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  • krazyfrog - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Apple is about to make bigger iPhones. On the other hand, Samsung is making smaller, metal Galaxy phones. :O Reply
  • ddriver - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    The circle of life. Reply
  • craighamilton - Saturday, December 06, 2014 - link

    Too much of the big phones maybe. But Galaxy Alpha is nothing in compare with S5 which is one of the top rated phones in terms of consumer satisfaction. Reply
  • Malih - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    maybe Samsung is testing the water, they could be planning an S6 with metal body, if this sells reasonably well, they need a new design. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    I hope this isn't what they go with for the S6, the design just screams iPhone at me. The home button isn't round, but beyond that it looks like one of those Chinese knock-off iPhones. Reply
  • craighamilton - Saturday, December 06, 2014 - link

    Tired of the big ones, I guess. But back to the topic...Samsung Alpha is nowhere in comparable to S5 which is one of the top rated phones in terms of consumer satisfaction (seen at Reply
  • uhuznaa - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    A 1860mAh battery isn't really much (this is about the same as the 1800mAh battery of the Galaxy S2 with its 4.3" 480×800 display).

    Looks nice though. If this will be enough to justify high-end prices without high-end features (sensors, fingerprint sensor, higher resolution)? Certainly a nice alternative to phones like the Moto G...
  • smorebuds - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Except that it'll likely be twice the price as the LTE Moto G. Reply
  • maroon1 - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    Except that Moto G comes out with very weak CPU/GPU snadragon 400, only 1GB ram, only 8GB to 16GB storage, worse camera, and it lacks many other features that Alpha have

    The two should not be compared
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    Yeah Moto G definitely doesn't compete with this directly. I'd also be willing to bet that the Alpha has a better looking display in practice, especially in bright light. PPI isn't everything. That doesn't make the Moto G a bad phone, but this is definitely a more upscale mid-sized phone. Which is good because a lot of the "mini" variants of phones really get watered down hardware. I know a few people that will not buy anything 5"+ but they still want a fast device.

    I'm not so thrilled about the lack of an SD card slot but at least 32GB is standard.
  • jjj - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    The battery seems rather small and the price is likely to be ridiculous given the S5 Mini pricing.
    As for this
    " Intel's new LTE modem and mark a break from Qualcomm's dominance in the sector."
    Might be but it doesn't mean much. The real threat to Qualcomm is Mediatek starting to sell LTE and most Mediatek based phones end up with no price premium for LTE. So Qualcomm is likely to get some margins erosion and for Intel it will be hard to get wins when the 2 big names fight for share.
    PS: since someone is bound to go crazy because i've called Mediatek a big name, they are likely to ship some 350 million smartphone SoCs this year, almost 30% of the market and they are about to reach 2 billions revenue per quarter so more than most semi companies. Next year if you exclude RAM and NAND makers (Samsung , Micron, Hynix ,Toshiba) they are likely to get into top 5 with just Intel, Qualcomm and TI ahead of them.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    We have yet to see MediaTek have any big design wins with the big OEMs and have any real penetration in the western market, Intel is much better positioned at the moment to win market share from Qualcomm in that regard considering Samsung is their biggest costumer. Reply
  • jjj - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Have you seen who the big OEMs are? Most of the top 10 OEMs are China based now plus this is the time of the small and regional players. And how exactly is the western market what matters?
    The so called western market is not all that big. China is almost 40% of the smartphone market now, India will surpass the US in units in 2016 and has huge room to grow further. The US is maybe 12% of the market now and can only decrease, Western Europe is maybe 17% of the market now.
    As for Intel and Samsung, not only Samsung will never work with a single partner,they also have their own baseband and will keep working on it because they need it.Samsung is also bleeding share and will need huge price cuts in the next years to keep share, if they don't their share will crumble.
    Intel needs to integrate and get some wins but they are not at all in a favorable position since both Qualcomm and Mediatek will be pushing hard.
  • GKR - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    Surprisingly, MediaTek did not win also in the first round of CMCC selection for the TDD LTE devices. It was Marvell that made it to the list of approved SOC's for the TDD-LTE network. MediaTek is yet to show any win in China for LTE. Having missed the next Samsung device, it would be interesting to see how this is going to affect MediaTek's revenue. Reply
  • bigstrudel - Sunday, August 17, 2014 - link

    The western market means less every year. That's why Qualcomm is switching to Stock ARM cores on the 810: To compete with discount SoC makers from China and elsewhere. Cheap parts will rule the market in the coming years.

