The newly unveiled Galaxy Alpha smartphone by Samsung Electronics Co. (KRX: 005930) trades in the company’s usual polycarbonate plastic exterior for a metal frame. Though the Galaxy Alpha is intended to be a mid-range device, its unlocked price may be more in the high-end territory.
SamMobile claims that the off contract price for the Samsung Galaxy Alpha will be €599 ($800). Samsung revealed on Wednesday that the specifications of the Galaxy Alpha are a mix of high-end and mid-range. Its primary mid-range feature is its 4.7-inch HD (1280x720p) AMOLED display. The device also includes an octa-core processor, likely an Exynos 5430, 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal memory, a 12-megapixel camera, and a fingerprint sensor. Additionally, its metal frame leans more toward a high-end feature. Android Police calls the Samsung Galaxy Alpha “a mid-ranger with the pretentions of a flagship.”
Andreessen Horowitz analyst Benedict Evans detailed in a research note last Wednesday that the mid-range price range caps at about $400 while the high-end price range begins at about $500. The supposed €599 ($800) price for the Galaxy Alpha would put it firmly in the high-end range, but SamMobile notes that the price would likely even out with subsidies from mobile carriers.
However, this would only be applicable in markets where mobile carriers provide subsidies. Samsung says Galaxy Alpha will launch in early September, but the manufacturer has not specified the markets in which it will be available. The manufacturer’s possible use of its Exynos branded processor could be an indication that the Galaxy Alpha may be available in primarily Asian and European markets, where subsidies are least applicable. Thus far, Samsung has not officially revealed the price of the Galaxy Alpha.
The main reason the Galaxy Alpha is not a high-end device is because Samsung already has its next flagship in its immediate pipeline. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is expected to be unveiled on Sept. 3 and may hit markets on Sept. 15 or Sept. 25. Recent leaks have suggested the Galaxy Note 4 may have a design similar to the Galaxy Alpha, but it is not known whether it incorporates metal.
The Galaxy Alpha is Samsung’s response to reports that rival Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: APPL) will release an iPhone with a much larger screen. While Samsung has long resisted implementing metal into its smartphone designs, the prospect of a larger iPhone has incited a change.
SamMobile notes that prior rumors about a metal device called the Samsung Galaxy F turned out to be the Galaxy Alpha. The tech Website says the “F” stands for fashion.