Review of the smartphone Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F

Review of the smartphone Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F

Review of the smartphone Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F


If this phone was metal, then I would buy it – the phrase I have not heard a million times, but so often that even stopped at her answer.Halo that surrounds the metal as the material of which the device in the consumer’s mind puts them on a completely different level.Unfortunately, words and deeds in life are often at odds, and the company used to be judged by deeds and not declarative statements.The Samsung has always tried to listen to what customers want, and if possible, provide it to them, it has always been. 

Package Includes:

  • Phone
  • Battery Li-Ion 1860 mAh
  • Charger
  • Wired stereo headset
  • Instructions

The reaction rate of the change in demand for some of the functions, materials, housing has always been almost instantaneous, and for a company of this size and does rapid. But repeated attempts to see how will be sold to metal devices, turn around their failure -prognozy did not come true, the model proved unsuccessful noticeable on the background of their plastic counterparts. You can find many explanations for this phenomenon, but using Occam’s razor, we understand that the metal itself is not a necessary component of the success or failure of the device. All flagships from Samsung sold millions of copies, are in demand in the world, and apart from iPhone, no one can compete with them, with Samsung and Apple get all the profit from the smartphone market, they have no competitors at the same level. But it is often said that the flagships from Samsung – is a “plastic rattles,” although anyone who has tried such devices, knows that they do not rattle as baby rattles, and derogatory epithet does not reflect reality. Plastic does not bad and it is functional, this is proved by several billions of phones, which are successfully used around the world. Metal is not only a sign of luxury vehicles, it is often used in low-cost devices, an example of the last time – this tablet MegaFon Login 3 in a metal case.

Review of the smartphone Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F

But in the premium segment of the plastic is not perceived as routine, but rather as a negative, the consumer wants to see what he pays for. In the mind of the buyer metal – a more expensive material, although it is not so in most cases. Some producers had to come up with a “special” plastic – so, Nokia began to move as polycarbonate, in fact, a trademark. Due to this, in the minds of people, it built up a device from their “normal” plastic. Opposed polycarbonate metal and other materials. In fact, it is, by and large, a marketing and PR move, a real difference in the quality of the material is not.

But for Samsung absence of metal – it’s an irritant for another reason: in all Apple products it is present for a long time and has become the standard. Any internal or external investigation, comparing the flagships of the two companies shows that people are talking about the iPhone wins that he metal housing. That is, in the segment of premium goods play a role, and it was important for Samsung to create something similar. One might have expected that the company orient on his flagship, will not produce a separate model, but it turned out otherwise. And here lies the mystery of the first Alpha. This product is positioned as a designer, but it is used for running several ideas, each of which is interesting.

Firstly, for the first time Samsung has decided to expand the competition to the current versions of the iPhone by providing the most similar form-factor device. So it was that in the market of Android-smartphone flagships from all companies without exception exceed the current version of the iPhone in their characteristics – screen resolution and diagonal processing power, battery, and the like. If there is something you can reverse the software, for example, the speed of the interface that the iPhone is different, many things can not be changed, as they are physical limitation – for example, the size of the screen. Therefore, actual competitors for the iPhone on formal grounds are a mini version of the flagship, for Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Mini, for HTC – One Mini and so on. But the problem lies in the fact that the perception of these devices lose their older counterparts as they are positioned on the third cheaper sort of cheap substitute flagship. From the perspective of the premium segment like mini devices are not very interesting, but rather the mass market (although Apple iPhone – it’s a massive market, although it plays in the top segment, if we talk about the new models). In the gap between the Galaxy S5 and S5 Mini and gets such a device as Alpha, it has a premium component, it is closer to the leaders, and is positioned as a fashion solution and is not considered as a mass product. The Samsung is a lack of willingness to sell it to the widest possible audience, as well as other companies, called pretentious – designer product. So when I found the argument that Galaxy Alpha  will never be sold millions of copies and it is the failure of the product, I smile. Initially, no one ever planned to sell Galaxy Alpha million units, this is not possible, and the Samsung is well aware from my own positioning device.

