Samsung announced the Galaxy Alpha in August, a phone it described as having a “new design approach,” separating it from previous entries into the Galaxy smartphone range. We had been hearing about a metal-bodied Samsung Galaxy phone for at least a year, and it had also been known as the Galaxy F, and the Galaxy S5 Prime. Eventually, the Alpha’s new metal chassis served as inspiration for the look of the new Galaxy Note 4.
AT&T to sell Galaxy Alpha from September 26
Samsung has signed a deal with AT&T, allowing the network to exclusively carry the Galaxy Alpha in America. The phone will be sold contract-free for $613, or $200 if you don’t mind signing up for two-years. Alternatively, you can pay $30.65 for 12 months on Next 12, or $25.55 per month for 18 months with Next 18. Choosing one of AT&T’s Next deals could be a wise choice. Until September 30, you’ll receive $100 credit on your bill, provided you sign-up for a new Next connection online. AT&T will let you choose between the Charcoal Black, Dazzling White, or Frosted Gold models.
Several weeks before AT&T’s announcement, Samsung Canada confirmed Bell Canada and Virgin Mobile would both stock the phone. The black, white, and gold versions will also go on sale September 26 through the two networks, and others will join them in the future. If you’re happy to sign-up for a two-year Bell contract, the Galaxy Alpha will cost $150 CAD, or $700 CAD if you want to buy one outright.
In the UK, Clove Technology has put up a pre-order page with an estimate the Galaxy Alpha will cost £500 without a contract, which is around $840. According to PhoneArena.com, the Russian price will be less than that, equating to $680 instead.
First metal Galaxy phone for Samsung
It’s the first Samsung Galaxy phone to feature a metal frame, but the back is covered in the same soft-touch, perforated material used on the Galaxy S5. The design is certainly eye-catching, thanks to its rounded corners, curvy side plates, and super slim chassis. It measures just 6.7mm thick, which drops it below the iPhone 5S, and weighs only 115 grams – which is surprisingly lightweight for a modern smartphone. For comparison, the all-metal HTC One M8 weighs 160 grams, and even the similarly sized Huawei Ascend P7 comes in at 124 grams.
For all its visual impact, the Galaxy Alpha’s spec sheet doesn’t quite live up to expectations, but does match most of the last-minute rumors surrounding the phone. Samsung has given it a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a 720p resolution, which is perfectly acceptable, but means the Galaxy Alpha won’t be competing with flagship phones from Sony, LG, and HTC.
The processor is an octa-core Samsung Exynos 5430, and it’s the first to be built in-house using a 20nm process. There are four Cortex A15 cores running at 1.8GHz, and four 1.3GHz Cortex A7 cores, plus the chip has LTE Advanced connectivity. Samsung also boasts the new design is considerably more power efficient than previous Exynos chips. The Galaxy Alpha headed to Canada doesn’t use the Exynos chip, and will come with a quad-core, 2.5GHz processor instead, which is most likely the Snapdragon 801.
Related: Samsung Galaxy Alpha review
The specification continues with a 12-megapixel camera on the rear, a 2.1-megapixel selfie cam above the screen, plus 32GB of internal storage space, and 2GB of RAM. There’s no microSD card slot though. Samsung has fitted a fingerprint sensor to the Galaxy Alpha, and Android 4.4.4 KitKat comes loaded from the factory.
Updated on 09-22-2014 by Andy Boxall: AT&T will exclusively carry the Galaxy Alpha in America.
Updated on 09-09-2014 by Andy Boxall: Samsung will launch the Galaxy Alpha in Canada.
Updated on 08-13-2014 by Andy Boxall: Added in early pricing information.
Article originally published on 08-13-2014 at 03:04 a.m.