Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Galaxy S5: Is it an upgrade?

Samsung has announced the Galaxy Alpha, an Android smartphone with a premium metal design, but a specification sheet which is less impressive than the Galaxy S5 - so is this an upgrade or not?

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Galax S5: Design

The Galaxy Alpha is all about design - from its metal side to the slim profile, this handset is clearly aimed at the image-conscious buyer who might otherwise pick an iPhone or HTC One (M8). The Alpha is slimmer, lighter and overall more compact than the Galaxy S5. The raw stats are as follows:

The Galaxy Alpha measures 132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7mm and weighs 114g

The Galaxy S5 measures 142 x 72.5 x 8.1mm and weighs 145g.

Samsung explains how the Galaxy Alpha has been designed to fit comfortably and securely in the hand - something phone like the S5 can’t always claim to achieve - so for us (and our small hands), it’s the Alpha which comes out on top. Just look at how well-received the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and HTC One mini 2 were to see how popular slimmed-down flagships have become.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Galax S5: Screen

But a smaller body means a smaller screen. Where the Galaxy S5’s measures in at 5.1 inches, the Galaxy Alpha is 4.7. There’s also a drop in resolution, from 1920 x 1080 on the S5, to 1280 x 720 in the Alpha. This being pixel density down from 431 to 312 per inch, a noticeable drop.

Read More: Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

Both handsets use Super AMOLED screen technology, but the lack of pixels in the Alpha is disappointing.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Galax S5: Processor, RAM, Storage and Battery

Both phones have the same choice of processors, depending on the country in which you buy them. They ship with either an octa-core processor (comprising two quad-core chips running at 1.8GHz and 1.2GHz), or a 2.5GHz quad-core chip.

Both handsets have 3GB of RAM, and while the Alpha comes with more storage as standard (32GB vs 16 in the S5) it does not have a microSD cards lot, meaning this cannot be increased. The S5’s slot accepts cards of up to 128GB.

That smaller screen and slimmer body means the Alpha loses out on battery capacity to the S5. The new phone has a battery measuring 1,860mAh, which is significantly smaller than the S5’s 2,800mAh unit. We just hope Samsung has been working hard to make the Alpha run as efficiently as possible.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Galax S5: Camera

In terms of resolution, the S5 wins. Its camera is 16-megapixel, compared to 12mp on the Galaxy Alpha. However, their front cameras are almost identical - 2.1mp for the Alpha vs 2mp for the S5.

Both phones can record video in 1080p Full HD, and even in Ultra HD 4K, and they also come packed with Samsung’s photography features, such as Beauty Mode, Dual Camera, Panorama, HDR and more.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Galax S5: Conclusion

It’s difficult to say which is best until we’ve had some hands-on time with the Alpha, but for now it looks like choosing one handset over the other will be extremely difficult. The huge popularity of the iPhone and HTC One (M7) and (M8) has proved the market’s desire for smartphones which are as well-built and good-looking as they are powerful.

The Galaxy S5 is a truly excellent phone, but the plastic design was starting to look tired when it launched by in April. The Alpha is the aesthetic shot in the arm Samsung needed, but will tht be enough to distract from a smaller, lower resolution screen, smaller battery and lack of expandable storage? We’ll have to wait and see...


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