Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Introduction


Today’s flagships are easily flaunting 5-inch and up sized screens, but not everyone believes that this is the perfect size. Lucky for them, we have two new entrants in the space, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha and Apple iPhone 6, which both feature 4.7-inch displays. What’s especially important here, is that they’re treated to top-notch specs and offer excellent all-around performances – so it makes perfect sense for us to pit them against one another to see which one comes out on top.

Design

Visually stunning from every design facet, it’s refreshing to know that they’re extremely compact as well.

Honestly, it’s a tough call on which design we like better – partly because they’re both compact in size, comfortable to hold, lightweight, and impressively premium in nature. Technically, it’s the iPhone 6 is a smidgen taller, wider, thicker, and heavier, but it’s almost hardy noticeable. Even though the Alpha is arguably the best designed _phone_ we’ve seen from Samsung, thanks in part to its solid construction and metal trim bezel, its body is still comprised from mostly plastic. In comparison, it’s a unibody aluminum casing with the iPhone 6.

Indeed, we prefer the iPhone 6’s Touch ID finger print sensor over the one used by the Alpha, but Sammy’s offering is packed with a couple of notable amenities. Specifically, they include a sensor to measure our pulse rate, and a removable battery.

 

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Front view | Side view
Samsung Galaxy Alpha
Samsung Galaxy Alpha
5.21 x 2.58 x 0.26 inches
132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm
4.06 oz (115 g)

Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6
5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches
138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm
4.55 oz (129 g)

Apple iPhone 6



Display

There are more pleasing qualities with the iPhone 6’s display, especially knowing that the Alpha’s screen uses a PenTile Matrix pixel arrangement.

Like we said, they both offer 4.7-inch sized screens, but they employ different resolutions and display technologies. Although they’re not necessarily ground breaking in comparison to what’s out there, the iPhone 6’s 4.7-inch 750 x 1334 Retina display bears a few more pleasing qualities that catch our attention more – like it being slightly more detailed and brighter. Well, the Alpha’s 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 Super AMOLED display is still nice, especially when its color accuracy is improved over past AMOLED screens, but it resorts to using a PenTile matrix pixel arrangement, which doesn’t make it look as sharp as the iPhone 6’s display.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPhone 6 606
(Excellent)
7
(Good)
1:1563
(Excellent)
7162
(Good)
2.23
3.51
(Good)
3
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 422
(Good)
1.7
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6840
(Excellent)
1.96
2.19
(Good)
2.38
(Good)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 49.5%
41.2%
unmeasurable
12.9%
2%
154.3%
253.4%
Apple iPhone 6 82.3%
85.7%
86.9%
2.3%
10.8%
6.6%
24%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Introduction


Today’s flagships are easily flaunting 5-inch and up sized screens, but not everyone believes that this is the perfect size. Lucky for them, we have two new entrants in the space, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha and Apple iPhone 6, which both feature 4.7-inch displays. What’s especially important here, is that they’re treated to top-notch specs and offer excellent all-around performances – so it makes perfect sense for us to pit them against one another to see which one comes out on top.

Design

Visually stunning from every design facet, it’s refreshing to know that they’re extremely compact as well.

Honestly, it’s a tough call on which design we like better – partly because they’re both compact in size, comfortable to hold, lightweight, and impressively premium in nature. Technically, it’s the iPhone 6 is a smidgen taller, wider, thicker, and heavier, but it’s almost hardy noticeable. Even though the Alpha is arguably the best designed _phone_ we’ve seen from Samsung, thanks in part to its solid construction and metal trim bezel, its body is still comprised from mostly plastic. In comparison, it’s a unibody aluminum casing with the iPhone 6.

Indeed, we prefer the iPhone 6’s Touch ID finger print sensor over the one used by the Alpha, but Sammy’s offering is packed with a couple of notable amenities. Specifically, they include a sensor to measure our pulse rate, and a removable battery.


Front view | Side view
Samsung Galaxy Alpha
Samsung Galaxy Alpha
5.21 x 2.58 x 0.26 inches
132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm
4.06 oz (115 g)

Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6
5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches
138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm
4.55 oz (129 g)

Apple iPhone 6



Display

There are more pleasing qualities with the iPhone 6’s display, especially knowing that the Alpha’s screen uses a PenTile Matrix pixel arrangement.