Secondly, the product class Galaxy Alpha – it’s an interesting opportunity to break in new technologies in production. Take for example the metal frame – this is the first Samsung product with the hull structure, the company does not have much experience of the operation of such devices are no reviews from real users, only laboratory tests. As a consequence, run a series of such cases for more mass products is to take on more risk. Easier to test the product on your phone, which originally should not become a mass, and then to move on to other devices. Currently there are at least a few designs of several top models from Samsung, which uses a similar frame. I am confident that we will see in the near future, at least one more device with such a design, which is quite successful.

Another example of technology running – is to use the new chipset Exynos, which is designed for 20 nm technology and as a result, provides energy efficiency by 25 per cent higher than that of the chipset on 28 nm technology. This allows you to use a smaller battery.Now imagine that you can run a top flagship same chipset without changing the battery capacity compared to the previous version – 3200 mAh battery will run a quarter longer, there will be a real increase in operating time. It is also running in front of a massive technology products. Such an approach can be safe and confident that Samsung will use it in the future.

Review of the smartphone Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F

From a consumer perspective, Galaxy Alpha – a compact model that works well for calls, SMS, social networks – that is, the device is relatively small on the background of the flagships, which is comparable to the same iPhone. Funny situation lies in the fact that for these functions, as a rule, choose exactly the iPhone, it is becoming the preferred choice. The Samsung decided to give his own version of the device for these consumers. Typically, this women and to a lesser extent men. Nevertheless, we can safely assume Galaxy Alpha niche device that does not make significant sales amid Galaxy S5, it is one of the choices expensive smartphone that accurately plays the iPhone in consumer priorities. But Galaxy Alpha has the right to exist, and offers a number of interesting features, let’s try to understand what her strengths.Design, size, controls

When we talk about designer smartphone, you expect to see something unusual – in Galaxy Alpha appearance typical of the latest generation of devices from Samsung, there is no difference! That is, look at the front panel and see that it is the usual Samsung, differs only in size.Distinguish a few meters from this device to other models of the company will be extremely difficult. Therefore, in terms of appearance to talk about the fact that it is something extraordinary, you can not – ordinary and quite pall on other devices.

The phone – 132h65h6.7 mm, weight – 114 grams. For comparison, the size of Galaxy S5 – 142h72.5h8.1 mm, weight – 145 grams. Let me remind you that these parameters were S4 136.6h69.8h7.9 mm, 130 grams.

Quite similar in size to the S4, so take very petite Galaxy Alpha machine, you probably should not. But he’s a little on the background of the current champions or, especially, fabletov, for example, Note 3.

I like the Galaxy Alpha in the hand, he comes to children, men and women – obviously comfortable size, just the palm. Here there is no compromise, and this device recalls iPhone.

Another similarity that is worth mentioning is the processing of the side faces, bevel exactly the same as on the iPhone or on external bumpers for different phones. Feels like Galaxy Alpha is very similar in hand on the iPhone 5 / 5s, the difference is imperceptible, the line felt that way. At one time I clocked bumper Draco on Galaxy S3, in the “Spillikins” shared kunshtyukov his consciousness – taking your phone out of your pocket on the machine looking for buttons where they were at the iPhone. That is to say, my mind automatically capture what metal body – is iPhone. Of course, this only works for those who have used both devices, and for quite a long time.

Body colors from Galaxy Alpha diverse – in Russia it will be white, gold and black. Metal frame in white only in two colors, it is made of gold and gold-plated.

By the way, it seems to me, after the Olympic Games in Sochi, many companies began to use slogans, broken down into three words, so for Galaxy Alpha is “stylish. Thin. Steel. “

Of subjective and unpleasant moments I want to note the material back cover is plastic with a velvet finish, points are small and not very noticeable on the background of the picture look different from the Galaxy S5. But the problem is that the surface is not smooth when took out his phone, hand literally sticks to the lid, non-slip. An unpleasant feeling arises – a Samsung, I think, change the quality of the cover, as it was done for the Galaxy S5 a few months after the start of production, it is not so difficult. To this rather quickly get used to, but annoying point is, it is formed initially.

