U.S. Markets closed

Samsung’s New Galaxy Alpha Introduces a New –– Yet Familiar –– Smartphone Design

Daniel Howley
Technology Editor
Yahoo Tech
Samsung Galaxy Alpha

One of the chief criticisms of Samsung’s smartphones is that they, unlike the metal iPhone, have traditionally been made of plastic. With the introduction of its metal-framed Galaxy Alpha, it looks like the South Korean tech giant has taken those critiques — and the comparison to the iPhone — to heart.

The Android handset, which goes on sale next month, is Samsung’s first true attempt at taking on the likes of Apple’s iPhone and HTC’s One M8 in terms of style. Perhaps Samsung’s designers have internalized the common thinking that smartphones, though still technological marvels — they’re supercomputers that fit in your pants — are increasingly seen as fashion accessories.

The Alpha offers many of the design elements found on Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S5. Its back cover features dimples, just like the Galaxy S5; the elongated home button and the Samsung logo on the front of the phone closely match the S5, too. 

Still, the handset’s frame and polished edges give it a more elegant look than the S5 — though many are crying copycat.

Samsung smartphones

The phone’s polished edging gives the Alpha a distinctly iPhone-like appearance, as Apple’s handset offers a similar design flourish. In fact, the Alpha really looks like a mashup of the Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5s. Both NBC News and the tech blog TechCrunch explicitly called out the similarity between the Galaxy Alpha and the iPhone in headlines this morning. (We like the look!)

Though Samsung has yet to announce pricing for the Alpha, it will likely cost less than the Galaxy S5, as it offers a lower resolution, 4.7-inch screen, slower processor, and less powerful camera than the company’s flagship.

But the purpose of the Alpha isn’t to impress with its specs. Instead, it’s meant to give us a better look at the new designs Samsung will incorporate into its future smartphones and to, hopefully, establish Samsung phones as gadgets that are as attractive as devices from Apple and HTC. 

It may also keep the legal teams of Apple and Samsung busy — especially since the next iPhone is expected to have a screen size of 4.7 inches — coincidentally, the exact same size as the display on the new Galaxy Alpha. 

Email Daniel at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley or on Google+ here.