After much speculation, Samsung has today announced the Galaxy Alpha, a smartphone with a metal frame. The Alpha is an ultra-thin (6.7mm) Android phone with a 4.7-inch 720p display, 12-megapixel camera, a fairly small 1,860mAh battery, and (depending on your region) a quad- or octa-core processor. It'll be available in September, but Samsung has yet to announce pricing.
Perhaps more interesting than the phone itself is the news that the Alpha's design will trickle down and up to Samsung's other phones. Samsung calls the phone "the evolution of Galaxy Design," adding that it showcases a "new design approach" for the company. That approach involves flat metal sides with chamfered edges, and not much else. The overall shape of the device isn't so different from the Galaxy S5, and the Alpha retains the S5's dimpled, removable back cover. The approach will allow Samsung to push out devices in a range of colors with minimal expense, and true to form the Alpha will be available at launch in black, white, gold, and blue.
The move to more premium materials isn't unexpected. Amid growing concern that the company is losing its grip on the market, Samsung Mobile's senior vice president Kim Hyun-joon recently told investors to expect a device made from "new materials" soon. Samsung's "new design approach" may not be as bold or beautiful as some would want, but it's an indication that the company is at least taking design more seriously. If early leaks are to be believed, we'll see more of Samsung's fresh design when the new Galaxy Note is announced on September 3rd.
Check out The Verge's spring review of the Galaxy S5