back to article FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'

Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy Alpha on Wednesday – and it's an Android smartphone that comes encased in a thin all-metal coating. Apple iPhone 5 The South Korean giant said the 4.7-inch Alpha will hit the shelves in early September. Samsung did not name any carrier partners, though EE has said that it will tout the handset …

ORLY?

The S5 dumps all over this.

http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=6573&idPhone2=6033

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ORLY?

Yes, I'm glad the announcement has been low-key. Samsung started to get a bit above their station recently but it seems they have scaled back from their delusion that they can topple Apple at the high-end. That whole music-hall thing in the year of the S4 was shiver inducing. As Archer said of his butler when he got a bit beyond himself, "Look, he thinks he's people!"

Now, like a proper landfill supplier, they have gone back to anonymous "I'll know if it's good once I check the spec sheet" releases with GSM Arena being the first with the updated spec.

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Re: ORLY?

The latest round of 'Apple phones are shit because they need recharging every day' Ads would lead me to believe that Samsung has not yet thrown in the towel.

Their 'S5 is the bees knees' ads were everywhere on a recent trip to the US espeically in several of the Airports I travelled through. Now they are putting the 'S5 is great' around the mobile device charing points in the terminals.

The sad thing is that most mobile device users, no matter what type of device they own would take the opportunity while waiting for a flight to charge their device. to me, it is a no-brainer even if my phone lasts 3-4 days between charges.

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Re: ORLY? @Steve Davies 3

Mobile device charing points?

Some kind of barbecue or is it more high tech?

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Coat

Re: ORLY? @Steve Davies 3

when using 115V , certainly more likely...!

P.

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'Absolutely nothing like'

must mean something different to me. Just another boring rectangular slab with a bit of bling round the edge. Deja vu..

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Facepalm

Re: 'Absolutely nothing like'

The inventor of the rounded corner would disagree.

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Re: 'Absolutely nothing like'

Agree they must have a very different definition of that - they should check out BlackBerry's new Passport for some pointers on differentiation and new thinking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'Absolutely nothing like'

probably got absolutely the same sh*t battery life too

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Joke

is that what ElReg sarcasm looks like

hard to make a slab look different. Now if they could develop a screen visible in Oz summer daylight without requiring a massive battery they might have something. Not all of us live in caves or come out at night only

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Thumb Up

Re: is that what ElReg sarcasm looks like

Now if they could develop a screen visible in Oz summer daylight

I don't know why anyone even bothers selling devices with reflective screens in Aus. They ain't going to beat the sun.

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Re: is that what ElReg sarcasm looks like

Mad dogs, Englishmen and ...

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Re: is that what ElReg sarcasm looks like

I don't know why anyone even bothers selling devices with reflective screens in Aus. They ain't going to beat the sun.

By reflective I presume you mean shiny screens? These are brighter than matt screens - just the fact that a screen is matt blocks out some of the light.

Far better for daylight is to have a genuinely reflective display such as e-ink rather than a transmissive (light emitting) display such as the usual OLED / LED displays. However reflective displays are not so useful in the dark and colour accuracy depends entirely on the light source you are lighting it with. Now if somebody could create a display that could switch from transmissive to reflective as required...

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Happy

Re: is that what ElReg sarcasm looks like

Far better for daylight is to have a genuinely reflective display such as e-ink rather than a transmissive (light emitting) display such as the usual OLED / LED displays. However reflective displays are not so useful in the dark and colour accuracy depends entirely on the light source you are lighting it with.

Wearable tech is the future, right? Or so I keep reading. And if the industry analysts say so, then they must be right!

So all you do is have a reflective display, and a head torch, which outputs the correct colour temperature. It would have a light sensor on it, and a built in Bluetooth earpiece. Perhaps a pluse sensor and a thingy that detects how long your hair has grown, and automatically books your next appointment at the barbers. This way the phone can be smaller, as it doesn't need a battery for it's backlight, and it won't at all look odd wearing a giant torch on your head.

Remember you heard it here first. Who'll fund my Kickstarter campaign?

Question to the Aussies: What's this "sun" thing you keep talking about?

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Re: is that what ElReg sarcasm looks like

By reflective I presume you mean shiny screens? These are brighter than matt screens

It would have to be a fair bit brighter to compete with the near-equatorial sun that I live under. Trust me here, they just don't work.

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Re: is that what ElReg sarcasm looks like

No need.

Several years ago scientists invented a glass coating that doesn't reflect light.

Saw it on a BBC programme about the London Natural History Museum.

You shine a light on it and it only shows you what is underneath it.

Odd how this site and others completely missed it.

Several companies are bringing out products that use it.

