Recently I acquired a Samsung Galaxy Alpha. If you're looking for a direct replacement for a LG Optimus G, or Nexus 4 as I was, this is the phone to go with.
It's 132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm (5.21 x 2.58 x 0.26 in) compared to the Optimus G at 131.9 x 68.9 x 8.5 mm (5.19 x 2.71 x 0.33 in).
It's thinner, a lot thinner. It's also lighter, 115 grams, compared to the Optimus' 145 grams. In fact, it's thinner and lighter than the iPhone 6, which happens to be a similar size. This is why I originally set my eyes on the phone. I believe the 4.7 inch screen and dimensions of the Nexus4/Optimus G are the perfect size for a modern cell phone. Sadly, the range of phones in this size are currently very limited, most being significantly larger. If you're like me, you don't want to carry a big phone in your pocket.
Powered by a Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A15 and a quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7, the alpha is fast. On Antutu benchmark it scored just over 44,000, placing it in the top tier of smart phones, above it's larger brethren, the S5. It also bested the now "outdated" Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait found in the Optimus G/Nexus 4. I use outdated loosely, because it still scored close to 22,000 on antutu, and though it's less than half of what the Alpha can score, it's competitive compared to many phones.
It uses a 4.7" SuperAMOLED screen with a resolution of 720x1280, which is small by most current standards, but the 312ppi pixel density still makes for a crisp, sharp image. Thought it generally offers deeper blacks and richer colors than the Nexus 4/Optimus G's IPS screen I'm used to, there are some issues. Everything has a slight blue tint to it. On it's own, it's not terribly noticeable, but side by side it's undoubtedly there. It's also not quite as visible in the sunlight, LG certainly did right there. I handle a lot of phones, and I can't think of one off the top of my head that was more visible on a sunny Texas day.
Battery life is less than stellar. with an 1860mAh battery, it's rated at 11 hours talk time. The Nexus 4/Optimus G that I'm used to has a 2100mAh battery and is rated at 15 hours talk time. I do absolutely notice it going dead faster in the few days I've had it. Luckily it charges faster, so it's something I can live with. I would have gladly given up some of that thinness for a larger battery though.
Storage wise, it has 32GB with no SD card slot, something that I honestly hate, though it's still enough space for me. If you're coming from the Nexus 4, you also have the lack of card slot, and less memory. If you're like me and got the AT&T version of the Optimus G, you sacrificed a tiny bit of camera quality for a SD card slot. It's fair to note however that it does come with 50GB of Dropbox storage.
The 12mp camera is better, it's just that simple. It can record 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, and 720p@120fps. It's also got a nice 2.1mp front facing camera, for all your selfie needs.
I took a few pictures to show quality, all in different settings.
First up, we have Spiderbro at night. The flash washes him out, and without it you can't capture a picture in the dark. Phones have a long way to go here.
Next we have a nice outside field. Here the camera quality shines.
It was easy to capture detail on something small, very close. The autofocus worked properly and didn't leave the image blurred, as some cameras do. Certainly not the best quailty, but more than acceptable.
Finally we have a selfie, using the front facing camera. It's honestly not that good, though a feature I will rarely use.
- Well built
- Great size
- Super light
- Sub par battery life
- No MicroSD slot
- Less than stellar front facing camera
The only real, true issue I have with the phone is the battery life. I'm not sure just how much it will effect me in the time I own it, but I'll certainly become more familiar with my charger than I ever had to be. Overall the phone is great, well built and of quality insides. There's not much competition in this size range, and if you're looking for a direct replacement to your Nexus 4, as it's about that time, the Galaxy Alpha and the iPhone 6 are the main competitive choices.