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Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners 220

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the strange-sense-of-deja-vu dept.
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes with word that Samsung is hopping on the metal case and rounded corners design bandwagon. From the article: Samsung says a metal frame and curved corners give the Galaxy Alpha a "sophisticated" look. The South Korean company describes the Galaxy Alpha as representing a "new design approach". The firm has previously been criticised for the plastic feel of its handsets at a time when other firms have opted to use materials marketed as having a "premium" feel. Samsung Electronics saw a 20% year-on-year drop in its last quarter's profit. The phone features 2G of RAM, a 4.7" AMOLED display, and either an 8-core Exynos 5 or 4-core Snapdragon 801.
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Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners

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  • by nimbius (983462) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @08:34AM (#47662313) Homepage
    For those wondering if the dimensions will change with the rounded edges, dont worry. the Galaxy Alpha will still continue to ship with mounting equipment for roadside billboard, stadium jumbotron, and IMAX auditorium. It will also still include the ever popular 130 decibel klaxon for informing you of Amber alerts at 5 AM on a saturday.
    • by Krojack (575051) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @09:13AM (#47662593)

      I know you're just trying to be funny and with the size part you are. I got a Note 2 and sometimes feel that way however I still love the phone. As for the alerts, App Drawer > Emergency Alerts > Menu > Settings > Alert types. You can turn off all alerts except for these so called Presidential alerts. I don't want people thinking it really can't be turned off.

      Also I think some devices it's under Settings > Sounds > Emergency tone. You can only set it to vibrate, sound or silent.

      • You can turn off all alerts except for these so called Presidential alerts.

        This is what I've done. Not because I don't like the idea, in theory. But I was getting "emergency" alerts for an approaching thunderstorm. Guess what? It's summer. Thunderstorms are normal, not an emergency.

        The trouble with the system, as deployed, is there's a monopoly on discrimination. And the retards placed in charge of that monopoly have ruined its potential and left me without a competitive choice in intellect. The only

  • by halivar (535827) <bfelger.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @08:35AM (#47662317) Homepage

    My Apple-phobic Samsung-fan friends are going to have an aneurysm over this.

    • Yeah. Why don't they make up a design of their own for a change. :D

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by PopeRatzo (965947)

        I'm thinking a phone made out of apricot preserves shaped like a ceiling fan.

        There are so many possibilities!

      • by mspohr (589790)

        Yeah... why not something without "rounded corners" and a screen?
        Perhaps they could make it like a pill you swallow and then press on your stomach to make calls?

    • My Apple-phobic Samsung-fan friends are going to have an aneurysm over this.

      There's an app [strokeassociation.org] for that!

  • I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @08:35AM (#47662319) Homepage

    What's the obsession with metal frames? Message boards are filled with hipsters ranting about how cheap a plastic frame looks.

    Whenever I get a new phone, the first thing I do is wrap it in a plastic protector to protect the body.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

      Whenever I get a new phone, the first thing I do is wrap it in a plastic protector to protect the body.

      And then coat it in shiny metal!

    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Russ1642 (1087959) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @08:54AM (#47662465)

      I never understood this. Teams of engineers cram the electronics into the smallest, lightest case they can, and then the end users goes and shoves it in a 1/4" thick rubber sleeve.

      • by timeOday (582209)
        Is it any stranger than designer t-shirts? Or needlessly large homes? The point is to show everybody you have money.
        • Large homes (Score:2, Insightful)

          by tepples (727027)
          A home that appears "needlessly large" to some may in fact be "needfully large" to the occupants. For example, they may have more kids or regular house guests than you're aware of, or they may have rooms dedicated to a home office or studio.
        • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @11:12AM (#47663627)

          I would think that going without a case on a £600 phone is a better signal of "I've got money to burn".

          • by rainer_d (115765)
            I've got a car that cost much more than that and I didn't weld a steel-cage around it or equip it with a giant bull bar.

            Just don't drop it.

      • I never understood this. Teams of engineers cram the electronics into the smallest, lightest case they can, and then the end users goes and shoves it in a 1/4" thick rubber sleeve.

