Samsung Galaxy Alpha
Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha is just about as straight a competitor for Apple’s iPhone as I’ve ever seen. To that end, it’s also quite difficult to see what the attraction would be for anyone not searching for a direct iPhone 4S replacement, beyond its obvious good looks.
The Alpha features a relatively modest 4.7” screen and an aesthetic that looks like it stepped right from the hallowed halls of Apple’s Cupertino HQ. Samsung has even gone so far as to step away from its now- standard plastic build to opt for a new aluminum solution instead. And at just 7mm thick, and boasting the same distinctive patterned surfaces and dimpled rear of previous Samsung devices, it’s certainly a beautiful smartphone. Beneath that sleek exterior lurks a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor and the now- standard 2GB of RAM found in most not- quite- top- of- the- range handsets. At the rear of the device lives a decent enough 12MP camera, with a 2.1MP front facer that’s ready, willing and able to provide your selfie fix, should you partake in such pursuits. 32GB of storage is certainly generous, but it comes at a cost: the Alpha, unlike most other modern devices, doesn’t offer a microSD slot for removable storage. Perhaps Samsung was so fixated in offering a direct iPhone replacement that it forgot to fix one of the biggest issues with Apple’s devices? On the flip side of the coin, the Alpha does offer some solid features including a fingerprint scanner for that extra layer of device and data security, a wonderful Ultra- Power Saving Mode that’ll extend the life of your device tremendously should you find yourself separated from a power source for prolonged periods and the now- obligatory Samsung S Health app, which remains a fine piece of builtin software. For all the good things about the Galaxy Alpha, though, it’s really tough to understand what purpose it serves. It does nothing the Galaxy S5 can’t do, aside from perhaps looking a little prettier, and iPhone stalwarts looking to make the move to Android will surely look towards some of the more highend devices on the market, rather than simply cross- grading. It’s a curious one, but that doesn’t stop the Alpha from being a decent device when taken on its merits, and if you happen to be in the slim demographic that sees sense in considering it, then you’ll get a fine smartphone for your money.