Samsung Galaxy Alpha A7: More Than Just a Big Screen and Good Looks

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-01-14
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Samsung Galaxy Alpha A7: More Than Just a Big Screen and Good Looks
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    Samsung Galaxy Alpha A7: More Than Just a Big Screen and Good Looks

    By Don Reisinger
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    Samsung Is Not Going Too Far With Screen Size
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    Samsung Is Not Going Too Far With Screen Size

    Samsung has decided to follow Apple's lead with the Galaxy Alpha A7 and opt for a 5.5-inch display. It appears that 5.5 inches is the new desired size for flagship smartphones. The iPhone 6 Plus comes with a screen that size, as does the LG G Flex 2. Now that the Galaxy Alpha A7 has followed that lead, it appears we shouldn't expect to see too many 6-inch screens this year.
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    Not One, but Two Quad-Core Processors
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    Not One, but Two Quad-Core Processors

    Samsung is getting serious about power. The company announced that the Galaxy Alpha A7 will come with two quad-core processors. For some markets, customers will find the MSM-made Quad chips running at 1.5GHz and 1GHz, respectively. In other markets, Samsung will ship its own Exynos line of chipsets, boasting 1.8GHz and 1.3GHz clock speeds, respectively. Either way, there will be eight cores of processing power being pumped through the handset.
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    The Camera Options Seem to Work Out
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    The Camera Options Seem to Work Out

    Customers looking for a solid photography solution could find a winner in the Galaxy Alpha A7. The rear-facing camera comes in at 13 megapixels and has auto-focus and an LED flash. The front-facing camera features 5 megapixels, making it a standout in a space that's dominated by smartphones with front-facing cameras that can only muster around 2 megapixels of resolution.
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    It's All About the Selfies Nowadays
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    It's All About the Selfies Nowadays

    Selfies were big in 2014 and are now a selling point in smartphones in 2015. Samsung announced that its Galaxy Alpha A7 smartphone will come with a wide selfie feature, allowing users to take snapshots of themselves from a wide angle. In addition, the device comes with a rear-selfie feature, letting users snap photos of themselves with the higher-end rear-facing cameras as well.
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    The Alpha A7 Is Surprisingly Thin
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    The Alpha A7 Is Surprisingly Thin

    One of the features of Galaxy Alpha A7 that Samsung is promoting is its thin design. The company says that the smartphone is just 6.3mm thick, making it slightly thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus, which measures 7.1mm in thickness. Despite having the same screen size, the Alpha A7 is also lightweight at 141 grams. Apple's handset weighs 172 grams.
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    There's No Lollipop Inside This One
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    There's No Lollipop Inside This One

    Surprisingly, Samsung opted against including the latest Android distribution, Lollipop, in the Galaxy Alpha A7. Instead, the company says the smartphone will ship with Android 4.4 (KitKat). While that's not necessarily a bad thing, those hoping for a smartphone that runs the latest and greatest Android software will need to look elsewhere.
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    Don't Expect All Kinds of Storage
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    Don't Expect All Kinds of Storage

    Storage issues could be a concern for those looking at the Galaxy Alpha A7. According to Samsung, the device will ship with 16GB of onboard storage, and there will be no options for 32GB or even 64GB. Instead, Samsung says users can pick up a microSD card with a capacity of up to 64GB to add to the 16GB of onboard storage.
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    Samsung Goes for Noise Cancellation
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    Samsung Goes for Noise Cancellation

    One of the major selling points for the LG G Flex 2 is that it comes with a curved screen that puts the microphone closer to the user's mouth. While Samsung's handset doesn't do that, the device offers a noise-cancellation feature called "Always Clear Voice Auto Control" that, according to Samsung, dulls the noise in the surrounding environment. Whether one option is better than the other remains to be seen.
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    There Is a Security Aspect
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    There Is a Security Aspect

    Samsung has been making a strong push in the security space with its Knox platform. So it's perhaps no surprise that Samsung is promoting the security features in the Galaxy Alpha A7. The Galaxy Alpha A7 ships with a Private mode that the company claims adds an extra layer of security atop files and documents to limit their exposure to outside threats. It's not clear how well it achieves that goal, but it's at least nice to see.
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    There Are All Kinds of Colors to Choose From
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    There Are All Kinds of Colors to Choose From

    The era of color is not yet over. Many handset makers are delivering products that come in several different colors, and the Galaxy Alpha A7 is by no means different. Samsung says its smartphone will ship in Pearl White, Midnight Black and Champagne Gold. Samsung has in the past offered other colors for its smartphones, but for now it appears that it's content to stick with white, black and gold.
 

With its unveiling of the Flex 2 smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, technology conglomerate LG seemed to be on top of the Android ecosystem. Longtime Android fans were clamoring to get their hands on the device, and Samsung, one of the leaders in the smartphone space, was on the sidelines watching the curved handset make headlines. But now—just days later—Samsung is back in the game with a device it's calling the Galaxy Alpha A7. The smartphone comes with a 5.5-inch screen and is designed to provide a "premium" experience, the company says. Perhaps more importantly, the smartphone has a nice design and provides an opening for Samsung to show off its next line of flagship devices at Mobile World Congress in February. Until then, however, some smartphone buyers are looking to see whether the Galaxy Alpha A7 is worth their time and money. Although there is ample competition, ranging from the iPhone 6 Plus to the LG G Flex 2, it's at the very least a compelling alternative. Flip through the following slides to learn more about the Galaxy Alpha A7 and why it might be a nice option for certain customers.

 
 
 
 
 
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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