        That's because users don't actually want the smallest, thinnest lightest case that's possible to make. They want a phone that's small enough, thin enough, light enough and offers adequate protection so the screen doesn't shatter really easily.

        • by Dishevel (1105119)
          Yup. I would be ok if my phone were twice as thick as it is. Give me some extra cooling and more RAM and more protection. Sounds like a wonderful trade off.
    • I would be happier if you could easily and cheaply replace broken parts.
      It isn't uncommon for these cases cost over $30.00. Now if I could say replace the glass pain, that is most likely to break for $40.00 it may still be a good deal as you don't always break your phone.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        "It isn't uncommon for these cases cost over $30.00."
        only the trendy crap sold at best buy. I bought an otterbox commuter for $19 online. you can get china cases for as little as $4.00 with free shipping.

        • That is why I preference my statement with "It isn't uncommon"

          Yes you can get cheaper ones. But your $23.00 case isn't that much cheaper than $30.00. Espectially if like me you keep the same case for years.

        • only the trendy crap sold at best buy. I bought an otterbox commuter for $19 online. you can get china cases for as little as $4.00 with free shipping.

          Got my daughter one of those China cases for her Moto G because it had to be neon green and had to have a kickstand, and the options were limited. But it's actually quite good.

          I've got an Incipio Dual Pro [amazon.com] on my S4 and it's definitely better. But only somewhat better, not dramatically. The Incipio is "really good" while the China Special is "quite good".

          My

    • What's the obsession with...[computer enclosure flavor of the month]?

      There was a cartoon in some [Amiga-oriented, I think?] magazine about a quarter century ago. It was a guy showing off a computer in an unusual case, saying "We figured out what users want isn't more power or increased applications, but rather, really cool tail fins."

    • Whenever I get a new phone, the first thing I do is wrap it in a plastic protector to protect the body.

      To point out the obvious, with the statement I just quoted, you've effectively self-identified yourself as someone for whom the distinction wouldn't make a bit of difference, so it's not surprising that you don't understand why it matters to most people. In many ways, I envy you, since it means that your purchasing decisions are likely much more straightforward.

      The reason why metal matters is because of how things look and feel in one's hand when not using those plastic protectors. As the summary said, meta

    • by mspohr (589790)

      Most people put a plastic protector on their iPhones because metal gets permanent dents and the glass front and backs of iPhones break easily. The result is just like the plastic phones from everyone else.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      I think you'll find that the hipsters are using old Nokias.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      It's not plastic that's the issue; it's metal-effect plastic. The mutton-dressed-as-lamb factor of pleather, wood veneer, chromed plastic, and the like is tacky in itself, but a bit of an affront in a gizmo that costs a good part of a month's wages. In a market where all your similarly-specced competitors are using actual metal, being the guy who sends out fake metal sends a message to your customers along the lines of "you'll pay the same, but you'll get less".

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      I've got a plastic frame on my HTC One-X, and it looked great new. However the plastic has now cracked at a couple of the corners, and I have never dropped it or otherwise cause any force that would do this. It is likely the results of heating and cooling over time. A metal case would not have this problem. The phone still looks good now, no one can see the cracks unless looking closely, but fashion conscious people might have felt compelled to get a new version.

  • I'll wait for the Beta, or perhaps a release candidate.

  • No, I'm not joking, with minor differences, they are seriously trying to look the same as the fruit. This is a bit ridiculous. Yes, its different, but there is no doubt its trying to look the same.

    • It looks more like the HTC One. In fact its almost identical, especially with the metal case.
      • by Lumpy (12016)

        But does it come with the buckets of SUCK that HTC piles into the OS? HTC Sense and blinkfeed utterly ruin the Android experience.

