alpha, however, the news of only USB 2.0 port rather than the USB 3.0 port on the Galaxy S5 and no microSD card expansion slot are also underwhelming.
So too is the 12 megapixel camera when the LG G3 offers a 13 megapixel model with laser-focus capability, or the 16 megapixel camera in Samsung’s own S5.
And where’s the waterproof capability of the Galaxy S5? A true Alpha would offer this, but that will have to wait for a future Alpha 2.
Aside from the specs, which aren’t always everything as Samsung clearly knows, it’s clear that Samsung’s attack of the clones has risen to new heights of iPhone flattery, with the Alpha looking exactly as you’d expect the child of an iPhone and Galaxy S to turn out.
Whether this gets the attention of Apple’s legal eagles and continues the Samsung/Apple courtroom wars which still rage in the US, as we covered in SmartHouse is yet to be seen.
Now that the rebellious Samsung has its latest new hope against the upcoming iPhone 6, everyone waits to see how the Apple empire will strike back, and whether the iPhone 6 will be the death star to competitor smartphone sales.
The power of a new iPhone launch also shows just how often its competitors need to roll out new phones. Apple can do it once a year, while Samsung throws every Galaxy variant it can at Apple in the hope it can capture consumer attention and sales.
The fact that Samsung has suffered a 20% drop in profits and a 31% drop in the mobile division’s operating profit, as reported in ChannelNews shows just how tough a battle this is – even for the mighty Samsung.
Samsung says the Galaxy Alpha will be available at the beginning of September in “Charcoal Black, Dazzling White, Frosted Gold, Sleek Silver, and Scuba Blue, with available colours to be determined by market.”
Now we just have to see whether the market determines it wants an iPhone, or one of many different Android models – and whether a great migration back to a big screen iPhone rather than the big screen Androids of years gone by will begin in earnest, further threatening to smash Android sales into galactic dust.
A short Galaxy Alpha YouTube video can be seen here.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha specs are as follows:
Network: LTE Cat.6 (300/50Mbps)
Display: 4.7″ HD Super AMOLED (1280 x 720)
Processor: Octa Core (Quad 1.8GHz + Quad 1.3GHz)
OS: Android 4.4.4 (KitKat)
Camera: 12MP (rear) + 2.1MP (front)
Beauty Face, Dual Camera, HDR (High Dynamic Range),
Panorama, Selective Focus, Shot & More, Virtual Tour
Video: UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) @30fps
Video Codec : H.263, H.264(AVC), MPEG4, VC-1, Sorenson Spark, MP43, WMV7, WMV8, VP8
Video Format : MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
Audio Codec : MP3, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC
Audio Format : MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
Ultra Power Saving Mode
Google Mobile Service
Chrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings, Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube
WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac HT80, MIMO(2×2)
Bluetooth?: 4.0 BLE / ANT+
USB: USB 2.0
NFC Sensor, Accelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Gesture Sensor, Fingerprint Sensor, HR Sensor
RAM : 2GB
Internal Memory : 32GB
No micro SD Slot
132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm, 115g