On the left side – a metal key, it is paired to adjust the volume. On / off button – on the right side, but the microUSB connector is located at the bottom right there in microphone and speaker. At the top end – 3.5 mm jack, which is made visually very thin that makes many think that it is 2.5 mm audio jack, but it is not.

Review of the smartphone Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F

On the front surface of the screen is a 2-megapixel front camera, light sensor and proximity, as well as the indicator light. Under the screen – the mechanical key, as well as two touch of a button. I do not like the fact that unlike other devices, the key labels are hidden under a decorative pattern, ie shine through him. Feeling of carelessness is, I think it also has to fix the first installment of the machine.

On the back you can see the surface of the 12-megapixel camera from Samsung, immediately – LED flash, as well as sensor heartbeat.Open the lid and see what’s inside. Find the memory card slot, which up to this point were present in all the models of Samsung, there can not be. Refusal on the memory card – it’s also an attempt to get as close to the iPhone, including its weak points. This is an opportunity to rebuild this unit to their own line of Galaxy S5, S5 Mini. Questionable decision, but from the point of view of the producer is quite justified.

Another questionable stroke – is the use of SIM-card nano-size. That is, it is the same card as in the iPhone, until recently, the Samsung are not used. No point in saving on the amount is not here, it is conscious decision and explicitly designed to compete with the iPhone. As well as facilitating the potential transition from it.

In general, in terms of design Galaxy Alpha turned calm, this is a typical Samsung Galaxy, with a metal frame, which pleasantly cools hand.Workmanship is traditionally at a high level, there can be no complaints. This unit is very, very good in general, although boring design, it can become a major concern to him.


When I say that the screen of the iPhone is inferior to the current flagships on Android, I was not at all wrong – even a comparison of the characteristics of the forehead shows the vast gulf between these devices. On the iPhone screen size to 4 inches and a resolution 640h1136 points, this is technically 3.5 inch screen, as it increased in length compared to the previous iPhone, to show that he is a 4-inch.This year, the only “revolution” from the iPhone, which is needed, is to increase the diagonal screen iPhone, rumors speak of two models with a diagonal 4.7 and 5.5 inches. This will make the current flagship iPhone competitor to Android, while the screen is far behind, and this is the weak spot in the device Apple.

At the same time, Samsung is a technology leader in the production of screens, developing direction SuperAMOLED, the company has achieved very good results, in particular, the screen in the Galaxy S5 is recognized as one of the best on the market, both in color reproduction, and in settings. But Galaxy Alpha is somewhat simpler, so the screen is different – in particular, it does not automatically adjust certain areas of the screen depending on the ambient lighting. There is adjustment, as in most devices on the market to measure the ambient light sensor. But Exynos chipset used has two co-processor responsible for processing images, as a result, engineers, Samsung has managed to achieve the same result – the quality of pictures you will not see the difference.

Review of the smartphone Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F

The only difference that can be noticeable, will be shooting in the camera – the colors are not as bright, noticeably dimmer on the screen.Affects the use of another module, but not the quality of the screen.

Screen size – 4.7 inches, resolution – 720h1280 points (HD SuperAMOLED Plus). The sun picture is still visible, but the diagonal and lower resolution than the S5, make this device less convenient. On the other hand, it clearly outperforms the iPhone, as well as the majority of similar products. High quality, good display, which has a lot of settings to suit every taste – you can adjust the screen as a bright, and the soothing colors. The choice is yours, as the number of such options not offered by any other manufacturer in the market.