        • My point was on the external phone designs themselves. As for the blinkfeed and Sense software, luckily, you can disable it.
        • by Type44Q (1233630)
          The HTC One M7 (not sure about others) could be easily rooted using the tools freely provided by HTC...
        • by Type44Q (1233630)
          The HTC One M7 (not sure about others) could be easily rooted using tools freely provided by HTC...
  • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @08:49AM (#47662431) Homepage Journal

    I bought a Galaxy S and then the Galaxy S3 - and after seeing how poor the support was on the Samsung side in terms of updating and Android I have decided not to purchase any more of their phones. I had no problems with the hardware. The software decisions that Samsung makes and the fact that they seem no longer interested once the product is out the door was why I left.

    In the middle of all that I bought one of their ultrabooks and ran into the same issue.

    I don't have any plans to buy anything they've made unless I learn they've somehow turned this behavior around.

    • by balaband (1286038) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @09:01AM (#47662511)

      Yeah....but name manufacturer that is better then them?

      They all suck.

      With galaxy line (because of the number of units they sell) - you at least know you are covered with cyanogen (or some other) mod.

      • Nexus and Moto G phones are what I've bought since for my family. I'm still using the S3 running cyanogen but personally I prefer the stock Android experience to cyanogen as well. But that is a good point that there are options still there.

        My tablet is an original Nexus 7 and my son has one of the new ones. My experience with those and motorola phones has me thinking that's the direction I'll look first as long as the current situation persists.

      • Yeah....but name manufacturer that is better then them?

        Better than Samsung? Motorola, Apple, LG, and HTC for starters. I've never understood the hype around Samsung's Android phones, they are cheap plastic, have the ugliest skin (TouchWiz) out of all the manufacturers and have always had sub-par RF performance on every one I've ever owned.

        Stick with the high-end models from any of the big names and you'll have a better experience than on a Samsung Galaxy. And I've owned a bunch of high-end Android phones over the years and have not yet had one that didn't ha

        • by balaband (1286038)

          I was referring to the android updates. When it comes to those all manufacturers suck.

          On the other hand, I don't think you are really fair to Samsung. I will not defend their build quality (I really can't), or their software support; but credit when credit due - they have been pushing other manufacturers to up their game; Galaxy 1 was good, galaxy 2 was revolutionary, Note 1,2,3 have been general success. And now, even though I agree this 5 doesn't really justify its price tag, it is still pushing other pho

      • My Galaxy S2 is still not able to run CyanogenMod [cyanogenmod.org]. Eventually I discovered a "Calkulin's mod" that didn't do much more than unlock tethering. Woohoo.
  • by nine-times (778537)

    Samsung says a metal frame and curved corners give the Galaxy Alpha a "sophisticated" look. The South Korean company describes the Galaxy Alpha as representing a "new design approach".

    I like how the "new design approach" and "sophisticated look" boil down to "making it look more like an iPhone 4."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordLucless (582312)

      It's a mobile. It's basically a rectangular screeen. There's not really much space for design innovation.

      Besides, since when have mobiles not had rounded corners?

      • It's a mobile. It's basically a rectangular screeen. There's not really much space for design innovation.

        In Raymond Loewy's biography, he mentioned being hired by a company whose design was ripped off (in their opinion), and the copycat claimed exactly what you said. So a week later he appeared in court as a witness, with three totally different designs that looked nothing at all like the design that was claimed to be impossible to change.

      • Besides, since when have mobiles not had rounded corners?

        Even the Razr was too blunt (i.e. rounded) to cut stuff.

    • by Selur (2745445)

      to me all smart-phones basically look the same :)

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      iPhone in front, Pleather in the back. This is the mullet of cellphones.

    • by Solandri (704621)

      I like how the "new design approach" and "sophisticated look" boil down to "making it look more like an iPhone 4."