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rav

Re: is that what ElReg sarcasm looks like

Anti-reflective or AR coatings are very common. The problem with them is that they are very soft and easily scratched. Using them on plastic corrective lenses make a lot of sense as that reduces glare at night while increasing the trasmission curve of the glass. Using them on high index Alumina or Saphhire makes no sense in an environment that a phone will be used in.

The coating material for AR coating on crown glass is a single 1/4 wave of MgF2 and it is very soft. Sometimes a very thin Si coating on top can toughen it but the transmission characteristics become slightly degraded. Infact that is what the anti-scratch coating is on your plastic lense.

Finding a suitable coating material for a higher index glass would require mulitple interference layers of alternating hi-low index materials and that would make the expense outrageous.

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Glad for the bootnote - up until then I had glanced at the picture and wondered how long before Apple screamed at the similarities with the iPhone.... and why Samsung was leaving itself to such an obvious lawsuit.

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Mushroom

That sound in the back

is the FrutyFirm(tm)'s legal hired guns sharpening their knives...

This is going to be entertaining ...

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They all look alike

I just got back in from spending some time in a phone store. To anyone not a legal type on a mission they all look pretty much the same. This is hardly surprising given that they all use very similar components to do very much the same thing. Much like cars, refrigerators and a host of other things which differ in only minor ways.

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Re: They all look alike

Agreed, with the exception of Apple's iPhone 5C whose bright colours and plastic casing is utterly original and not seen on any other phone, especially ones from Finland which start with an 'L'.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They all look alike

especially ones from Finland which start with an 'L'.

You mean Redmond shirley?...

Samsung seem to be losing the plot to me. They call this the Galaxy Alpha range yet the specs compared to the S5 are pretty poor, so why bother calling it Alpha?!

A premium finish and a name like the alpha would've been a perfect opportunity to switch their premium handset from the S name range to this.. Instead for the next few years we will have the battle of Galaxy S5, iPhone 5S, Galaxy S6, iPhone 6 / iPhone 6S etc...

I currently have the S4 and I'm itching to upgrade, but I was holding out for this and the Note 4 announcement. This is pretty meh and if the Note 4 leaks are to be believed it doesn't seem to differ drastically from the current one.

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Re: They all look alike

"Alpha" may refer to the stage of readiness for production.

Presumably there'll be a Beta in about six months that will have fewer issues, but the one you really want will be the Gold Master.

Or it is just possible that I need to get out more.

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Re: They all look alike

Pretty much, yes.

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Re: They all look alike

"I currently have the S4 and I'm itching to upgrade"

I'm basically in the same boat... but we're basically at peak specs. There isn't much to improve or much need to improve.

I hope someone decides to make a week-sized battery soon. I want that.

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i disagree

I disagree with the sarcastic statements of my fellow commentards. For me the shape of the new Samsung Alpha and its intuitive and deeply democratic design is a revolution and ushers in a brave new world. I have never seen such perfection, such attention to detail, such a courageous departure from the boring, endlessly replayed conventions of the smartphone industry. Laugh now while you can. Over the coming months, the tremendous marketing and legal brains at Samsung and countless firms of great renown in these august fields will be laying bare the unique genius behind this amazing design, confounding the cynics and paving the way for sales of millions of Galaxy Alpha. Then we will see who will be laughing all the way to the bank. The world will never be the same again.

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Kind of missing the point

The commentards above seem to have failed to have spotted the fact that it was Samsung who was claiming that it has "an entirely new appearance". It doesn't matter if other, non apple, handsets look the same, that was the point.

As an aside, it looks like they've tried to make it thinner than the connectors would really allow. The case has to bulge out for the USB port and the headphone socket has an odd edge to it as it cuts into the chamfer.

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All phones look the same

Rectangular, so I pretty much don't care. What I do care about is this one hasn't got Samsung's almost unique (these days) identifier, an sd-slot. I don't have wifi, I travel to places where there is usually no wifi, and I will not be putting any data of mine in the cloud, so that's immediately a no-sale.

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Re: All phones look the same

They will probably have an SD-capable, dual-SIM version in China, and possibly India. You can usually buy them off the web from places like Merimobile.

But really, how much CONFIDENTIAL data do you really keep on your phone - the most likely to be stolen device that you own? Or is it that you think your movie/music/porn collection is so top-secret that it can't be stored in a cloud, for fear of the NSA? Only if you are a paedo...

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Re: All phones look the same

"But really, how much CONFIDENTIAL data do you really keep on your phone"

Shortsighted people like you are why we get crap products on the market.

Confidential? How about movies and/or music that doesn't max out a data plan in a single day? Or that is viewable on the plane without paying $20 for wifi?

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mmmm....iPhone by any other name.