Memory, memory cards, performance chipset

This is the first device that uses its own chipset Samsung, made on 20 nm technology, the previous chipsets manufactured on 28 nm process technology. Exynos 5430 chipset – this eight-decision made on BIG.little technology from ARM, ie 4 cores running at speeds up to 1.8 GHz (Cortex A15), 4 cores – at frequencies up to 1.3 GHz (Cortex A7). Given that the same chipset, but at 28 nm (Octa 5 Exynos 5422) is used in the Galaxy S5, it was possible to compare their performance and operation. I recall that for fast nuclei maximum clock frequency in S5 – 1.9 GHz.

Formally, all synthetic tests the performance was similar, slightly higher rates associated with the Galaxy Alpha version of Android 4.4.4 (the latest at the time of writing), as well as the fact that the graphics coprocessor MALI T628MP6 does not work at 533 MHz and 600 MHz .

From the point of view of optimizing the architecture of the chipset, we see quite a lot of work – so core Cortex A15 updated version r2p3 to r3p3, which reduces power consumption and heat generation, they are less heated. Memory Dual Channel remained, but the bandwidth has increased up to 17 Gbit / s (1066).

RAM in the machine to 2 GB, that’s enough for any task. Internal memory 32 GB, of which the system takes about 6 GB, all the rest goes to you. As already mentioned, the memory card in this phone is not.

It is interesting that during the Galaxy S4 version of the phone on the Qualcomm Snapdragon and Samsung Exynos different as the camera quality and stability of these devices were markedly different. Problems Exynos then formed a negative perception of this chipset. Today there are no differences, we see it as an example Galaxy S5, although the predominant version still becomes an option on Snapdragon.

Many may think that a set of changes that are made in the Exynos 5430, allow us to call it the flagship solution, but it is far from the truth.This is a good restyling existing eight-processor Samsung, but it is not fundamentally new solution. In Note 4 will be used an older version of this decision, with higher clock speeds, memory bandwidth, as well as new graphics accelerator, which should provide a fundamentally new level of both graphics and performance.

From the point of view of the ordinary with the phone there is no slowing down, it works quite quickly and well. I note that, as in other cases, there are a number of people who believe TouchWiz interface is very slow, they always believe that by definition is slow and it does not fix it. You can create an entire sect – nelyubiteley pluck eye AMOLED, witnesses pentayla, slow TouchWiz and plastic casings. In practice, the vast majority of ordinary people are quite satisfied with the speed of the top models of Samsung, as well as TouchWiz, this problem does not exist.

Review of the smartphone Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F


The magic number is always running smoothly – ask any man what kind of battery is better, 3000 mAh or 2000 mAh battery, and you’ll get the obvious answer, the first is much better, he works longer. Direct analogy between the battery capacity and operating time, unfortunately, no longer works. For example, most Chinese flagships established large batteries, take the same Philips i928, it battery 3000 mAh. But when playing video – about 4 hours, while in the Galaxy Galaxy Alpha with almost half the battery – about 10.5 hours at maximum brightness. What is the reason? It is not only the optimization of the software, the use of more cost-AMOLED-display, but also the contribution of the chipset. Estimate the change in process technology and the transition from 28 to 20 nm is very easy enough to compare to the Exynos Galaxy S5 with Galaxy Alpha.

The result was very interesting – so, in S5 worth battery 2800 mAh, and Galaxy Alpha – only 1860 mAh. The difference in capacity by one-third, that is known to play Galaxy Alpha should work in time, even though the smaller screen size. The Samsung claim that the new chipset is able to save up to 25 percent of the energy due to 20 nm technology. I checked this statement into practice.

The same video was launched on the Galaxy S5 and Alpha. Playing time at the maximum luminance in the first case – 10.7 hours in the second – 10.6 hours. You can consider it the same parameters, ie, there is no difference. Music playback time in S5 – 45 hours, Galaxy Alpha  – about 41 hours. I think that the difference is due to the fact that the screen is not working, and the fore here comes the real capacity of the battery, the work of the sound processor. That is, here we do not define the difference.

In the “heavy” three-dimensional games Galaxy Alpha lasted about 3 hours against 3.45 minutes S5 – that is, when using fast cores difference in battery capacity is still noticeable, but not striking.

