Samsung recently launched the new Galaxy Alpha smartphone in Indian market and it is set to go on sale later this week in the country. I spent some time with the smartphone at the launch event to check out whether it is really worth the hype. You can read my first impressions of the phone below.
Galaxy Alpha is the first smartphone from Samsung to sport a metal frame, which is also the unique selling point (USP) of the device. The Korean manufacturer is hoping that the consumers will find the Alpha offering both beauty and performance and thus, they will go for it. Well, the Alpha does look great – the metal frame, light-weight chassis, chamfered edges, and a structural rigidity – all of which moulds into a beautiful smartphone.
Samsung hasn’t gone all metal in the smartphone, there is still plastic present, probably to keep the phone light. The Galaxy Alpha sports a soft-touch plastic removable back cover with a user-replaceable battery.
Like other high-end Samsung phones, the Alpha also includes a Super AMOLED display, which is a treat to look at. It is not full HD, but at 4.7-inch size, I don’t think 720p HD looks bad. Sure, a 1080p display would have been great but Samsung, most likely, did want Galaxy Alpha over-shadowing its flagship Galaxy S5.
The smartphone feels great in hand and thanks to the smaller (comparatively) display, many consumers will love it. After all, not everyone wants a giant phone in their hand.
Samsung has included 1.8GHz Exynos 5 Octa processor in the Indian version of Alpha, which might not be developer-friendly but offers good performance. During my brief hands on, I found the Alpha to be working smoothly and there were no lags or jitters. The presence of 2GB of RAM and Android 4.4 certainly helps.
The smartphone also includes Samsung’s TouchWiz enhancements, which might have been toned down in the recent versions of the UI but I am still not a big fan. It is a mess and unless Samsung starts working on an interface from scratch, it is not getting fixed anytime soon. Being said that some of the customisations can be useful like the Ultra-power saving mode, which helps the users in extending the battery life of their phone by powering off the unnecessary features and turning the display monochromatic.
Among other specifications, the phone packs a 12MP rear camera, 2.1MP front shooter, 1860 mAH battery, fingerprint scanner, heart-rate monitor, 32GB of storage, and the usual connectivity options including support for 4G LTE (Indian bands included). As these features need more time for testing, I will be skipping them here and talk about them in the full review.
Overall, Samsung has indeed been able to build a great-looking smartphone but whether the INR 39,990 price-tag is attractive enough for the consumers to go for it remains to be seen.