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Samsung Galaxy Alpha officially announced, but it’s not the metal Galaxy S5 you’ve been waiting for

Samsung Galaxy Alpha 2

Samsung has officially revealed the Galaxy Alpha, the company's first Galaxy Smartphone to be made from metal

Samsung has finally confirmed the existence of the Galaxy Alpha, the first Galaxy smartphone to arrive with a metal, rather than plastic construction, after weeks of leaks and speculation. Rather than wait any longer for the official announcement, Samsung revealed the handset in a press release earlier today, with a full reveal expected ahead of IFA in Berlin next month.

Based heavily on the plastic Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Alpha has the same basic design but switches out the plastic chassis for a metal frame. It’s only 7mm thick, putting it squarely up against Apple’s rumoured iPhone 6 in terms of size, but the plastic front and rubberised, dimpled plastic rear remain, however. As predicted by an early leak, the Galaxy Alpha will be launched in black and white colours, as well as blue and gold shades – again matching the Galaxy S5. There will also be a new silver colour option.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha 1

Inside, however, the specifications have been toned down from the flagship S5. The 4.7in AMOLED display has a 720p resolution rather than full HD, the octa-core (quad 1.8GHz and quad 1.3GHz) Samsung Exynos CPU looks unlikely to match the 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801, and the battery is only 1,860mAh – over 1,000mAh less than the one in the Galaxy S5, meaning Samsung’s Ultra Power Saving mode may become more of a necessity.

The rear camera also loses a few megapixels, dropping from 16 down to 12-megapixels, but there’s still a heart rate sensor next to the LED flash for monitoring your pulse. The home button still doubles as a fingerprint sensor too, letting you secure the phone with a swipe rather than a password.

On the software front the Galaxy Alpha will run Android 4.4 Kitkat, with Samsung’s Touchwiz UI on top. Most of the Touchwiz features we’ve come to expect from the Galaxy range make a return here, including S Health, the 4G-sapping Download Booster and compatibility with Samsung’s Gear 2 and Gear Fit wearables.

Samsung has yet to set an official price or release date for the Galaxy Alpha, only committing to an early September launch. That means we’ll almost certainly see it next month at IFA in Berlin, so be sure to check back soon for some first impressions.

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