Rumor: first device of Samsung’s new metal-built smartphone lineup to be “Galaxy Alpha”


alpha symbol

It’s no secret by now that Samsung is exploring a shift to metal smartphone designs from their usual plastic rodeo. We’ve heard so much about the Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime / Samsung Galaxy F up to this point, but another smartphone is said to be leading the charge in Samsung’s new metal series.

ETNews reports that Samsung is preparing the “Galaxy Alpha,” which certainly is a fitting name for a kickoff device. There’s no word on how far Samsung’s scope is reaching on this thing — could be that they’re just going to launch in limited fashion like the Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A (which didn’t go far outside of South Korea).

Without much else to go on it’s tough to say what the purpose of this launch will be. Is Samsung looking to test their manufacturing processes for metal devices? Are they looking to test the market itself? Is this the first step to seeing their core flagships outfitted with metal like users have been clamoring for? Only Samsung can answer that question in an official sense, though a timely leak or two should hopefully shed some light in the weeks and months to come.

[via SamMobile]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I just got the GS5 on friday. I am happy with it and it’s a $50 restocking fee if I decide to return it in 14 days of the original purchase, meaning on the 24th, if there’s info, I might reconsider getting the GS5 Alpha, but if not, I will stick with what I have. Either way, I don’t feel screwed over.

    1. You should as the G3 will be out everywhere by then and that is hands over fists better in almost every way than the S5.

      1. Not really as the G3 has battery life issues, the camera doesn’t make a huge difference to me as the S5 has a great one, the LG software is fugly, and I would have to pay a lot more for 3GB of RAM, which is not needed.

        1. Hmmm thats crazy as my G3 battery last for 2 days with moderate to heavy use. The UI is lag free clean minimalist design and it just works flawless. I got my wife one for $99/contract and I bought mine right out for $549.95. Which is cheaper than the S5 when it was debut. But to talk about software being Fugly, um Touchwiz the software on Samsung phones is by far the ugliest skin on any phones and it lags like hell. But hey if you are happy then thats all that matters. But this G3 is amazing and I had the S5. :)

        2. i find your statement about fugly software to be ironic. But of course a good bargain is a good bargain. Good job on the cheap phone.

          1. How so you find his statement ironic?

          2. Because he is talking about a Fugly UI with LG but Samsung is known for a Fugly UI in Touchwiz. TW is by far uglier than LG skin.

          3. because samsung’s software has been widely associated with the fugly term, and LG’s new software has been getting good reviews. I’m not saying you don’t feel that way, its all subjective I was just saying I find your comment to be interesting and against the norm.

          4. Samsung’s TW has tons of features that I use anyways. Aesthetics aren’t a science or math. There is no single right answer.

          5. that’s why i tried not to bash you or anything, i just said it was an interesting stand point considering the general consensus around these parts. That is all.

        3. About the RAM, I agree, 2GB’s of RAM performs just fine.

    2. I got my S5 a few days ago and love it. If Samsung releases a metal version it won’t bother me any. I could always by a 3rd party back metal cover on eBay. Still not seeing the excitement over metal phones :/

      1. It feels more “premium” for people. Just because my laptop’s outer shell feels plastic like doesn’t make it worse than one with a steel cover.

        1. Also metal is less likely to get chipped. Whenever I dropped my s3, a small chunk of plastic would come off, leaving a little rough spot on a side. For me, metal scratches more easily, but when it is dropped it is usually fine, or it dents a bit, which is less noticeable than the rough plastic on my s3.

          1. Keep in mind that metal tends to be a unibody phone. If something is wrong with the device, it requires someone to actually send it the phone if they’re fulfilling a warranty. Metal also slows down wireless charging too. It’s all about pros and cons. If plastic were a complete issue, a lot of people wouldn’t buy the S5 or any Galaxy devices, but they still sell.

          2. Definitely true. I miss my battery pulls when my phone doesn’t boot. Although the air reason the galaxy phones sell so well is Sammy’s marketing. The average consumer doesn’t care too much about what the phone is made out of, although it is one of the few things that they do at least know a bit about.