Like we said, they both offer 4.7-inch sized screens, but they employ different resolutions and display technologies. Although they’re not necessarily ground breaking in comparison to what’s out there, the iPhone 6’s 4.7-inch 750 x 1334 Retina display bears a few more pleasing qualities that catch our attention more – like it being slightly more detailed and brighter. Well, the Alpha’s 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 Super AMOLED display is still nice, especially when its color accuracy is improved over past AMOLED screens, but it resorts to using a PenTile matrix pixel arrangement, which doesn’t make it look as sharp as the iPhone 6’s display.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPhone 6 606
(Excellent)
7
(Good)
1:1563
(Excellent)
7162
(Good)
2.23
3.51
(Good)
3
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 422
(Good)
1.7
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6840
(Excellent)
1.96
2.19
(Good)
2.38
(Good)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 49.5%
41.2%
unmeasurable
12.9%
2%
154.3%
253.4%
Apple iPhone 6 82.3%
85.7%
86.9%
2.3%
10.8%
6.6%
24%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and Functionality

It’s that age old battle between iOS’s simplicity, and the diversified portfolio of Sammy’s TouchWiz UI on top of Android.

It’s been covered in great detail through many of our own comparisons, so we’ll quickly cover some of the important aspects of their respective platform experiences. When it comes to the visual presentation, there’s something to say more about the flatter design language and transparent layering of iOS 8. Better yet, the latest version of Apple’s mobile platform receives quite a handful of enhancements to give it a more competitive feel to Android – such as the case with its support for third party keyboards, the expansion of Spotlight, and discrete interactions with notifications.

iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6

iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus


For all of the new features and enhancements that follow with iOS 8, Sammy’s TouchWiz UI running on top of Android 4.4.4 KitKat in the Galaxy Alpha is still a step ahead in several ways. One can argue that iOS 8 is close to the same level as stock Android, but Sammy’s TouchWiz experience adds an enhanced multi-tasking element with Multi-Window, and previewing certain content via Air View gestures. Yes, the visuals of TouchWiz aren’t as profound, despite the subtle update, but it’s functionally sound in being an adept and complete mobile platform.

UI of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
UI of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
UI of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
UI of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
UI of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
UI of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
UI of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
UI of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6

UI of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha


Processor and Memory

Their performances are top-notch, but there’s more of that snappy feel with the iPhone 6.

There’s no arguing that these are more than capable of running the most demanding tasks, but as we meticulously look at the two side-by-side, we certainly get a snappier response with the iPhone 6’s dual-core 1.4GHz Apple A8 chip with 1GB of RAM and the PowerVR GR6650 GPU. Armed with an equally formidable piece of silicon, a quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 330 GPU, the Alpha is pretty responsive with its performance, but it doesn’t have the same level of tightness and reaction that the iPhone 6 exhibits.

Sadly, neither phone offers expandable storage, so we’re left to rely on their internal capacities instead. As we know, the iPhone 6 is available in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB configurations – while the Alpha is available as a single, 32GB option.

Performance benchmarks

Sunspider
Lower is better
Apple iPhone 6 353.4
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 445
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 48.9
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 39.2
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 25.8
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 22.7
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 1239
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 1132
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 1630
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 949
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 2927
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 2960
View all

Internet and Connectivity


Seeing that they offer fast 4G LTE connectivity and the same tight navigational controls with their web surfing experience, there’s really not one smartphone that we prefer more for the occasion. Trust us, you’ll appreciate their one-handed operation.

Internet browser of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Internet browser of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Internet browser of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Internet browser of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6

Internet browser of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha


Browsing the web on the iPhone 6 - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Browsing the web on the iPhone 6 - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Browsing the web on the iPhone 6 - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Browsing the web on the iPhone 6 - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6

Browsing the web on the iPhone 6


Available to a higher degree of consumers, the iPhone 6 benefits by having a wider support for LTE bands – up to 16 in fact with a particular model, while the Alpha offers only 7 bands. Beyond that, though, they share the same set of connectivity features. To be exact, they include aGPS with Glonass, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, and NFC.

Camera

Outdoor shots are no problem with the two cameras, but low lighting is a sore spot with the Alpha.

