Galaxy Alpha vs. iPhone 5S: A Side-by-Side Comparison

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-08-15 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Now that Samsung has finally formally revealed its new Galaxy Alpha smartphone, it's time for prospective buyers to consider whether this latest Samsung handset or the iPhone 5S from Apple is a better investment. Despite some similarities between the devices, there are major differences that, depending on the customer, might matter greatly in the buying decision. Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to which of the two devices a customer should buy. The features and qualities of the iPhone 5S are well known. But the market is just becoming acquainted with the Galaxy Alpha, which comes with a 4.7-inch screen and an Octa-Core processor made up of two quad-core chips. Unlike the Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone from Samsung, the Galaxy Alpha comes with a metal frame that the company said, adds an extra layer of sophistication to the device. eWEEK examines each device point by point. We won't try to make a determination which phone is better for certain customers but aim to provide a useful guide to help consumers and business buyers make more informed purchasing decisions for each handset.

 
 
 
  • Galaxy Alpha vs. iPhone 5S: A Side-by-Side Comparison

    By Don Reisinger
    Galaxy Alpha vs. iPhone 5S: A Side-by-Side Comparison
  • Does Samsung's Slightly Larger Display Make a Difference?

    The iPhone 5S ships with a 4-inch screen, which is bigger than the 3.5-inch display found in earlier models of the device. The Galaxy Alpha, meanwhile, has a 4.7-inch screen. Interestingly, rumors suggest Apple is working on a 4.7-inch display that would come to the iPhone 6 when it's expected to be unveiled next month.
    Does Samsung's Slightly Larger Display Make a Difference?
  • Apple's A7 Takes on the Octa Core

    Apple's A7 processor is bundled with the iPhone 5S. Apple has historically kept the specs for its processors close to the vest, but it can be confirmed that it's based on 64-bit architecture and works alongside an M7 motion coprocessor. The Galaxy Alpha, meanwhile, has an Octa core design, featuring one 1.8GHz quad-core processor and another 1.3GHz quad-core chip.
    Apple's A7 Takes on the Octa Core
  • A Much Different OS Experience

    The operating system experience between the iPhone 5S and Galaxy Alpha couldn't be more different. Samsung's device is running Android 4.4 (KitKat) and includes many of the company's own applications. The iPhone 5S comes with iOS 7, and once iOS 8 hits store shelves later this year, will work just fine on that operating system, as well.
    A Much Different OS Experience
  • How Important Is NFC?

    Near-Field Communication comes with the Galaxy Alpha, making it possible for users to pay for products wirelessly. The technology also allows for the transfer of data. Although Apple's iPhone 5S doesn't have NFC technology, with help from Airdrop, it can wirelessly transfer data over the same network.
    How Important Is NFC?
  • Side-by-Side Camera Comparison

    The iPhone 5S ships with a 1.2-megapixel front-facing FaceTime camera and an 8-megapixel iSight camera on the back. The Galaxy Alpha's front-facing camera comes in at 2.1 megapixels, while the rear-facing model has a 12-megapixel lens. Both companies argue that their front-facing cameras will perform admirably with both video conversations and selfies.
    Side-by-Side Camera Comparison
  • Single Storage Option to Compete With Multiple Options

    Interestingly, Samsung has not bundled multiple storage options with the Galaxy Alpha. Instead, the company offers a 32GB model that does not come with a microSD slot for additional storage. Apple's iPhone 5S is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. Like the Galaxy Alpha, there is no microSD slot for additional storage.
    Single Storage Option to Compete With Multiple Options
  • Consider Mobility Before Making a Choice

    Since mobility is a crucial component in the purchase of any device, knowing the device's specs is important. Apple's iPhone 5S is 4.87 inches tall and 2.31 inches wide and 0.3-inches deep. The Galaxy Alpha is somewhat similar, coming in at 5.2 inches tall, 2.57 inches wide and 0.26 inches deep.
    Consider Mobility Before Making a Choice
  • The Design Wars Are Back On

    Comparing the designs of the iPhone 5S and Galaxy Alpha will reveal many similarities. For one thing, the devices both have a metal frame. Apple's device is heavy on the glass, while Samsung has ditched plastic in favor of metal and a "soft tactile" backside. Looking at them next to each other reveals few major aesthetic differences.
    The Design Wars Are Back On
  • How Many Color Options Do You Desire?

    Samsung has announced that the Galaxy Alpha will come with a wide range of color options, including black, silver, white, gold and blue. Not all colors will be available in every market, but the company has designed them all, nonetheless. Apple offers three options: gray, gold and silver.
    How Many Color Options Do You Desire?
  • It's Still an Apple-Google Battle

    When one evaluates the devices, they will quickly discover a battle between Apple and Google is going on. Apple, of course, has all of its own software on the iPhone 5S, and has ditched native support for Google Maps and YouTube. The Galaxy Alpha, on the other hand, comes with a full slate of Google services, including Gmail, Google+, Hangouts, Maps and support for the company's Google Play store.
    It's Still an Apple-Google Battle
 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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