    99% of people don't care about speed. They care about fluidity and low price. Even MediaTek A7 designs run Android fluidly now.
  • lilmoe - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Am I the only one that thinks this isn't a mid-range phone at all? Am I also the only one who thinks 720p on a 4.7" is perfectly fine? The lower resolution is actually even better since we'll be getting more performance and battery life (relatively). Anyway, this SoC (Exynos 5430) should be a bit faster than the Note 3's, so things should be more zippy at that resolution and all games will most definitely play at 60fps.

    The only two downsides of the phone, I believe, are the exclusion of the usual SD card slot and the relatively smaller battery. The battery thing "should?" be understandable given the size and slimness of the device, and the processor should be more efficient since it doesn't need to ramp up its speed for trivial tasks (as it would on a 1080p+ resolution)... But hey, it comes with 32GB standard storage, which is obviously a good thing. Everything spec about this phone is at least better/much better than the iPhone 5S, so why would anyone call it mid-range?

    These are all speculations, we'll have to see real world numbers. And Samsung AMOLED screens are getting better and better with each iteration.
  • Gich - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Mid-range doesn't mean is shit, just that are higher spec available... Reply
  • lilmoe - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Well yea, there's always "better specs" available. What matters is the "right specs" on a specific device IMHO. The only thing you're probably referring to is the screen, which on the contrary, I believe is a good thing (I seriously hope the GS6 doesn't go over 1080p for its display). Like I said, the only downside is the size of the battery (not the battery life per say, since we don't have the numbers yet), and the omission of the SD card slot... A slightly thicker device with a 2000-2200 mah battery would have been a better deal, but would have probably made it look a bit bulky looking with that metal trim. Reply
  • robertkoa - Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - link

    The HTC One M8 is 40% thicker Device and most love how it looks.

    Having a super thin Device is very over rated IMO- especially when it limits battery size, removes SD Card.

    AND the Camera protrudes UP above backplate anyway....

    9 or 10 mm thick and limitations go away.

    Next Big Thing - pixel density controlled at Menu, Ultra High Density for Media, High Density for Battery Life, Business etc.
  • hlovatt - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    How do you get every spec is better than 5S, according to AnandTech review, obviously the best, the 801 processor is no match for the 5S. Also the screen is unlikely to be as bright, the battery life is likely to be shorter, the 5S comes with bigger storage if you want, it lacks sensors and a low power data logger, and the finger print reader is poor. Therefore if it sells at the same price it is no where near as good value. Reply
  • steven75 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    That was a strange comment for sure. The processor certainly isn't better than the year-old 5S. It's likely the camera isn't either. Reply
  • TETRONG - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Not to mention that Samsung has absolutely zero shame. I mean look at that picture - it's an exact copy of the design Apple has been selling for two years.
    It's undeniable at this point.. way too close for comfort.
  • identity - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Apples been making 4.7 phones the entire time? Tell me more... Reply
  • FATCamaro - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    0.7" completely invalidates design language? Tell me more... Reply
  • TETRONG - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    That design is Apple - You don't even have to squint to see it.
    Apple are free to make their devices in whatever size the market desires.
    What Samsung is doing here is simply shameful.. you can't just straight up copy somebody elses entire product. There are laws against that for a reason.
    No honor whatsoever..they should be ashamed of themselves and people who buy these devices are contributing to this dishonorable practice.
  • Nagorak - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    Seriously? It's a rectangular phone. My mid-range LG looks almost exactly the same as it. All of these phones end up looking very similar. It was absurd when Apple was trying to win infringement claims based on their appearance.

    What makes this phone different is that when you turn it on it's got Android instead of iOS. The software side is a big enough distinction between products.

    For what it's worth I own a fair amount of APPL stock, so I have plenty of reason to be biased in favor of them, but I can't get worked up about this. At this point most phones look close to identical.
  • lilmoe - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    - Using a *browser benchmark* for measuring CPU performance is... well, uninformed. Sorry. Especially cross platform. You use these benchmarks to test the performance of multiple browsers on the same device. That was their initial purpose when they debuted back during Chrome's launch, and still is. There isn't a universal mobile benchmark for CPUs as of today, and Geekbench's results are just questionable.
    - Mali GPUs are optimized for OpenGL ES 2.0 and other specific extensions, and generally perform better than any other at that intended area (ARM was criticized for their lack of driver optimization for OpenGL 3.0, but they make it a point that 90%+ of mobile games are optimized for OpenGL ES 2.0 first and foremost as of 2014). You can watch the entire interview with their GPU design chief here on this site.
    - CPU performance != platform performance. It's true that the end experience is what generally counts, but vertical integration here is a huge factor (credit for Apple). I've been criticized before for saying that Android is crippling all these powerful new SoCs because of all the overhead and strain that comes along with its VM. "Specialists" said that there shouldn't be any overhead whatsoever. Well guess what, It turns out that I was right, and Delvic (for starters) will soon be replaced by a ART, and current Android hardware should now score anywhere from 30-100% faster at same benchmarks that argued that Apple's Ax processors are faster... It's also a fact that Android graphics and touch drivers aren't as robust as they should be.
    - Camera on the iPhone 5S better? Well, that's yet to be seen, but it's generally accepted that Galaxy cameras are better than iPhone cameras (well at least outside the "tech" world).
    - Fingerprint scanner is debatable. But I generally prefer Apple's implementation.
    - Screens are a matter of taste, and I prefer AMOLED over LCD any day. I love what Samsung's been doing with their AMOLEDs lately, and on auto-brightness, they can get just as bright (probably brighter?) than iPhone screens.

