Full metal jacket: Samsung unveils new Galaxy Alpha
Following months of rumours and speculation, Samsung has unveiled its first metal-bodied smartphone, the Galaxy Alpha, going head-to-head with the Apple iPhone and HTC One.
At less than 7 mm thick, the Galaxy Alpha is one of the slimmest Galaxy devices yet. Despite its metal cover, it is relatively light at 114g – roughly the same as the iPhone 5s.
The device is powered by Samsung's octa-core 1.8GHz Exynos 5 processor, and runs Android 4.4.4 (KitKat). It has a 4.7-inch HD display, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory (but no micro-SD slot).
The rear camera is 12-Megapixels and the front camera is 2.1-Megapixels. The device supports WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC for contactless transactions, and has a 1,860 mAh battery.
The Galaxy Alpha also includes 'ultra-power saving' mode, fingerprint scanner, 'private' mode and connectivity with the latest Samsung Gear Fit, Gear Live and Gear 2 wearables.
“Built with the consumer in mind, the Galaxy Alpha focuses on both beauty and functionality,” said Rob Orr, Vice President, IT and Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland.
“Combining a stunning metal frame and slim, light weight design with the same powerful hardware and features you’d expect from a flagship Galaxy mobile device, the Galaxy Alpha is perfect for those that want style without compromising on performance.”
Samsung has been criticised in the past for its extensive use of plastic in high-end devices – specifically the Galaxy S4. With the S5, Samsung opted for a ridged aluminium edge and faux-leather back panel, which gave it more of a premium feel but was not universally liked.
Carphone Warehouse, which will stock the device along with all the major UK mobile operators, said that the Galaxy Alpha will be attract a "whole new target customer base".