Recently, Samsung has announced the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, their first phone with metallic frame wrapping around the edges. Since HTC and Apple have been getting a lot of praises for the metallic design of their flagship phones, it makes no sense for me that Samsung took so long to embrace metal in their design of phones as the company is famous for experimenting different things.
As expected from the tonnes of leaked information before the launch, Galaxy Alpha has a metallic frame around it while the front and the back looks very similar to what we expect from a Galaxy phone. The new material used gives the design some new blood while keeping its identity. Personally, the squarish design with metal sides looks great and I can’t recall the last time a Samsung phone gave me the same feeling.
Although the appearance is premium for sure, the internals are less impressive when compared with the Galaxy S5. The display is a 4.7″ 720p Super AMOLED screen, which is huge step backwards from the 1080p display in GS5 or the 2k display from the LTE-A version GS5. Galaxy Alpha is powered by an octa core chip (quad 1.8GHz + quad 1.3GHz) and I have no idea how well it would fare against the Snapdragon 801 or 805 from Qualcomm. Samsung has taken a compromise by designing the phone to be feathery light (115g) and stickfigure thin (only 6.7mm) at a cost of ditching the expandable storage option and by packing in a relatively smaller battery(1860mAh). Although the 32GB internal storage should be enough for most people, the small battery capacity definitely raises my concern and I really doubt its discharge duration will last long.
Luckily, not all aspects of the Galaxy Alpha has been trimmed down. The fingerprint sensor and heart rate monitor are still present. Its front camera is a 2.1MP shooter while the main camera can take 12MP pictures and 4K videos. The 2GB RAM might be barely sufficient to run the heavily skinned TouchWiz on top of Android 4.4.4 Kit Kat.
In my opinion this phone will be quite important for Samsung for a few reasons. Since their sales were not doing too well due to their conservative design on current devices, the Galaxy Alpha marks something new for them since obviously the new design is the main attraction for this phone. If the Galaxy Alpha would sell well despite the comparatively poor specifications, would it a heavy slap on Samsung’s design team as it would imply that they have produced unspectacular work for past few years? This phone will be a test for the market too. If this phone is selling well, Samsung might consider more metal in their future design. Is the tag line, “the evolution of Galaxy Design”, hinting more metal phones to come? Only time will tell.
Samsung Galaxy Alpha will be available in Charcoal Black, Dazzling White, Frosted Gold, Sleek Silver and Scuba Blue. However, there is no word on the availability and pricing for the phone. Anyhow, I think that Samsung should release this as soon as possible before the heat fades away.