Once the spigot starts flowing, it’s hard to stop the leaks. On Monday we got our first look at Samsung’s metal-clad Galaxy Alpha and today we’re getting an even clearer look courtesy of a new leaker, @culeaks. If the photos and information end up being true — and while @culeaks is a new account, the photos certainly seem credible — then the Galaxy Alpha will be Samsung’s first LTE phone running on a Samsung Exynos processor.
Earlier this summer, Samsung announced that it had successfully integrated an LTE modem in its Exynos chips, which allows it to replace Qualcomm Snapdragon chips in LTE-capable handsets. This device comes at an important time for Samsung’s logic chip division, which is reeling after it recently lost part of Apple’s semiconductor business and needs its own Exynos chips to pick up the slack.
From the leaked shots, it appears that Samsung is going to market this device as an LTE-Advanced device. As we’ve pointed out time and again, that’s a bit of a stretch. Samsung does make phones that use the faster Category 6 standard — using Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processors — but the Exynos chips Samsung has announced only supports Category 4, which matches LTE modems currently on the market in devices like the iPhone.
The device will be skinny, (check out the above comparison with an iPhone 5S) but the reduced size will come with compromises. Instead of a 5-inch 1080p screen, the Galaxy Alpha will reportedly pack a 4.7-inch 720p screen.
But rather that being disappointed in the smaller screen with a lower resolution, consider that the 4.7-inch screen lets the phone occupy a smaller footprint than the big panels the Galaxy S5 and other flagships are currently sporting. It’s the same approach taken by devices like the Moto X. This could be the high-end “mini” device from Samsung we’ve been waiting for.
The Galaxy Alpha is most likely the phone made of “new materials” Samsung executives alluded to during second quarter earnings.
This post has been updated to clarify the difference between a Category 6 LTE modem and one that fully conforms to the LTE-Advanced standard.