During their announcement in August of the Galaxy Alpha, a new, metal-framed riff on the Galaxy S5, Samsung put the release date as ‘eh, sometime in September.’ They might as well have said, ‘Well, we’ll wait until Apple does their thing, then we’ll go.’ Today, Samsung has announced that the Galaxy Alpha will arrive exclusively at AT&T (why?) on September 26, a week after the iPhone 6 hit stores.
I don’t know what the logic behind going exclusive is in 2014, unless Samsung is convinced the money they’re getting from AT&T is going to offset lost sales from not being on other carriers, which doesn’t seem like a vote of confidence for your phone. Be that as it may, the Alpha does look like an attractive phone, eschewing the usual all-plastic Samsung build for a premium, metal frame. The insides are a little less premium, thanks mainly to the step down to a 720p display, although with Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays, that’s still not half bad. The 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC, which includes a quad-core processor, is plenty powerful enough to hang with the best the smartphone world has to offer. There have been some questions raised about battery life, which figures to be paltry since the battery is only 1,860 mAh.
The 4.7″ Galaxy Alpha will be available in black, white, or gold, and will cost $200 with a two-year contract, $613 off-contract, $25.55 per month for 18 months on AT&T Next, or $30.65 per month for 12 months on AT&T Next.