In general, I can say that the time of the Galaxy Alpha  roughly equivalent in everyday life S5, that is, until the evening apparatus survives with moderate use. But if you use it only for calls and SMS, turn off all unnecessary features, then it will last 1.5-2 days, it is quite achievable.Full charging time – a little less than 2 hours.

Therefore, the argument that the capacity of the battery affects the time, should not be taken on the forehead, a lot depends on what kind of hardware inside your machine, and what software is worth it. In the same iPhone rather weak batteries, but optimization of the system allows you to get the most out of it – Galaxy Alpha in this regard is very similar to the iPhone 5s (1560 mAh). But I think that you just do not remember, and did not know the capacity of the battery in the iPhone, because the manufacturer does not emphasize this characteristic, apart from defining it, and in this he is right.

As well as in the S5, this phone has a power-saving mode, which is 10 percent of the charge allows the unit to operate up to 24 hours.Including switching to a gray scale screen, which may not be as aggressive, but will extend the full operation for a long time – no direct analogue of this technology from other companies do not, because it involves the use of AMOLED-display, and also changes in the controllers of these screens made Samsung.

Communication features

All pretty typical, USB version 2, which is not so nice, but from the point of view of this device is quite typical. There is support for NFC, Ant +, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (VHT80) operates in two bands, Bluetooth 4.0 LE.

Built-in modem supports LTE-LTE Advanced Cat.6, that is, in theory, is the first device in Russia with the support of high-speed mobile Internet. Unfortunately, within the Garden Ring, where the Internet is such MegaFon, failed to get the appropriate speed, and that the matter is not clear. I think that the problem is still in a software phone as a router at these points worked and gave up to 300 Mbps. By the time the models on the market it can be corrected.


In this apparatus, a 12-megapixel autofocus camera that can shoot 4K video that most probably do not need (it can also Note 3 in Exynos version, as well as all versions of S5). In terms of image quality, this device is a little above average, but it is clearly inferior to the characteristics of the S5, the pictures are worse, and in low light conditions – much worse. However, you can compare yourself these pictures and see what you like more. For a fairly small thickness, this device camera module was a compromise, and it supports all the options that are typical for the phones from Samsung, the interface is typical.

Review of the smartphone Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F


The phone is worth the latest version of Android 4.4.4, with a shell TouchWiz, it is also the latest version as the flagship of the company.Differences from the same S5 almost there, so I refer you to the relevant part of the review.


In terms of voice quality, no complaints to the unit no. The signal is loud, well distinguishable, vibration is also noticeable.

In the sale of Galaxy Alpha arrive September 18 to a price of 24 990 rubles. Inside the Samsung lineup in terms of functionality, this unit gives Galaxy S5 (29,990 rubles, the gray market is much cheaper), but higher than the same S5 Mini (19,990 rubles). I would not call this device design, it is interesting as a compact device for calls and SMS, other social activity, a sort of replacement iPhone with a better screen, next to the chips in energy saving and very good music player. On the last point, there is little people pay attention, but the latest flagship and popular device from Samsung sounds very good, thanks to a separate sound chip, then it is updated to the latest version. The same applies to support different video codecs out of the box, this unit of the maximum number possible.

Fears that the “small” battery effect on working time, have been in vain, that did not happen, all identical Galaxy S5.

All in all, the Samsung turned out pretty good Galaxy, another unit of the family, which has a metal frame, good performance, excellent screen and compact size. The price is high, but it should be out of position against the iPhone. In my opinion, this approach is wrong, as imposes a number of restrictions. For example, the lack of a memory card – is the lack of, and visible for many, but not all. The model is very nice, but it is precisely the mass will not, this is a niche offer and, as I said at the beginning, is the breaking technologies. In principle, in terms of form factor is a direct replacement for the iPhone to those who, for whatever reason, does not want this device, and looks toward Android. And love is a size number. It will be interesting to see how Galaxy Alpha will begin to compete with older versions of iPhone, which will fall in price when new. And can create a competition.

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