Yesterday, Samsung took the wraps off its latest addition to the Galaxy smartphone line up, the Galaxy Alpha. The company is calling it "the evolution of Galaxy Design", touting its "metal frame, elegantly curved corners, and a tactile soft back cover."
Given the smartphone's specs, choice of material for the frame and display size, the Galaxy Alpha happens to be a worthy competitor to Apple's year-old iPhone 5s. We compare the two smartphones to see which one comes out on top.
The Galaxy Alpha has flat metal sides similar to the iPhone 5s. They are segmented by thin lines of plastic and bear a resemblance to Apple's design scheme on the 5s. However, Samsung's smartphone is easier to hold thanks to its flared corners which offer better handling and prevent the device from slipping from your hands.
While the phone does use a metal chassis, its back uses plastic with the dotted pattern of perforated leather similar to the Galaxy S5, though here the pattern is finer and not resembling leather so much.
The Galaxy Alpha is easily the slimmest Galaxy device to date though not the slimmest smartphone in general. Compare the dimensions of the two smartphones and the Galaxy Alpha is the slimmer of the two. However, it has a larger 4.7 inch display and is a bigger smartphone.
Apple's iPhone uses metal on the sides, back and pretty much everywhere else around its 4inch screen. It's wonderful to hold in the hand but tends to slip owing to its fully rounded edges. However, it does feel more premium when compared to the Galaxy Alpha owing to its gorgeous aluminium body.
Moving on to displays, the iPhone uses a 4.0 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD which offers vibrant colours and crisp visuals. It has a resolution of 640 x 1136 pixels and a pixel density of 326 ppi.
The Galaxy Alpha packs a 4.7in display that has a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution and manages to churn out a respectable pixel density of 320 ppi.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha uses an Exynos 5 Octa 5430 chipset. It features a big.LITTLE processor with four Cortex-A16 cores and four Cortex-A7 cores clocked at 1.8GHz and 1.3GHz respectively. Users will love how all eight can run simultaneously, resulting in solid multi-core performance. The chipset also houses a hexa-core Mali-T628 MP6 GPU and 2GB of RAM. All in all, the specs and benchmarks indicate that the Galaxy Alpha delivers flagship smartphone performance.
Apple's iPhone 5S packs the company's powerful A7 chipset which offers stellar smartphone performance. Also worth noting is that Apple has future proofed its handset by adding a 64-bit architecture, meaning that iPhone 5S users will have no problems running apps of the next two years. As apps and systems get more powerful and intensive, your smartphone is going to require a 64-bit architecture to handle them better.
Another noteworthy mention happens to be Apple's M7 "motion coprocessor" which is probably more interesting than the A7 itself. It is designed to garner data from the handset's accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and more. This data is then used to understand the state of your phone without using up battery life. And then comes Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which offers a new level of security if you want it. With the iOS 8 update, users will be able to authenticate payments through the scanner.
Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has a 12 megapixel shooter in the rear, with a 2.1 megapixel shooter up front for selfies. The rear camera has an LED flash and is capable of HDR, can shoot 2160p video at 30fps, Panoramas and more.
Don't be fooled by its 8MP rear sensor, the Apple iPhone 5S is still one of the most powerful and practical smartphone cameras out there. It clicks quick pictures, shoots decent images in dark situations and has an improved front facing camera when compared to the iPhone 5. Thanks to the phone's advanced processing, it can also shoot slow-mo video among other things.
In this category, it clearly becomes a matter of personal preference. While some users will insist on Apple's high quality apps and well designed iOS interface, others would opt for the unlimited freedom that Android offers its users.
It is worth noting that Samsung's Touch Wiz UI has received a lot of flak from experts and fans for its overbearing presence and bloatware. So iOS might be a better option in comparison unless you're planning to use a custom ROM on the phone after purchasing it.
While Apple's iPhone 5s has been awarded the smartphone crown by many experts, Samsung's Galaxy Alpha brings a larger screen, Octa core processing and a superior camera.