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iPhone 5s vs. Galaxy Alpha: There can be only one

Sterling Keys (translation)
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Since it was announced last week, there’s been a lot of buzz in regards to the Galaxy Alpha from Samsung. Our first comparison was within the same family and concentrated on looking at the Galaxy S5 side by side the new Galaxy Alpha. However, the more we look at it, the more we realize that the Galaxy Alpha more closely resembles that iPhone 5s. For this reason, today we’re taking a closer look between the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy Alpha. 

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iPhone 5s vs. Galaxy Alpha - imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. / © ANDROIDPIT / Samsung / Apple

Design

Samsung is using the Galaxy Alpha as a chance to move away from the original design choices of the Galaxy series and to try and position themselves in a different space. In the press release for the Galaxy, Samsung used such terms as “extravagant”, “elegant”, and “chic” when talking about the device. Unfortunately, there is really only one big detail that distinguishes this phone from the other Galaxy devices out there and that is the metal frame. So in turn, it moves away from looking like a standard Galaxy device and more like an iPhone.  Of course, the back of the Alpha is a bit more delicate and elegant than the others, but at the end of the day, it’s still the same dotted plastic backing as found on the Galaxy S5.

samsung galaxy alpha press 1
The Galaxy Alpha has aluminum edges but still sports a plastic back. / © Samsung

With the Galaxy Alpha, Samsung has decided to embrace metal, at least a little bit, by choosing aluminum beveled edges. It does indeed make the device heavier and it loses a bit of its ergonomic edge due to this, but it does feel to be a much better build quality than that of the rest of the Galaxy series.

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 The iPhone is known for its quality design and build, can Samsung hope to reproduce this? / © ANDROIDPIT

When you compare the bevels on both devices, the Galaxy Alpha wins in this department it has a much narrower bevel. As well, the Alpha is thinner than that of the iPhone while still coming in with longer and larger dimensions.

Display

Samsung has decided to equip the Galaxy Alpha with smaller screen that comes in at 4.7 inches. Whether this is a positive or a negative really depends on your stance on what the size of displays should be. Compared to the iPhone 5s, which comes in at Apple’s standard 4 inch size, it does seem much larger. The Galaxy Alpha has a Super AMOLED display and the iPhone 5s sports a LCD Retina display. If you’re looking for a little more in-depth explanation between the two, have a look at our comparison article

AndroidPIT iPhone 5s Galaxy S5
Unlike the Galaxy S5, the display of the iPhone 5s is less bright and we would expect the same from the Galaxy Alpha. / © ANDROIDPIT

Since the Galaxy Alpha hasn’t really hit the market, we’re not really in a position to be able to directly compare the two displays based on resolution and contrast. What we do know is that when it comes down to it, the iPhone 5s resolution comes in at 1,136 x 640 pixels for a ppi of 326 while the Galaxy Alpha has a resolution of 1,280 x 720 with a ppi of 312. While we’re just making guesses at this point, it is very likely that the Galaxy Alpha will provide richer colors and much brighter display just due to the technology behind it.

Operating System

The question of which is the better operating system will fall back upon the age old battle between iOS and Android: a closed system compared to an open system. While everyone will have their own opinions in the matter, we obviously prefer Android here at ANDROIDPIT due to the vast options of customization and custom ROM choices.

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The interface of the Galaxy Alpha certainly will be similar to the Galaxy S5. / © ANDROIDPIT

Special Features

Both devices come with a fingerprint scanner that is built into the home buttons.  We assume that the sensor found in the Galaxy Alpha will be similar to that of the Galaxy S5, but this will need to be confirmed once we get a device in house to physically test. We do, however, hope that Samsung has fixed some of the errors found in their original iteration of their fingerprint scanner and that the Galaxy Alpha will start with a clean slate.

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The fingerprint sensor of the S5 brought with it some problems. / © ANDROIDPIT

While the iPhone only really has the fingerprint scanner as its distinctive special features, the Galaxy Alpha is said to be also coming with a heart rate monitor which will be located near the LED flash.

Specifications

In regards to technical data, we can really only provide a comparison chart at this point and time. Again, since we don’t have a device in-hands, camera comparisons and battery tests will need to be updated at which time we do.

  Samsung Galaxy Alpha iPhone 5s
System Android 4.4.4 TouchWiz iOS 7
Display 4.7 inch Super AMOLED, 1280 x 720 4 inch Retina, 1136 x 640 
Processor Octa-Core, Quad 1.8 QHZ + Quad 1.3 GHz Apple A7 64bit + M7 Dual-Core 1.3 GHz a
RAM 2 GB 1GB
Internal memory 32 GB not expandable 16/32 / 64GB, not expandable
Accumulator 1,860 mAh 1,560 mAh
Camera 12 MP (rear), 2.1MP (front) 8 MP (rear), 1.2 MP (front)
Connectivity GSM / HSDPA / LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB 2.0 HSPA, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0
Dimensions 132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm
Weight 115 g 112g

Conclusion

For the moment, it is difficult to form a conclusive judgment on both devices. Both brands have put their energy and time into these devices with Apple continuing down the tried and tested path that it’s paved since they first introduced the iPhone and with Samsung going with a new design route. When compared technically on paper, the iPhone 5s is a bit weaker and more expensive, but that can be deceiving when put to true tests. What is Samsung hoping to accomplish with their Galaxy Alpha? Do you think the new Samsung smartphone will have a place in the market? 

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Comments

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  • Timothy Cremeans 4 months ago Link

    I would still go for iPhone 5 because of the technical details and specs it has. They wouldn't be the number smartphone if they don't have the best of the best features and functions.

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  • Mark R. 4 months ago Link

    I wouldn't buy the iPhone as the screen is too small. I might be tempted by the Samsung but depends on final real world performance and price.

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  • Akash Ahmed 3 months ago Link

    Note4 is in the corner now, I want to get one faked note4, does anyone have a good recommendation? How about this one?
    http://www.goophoneshops.com/100018

    0