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Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha – A Social Media Manager’s review

Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Alpha, is finally here.

It seems like I’ve been hearing the hype about this device in the media and blogosphere for months, so I was pretty excited when I finally got my hands on one. The hype around the device was extremely positive, and I was optimistic that this device could finally be the device that’s a perfect fit for me. I’ve switched between devices a few times over the past year, largely due to the fact that none of the mobile devices I had seemed to fit my unique preferences. But things changed when I got the Alpha.

Here are some of the many things I like about the Samsung Galaxy Alpha:

The functionality – It would be an understatement for me to tell you that the Galaxy Alpha is a powerful – and surprisingly smooth – device. Samsung has equipped the Alpha with a potent 2.5 GHz quad-core processor, the latest version of Android, KitKat 4.4, and an exceptional 1860mAh battery that seems to last much longer than similar-sized smartphones by delivering up to nine hours of talk time and up to 321 hours of standby time. The device also includes the latest version of Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface, which may be its best and most intuitive user interface yet. Moving between menus and applications is a breeze, and the device handles graphic-heavy games extremely well. In fact, I experience zero lag, even with multiple applications open at the same time.

The size of the device – Unlike many of the recent flagship Android device launches, the Galaxy Alpha is small enough to comfortably fit in one hand. In fact, Samsung’s official specs note that the device clocks in at a slim 6.7mm and weighs just 115g. This is a big deal for me because I’m constantly on my devices – usually to check in on social networks – and I’m often on the go while doing so. The nature of my job frequently leads me to crowded events where I need to do a lot of time-sensitive work on my smartphone. Being able to easily carry and operate my device with one hand is incredibly convenient – especially in tight spaces.

The essentials are (almost) all here – The Galaxy Alpha has almost all of the features you’d expect to find in a flagship phone, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, GPS, a microUSB port and much more. In fact, it packs so much into such a thin and lightweight frame that it’s really hard to find anything that I’d change or add. Perhaps the only thing that’s missing is a microSD slot for additional storage beyond the 32GB of internal memory that’s already built into the device, but the practical side of me knows that it’s unrealistic to expect everything in a device as thin and lightweight as the Samsung Galaxy Alpha is without expanding the size and weight.

The 4.7” HD Super AMOLED screen – Unlike many of the recent flagship Android device launches, the Alpha features a screen size that’s smaller than 5”. I list this as a positive for many reasons, including the fact that it looks much bigger than 5”. This is likely because it uses Super AMOLED technology that seems to really make colours pop out from the screen more than past devices I’ve had. The screen is also more than large enough to review emails, browse through Facebook and Twitter, watch videos, look at my friends’ pictures on Instagram, etc. I often watch TV on my device during my commute to and from work, and the screen on the Samsung Galaxy Alpha really brings TV shows to life.

The overall design and aesthetics – Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha comes with a brushed metal frame, which represents a welcome departure from the plastic-based design that’s typically associated with many smartphones these days. Whenever I pull out my Galaxy Alpha in public I get people looking my way and striking up a conversation with me to ask me what type of phone it is and how I like it so far. I’ve also received quite a few compliments on how sleek and stylish it is – which is obviously an opinion that I also share about the Galaxy Alpha.

The extra perks – One of the many extra perks that Samsung included in the Galaxy Alpha is Ultra Power Saving Mode, which allows users to limit some of the phone’s functionality to get the maximum amount of battery life out of the device. I don’t use it too often since the device’s battery is absolutely fantastic as is, but when I do make use of it, it saves the day.

Another aspect of the Alpha that I find unique and incredibly useful is what Samsung dubs ‘Private Mode’ – which basically allows me to hide my personal files and photos to ensure phone flippers don’t scroll through them if I lend them my phone to make a quick phone call, quickly check Facebook, etc.

But even with all of the noteworthy extra perks, I find myself thinking that it may be the little things I like the most about the Alpha. For example, when I pull up a contact I can see all the ways I’m connected to them, and the Alpha will even tell me the last time I spoke with them on the phone. Quite impressive indeed.

The bottom line
As a huge Android fan and all around tech fanatic, I get pretty excited when I see a smartphone come on to the market that promises to deliver everything that I need in a manageable size. And thankfully the Samsung Galaxy Alpha actually lives up to the hype.

What are your thoughts on Samsung’s latest device? Let me know in the comments section below.

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