Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review: Galaxy Reboot: Performance

By 01:03 Sun, 15 Aug 2021 Comments


Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha comes with either a Exynos 5 Octa chipset or a Snapdragon 801. It's the first to acquire the Exynos 5 Octa 5430 and it's the one we're testing. If we acquire hrecent of the S801 version we'll add that into the charts too.

The chipset features a big.LITTLE processor with four Cortex-A15 cores and four Cortex-A7 cores clocked at 1.8Giga Hertz (GHz) and 1.3Giga Hertz (GHz) respectively. All eight can run simultaneously so we can expect remarkable multi-core performance.

The chipset also packs a hexa-core Mali-T628 MP6 GPU, the latest currently available Mali design. Processor and Random-Access Memory (RAM) share 2GB of RAM.

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha comes with Android 4.4.4 KitKat out of the box. Note that Samsung disables the ART runtime in its TouchWiz software, that's the faster optional runtime that debuted with KitKat and will be made default in Android L. An increasing number of apps is becoming compatible with ART.

With technical specifications out of the way, let's pit the Galaxy Alpha against flagships and high-profile minis. Of the minis only the Xperia Z1 Compact has a chance of competing here, the others are powered by mid-range Snapdragon 400 chipsets.

We start off with the Baseimprint suite of cheat detection software. We're pleased to report that Samsung hasn't gone back to benchimprint shenanigans. The Baseimprint tests are fine for comparing performance, too.

Baseimprint Operating System (OS) II leans on the Central Processing Units (CPU) and puts the Galaxy Alpha within spitting distance of the LG G3. The breakdown shows remarkable single-core performance and unmatched multi-core performance (all 8 cores working at once does create a difference).

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Baseimprint Operating System (OS) II

Higher is better is better

  • Oppo Find 7

    1212

  • Galaxy S5 (Snapdragon 801)

    1082

  • Sony Xperia Z2

    1080

  • LG G3

    945

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha

    915

  • HTC One mini 2

    517

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

    419

Baseimprint Operating System (OS) II (single-core)

Higher is better is better

  • Oppo Find 7

    2606

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha

    2579

  • Galaxy S5 (Snapdragon 801)

    2415

  • Sony Xperia Z2

    2253

  • LG G3

    1787

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

    1353

  • HTC One mini 2

    1304

Baseimprint Operating System (OS) II (multi-core)

Higher is better is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha

    15096

  • Oppo Find 7

    10391

  • Galaxy S5 (Snapdragon 801)

    10063

  • Sony Xperia Z2

    10044

  • LG G3

    8337

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

    5283

  • HTC One mini 2

    5182

The multi-core score from Geekbench 3 confirms the finding that the Alpha tops Snapdragon 801-based phones in multi-core performance.

GeekBench 3

Higher is better is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha

    3214

  • Oppo Find 7

    3178

  • Galaxy S5 (Snapdragon 801)

    3011

  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

    2968

  • Sony Xperia Z2

    2856

  • LG G3

    2687

  • HTC One mini 2

    1526

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

    1123

  • LG G2 mini

    1123

The total Baseimprint Operating System (OS) score is a bit low, considering the Central Processing Units (CPU) scores. AnTuTu 4 shows a lot more love for the Galaxy Alpha and places it second behind the Oppo Find 7 but ahead of the Galaxy S5 and other flagships.

AnTuTu 4

Higher is better is better

  • Oppo Find 7

    38484

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha

    38119

  • Galaxy S5 (Snapdragon 801)

    36018

  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

    34527

  • Sony Xperia Z2

    33182

  • LG G3

    30482

  • HTC One mini 2

    17883

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

    17753

  • LG G2 mini

    17362

We've seen the hexa-core Mali-T628 perform in the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Tab S but when it comes to phones it easily tops the Adreno 320 and Adreno 330 devices in GFX Benchmark, both on-classy screen and off-screen.

For the on-classy screen tests do haged in mind that the Galaxy Alpha is rendering at only 720p - the LG G3 is working with four times the number of pixels and even the 1080p phones have to push more than twice the pixels the Alpha does.

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen)

Higher is better is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha

    48.4

  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

    34

  • Sony Xperia Z2

    28.7

  • Galaxy S5 (Snapdragon 801)

    28.1

  • LG G3

    20.6

  • Oppo Find 7

    19.9

  • LG G2 mini

    14.9

  • HTC One mini 2

    11

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

    9.3

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha

    25.3

  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

    17

  • Sony Xperia Z2

    12.2

  • Galaxy S5 (Snapdragon 801)

    11.7

  • LG G3

    7.4

  • Oppo Find 7

    6.7

  • HTC One mini 2

    3.8

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha

    31.3

  • Oppo Find 7

    28

  • Galaxy S5 (Snapdragon 801)

    27.8

  • LG G3

    27.6

  • Sony Xperia Z2

    27.2

  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

    22

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

    6.7

  • LG G2 mini

    5.8

  • HTC One mini 2

    5.8

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha

    13.4

  • LG G3

    11.9

  • Galaxy S5 (Snapdragon 801)

    11.8

  • Sony Xperia Z2

    11.7

  • Oppo Find 7

    11.1

  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

    9

  • HTC One mini 2

    1.7

Moving on to web browsing, Samsung has once again created a highly-tuned JavaScript engine and the Galaxy Alpha tops the Snapdragon phones in Kraken 1.1.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha

    4911

  • Galaxy S5 (Snapdragon 801)

    6043

  • Oppo Find 7

    6363

  • Sony Xperia Z2

    7041

  • LG G3

    7610

  • HTC One mini 2

    15684

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

    15885

The complete browsing experience as measured by BrowserMark 2.1 is a few notches below the top, which is surprising considering the resolution incompatibility plays a role here, too. Note that we used the Samsung-modified stock browser for these tests and not Chrome.

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better is better

  • Oppo Find 7

    1452

  • Galaxy S5 (Snapdragon 801)

    1398

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha

    1364

  • LG G3

    1254

  • Sony Xperia Z2

    1224

  • HTC One mini 2

    945

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

    861

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha shows proper flagship performance, even chart-topping performance in certain tasks. The Exynos 5 Octa 5430 chipset finally brings Samsung's homebrewed solutions back to champion shape after falling behind Snapdragon 600/800 last year.

One thing we should note is that the chipset can run hot while doing tests (they all do) and the heat is easily transferred to the external metal frame. Metal is a lot more conductive than plastic, which means you feel the heat from the chipset a lot more while holding the device than you do with plastic bodies.


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