Samsung have released an infographic detailing the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, which they’ve called “The Evolution of Galaxy Design.” I’ve attached the image at the bottom of this post, which appears to be all about highlighting what makes the Galaxy Alpha what is it. And the first message is that it’s about the design of the handset; the Galaxy Alpha is Samsung’s first metal framed smartphone, which they believe sets a new standard in smartphone design. The image highlights the size of the device and the 720p resolution 4.7-inch Super AMOLED display, which is available in five colours (silver, black, white, blue and gold). It mentions that the metal frame is diamond-cut, durable but has “balanced grip from metal frame and smooth back.” Oh and of course the Galaxy Alpha is very, very thin at just 6.7mm. Samsung point out that the Galaxy Alpha weighs about the same as an average silk tie, but doesn’t explain how best to tie a windsor knot in the handset.
It also highlights the core specification of the Galaxy Alpha, which is based around a processor that combines a high performance quad core 1.8 GHz processor for the heavy lifting with a power efficient quad core 1.3 GHz processor for the more mundane tasks. This big.LITTLE processor style is expected to be the main way that manufacturers can balance the high performance requirements of modern smartphones and tablets with the expectations of long battery life. In addition to the processor, the Galaxy Alpha has a 12 MP rear camera and a 2.1 MP front camera, runs Android 4.4.4 Kit Kat, benefits from Cat 6 high speed LTE and is kept powered up by a 1,860 mAh battery.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Galaxy Alpha is a stylish handset. Unfortunately for Samsung it combines a high end price tag with middling specification. Now, the middling specifications might not be an issue because we’re at the point where mid-range devices are (for most people, most of the time) perfectly smooth and refined, but these very same people may well take a look at the other handsets available for around and about the same price, which either offer a more premium experience or a better on-the-box specification. I am also not a fan of their marketing hype: you’d think that Samsung invented metal framed handsets. I see the Alpha as occupying a strange middle ground for Samsung: it has some of the premium feel of say the iPhone with some of the premium experience of say the Galaxy S5, but is as expensive as both. I’m not sure where their target market is. It’s as though something was lost in the translation between the designers and the engineers.