Sometimes, you have to give it to marketing departments of phone companies. They are optimistic.
Such is the case of Samsung in India, which has just launched its latest model smartphone, the Galaxy Alpha, in India at a price of Rs 40,000 ($660).
Now, 40,000 is really a lot of money, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Galaxy Alpha would be one of Samsung’s greatest smartphones ever made.
You’d be partly right too, because it comes with the new Exynos 5 Octa 5430 processor.
But, let’s face it, the Galaxy Alpha is no S6, not even an S5, actually.
Now that’s a shame, considering that an LTE-enabled Galaxy S5 can be purchased in India at Rs 38,000 (official Samsung price – Rs 45,000), and that Samsung’s greatest phone ever, the Note 4, is all set to launch at Rs 53-55k soon after the Alpha starts shipping in early October.)
But let’s take a deeper look to see if the curious case of the Galaxy Alpha’s pricing is well thought out, or based on an overestimation of how much an average (middle class) Indian earns.
First the screen. To demand anything in excess of Rs 33,000 from us Indians, you must, AT LEAST, provide a full HD display; you know, the ones with 2 mln pixels on them.
We are not even asking for quad-HD (4 mln pixel) displays, such as those on the LG G3 (price Rs 36,700). No, we’re happy if you’d just give us a normal, full HD display with 2 mln.
But what is it you say? No full HD on Galaxy Alpha? Only 720p? We should be happy with 1 mln? At Rs 40,000? Seriously?
Now let’s look at the internals, specifically at the new Samsung Exynos 5430 processor. Courtsey demands that we say” “Welcome to the octa-core world, Samsung! And congratulations on your new delivery.” Oh, you’re still on Cortex A7/A15?
Well, times have moved on, Samsung. We already have phones powered by chips with Cortex A53 (successor to A7) and our buddy Mediatek has already launched chips with Cortex A57 cores (successor to Cortex A15.)
But a good effort nonetheless. But 40,000?
PS: Please note than virtually no model in India priced about Rs 30,000 comes with a 12 megapixel camera like the one on the Galaxy Alpha, and quite a few come with more than the 2 GB of RAM too.
We also notice that you’ve abandoned the curvy, plasticky build of your flagship series and gone for a traditional, sharp-edged metallic design. It looks nice too. But let’s face it: While having a pleasant appearance is helpful, looks can only take you so far.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha is a great phone, and looks great too, and it has LTE, which helps a lot. But it’s not the best you can do. And at Rs 40,000, the phone is way too expensive, and falls in the range of the iPhone 6 (starting price expected around Rs 50,000).