Right now, if you do a bit of research, the discontinued Samsung Galaxy Alpha is more expensive than the flagship HTC One M8 from last year. When we happened to come across the price difference, a thought popped into our heads: both these phones are premium, but only one is a flagship, so why is the mid-ranger so expensive? At the moment, the octa-core Exynos version of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha G850F 32GB Unlocked GSM 4G LTE Octa-Core Smartphone – Charcoal Black
will set you back about $400 unlocked, while the quad core Snapdragon version costs about $240 unlocked. The HTC One M8, Gunmetal Grey 32GB (Verizon Wireless)
, on the other hand, costs you $350 on Verizon with no contract, but if you’re willing to compromise, you can get it for as little as $250 if you choose one without a warranty, refurbished or used. There isn’t a big price difference between the Galaxy Alpha and the HTC One M8 right now, but it still seems odd that a mid-range phone is placed in the same price range as a premium flagship.
The deal is that both the Galaxy Alpha and the One M8 are truly premium phones with sturdy constructions and high-end builds. While the Galaxy Alpha only has a metal frame around its edges, the HTC One M8 has a full metal unibody, which no doubt can be considered a 10 on a 1 to 10 “premiumness” scale, as it were. Samsung did a great job with the Galaxy Alpha, seeing as the phone is a pretty powerful mid-ranger and marks the start of a new design language that is now representative of Samsung to some extent. Since the Samsung Galaxy Alpha was launched last Summer, Samsung focused on making their new phones more high-end and more premium. Fans were not delighted with the plastic build of the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is why after the Alpha came out, the South Korean smartphone manufacturer took a turn and launched the Galaxy Note 4, a super-duper flagship with a massive 5.7 inch QHD display, still considered one of the best smartphone displays out there. Alongside the Note 4, they also launched the Note Edge, which marked the entry of the company into the non-conventional design aesthetic. Soon after, in March this year, they launched their latest gems, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.
But the Samsung Galaxy Alpha was what started the new journey which eventually crossed paths with new display technology and created smartphones that are considered to be beacons of the new mobile design industry right now. Whether they actually are or not, remains to be seen. The Galaxy Alpha has sure left a mark on the community, but what else does it carry besides the obvious sentimental load of change that warrants it to be more admired than the HTC One M8, the best flagship of 2014, according to millions? While the Alpha is a milestone for Samsung, it isn’t that much of a novelty to the rest of the world. Why would a mid-range smartphone, with a FHD display, a heart rate sensor and fingerprint sensor be considered more worthy of the premium title than a Chinese phone sporting the same hardware, specs and features (OnePlus One, much) ?
While there is no objective answer to that, let’s check out the specs of this phone and compared them to those of the HTC One M8 so that we can get an idea of how different these two actually are; on paper and in real life. Although a mid-range smartphone, the Galaxy Alpha (which has two different models, depending on market) is actually quite well-endowed. The smartphone comes with a 4.7 inch display that has a resolution of 1280*720, which is definitely fit for a mid-ranger. The chassis is made out of metal and encases the screen in a metal frame, with little indents on each corner for easier holding and maneuvering.While the design is actually quite good, the rest of the body of the phone is rather representative of Samsung.
The display is a Super AMOLED panel, which means that it’s going to be crisp and bright, even though the resolution is not optimal. It’s covered with Gorilla Glass 4, which is a durable protective coat that will add a lot to the lifespan of your smartphone in general. Under the hood, the Galaxy Alpha comes with an Exynos 5 octa 5430 CPU and 2 GB RAM, with 32 GB internal storage available, with no microSD card slot for expansion provided. The Exynos chip in the phone is rather impressive and it can handle anything you throw at it. Since the Galaxy Alpha is running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop already, TouchWiz is a bit toned down and functions more smoothly, which adds to the already satisfactory user experience.
Samsung didn’t go all out with the Galaxy Alpha, but they came pretty close, nonetheless. The camera setup of the Galaxy Alpha is impressive, with a 12 MP sensor on the rear with autofocus and an LED flash and a 2.1 MP camera on the front. The rear camera can shoot 4K video at 30 fps, which is a great bonus. The rear camera of the Galaxy Alpha takes excellent photos, although it does struggle in low-light, like every other smartphone (even the Samsung Galaxy Note 4)( does. The front camera is nothing special, but it does take good selfies if the set is well-lit.