    Anyway, this isn't my next device whatsoever, and it sure is confusing why Samsung would debut such a design as an entirely new model. But I like what Samsung did here, and I hope it only gets better with time. So yea, I don't believe this Alpha is a midrange device whatsoever.
  • soccerballtux - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    no, definitely not accepted that Galaxy cameras better than iPhone. Reply
  • melgross - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    I don't know what you mean when you say "out of the tech world". But a better camera than the 5S? No. Every review shows the opposite. As we should know by now, more pixels doesn't make a better image by itself.

    Even this AMOLED screen isn't as bright as the average LCD screen.
  • bigstrudel - Sunday, August 17, 2014 - link

    Auto-focus speed and low light performance is not up to par compared to the 5S. More megapixels is great if you want to print 8 x 10's. Otherwise, its hardly what matters. Reply
  • danbob999 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    The CPU is much faster than the one in the 5S. Don't base yourself on javascript benchmarks, in which the browser makes a larger difference than the CPU. Reply
  • lilmoe - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    I was playing around with Sunspider on my laptop (the one Anandtech uses for measure "CPU performance"), because I recently downloaded the 64bit version of Chrome. Here are the results:

    Two browsers, two vastly different results (IE being ~1.8x faster) in this particular benchmark. Browsers tests are NOT good metrics in comparing different CPU speeds, especially when the OS AND the browsers are different. They might be of somewhat relative usefulness in measuring CPU speed if you're comparing two Android phones, running the same version of Android and the same browser. But the primary function of these tests is to benchmark the browsers themselves, not a platform.

    It would be nice if Anandtech stops using those metrics in comparing CPUs from different platforms. It's creating a LOT of confusion.

    My specs: Core i7 4702MQ, 16GB RAM (LPDDR3), Samsung 840 Pro SSD (not that the SSD matters here).
  • erikiksaz - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Apparently the screen is a pentile arrangement. Junk. Reply
  • bigstrudel - Sunday, August 17, 2014 - link

    5430 is built at 20nm. Which means its 30% more efficient to start with already. Reply
  • robertkoa - Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - link

    I agree with most of this.

    Benchmarks are fast with Alpha-and I really like the size of the Device screen is nice , practical NOT super spec (which slows performance to have high pixel Density).
    Where this Alpha Design frustrates me is with a 2 or 3 mm thicker Device, we could have 2500Mah battery, SD Card AND the Camera on back could be flush instead of protruding up from back of Phone !

    So I am lobbying for Alpha Pro same size but thicker and with extra features and a few in common with Note 4, S5, .

    Alpha Pro- for Professionals who need Pocket Power.
  • GC2:CS - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    So this thing is made specifically against the next gen iPhone ? Well.................................. Reply
  • nerdstalker - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    This. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    A removable battery but no microSD? What the actual fuck.

    Also, I'm fed up with pathetic batteries. I can never find anything I want more than the RAZR MAXX HD because of dat 3.7v 3300mAh battery.
  • Lonyo - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    At least you can switch out the battery so it's not a total loss. Small and non-replaceable battery really would be quite bad.
    Of course, it means having a spare battery somewhere around, but if you're away for long enough to think you might need one, you probably have somewhere to put one anyway.
    Less ideal than just having a bigger battery (and being able to change it) but better than a small and non-replaceable battery.
  • steven75 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    But is it better than an external battery pack that can be charged simultaneously, run multiple devices simultaneously, and doesn't require powering down? I'm not sure about that... Reply
  • londedoganet - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    If only they would produce a charger that can charge both the phone and the spare battery simultaneously. Reply
  • melgross - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Hah! My old Samsung i300 and i330 phones had a charger that had two slots. The front one for the phone with battery, and a rear slot for the extra battery. This was the first color Palmphone. The standard battery was pretty useless, giving about two hours on a charge, but the heavy duty one that also came with it gave about three and a half hours. That was without using data services, which used a very slow version of edge. It used to take a good five minutes to download what was called a mobile web page. Just the name of the site, and some folders with names of articles.

