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James Norton

Ask MoDaCo - the Samsung Galaxy Alpha

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The Samsung Galaxy Alpha is full of firsts for Samsung. It is a compact premium handset the likes of which many people have been asking many manufacturers to make for some time and which was previously only the domain of Sony with its Xperia Z1 Compact and now the Z3 Compact too.

Unlike most Samsungs, including their top of the line S series and Note series, the Alpha has some metal on it! The edges of the phone are made of real metal instead of the fake metallic looking plastic that has always made their phones seem so cheap and poorly designed. That metal edge is chamfered just like on the iPhone 5 and 5s and also forms part of the antennae assembley hence the plastic breaks at the top and bottom.

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As well as making the edge metal, they have made it extremely thin. It is just 6.6mm thick which is less than the just announced iPhone 6. It also weighs less that the new iPhone and has a slightly smaller footprint despite the same 4.7" screen size.

Talking of the screen, Samsung put a 720p (that is 1280x720 pixel) Super AMOLED display on the Alpha. Lets get this out of the way right now, that screen resolution is absolutely fine, but we are not so sure that it is ok given the fact it is a pentile display.

Perhaps most interestingly, the Alpha debuts the new Samsung Exynos 5430 SoC which is the first mobile chip manufactured at a 20nm process. This makes the chip smaller, potentially more powerful and more power efficient. This SoC is an octa-core design in a big.LITTLE configuration including four lower power cores and four high performance cores. It has a ton of potential, so is very interesting to play around with.

Samsung have put 2Gb RAM and 32Gb of storage in the Alpha but unlike the vast majority of their mobile devices, it has no expansion slot for memory. The relatively small 1860mAh battery is removable though. The battery might be smaller than we expect these days but this is a super slim handset with a smaller screen than most high-end Android devices.

Finally, there is a new camera sensor on the Alpha, a 12mp shooter to be precise with an LED flash of course.

There is no shortage of the usual Samsung features on the Alpha with it running TouchWiz on Android 4.4.4 and of course a fingerprint sensor and heart rate monitor are included as well.

Both Paul and myself have the white Samsung Galaxy Alpha in for test so please fire away with your questions below. Finally, what does all this cost? An eye-watering £529! Yes, the same as a Galaxy S5. This is Samsung's small flagship phone, no doubt.

What would you like to know.

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Really like the idea of this phone but the price is a little ridiculous, how does it compare with the Xperia Z3 Compact build quality wise, is it worth £100-150 more than the Z3C?

 

How plastic does the back feel, is it slippery, do they plan on releasing premium backs considering how this is priced and what market they are aiming for?

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Really like the idea of this phone but the price is a little ridiculous, how does it compare with the Xperia Z3 Compact build quality wise, is it worth £100-150 more than the Z3C?

 

How plastic does the back feel, is it slippery, do they plan on releasing premium backs considering how this is priced and what market they are aiming for?

Without having tried the Z3 Compact, it is hard to say how they compare. The build quality is a decent notch up on other Samsung devices I reckon. As to whether it offers the right value, that is not something I can judge for you. The Alpha does contain absolute top of the line hardware especially its SoC and it is very small which presents challenges that Samsung have overcome.

The plastic back is quite hard to the touch and I do wonder if the black will be better but it is not at all slippery or nasty. No idea on other backs, but this is the best plastic I have seen on a white Samsung.

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Hi How much user storage is left of the 32Gb after the Touchwiz ROM and Bloatware that comes pre-installed?

 

This could be a decider for me as there is no SDcard slot.

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Hi How much user storage is left of the 32Gb after the Touchwiz ROM and Bloatware that comes pre-installed?

 

This could be a decider for me as there is no SDcard slot.

After installing all my apps but with no media installed, I have 22.46Gb available.

 

Screenshot_2014-09-15-13-39-30.png

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Thanks, at a rough guess how many apps are using the 2.97Gb of your devices space.

 

On my current SGS3 I have around 200 apps installed and obviously when I sign into Google they will auto install.

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Thanks, at a rough guess how many apps are using the 2.97Gb of your devices space.

 

On my current SGS3 I have around 200 apps installed and obviously when I sign into Google they will auto install.

 

60 would be my guess.

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Any idea on battery life gents, or too early to tell?

I am happy with the battery life. 4 hours screen time seems achievable for me compared to 6 or so on the long lasting Z2.

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I got mine base:NHB today in Germany. Towelroot & Framaroot did not work. Someone here with any idea?

Edited by berni4000

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