The Galaxy Alpha has been referred to as the Galaxy F, Galaxy S5 Prime, but the Galaxy Alpha moniker has become the codename for the secret device. What we know at the moment is that the Galaxy Alpha will bear a metal body, meeting an expectation that many Galaxy customers expected (though incorrectly) in the Galaxy S5 announcement. Although Samsung has gone on record as saying that plastic is an easy material to manufacture and mass-produce, Samsung’s known for releasing devices that offer a little something for everyone.
In addition to metal casing, the Galaxy Alpha is said to utilize Samsung’s new eye scanner, a feature for the Galaxy Note 4 that the Samsung Group tweeted on its Twitter wall within the last few days. The company claimed that it “envisions” something new for mobile devices, providing a smartphone display with a large, human eye across it and some items and price values to the right of the photo. It’s likely that the Galaxy Alpha will retain the same fingerprint scanner that Samsung placed within its Galaxy S5, but it’s also the case that the eye scanner will provide another form of “face detection” for users who think that eye detection is a more formidable form of security than face detection.
There are a few questions that remain about the Galaxy Alpha right now. One question concerns the display: will the Galaxy Alpha retain the 5.1-inch form factor or add a little more display to its size? From tech analysts, it seems that the Galaxy Alpha will likely grow some in display size to around 5.2 to 5.3 inches. It’s likely that the Galaxy Alpha will retain the Ultra HD, 16-megapixel camera we’ve come to expect in Samsung’s Galaxy lineup this year (but with the addition of optical image stabilization, or OIS).
As for the screen resolution, Samsung’s still somewhat sore over the Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440p) screen resolution of the LG G3 – so expect Samsung to get even with a metal body and Quad HD resolution in the Galaxy Alpha.
Another major question about the Galaxy Alpha concerns whether or not Samsung intends to stick with its IP67 water and dust resistance rating, or trade in water damage protection for a sleek, metal body. The Galaxy S5 has already been a huge hit with consumers who’re constantly on the lookout to protect their devices, but the Galaxy Alpha may remain a niche smartphone for HTC One M8 rebels who want something other than HTC’s offering – if Samsung decides to ditch the IP rating for what some have called a sexy smartphone experience.
Last but not least, what’ll Samsung do with its camera? The Korean manufacturer placed its own ISOCELL technology into the 16MP camera that delivers stunning photos, but sources say that Samsung may, in fact, outsource its camera chip production to Sony and use Sony’s Exmor sensor chip this time with the Note 4. Could it be the case that Samsung intends to utilize the Sony Exmor sensor chip in the Galaxy Alpha? Since the Galaxy Alpha looks to be an iPhone 6 killer, we very well could see the camera battle come down to the megapixel count (Apple’s 8MP vs. Samsung’s 16MP or 20MP).
As for where Samsung looks to place the Galaxy Alpha, sources say that the Alpha will serve as an intermediate device between the Galaxy S series and the Galaxy Note series. If the Galaxy Alpha comes to light, there’ll be three high-end devices bearing the Samsung brand: Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4, and the Galaxy Alpha. The Alpha will fall in-between, serving as a sort of middle high-end device.
As for pricing, expect the Galaxy Alpha to cost more than the Galaxy S5 ($600 off-contract, $199 on-contract) but less than the Galaxy Note 4 ($800+). Perhaps Samsung lowered the price of the Galaxy S5 this year in order to leave room for the Galaxy Alpha.
If the rumors are true, Samsung will release the Galaxy Alpha in August so as to steal the thunder of the iPhone 6.