Samsung Launches the Metal-Frame and 6.7mm Thick Galaxy Alpha

Today, Samsung launched the Galaxy Alpha, 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.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • thesuperguy
    So it's in essence a slightly better built S5 with downgraded specs and as a result, a slimmer design.

    Meh. I would totally say take my money if it was fully metal backed while containing at the very least, similar specs to their flagship phones, but ehhhh.
  • soldier44
    720p, no thanks. The Note 4 gets my money next month.
  • Mike Friesen
    "the overall battery life shouldn't be impacted too much, although it will probably still be less than expected."

    Yes, I too expect it to get less battery life than expected.

    EDIT: On a more serious note, I like the choice to go 720p. Still a high enough resolution to not make a difference unless intensely scrutinized (for me at least, it has been a year since my last pair of glasses), and it saves on battery life, and it improves native gaming capabilities. My 2012 nexus 4 outputs similar numbers for on-screen gpu benchmarks to the adreno 420 in the S5 LTE-A (well 24 fps vs 29 fps on GFXBench's T Rex).
  • Bloob
    720p, no thanks. The Note 4 gets my money next month.
    I find 720p to be quite fine on under 5" displays.
  • ickibar1234
    Is the battery replaceable, I hope?
  • therealduckofdeath
    Is the battery replaceable, I hope?
    Yes, the back cover is removable.
  • house70
    Reminiscent of the S2, which is IMO one of their better designs.

    Keeping the non-metallic back should help with reception.

    Too bad the battery is rather small, I would take 1-2 mm thickness for a large battery every day.
    Oh well, due to removable battery cover there might be aftermarket options to fulfill that.
  • alcatraz99
    WOW! Ultimate Piece of SHIT! Samsung please stop copying apple (in terms of appearence only) :P
  • jasonpwns
    Please release a qwerty phone samsung. :(
  • T0pspeed
    Meh. I'll wait for the Galaxy Beta.