Words like premium look and feel aren’t used for Samsung’s phones. Will the Galaxy Alpha turn the tide for the South Korean giant?
Samsung finally took out its first metal frame phone after being criticised for years for their unimaginative designs. The Galaxy Alpha, like the S5, has a dimpled soft-touch plastic back, though its more toned down. What was nice to see is, for once, Samsung didn’t join the ‘my screen is bigger than yours’ race as the Alpha has a palm-friendly 4.7-inch 720p HD screen and not a 5-inch plus one. The bezel around the sides of the screen is slim and the home button gets a metal trim around it and, like the S5, it also supports fingerprint-recognition technology.
Due to the lack of weight, at a mere 115g, it is lighter than iPhone 6 (129g) and the S5 Mini (120g). The Alpha’s body still consists of a lot of plastic and that’s why the phone is so light, which at times makes you feel that this is a dummy model rather than the actual device. Still Samsung deserves some credit for making the Alpha look more expensive, feel solid and there are no gaps between the metal frame and the back plastic panel. Also the corners are slightly raised to improve grip when the phone is held in landscape mode.
The Alpha runs on Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS and comes with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, which is now a lot simpler and not loaded with home grown apps. But there are still some apps like the S Planner, the My Galaxy app store; S Voice and S Health, which come preloaded on the phone. Samsung’s own Exynos 5430 octa-core processor consisting of a quad-core 1.8GHz Cortex A15 core configuration and a 1.3GHz Cortex A7 core powers the Alpha. It comes standard with 32GB of storage space, which is fairly sufficient, though a microSD slot would have been helpful.
The primary 12-megapixel camera’s sensor is based on Samsung’s own ISOCELL technology, and it also gets an LED flash. It is capable of shooting 4K video too. On Auto mode the photos look bright, sharp and at the same time balance the natural colours. The front 2.1 MP camera can shoot Full HD 1080p video and it is perfect for clicking selfies. When it comes to connectivity, the Alpha is equipped with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, 4G/ LTE, and NFC.
The Galaxy Alpha is definitely the most pleasing looking Samsung phone. It is fairly compact in size, the quality of the materials used on the phone is a serious step up and the camera can take some exceptional photos without killing the natural colours. But its high price is the phone’s major problem. Available at Rs.39,990, there might not be too many takers for the Alpha.