Meet Samsung Galaxy Alpha
It is well known that Samsung has often been criticized for giving its premium smartphones a not-so-premium look and feel. But, in spite of all this, in the land of upscale Galaxy handsets, an all-plastic body, with a bland design, has always prevailed. Until now.
Today, Samsung finally shows us that a premium Galaxy smartphone can break away from the norm, as it reveals the new Galaxy Alpha boasting a metal frame and an attractive design. The device's main rival is likely to be Apple's upcoming iPhone 6, which is expected to ship with a similarly-sized display.
"The Galaxy Alpha was built and designed based on the specific desires of the consumer market", says Samsung CEO JK Shin. "With an entirely new appearance, the Galaxy Alpha focuses on both beauty and functionality combining a stunning metal frame and slim, light weight design with the same powerful hardware and features users expect from a flagship Galaxy mobile device".
Galaxy Alpha offers a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 720 by 1280, which is both smaller and less pixel-packed than what Galaxy S5, for instance, offers. That said, the screen is likely to contribute towards improving battery life.
On the inside, Galaxy Alpha comes with an impressive processor, no matter which version you get. It is either a Samsung-made octa-core chip, featuring a 1.8 GHz quad-core CPU and a 1.3 GHz quad-core CPU, or a Qualcomm-made 2.5 GHz quad-core solution, likely a Snapdragon 801. The amount of RAM is 2 GB in both cases. The battery capacity of 1,860 mAh is the same, as is the storage capacity of 32 GB. There is no microSD card slot this time around.
In the imaging department, Galaxy Alpha features a 12 MP main camera that is capable of 4K video recording at 30 FPS and a 2.1 MP secondary camera. The latest software add-ons are present, including Dual Camera, HDR, Panorama and Selective Focus.
Galaxy Alpha is compatible with 4G LTE Cat. 6 cellular networks, which can offer download and upload speeds of up to 300 Mbps and 50 Mbps, respectively, and supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac as well as Bluetooth 4.0 LE, USB 2.0 and NFC. There is the usual array of sensors available, including a heart rate sensor and fingerprint reader, both of which Samsung first introduced in this year's Galaxy S5.
Galaxy Alpha comes in at 132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm and 115 g. That is roughly on par with what iPhone 6 is expected to measure and weigh, and more portable than Galaxy S5 and other top Android smartphones.
Galaxy Alpha ships with the latest-available version of Android, namely Android 4.4.4 KitKat, with the TouchWiz skin on top, which adds an effective Ultra-Power Saving Mode, S Health functionality, Private Mode and more. It will be available starting at the beginning of next month (that would be early-September, 2014), in Charcoal Black, Dazzling White, Frosted Gold, Sleek Silver and Scuba Blue.