THE SAMSUNG GALAXY ALPHA has arrived, and looks to challenge the iPhone and HTC One M8 with its metal frame and octa-core processor.
Here, we round up everything we know about the anticipated Samsung Galaxy Alpha handset so far. Keep this page bookmarked, as we'll update as we hear more about the Galaxy Alpha.
Samsung quietly announced the Galaxy Alpha, as rumours had suggested, on 13 August, revealing that it will be available in the UK from the beginning of September. The smartphone is now shipping in the UK.
For those looking to pick up the Galaxy Alpha SIM-free, Mobilefun is offering the handset for £499. Since, online phone shop Handtec has started taking orders for the phone, pricing it at £497.99.
Samsung is also selling the smartphone direct, and has priced at a more-expensive £549.
EE, will yet to start shipping the Galaxy Alpha, is offering the phone on a number of tariffs. It is recommending a £35.99 per month tariff which comes with a £69.99 upfront cost, and bags buyers 1,000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB data.
O2 will sell the Samsung Galaxy Alpha too, and became the first to start taking pre-orders. It is offering a free Galaxy Alpha on £38, £43 or £48 contracts, all of which come with unlimited minutes and unlimited texts, and 2GB, 5GB and 8GB of data, respectively. It can also be picked up on a £33 contract for £49.99, or on a £28 contract for £119.99. Both of these tariffs offer 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data.
Three is offering the smartphone with free 4G, and is the only network to do so. The Galaxy Alpha is available on four plans, the cheapest of which comes in at £28 per month with a £49 upfront cost, complete with 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB data. Unlimited data is available on the network's £38 per month tariff.
Vodafone has started selling the Galaxy Alpha, and is offering it for free on a £43.50 per month contract, including unlimited UK minutes, unlimited UK texts, 4GB of UK data, plus 6 months free access to either Netflix, Sky Sports Mobile TV or Spotify Premium
Carphone Warehouse is selling the Galaxy Alpha too, with tariffs starting at £33 per month. This 24 month O2 contract comes with 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB data.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha, which was the subject of multiple online leaks under the guise of the "Samsung Galaxy F" and "Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime" ahead of its unveiling, doesn't feature many surprises.
As speculation had suggested, the Galaxy Alpha is one of the first Samsung smartphones to boast a metal frame, which is thinner than the iPhone 5S at 6.7mm thick. Unlike the iPhone however, the Galaxy Alpha doesn't feature a full metal casing, and instead retains the perforated plastic rear found on the Samsung Galaxy S5. It will be available in the same colours, too - black, white, blue and gold.
Much like its flagship predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha also arrives with a fingerprint scanner built into its home button and a heart rate sensor on its rear.
The Galaxy Alpha specifications aren't much of a match for the LG G3 in the screen department, touting a 4.7in HD 720p Super AMOLED screen, with a pixel density of 320ppi. This is powered by Samsung's octa-core 1.8GHz Exynos 5 processor, with the handset set to also be made available with a quad-core 2.5GHz chip, equipping it with 300Mbps Cat 6 LTE speeds.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha also boasts 2GB of RAM under the bonnet, along with a 1,850mAh battery and 32GB of internal storage, which cannot be expanded via microSD card. There's also a 12MP camera on its rear, a 2.1MP front-facing camera and built-in NFC support.
The Galaxy Alpha runs the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, Android 4.4.4 Kitkat. However, Samsung has heavily customised this with its own skin, equipping the phone with its own Galaxy Apps service and Magazine UX homescreen. µ