          3. You’d actually be surprised by that. Average people want things that feel more premium. People don’t know about the M8. Every time I let random people make calls on the bus, they’re always like “Oh. What phone is this? It feels nice”. LoL!!

            I also leave it out the case. People want a premium-like phone. It makes them feel rich.

            I forgot where I read that. It’s something related to cosmetics or something. It was some article I just read sometime ago.

          4. I’ve definitely had similar experiences, but in general the Android nerds on this site (I say that lovingly) care more about it than the average person.

            Although everyone does want something that feels nice – we hold our phones for hours each day, it is definitely important for it to not dig into your hand with sharp corners (I’m looking at you, iPhone)

    3. I feel sorry for the poor bastard of a store that allows people to return phones just like that. Who walks into and buys a second-hand phone from a physical retail store?

      1. I would, and do.

        Refurbished items are generally a GREAT buy, since they’re usually almost brand new, but 25 to 50% off on average.

        e.g.: My current 25″ LCD monitor was a refurbished and debranded HP monitor that I got for something like 80% off retail (newegg).

      2. There is a $50 restocking fee if you read the post. And w/ T-Mobile Jump, I can go ahead and give them back my S5 with a balance accrued on it and have it paid off to finance for another phone like the iPhone 6, Galaxy Note 4, or something else, but these phones are getting to be like car upgrades. Nothing more than a few bells and whistles.

  2. If its designed like an s5 but in metal then guess what, its still going to look like garbage. Look at the htc One E8, desire 816 the G2, G3, moto x and others, they are all plastic but they all look great because their design team actually put some actual thought into how the device should actually look. Samsung? Not so much

    1. Note to Samsung: lose the big, ugly, physical home button. My old galaxy SII is so much better looking that my note II. why? no ugly button.

      1. I seem to recall that the Galaxy S2 has a physical home button.

        1. Depends on which carrier variation you got. Most American versions didn’t retain the physical home button.

        2. USA versions have capacitive keys.

  3. Once they perfect their “design” they need to work on that god awful TW UI crap.

    1. Two different teams, so they should with on both concurrently! :)

  4. Samsung needs to buy what LG is selling. The LG G3 and the Nexus 5 are the best ways to use plastic without feeling cheap. The G3 uses plastic and it feels great in the hand, better than my HTC One M8 did. LG put a thin coat of metal on the back over the plastic to give it that elegant metal look and it does not get fingerprints everywhere like typical glossy plastic.

    Nothing wrong with using plastic as long as it’s done like LG did in the G3 and Nexus 5. The phone is super light and thin.

    1. Slapping on a case means that most people don’t see or feel the premium “metal.” I had an Otterbox on my HTC One M7 last year, but it didn’t feel like metal because of a layer on top of it. I honestly like the psudeoleather/plastic combo Samsung is going with. It works for me.

      1. Not necessarily. I had a case on my Note 8 (i hate cases btw), and the home button felt cheap as hell. Also, the front of the phones has a design as well. Not just the back.

        1. You’ll be hating cases right up to the moment your phone gets serious damage that a case would have avoided. Tell someone who cares that you don’t like cases.

          1. You could try being careful with your possessions.

          2. You could also try and ask the sun not to burn you. Accidents happen. A phone case is similar to car insurance on a less serious scale. Having it is pretty much assurance that you won’t be screwed if something terrible does happen. Save $50 and risk everything on your device being lost if it suffers serious damage (along with $150-600 to buy a new device) or spend $50 and don’t worry about your device.

          3. My old Evo 4g and Evo LTE hit the floor dozens of times and took the hits like champs. My Palm Pre shattered like a saltine cracker. I have a case on my Nexus 4 cuz of the glass. Not every phone absolutely NEEDS a case….

            Anyone me not liking cases wasnt even the point of the comment. The point was a device can still feel cheap or premium, even with a case on. people act like the front of a phone doesn’t matter.

          4. People act like the front of the phone doesn’t matter. If that’s not a ridiculous error in interpreting how people think I don’t know what is.

