[Updated on 10 September, 2014 after Apple's Fall Event]
Every time when Apple launches a new model of iPhone, its rivals seem to hardly find a way to meet it head-on. But this time, the situation might be somehow different. As the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is rumored to be annouced on 9 September 2014, Samsung has recently signalled its deliberate clash by confirming the newly announced Galaxy Alpha will go on sale in 'early September'. Even more of conincedence, the Alpha comes with a same 4.7-inch display and similar metal design, throwing down the gauntlet to the heavily leaked iPhone 6 in every aspect. So, how similar are they? Which one is better? If you are eagerly to find out the differences between those two most important smartphones of 2014, take a look at the following side-by-side Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs iPhone 6 comparison.
iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Alpha: Metal Design
Unlike any previous Galaxy S device produced by Samsung, Galaxy Alpha finally uses some "real metal" in its design. Although this only extends to the edges while rear remains plastic, we have to admit that the metal frame is a key point to bracket Alpha and iPhone 6 togother. On the contrary, iPhone 6 is reported to use a full metal chassis along with sapphire-based screen, while Galaxy Alpha will adopt the familiar Corning Gorilla Glass 3. If that's true, the iPhone 6 will probably gain the upper hand since the sapphire display is expected to be more indestructible than Gorilla Glass 3.
According to the official announcement, iPhone 6 didn't use the anticipated sapphire-based screen, but only the same Gorilla Glass 3 as usual.
iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Alpha: 4.7-inch Display
Another key reason why Galaxy Alpha is comparable to iPhone 6 is that it steps down from the 5.2-inch display on Galaxy S5 to a 4.7-inch one, the same rumored size with the upcoming iPhone 6. However, the new iPhone may still be the winner in this round. According to the reports, the iPhone 6 will use a 1074 x 960 pixel display for 416ppi while Galaxy Alpha's screen will only be 1280 x 720 pixels for 320ppi.
Unexpectedly, the pixel display of iPhone 6 turned out to be 750 x 1334 pixels for 326 ppi, much lower than the rumored 1074 x 960 pixel display for 416ppi.
In terms of measurement, Galaxy Alpha appears to hold all the aces with a thickness of 6.7mm, a footprint of 132.4 x 65.5mm and weight of 115g. Although there is few such specifications of iPhone 6 leak out at present, we can estimate from the based rumors that both iPhone 6 and Alpha will be extremely thin and light.
As expected, iPhone 6 was set to be the thinnest iPhone ever with a thickness of 6.9mm only.
iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Alpha: Processor & Memory
A great processor always decides the performance of a smartphone. The iPhone 6 is going to adopt Apple's new A8 chip while Galaxy Alpha comes with Samsung's own Exynos 5 Octa 5430 chip. Apparently, Apple's A8 chipset will get a significant improvement to the dual-core 1.3GHz CPU and quad-core GPU of A7 chipset. And gossip shows that a step up to 2GB of RAM is possible for the A8 chip. Even so, it's still hard to tell which one will perform better in the practical effect. We are expecting that both handsets should be a real treat.
The all-new A8 chip adopted by iPhone 6 is built on second-generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture. It's the fastest processor yet with up to 50 percent more energy efficiency than the A7 chip.
iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Alpha: Storage & Battery Life
We are not sure if it's an imitation of iPhone or not, Samsung has surprisely ditched the microSD expansion slot that almost every Galaxy smartphone has from Galaxy Alpha. Strange still, the Alpha doesn't have a 64GB version but a 32 GB instead. As for the storage of iPhone 6, rumor has it that it's going to be up to 64GB of non-expandable.
The new iPhone 6 provides three versions of storage which including 16GB, 64GB and 128GB.
Battery life is also a major consideration when comparing smartphones. It's analyzed that Apple will upgrade from 1560mAh battery of iPhone 5S to 2100mAh of iPhone 6 in order to improve the battery life. By contrast, Samsung Galaxy Alpha has dropped its battery to 1860mAh from the 2800mAh battery in the S5.
Apple improved the battery capacity of iPhone 6 to 2915 mAh for a longer battery life with up to 10 days stand-by time and 14 hours talk time.
iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Alpha: Cameras
Besides that, Apple is said to equip the iPhone 6 with Sony 's 13 megapixel Exmor IMX220 camera sensor which will be a large movement when compared to the previous 8 megapixel lens. As for Galaxy Alpha, it gives us another surprise to take a step down from 16 megapixel to 12 megapixels while the camera sensor remains to be unknown.
Instead of 13 megapixel, Apple continues to equip the iPhone 6 with 8 megapixel lens. Differently, it added new features like Focus Pixels, improved face detection, and exposure control. What's more, it introduced the option to capture 1080p HD at 60 fps, 240-fps slo-mo, and time-lapse video for more amazing shooting effects.
Based on the head-to-head comparsion, we can predict it to be the toughest smartphone fight of 2014 between Apple and Samsung, although it's still hard to tell which would be better in the final performance. Anyway, just as what we mentioned in the very beginning of this review, we are happy to see that iPhone 6 finally got a face-to-face challenger worthy of note.
Many smartphone users are likey to watch movies on the devices due to the stunning high resolution. If you happen to have a large library of iTunes movies, you may have the need to transfer those movies to Galaxy Alpha, iPhone 6 or any other smartphone for playback after you buy those devices. However, since all videos in iTunes Store are protected by Apple's FairPlay DRM technology, you are not able to directly sync the iTunes movies to your Galaxy Alpha and other non-Apple devices. In this case, you will need an iTunes DRM removal software - TunesKit iTunes DRM Video Converter to help you remove the DRM lock from iTunes movies and convert them to unprotected MP4 format supported by Galaxy Alpha. View how to transfer iTunes movies to Galaxy devices >>
For iPhone 6 users who rent movies from iTunes, you can also use this FairPlay DRM removal tool to extend the 24-hour time limit on the rentals so that you can keep the iTunes rented movies on iPhone 6 as long as you like. Learn how to unlock 24-hour time limit on iTunes movie rentals >>
Nick Orin is a review writer, software geek and Mac OS enthusiast. He spends all his free time in searching useful software and gadgets to share with others.