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AZ Tech Beat | March 29, 2017

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Eye candy at a cost- Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review – video

Eye candy at a cost- Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review – video
Travis Arbon

There’s no way around it- the Samsung Galaxy Alpha is a good looking phone.

What you’re getting with the Galaxy Alpha is a smaller, less featured version of the Galaxy S5 with a beautiful, streamlined design.

At $199.99 on contract with AT&T, you’ll pay the same price for the Galaxy Alpha as you will for its older, larger sibling. Your money gets you a sleek device with a metal and soft-touch plastic construction. It’s thin, easy to hold and use and looks really sharp.

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The tradeoff for that upgraded design is a smaller, lower resolution screen, no micro-SD card slot, infrared port or waterproofing. You do get the same fingerprint sensor found on the S5, along Android 4.4.4 with Samsung’s Touchwiz skin and the promise of an upgrade to Android 5.0 in the future.

All the features you’ve come to expect from a smartphone in 2014 are here, including the standard microphone and micro-USB ports, a 12 MP rear camera, 2.1 MP front facing camera, and notification LED.

Related: It’s fast, but crazy cluttered and far from done – Samsung Galaxy S5 review

The 4.7 inch, 720p screen is bright and very colorful with excellent viewing angles. The Super AMOLED display makes the colors pop and can help save on battery life, depending on how you set up your phone. It’s sharp enough, but a little pixelated compared to more dense 1080p screens.

On the spec-sheet, there’s definitely a drop-off between the Alpha and the S5 (the Alpha has a less powerful processor and graphics unit), but the differences are impossible to feel in everyday use. It’s a snappy, fun phone to use.

Read: A flagship feel at half the price: LG G3 Vigor Review

The question is, do you value design over raw power? If you geek out over spec sheets, but aluminum construction makes you shrug, you’ll probably prefer the S5. But if you’d rather have a phone that looks and feels great, and are willing to sacrifice a few features, you might be happier with the Alpha.

It would be awesome if Samsung made a phone with the specs of the S5 and design of the Alpha, but as it stands, customers in the market for a Galaxy have a choice to make. There’s not a wrong choice between the two, but you may come away wishing you didn’t have to decide.

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha was provided by AT&T and can be purchased for $612.99 off contract, $199.99 on a two year deal, or $20.44/month on a 12 month AT&T Next plan.

Graphics courtesy of Samsung