The Galaxy Alpha is a positive development for Samsung, but it’s not the evolution in quality that its upgrades would suggest. Its acceptance of higher-quality materials is welcome, but too much of its design is rooted in the blander Galaxy phones of the past. It is one of the few 4.7-inch phones with flagship-level performance, but its display is marred by inferior tech. Its software is a mess, relatively speaking, and many of the things it does do well are immediately countered by the fact that it’s overpriced by at least $100.
The Alpha deserves praise for being a capable Android phone that’s eminently usable with one hand, and its familiar design makes it a good choice for iPhone users who want to leave iOS, but its promise is better than its product. Look to the Xperia Z3 Compact or last year’s Moto X instead.