1. down­size me

Australian T3 - - RADAR -

the tech world used to be all about mak­ing gad­gets ever smaller and more dis­crete. Over the past year, though, the smart­phone sands re­versed, with the rise of both phablets and over­sized 5-inch-plus superphone flag­ships leav­ing the iPhone fight­ing the lonely, but still very suc­cess­ful, smaller-screened fight. This di­chotomy has now left ev­ery phone brand search­ing for that Goldilocks sweet spot that blends mu­cho screen real es­tate with nec­es­sary porta­bil­ity.

There is, of course, another way: re­lease two or more hand­sets at dif­fer­ent size points and see which one sticks – and no company favours this ap­proach more than Sam­sung.

There are Sammy phone screens in pretty much ev­ery size you can imag­ine al­ready. But while the new Galaxy S5 Mini is clearly a scaled-down, bud­get edi­tion of the S5, this up­com­ing Al­pha is smaller yet boasts bet­ter specs, a pre­mium metal fin­ish and a high-end price. Could it be here to tackle the ru­moured 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 combo that Ap­ple is ex­pected to drop in Septem­ber? Or vice versa? You may well think that, but we couldn’t pos­si­bly com­ment.

What­ever the state of play, there’s no doubt that the Al­pha, with alu­minium edg­ing re­plac­ing plas­tic on its 6.7mm, 114g chas­sis, is the most iPhone-homag­ing phone Sam­sung’s put out since lit­i­ga­tion got real.

There aren’t many sim­i­lar­i­ties beyond the look, though. The screen is a 4.7-inch 720p Su­per AMOLED, with pro­cess­ing op­tions of ei­ther a 2.5GHz quad­core or dual quad­cores clocked at 1.8GHz and 1.3GHz. The fixed 2GB of RAM is per­fectly ad­e­quate but not class-lead­ing, while stor­age is stated to be a sim­i­larly straight 32GB – although Sam­sung’s said that be­fore and un­veiled a 16GB op­tion.

The Al­pha lacks the S5’s wa­ter and dust pro­tec­tion, but is still fes­tooned with sen­sors and track­ers, from ac­celerom­e­ters to light sen­sors, finger­print scan­ners to pulse read­ers. The rear, 12-megapixel cam­era fea­tures re­al­time HDR, panora­mas and se­lec­tive fo­cus. It can also shoot 4K video at 30 frames per sec­ond, although you can’t make use of the gen­er­ous pixel counts on that 320ppi screen.

In terms of con­nec­tiv­ity, you’re look­ing at su­per-fast, su­per-not-sup­ported AC Wi-Fi, Blue­tooth 4.0, NFC and cat­e­gory six LTE , mean­ing it’s ca­pa­ble of 300Mbps downloads, which is an ob­vi­ous case of fu­ture-proof­ing.

And that is, after all, what the Al­pha is about. Whether it’s a pre-emp­tive strike against the iPhone 6, or just another shot at HTC and Nokia’s sprawl­ing range of hand­sets, the Al­pha is yet another top-tier op­tion to pon­der. $TBC, sam­sung.com/au, out septem­ber

Shrink­ing the 5.1-inch screen of the S5 down to a “tiny” 4.7 inches has meant

a res­o­lu­tion drop from 1080p to 720p – but also a

ppi fall from 432 to 320.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.