It’s time for another spec shootout, seeing that Samsung just announced the Galaxy Alpha yesterday. This spec shootout won’t compare the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8, however, seeing that we’ve provided a spec war between the two in day’s past; what we intend to do here is to show how these two smartphones stack up against Samsung’s latest.
Are you ready for the shootout? Without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha features a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1280 x 720p screen resolution. In contrast, Samsung’s own high-end Galaxy S5 features a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080p. The HTC One M8 features a 5-inch, Gorilla Glass 3 liquid crystal display (LCD) with 1920 x 1080p screen resolution as well.
In the end, the Galaxy Alpha has a Super AMOLED display going for it – but the HD resolution doesn’t beat the Full HD resolution of either the Galaxy S5 or the HTC One M8. We think the Galaxy Alpha is a nice device, but just know that one compromise made on the device to maintain its affordability is the loss of the usual “brightness” of Samsung’s displays.
Additionally, the Galaxy Alpha display is smaller in its display size than either the 5-inch HTC One M8 or the 5.1-inch Galaxy S5. Samsung positioned the Galaxy Alpha to be an iPhone 6 competitor. With that said, the Galaxy Alpha is positioned to be a mid-end model, so it’s not surprising to see that the Alpha has a smaller screen.
The Galaxy Alpha is powered with Samsung’s own Exynos 5430 octa-core processor (created by a quad-core 1.8Ghz and a quad-core 1.3Ghz processor), while the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8 utilize quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processors (the Galaxy S5 runs a 2.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 while the HTC One M8 utilizes a 2.3Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 as well. Both the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 have processors that are clocked at higher speeds, although Samsung does have two quad-core processors within the Galaxy Alpha.
As for the Galaxy Alpha’s performance, it outperforms not only last year’s Galaxy Note 3, but also the Galaxy S5. The main reason concerns the lower HD resolution of the Galaxy Alpha versus the Full HD resolution of the Galaxy S5 and the Full HD resolution of the HTC One M8. We have a feeling, however, that the octa-core processor in Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha may also serve to explain why the device registered a score of 38,248 in AnTuTu (early AnTuTu benchmarking gave the Alpha a score of 38,648) as opposed to the Galaxy S5’s 35,445 points. The HTC One M8 registered an AnTuTu score of 37,624 points in AnTuTu.
For those who’re looking for a smartphone with speedy performance, the Galaxy Alpha outscores both the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 by way of performance testing. Of course, the user experience will vary, but in benchmark scoring at least, the Galaxy Alpha can hang with the best of Android smartphones.
The Galaxy Alpha has a 12MP back camera and a 2.1MP front camera, compared to the 16MP back camera and the 2.1MP front-facing camera of the Galaxy S5 – and the 5MP front camera and 4MP UltraPixel back camera of the HTC One M8. The Galaxy Alpha’s back camera will more than outperform the back camera of the HTC One M8, but the HTC One M8’s front HD camera will more than defeat the front cameras of both the Galaxy Alpha and the Galaxy S5. With that said, whether or not you want a top-notch back camera, or front camera is up to you. We’d still say that the back camera matters most for most shots, whether up-close or at a distance.
The Galaxy Alpha has a 1,860mAh battery, as compared to the 2,800mAh battery of the Galaxy S5 and the 2,600mAh battery of the HTC One M8. The Galaxy Alpha’s battery is the smallest in the comparison, so the high-end smartphones will dominate here. At the same time, however, the Galaxy Alpha is also thinner than the Galaxy S5 – so you pay a price for a thinner smartphone in the battery department.
The Galaxy Alpha comes with 32GB of memory storage, as opposed to the 16GB(minimum) memory storage offerings of both the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8. With that said, the Galaxy Alpha will be the smartphone of choice for those who’re looking for more memory storage at a more affordable price. The HTC One M8 and the Galaxy S5 both debuted at $199.99 with a two-year contract, but the Galaxy Alpha, even at $199.99, will still offer twice the memory storage of the other handsets.
The Galaxy Alpha doesn’t share the same Full HD resolution as the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8, nor does it have the water and dust resistance of the Galaxy S5, the microSD card slot found on the GS5 and OneM8, or the full metal design of the HTC One M8, but it offers twice the memory storage than either the GS5 or the One M8, a competitive 12MP back camera that could beat the One M8’s 4MP rear camera, two quad-core processors, and aluminum metal siding, not to mention it’s the thinnest and lightest smartphone of the pack, beating the One M8, the heaviest of the trio, in dimensions (132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7mm for the Galaxy Alpha vs. 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4mm for the One M8). The Alpha is 2.7mm thinner than the One M8 – so you’re getting one of the sleekest devices of the year.
In short, there are some tradeoffs with the Galaxy Alpha, but there are some trade-ups with the device, too. iPhone users who could care less about a microSD card slot but want something with an aluminum metal build of some kind (and lots of storage) will even find the Alpha’s 1,860mAh battery to be a welcome relief from the 1440mAh battery of the iPhone 5 and the 1,500mAh-1,600mAh battery of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5C. While many Android enthusiasts will pass on this phone, we’ve got a feeling that some iPhone users will find the Galaxy Alpha attractive enough to give Android (and Samsung) a try.
|Phone||Samsung Galaxy Alpha||Samsung Galaxy S5||HTC One (M8)|
|Display||4.7-inch 1280x720p, Super AMOLED, 312ppi||5.1-inch 1920x1080p Super AMOLED, 432ppi||5.0-inch 1920x1080p Super LCD 3, 441ppi|
|Processor||1.8 GHz Exynos 5430 octa-core processor||2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core||2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core|
|OS||Android 4.4.4||Android 4.4.2||Android 4.4.2|
|Memory||2 GB of RAM, 32 GB,||2GB of RAM, 16/32GB internal storage||2GB of RAM, 16/ 32GB of internal storage|
|Micro SD support||No||Yes, upto 128GB||Yes, upto 128GB|
|Size||132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7mm, 115 g||142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, 145 grams||146.36 x 70.60 x 9.35mm, 160 grams|
|Cameras||12MP rear, 2.1MP front||16MP rear, 2.1MP front||4 Ultra pixel camera (dual Rear camera), 5MP front, Dual LED|
|Video Recording||2160p@30fps||2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps||2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, microUSB 2.0||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G, IR Blaster, USB 3.0||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G, USB 2.0|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Gesture Sensor, Fingerprint Scanner, heart rate monitor||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, gesture, heart rate||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
|Battery||1,860 mAh||2800 mAh||2600 mAh|
|Water and dust resistance||None||IP67 dust and water resistance||None|