There’s something strangely familiar about Samsung’s new premium smartphone.
The Galaxy Alpha, announced today in Russia, is the company’s first attempt at using metal in its smartphones. And it also looks unmistakably like an iPhone — right down to its 4.7-inch screen size, which is what’s been rumored for the upcoming iPhone 6.
The phone is a curious beast: Samsung is positioning it as a more premium offering than the Galaxy S5, with a metal frame and a 6.7 millimeter profile (it’s Samsung’s thinnest smartphone yet). Yet it’s also a step down spec-wise, with a 720p resolution screen (compared to the S5’s 1080p), a slightly slower eight-core processor, and a significantly smaller battery.
If anything, the Galaxy Alpha looks like Samsung wants to prove it can build a phone with metal rather than make a hit product. Apple’s iPhone 6 is also expected to sport a 4.7-inch screen and feature a slightly more rounded design, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up looking similar to the Galaxy Alpha.
Samsung also plans to announce its new Note smartphone next month, so the Galaxy Alpha may hint at some of that phone’s design. If the next Note also has a metal frame, it’ll likely look a lot like the rumored 5.5-inch iPhone 6 model as well.
Even with its metal frame, the Galaxy Alpha still has a removable plastic cover, like all of Samsung’s smartphones so far. That allows you to easily remove the battery, something that Apple can’t offer with its sealed phone designs. Still, if Samsung truly wants to offer a premium smartphone experience, it’ll likely have to give up on removable covers in the future.