White, nerfed and no SD card..........sounds like an iPhone to me !!!!!

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The iPhone was a copy anyway

In the episode entitled "Reflections in Terror" of TV series "V" (1984-1985), one of the Visitors attempts to extract the DNA of Elizabeth the "Star Child" by "accidentally" spiking her with a rose thorn. Prior to this, she checks Elizabeth's identity with a device suprisingly similar to an iPhone, complete with rounded corners, an LCD-like display and touch capability. That looks like prior art to me!

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Re: The iPhone was a copy anyway

Movies and TV shows are not prior art. The thing that stops someone from patenting a Star Trek style medical tricorder isn't because Star Trek had the idea, because you can't patent an idea. The thing that stops you is because no one has a clue how to make one, which makes it rather difficult to patent since that is required.

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Re: The iPhone was a copy anyway

But that was a rose thorn DNA testing device not a phone - so no prior art there (unless the iphone can do DNA testing from rose thorn)

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In other news ...

Oasis deny being a Beatles-tribute band

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Joke

Re: In other news ...

when was that...?

P.

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why do Samsung...

... keep putting the standby/home button at the centre/bottom.

It's like they were asking for trouble.

I'm sticking with Sony Xperia (Z1 compact, Z2 tablet) for a while as I like their design language and minimal android customisation.

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Anonymous Coward

Why don't they just call it the sPhone and rename Android / Tizen to sOS <lol>

Then they could rename their notebooks as Sacbook, music player as sPod and why not their tablet as a sPad?

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I've enjoyed this being the year of the S5 and the 5s.

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Function usually dictates fundamental design

Most phones look the same because they're doing the same thing. Look at TVs - they all look pretty much the same. Cars: 1 wheel in each of 4 corners to stop it falling over and space inside for people. Hats: bowl or band to keep it on your head and a rim to keep the sun / rain off.

It's only when a design breaks the mold that it stands out from the rest but their off-the-wall design may compromise their function: Robin Reliant (3 wheel car - prone to fall over), New square Blackberry phone (will it fit in your pocket). That wierd (comedy) umbrella hat thing (google it if you dont know what I mean) and of course the bizarre 1970's designed 'round TV's' (basically just a conventional TV screen in a ball-shaped plastic cabinet)

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Anonymous Coward

Specs

I don't know much about phones so I may be wildly wrong, but those specs did not look much to get excited about. I was browsing some of those Chinese manufacturer websites the other day and things like 4000+ mAh, 15 MP cameras (even on the front side), dual SIM, LTE, NFC, and lots of other acronyms I did not understand¹, all appeared to be pretty much must-haves on newer models.

So what am I missing here?

¹ And of course, SD storage.

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Trollface

Re: Specs - missing features

And with every Chinese phone you get this bonus feature:

Free data farming of all your phone numbers and personal information

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Specs - missing features

> And with every Chinese phone you get this bonus feature:

Sorry, I meant non-Apple branded Chinese phones.

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Re: Specs - missing features

I had Xiaomi in mind when I wrote this, but now that you mention it...

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Showing an iPhone in the inline image and debriefing readers about the deception in the bootnote is not fair to your readers or Samsung.

Everyone who didn't scroll down, which is most people, now think the Alpha's absolutely identical in appearance to an iPhone, whereas in reality it's just broadly similar.

I had to reread the bootnote and recheck the image twice, because I couldn't understand why you'd do such a thing.

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Trollface

Quite.

The article could do with the "troll" icon.

The sooner manufacturers get over this whole "your rectangular device looks like my rectangular device" bollocks, the happier we'll all be. Or do they just do it to guarantee column inches on sites like this?

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Still rubbish

I don't care what anyone says, today's phones are junk and built to a price no matter what the manufacturers do from a cosmetic standpoint.

I dropped my GS3 and guess what, the display decided not to work anymore. So I got an HTC One, sat on it and the screen shattered, had that fixed and it was dropped a couple of weeks later and it shattered again, it's still shattered.

But, I dropped the Jolla I purchased and all that happened was the ToH was scratched - go figure.

I can remember when you could play football with a handset or even if they were run over by a car the things would still work no problems.

As the meme says, drop an iPhone, it breaks, drop a Nokia, the floor breaks.

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Meh

Re: Still rubbish

You seem to drop things a lot, I'd see a doctor if I were you.

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Re: Still rubbish

"I dropped my GS3" "HTC One, sat on it" "it was dropped a couple of weeks later"

As they say... can't fix stupid.

But anyone who doesn't buy an Otterbox at the same time they buy a new phone deserves to have their phone broken repeatedly at great cost.

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Unhappy

No SD card slot !

Following HTC's lead I see :(

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