      And the leaked iPhone 6 pics [thenextdigit.com] look like the HTC One. [htc.com]

      Can we get off the "Company X is copying company Y" fanboy bandwagon? There are only so many ways you can design a housing for a flat rectangular screen which needs to fit comfortably in your pocket. The "metal band around the edges" look for example originates not with Apple, but with the early Sony Clies [sonyclie.org] (though it was a plastic band mad

      • A) You're saying the iPhone 6 looks like the HTC one, from the back, if you ignore all the details and focus purely on the rough shape of the device, which is roughly the same as the iPhone 4.
        B) Apple didn't just put out those pictures touting their "new design approach" and "sophisticated look".
        C) I don't have a problem with companies copying each other. I think it's generally a good strategy to copy the best thing out there, and then improve on it. It's just kind of silly to copy and then brag about h

  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @09:16AM (#47662611) Homepage
    I am very happy to hear that Samsung is releasing a new phone that can run Windows NT, OpenVMS and Digital UNIX equally well.
  • by rebelwarlock (1319465) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @09:17AM (#47662625)
    "We made our phone look a little different" isn't news for nerds, or anyone, really.
    • Actually, the actual news is, "we made our phone not look at all different...from other phones".

      Seriously, Samsung needs to stop spending so much on advertising and buy a design team. Sony and HTC have their own (very nice) looks, I think. I'm an iPhone user, and this new Samsung looks like a bigger version of my iPhone 4.

  • I suppose this qualifies as News for Nerds, but really, don't we have better things to talk about than the "premium feel" of a gadget? I don't see much in the way of fun so far in the comments, and it's not like this latest bit of shiny is going to have any significant impact on anyone beyond Samsung's shareholders.

    TFA seems more like a Slashvertisement than a news piece to me.

  • For those that jibe at the Steve Jobs design aesthetic, so we have a non-Apple company shouting "look at us, we have a metal slab that's a RoundRect too!" Not sure if this makes it more or less silly.

    Hmm, a MetalBody RoundRect with 4.7" screen - released right before the iPhone 6 release party.... What are the odds?

    (RoundRect was what the Rounded-corner Rectangle was called in old Apple developer docs, either when drawing a button, or using that shape directly in QuickDraw).

    • by Minwee (522556)

      (RoundRect was what the Rounded-corner Rectangle was called in old Apple developer docs, either when drawing a button, or using that shape directly in QuickDraw).

      At the time, it wasn't easy drawing rounded corners [folklore.org].

      Steve [Jobs] suddenly got more intense. "Rectangles with rounded corners are everywhere! Just look around this room!". And sure enough, there were lots of them, like the whiteboard and some of the desks and tables. Then he pointed out the window. "And look outside, there's even more, practically everywhere you look!". He even persuaded Bill [Atkinson] to take a quick walk around the block with him, pointing out every rectangle with rounded corners that he could find.

      When Steve and Bill passed a no-parking sign with rounded corners, it did the trick. "OK, I give up", Bill pleaded. "I'll see if it's as hard as I thought." He went back home to work on it.

      Fast-forward to the next century where rectangles with rounded corners are still everywhere, but only Steve's company is allowed to use them.

      • Note that the Quickdraw "RoundRect" function wouldn't be able to draw the shape of a current Samsung Galaxy phones. The corners are rounded, but they are not circular and RoundRect does only circular corners. You need Quartz and Bezier splines to handle them.

        And as you see by the Galaxy phones, Samsung was absolutely allowed to create phones with a shape that is a rectangle with rounded corners. Samsung even has a design patent for rectangles with rounded corners!
  • I don't get the obsessive appeal of phones with metal shells. Every iPhone I've ever seen that's led a life case-free really shows it's age, with all kinds of scuffs and obvious wear. The wear on plastic phones is far less apparent because the scratches don't show nearly as much.

    I suppose excessive wear plus for the device maker as a motivator to get consumers to upgrade on a regular basis. It certainly helps that your average stupid consumer equates cold metal with luxury.

  • When geeks knew why 1 megabyte didn't exactly equal 1,000,000 and weren't interested in fashion accessories. I miss the olden times...
  • Until they start making phones that can survive in the real world without a case, a phone's material is pretty much irrelevant, since it's always hidden.
  • They should have called it the "Galaxy Fruit", as a simultaneous jab at Apple and the dimwits who'd refused to buy a previous Samsung phone because it was "too plastic".

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard

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