          5. Ok, let me rephrase… when people refer to design and build, they act like the front of the phone doesn’t matter. You hear a TON of comments “what do i care what my phone looks/feels like anyway, i toss it in a case soon as a buy it.” That front of your phone has design and parts to it as well.

        2. The iPhone’s home button (before Touch-ID) wasn’t made out of metal. What did people say about that? That iPhone was a “premium device” too. Maybe the Note 8 was a cheaply constructed device?

          1. I actually dont like the metal on the new gs5 home button, but maybe that’s just because I’m not used to it, but i found it hard to hit accurately and comfortably in the 30 seconds I played with the Verizon version my friend has.

            And no, the iPhone’s home button didnt feel cheap. It didnt feel premium or anything, it was just there. Not adding nor detracting. I felt like the home button on my Note 8 however was constructed cheaply. Perhaps its due to it being a raised button vs a recessed button, but when pressing it at an angle I could feel the button rub up against the side of the housing. It felt like a button you might find on a toy.

            I mean it worked fine, it just bothered me slightly, since I spent $400 on it. Not the end of the world, but just an example on how you can feel quality or built or design despite whether it has a case or not.

            Oh and sorry about the Heat…

          2. Each product will have a flaw. For example, the HTC One seemed to be the best device of 2013, but the camera had purple hues. We all would like zero issues with devices, but that’s not the case. Sometime down the road, a car does need maintenance, so do phones.

          3. No one is saying phones wont have flaws. But different flaws mean different things to different people. One man’s pro is another man’s con, and one man’s deal breaker is another man’s minor annoyance. But just because every one has a flaw doesn’t mean their flaws wont get talked about.

          4. But I think sales speak for a good portion of the consumers.

          5. I never said that Samsung made a bad product. All i said was you can experience bad built quality even if there’s a case on it. And my Note 8 had a cheaply constructed home button. So design and build extend to the front of the device as well as the back.

            Talking about sales is a completely different argument. Repeater sales have a lot to do with customer satisfaction. Initial and repeater sales also have a lot to do with brand recognition. If no one knows who you are, how could they buy your product? And if we’re speaking of just sales, then the iphone is the favorite single device. So what does that mean?

            In either case, even if you’re the best product on the market that doesn’t mean there arent areas in which you can improve. Lebron James could work on his freethrows couldnt he? Samsung has an excellent product, but many consider it to lack in design. HTC makes an excellent product but many consider it to lack in camera. the list goes on for every manufacturer.

          6. But for $400, you did get a good tablet nevertheless, right? Did the home button ever give up on you?

          7. it was a good tablet, i ended up selling it after a couple of months to put money towards an xbox, so i didnt have it for a terribly long time to judge its endurance.

            But just because something works doesn’t mean it feels worth the price. Are all cars created equal just because they can all drive?

          8. You could’ve had a bad home button too though. If it wasn’t a good tablet, it wouldn’t have sold imo.

          9. I dont know why you keep saying good or bad tablet. I never said the tablet was bad, I never said the GS5 was bad. They both are great devices.

            I simply said the home button felt cheap, so you can have a cheap feeling device even with a case on.

            The Ford Mustang is a wonderful 400 hp car that costs $30,000. The BMW M3 is a wonderful 400 hp car that costs $60,000. Yes they both perform well and can achieve similar lap times around the track, but there is a reason for the price difference. Despite the Mustang being fast, it doesn’t feel like a $60,000 car. The interior lacks that luxury feel. Some people don’t care about that, but some people do. If i were to spend $60,000 on a car, i’d want a luxury experience.

            If i spend $400 on a tablet, or $600 on a phone, I would like it to feel like such. Not a deal breaker, but if 2 devices were the same price with the same specs, I’d choose the one with the better feeling build.

            Galaxy Note 8 series was the only real option at the time so I had no other choice. But if there were a competitor with the exact same specs but a better design and feel, i probably would have gone with the other guy. That’s all. No knocking, just wish it was a little better constructed.

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