Taking photos have become paramount with today’s smartphone users, so you certainly won’t be disappointed by what these two offer. The Galaxy Alpha packs a 12-megapixel camera, which features an f/2.2 aperture lens, digital image stabilization, LED flash, up to 4K video recording, and access to several manual controls and shooting modes. Meanwhile, the iPhone 6 bears an 8-megapixel iSight camera that’s not only super quick with its focus and snapshot time, but is complemented with an f/2.2 aperture lens, BSI, digital image stabilization, 1080p video recording, and a very cool 240 FPS slow motion recording at 720p.

Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6

Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha


Apple iPhone 6 camera interface - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6 camera interface - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6 camera interface - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6 camera interface


It doesn’t shock us to find that they snap some exquisite looking outdoor photos, where their compositions are filled with sharp details and good exposure. Heck, it’s almost tough to differentiate the superior one in most instances, but the Alpha’s slower speed causes it to sometimes capture images that are blurry or out-of-focus. Under lower lighting conditions, the iPhone 6 undoubtedly shows its superiority by delivering the sharper visuals – whereas, it’s grainier and noisy with the Alpha.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 1.9
2
619
432
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 2.68
3.2
340
248
View all

In addition, we prefer the iPhone 6’s 1080p video recording quality more than the 1080p quality of the Alpha. Generally speaking, it offers attributes that are more pleasing in its footage – like better details and adaptive exposure adjustment. On top of that, its digital image stabilization helps in keeping its recording steadier. Even though the Alpha boasts digital image stabilization with its camera, it’s only available with still image capture.


Multimedia

The Alpha might be compact in stature, but it’s big on multimedia – while Apple keeps it simple.

There’s nothing out of the ordinary with their respective music players, as they offer all of the essentials for the task at hand. Relying on their single speakers, their volume outputs are close to one another, but the iPhone 6’s speaker sounds more robust, clear, and less distorted. Our main problem with the Alpha’s speaker is that it’s strained at the loudest setting.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha - Music players - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Music players - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6 - Music players - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Music players - Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6

Samsung Galaxy Alpha

 

Apple iPhone 6

 

Music players


We don’t deny that they’re wonderful for watching videos, but we appreciate the multi-tasking element that’s available to us with the Alpha’s pop-up-play feature – a helpful option when we’re trying to do something else completely different on the phone.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 1.017
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 0.623
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 74.5
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 72.2
View all


Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Call Quality

It’s an easy choice when it comes to phone calls, since the iPhone 6 offers more pleasant qualities with the experience.

Plagued by robotic toned voices on both ends of the line, the Alpha isn’t necessarily the best option for phone calls, so that’s why we prefer the iPhone 6 for the occasion – despite the subtle distortion of its speakerphone. The amount of good qualities it offers pretty much negates the single concern we have with its speakerphone.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Apple iPhone 6
Battery

Even though they get us enough juice to get through a solid day of normal, real-world usage, our battery benchmark test reveals the longer tally of the Galaxy Alpha.

On one hand, we’re able to get by a solid one-day of real world normal usage with the two smartphones here, but our own battery benchmark tests reveals that the Alpha is more long-lasting than the iPhone 6. In fact, it achieves a mark of 7 hours, 50 minutes, which beats out the iPhone 6’s mark of 5 hours, 22 minutes.

Battery life

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage.

name
Time
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Alpha
7h 50 min (Excellent)
Apple iPhone 6
5h 22 min (Average)
View all


Conclusion


Pricing alone indicates that these two smartphones are competing head-on against one another, where it’ll cost consumers $200 to pick them up on-contract. If we’re to look at what they offer on paper, from a specs sheet and features set standpoint, it’s almost certainly obvious that the Samsung Galaxy Alpha would garner more attention – more so considering its software experience proves to be more diversified than iOS 8. Not only that, it has a premium design that matches its high-end quality, which was lacking in the past with Sammy’s devices.

However, we also can’t deny that the iPhone 6 is an option to think about. Sporting an updated design, one that’s arguably more premium than the Alpha, the phone’s true worth manifests in its real-world performance. Indeed, it doesn’t carry as many features as the Alpha, but Apple is especially cautious in doing that – to prevent users from feeling overwhelmed.