Today, Samsung launched the Galaxy Alpha (opens in new tab), which Samsung considers the first handset from its "Evolution of Design" process and a fresh start for its smartphones. The Galaxy Alpha is quite slim at 6.7 mm and only weighs 115 grams. Perhaps its most notable feature, though, is the metal frame, which seems to be a departure from Samsung's pure-plastic smartphones.
The phone still has a plastic back, much like the Galaxy S5, but the design is less rounded, and it should feel a little more solid in the hand. Many have criticized Samsung's smartphone in the past for that ergonomic oversight, particularly as it pertains to the relative caliber (and price) of its higher-end devices, and it certainly appears that Samsung hopes to change that, beginning with the Galaxy Alpha.
It remains to be seen if the metal frame will improve Samsung's reputation on that front considering that most of the Galaxy Alpha smartphone remains built from much of the same plastic Samsung has been using in other devices. However, this could be a hint that Samsung is beginning to change its manufacturing processes, which could mean we're going to see full metal phones in the future.
The Galaxy Alpha features a 4.7" screen, 720p resolution and Samsung's own Exynos 5 Octa processor, with four cores clocked at 1.8 GHz and the other four lower-end cores at 1.3 GHz. The battery seems to be quite small at just 1,860 mAh, which is almost 1,000 mAh smaller than the Galaxy S5. The resolution and the screen are smaller compared to the Galaxy S5 as well, so the overall battery life shouldn't be impacted too much, although it will probably still be less than expected.
The phone seems to be doing better in the camera department, with a 12MP rear camera that can record 4k video -- a feature we've been seeing more and more on high-end devices lately -- and a 2.1MP front-camera for selfies and video chatting.
The phone also comes with 2 GB of RAM, a standard these days on higher-end phones, as well as a fingerprint scanner and Samsung's S Health app to track health and fitness statistics. The phone will be available for purchase next month and will come in several different colors including black, white, gold, silver and blue, depending on the market.