Is Samsung rethinking its smartphone design? Perhaps, if the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, which Samsung very quietly announced, is any indication.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha most closely resembles an iPhone, rather than a Galaxy Note or S5, complete with a metal frame as well as beveled and polished edges. Both the front and back have a dimpled texture, although the specific material is unclear.
While the design and aesthetics of the Galaxy Alpha are improvements over the traditional plastic bodies of Samsung smartphones, the specs are not as high-end as the flagship Galaxy S5.
The Galaxy Alpha has a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1280×720 resolution, both smaller and less sharp than the S5. It runs on an octa-core processor and features Android KitKat out of the box. The device has a 12-megapixel rear camera (compared the the S5’s 16-megapixel camera), and a 2.1-megapixel front shooter. The Galaxy Alpha offers 32 GB of internal storage and doesn’t have a microSD slot for expandable storage. It has a paltry 1,860mAh battery, which might explain the low display resolution, along with 2 GB of RAM.
Other features include a fingerprint scanner, NFC, and ultra-power saving mode, which combine to put the Alpha somewhere between flagship and mid-tier levels.
Throw in the fact that Samsung announced the device very quietly with a press release posted to its website in lieu of a more traditional flagship launch event, and it seems safe to assume the S5 will remain the company’s flagship device for now. Perhaps Samsung is just testing the waters with a new design aesthetic.
Full availability and pricing details weren’t released immediately, although Samsung did say the Galaxy Alpha will be available “at the beginning of September” in black, white, gold, silver, and blue.