    A full 4MB RAM! Don't remember what the storage number was. You really had to whack the screen with the stylus. Handwriting recognition was done below the usable portion of the screen. A full 160x160 Rez with 256 colors. No upgradable OS. Buggy programs (yeah, we were still calling them that) that were a pain to buy and load, and that cost an average of $20 for anything half serious.

    Boy, those were the days!
  • robertkoa - Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - link

    Lonyo-good points on battery.

    But I would rather have a thicker
    Alpha Pro (hopefully) to address this in near future...

    9 or 10 mm thick, 2500Mah Battery , SD Card , Camera from S5 or Note 4 , USB 3.0 .
    Would you mind thicker Device ?
    Would you mind $725. or whatever price Note 4 is ?
  • Cygni - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    It's 2014, youre gonna have to let go of that microSD full of bad anime MKVs and go to cloud or streaming at some point. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    At least with a removable battery there's the possibility that someone will sell an "extended" battery+back case for it. With a built-in battery, you're stuck with whatever shipped with the phone.

    This is basically an upgraded Nexus4/Optimus G. Same size screen, same resolution, better SoC, better baseband/modem. Will be interesting to see how it performs compared to the Nexus4/Optimus G, and even the Nexus5/G2.

    It's about time someone paired an upgraded SoC (S801 with Adreno 330) with a lower-resolution (720p) display. This thing should fly through graphics benchmarks and games.
  • jbwhite99 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Reading this article, and the one last week on the Lenovo Vibe Z2 - it is easy to figure out which phone I would rather have (come on Lenovo, get a deal worked out with Motorola and bring them here!) Metal case, 4x the resolution of this phone, light weight, and 4000 MaH battery.

    All I can hope for on this phone is a snarky Samsung ad poking fun at all of the iPhonies waiting in line for the new, bigger iPhone. Perhaps the barista will be back. I will admint that I carry a GS4, but I won't be back for a GS6 in 15 months unless it is knock your socks off.
  • iwod - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    The only interesting piece here is the Intel Modem. Really want to know how Intel 7260 stack against Qualcomm 9x35. The are mostly the same except Qualcomm support CDMA, and is built on advanced 20nm node. Reply
  • dabotsonline - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    I would also like to know this. The G5 Broadband LTE-A (Korean version) and the Note 4 would be good comparisons. Reply
  • devashish90 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    1. The Exynos 5430 SoC, is probably built on a 20nm process(the first one for an mobile AP AFAICS). This roughly amounts to a ~25% better power efficiency, and delivering better performance as well.
    2. 26% less pixels to power when compared to full HD S5.
    3. Combine points 1 and 2, Galaxy Alpha is set to be roughly 38% less power hungry than S5, so it needs a 1700mah battery to be alive for the same time a Galaxy S5 does with a 2800 mah battery.

    So, actually, Samsung have made this device to last presumably longer than an Exynos Galaxy S5. Even Snapdragon 805 is still on 28nm die.
  • thesavvymage - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    1280x720 is less than half as many pixels as 1920x1080. not sure how you calculate "26% less pixels to power than S5" Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    720p has 44% of the pixels (or 56% fewer pixels) of 1080p. No idea where you got 26% from. Reply
  • lilmoe - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    His numbers are a bit off, but he's making a good point nonetheless. Reply
  • hrrmph - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    So just when we need them to put 2 Micro-SD slots in their devices, they switch to giving us none. Bad move. Reply
  • thesavvymage - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    why the heck would you ever need two micro sd slots in a phone... cards already go up to 128gb. its not like you need to always have your 10000 song library with you at all times, and 10gb hd blu-ray rips on a <5" phone. you are a niche case Reply
  • lilmoe - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    I wouldn't mind 2 SD cards myself. Reply
  • SantaAna12 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    "It's 2014, youre gonna have to let go of that microSD full of bad anime MKVs and go to cloud or streaming at some point."

    Uh. NO!

    No SD no sale!
  • Manabu - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    Yeah, it was looking very good until I read the "no micro-sd card". I like to have control over my data, and not be dependent on crappy 3G connections with 10mb data limits. Reply
  • krutou - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Samsung should have gotten rid of the fingerprint/heartbeat sensor and kept the waterproofing.

    A bigger battery would have been nice too.
  • Morawka - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    I dont usually like samsung phones, but this one is very sharp looking. I like Reply
  • Malih - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    I wonder if this means another lawsuit from Apple waiting to happen, if you compare with 5S the design is... Reply
  • beginner99 - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    Looks like Apple and is overpriced like Apple! Reply
  • dvg - Sunday, September 07, 2014 - link

    That mean, so far produced mobiles are plastic garbage, That we are purchasing at premium price on the name of good pbone. Reply

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