Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Alpha – When Metal Made Its Appearance on Samsung’s Phones

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Galaxy S5’s body was made entirely of polycarbonate material, featuring a plastic frame painted in silver, which peels off after a while. It was about time for Samsung to make a change and the designers replaced the ugly plastic cover with a prettier dotted metal back, and this improvement was seen in the Galaxy Alpha. It’s not even close to beating Apple’s iPhones in this area, but it’s a good start.

Designs and displays

Samsung made a big mistake by adding a dotted cover on the back of the Galaxy S5. Plastic isn’t necessarily a bad choice, but if the texture isn’t very inspiring, the device will look cheap and this is what happened with the Galaxy S5 flagship. It could have received lots of positive feedbacks for its specs, but its exterior ruined it all. The Alpha has a symbolic name, as it’s the first Samsung phone with a metallic back, which looks more premium, but it has the same dotted texture, only the holes are smaller and crowded.

The Galaxy Alpha is thinner than the S5, measuring 6.7mm instead of 8.1mm, and it’s also shorter at 132.4mm, compared to 142mm. It weights 115grams, with 30grams less than the flagship and features a fingerprint sensor, but lacks the dust and water resistance.

When it comes to screens, it’s good to know that they’re both Super AMOLED, which means that they provide a similar image quality, which is determined by the resolution and number of pixels, and since the S5 has a larger display of 5.1inches with Full HD resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels at 432ppi, the images look better than on Galaxy Alpha’s 4.7inches screen that supports 720 x 1280 pixels at 312ppi. The advantage of the Galaxy Alpha is that its smaller screen makes it easier for the user to reach the top of it with the thumb, without needing to use one hand to hold the device, and the other one to operate on the screen.

Hardware

Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801
CPU Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400
GPU Adreno 330
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 128 GB
Internal 16/32 GB, 2 GB RAM

Exynos 5 Octa 5430
CPU Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7
GPU Mali-T628 MP6
MEMORY Card slot No
Internal 32 GB, 2 GB RAM

The Galaxy S5 was among the first flagships to feature Qualcomm’s MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801 chipset, which is powered by a fast quad-core 2.5GHz Krait 400 processor that is backed by Adreno 330 graphics and 2GB of RAM. The Galaxy Alpha uses Samsung’s own creation, an octa core Exynos 5 Octa 5430 chipset with two quad core processors clocked at 1.8GHz and 1.3GHz, which pair with Mali-T628 MP6 graphics and 2GB of RAM. It’s obvious that the Galaxy Alpha has a faster processor, considering that the Galaxy K Zoom, with an older hexa-core Exynos 5260 chip scored 486ms in the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark, beating the Galaxy S5 with a score of 391ms.

The Galaxy S5 has internal storage available in two variants of 16 and 32GB, which support expansion up to 128GB, while the Alpha has only 32GB of internal memory and no slot for expansion.

Cameras

The Galaxy S5 has a main camera with a higher resolution of 16MP and features phase detection autofocus, LED flash, 1/2.6” sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size, HDR, Dual Shot and other options, being capable to record videos at 2160p@30fps. The Galaxy Alpha downgraded the resolution to 12MP and the camera has fewer features.

Batteries

The Galaxy Alpha doesn’t excel in this department, because it’s powered by a small battery of only 1860 mAh, while the Galaxy S5 has a unit which is almost 1000mAh bigger. It’s great that both batteries can be replaced.

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