Samsung recently said it would launch more phones with new materials before the end of this year. It’s looking more likely that such devices will arrive far sooner than year’s end. FCC testing documents released on Wednesday suggest Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha handset will launch sooner rather than later. The documents were reported by SlashGear and originally found by the CNBeta site.
I pored through the testing documentation to see what might be learned about the Galaxy Alpha, since Samsung hasn’t officially announced it. Leaked images suggest this device will be Samsung’s first Galaxy to use a metal casing in lieu of the company’s traditional choice of plastic. Samsung requested confidentiality on the handset’s user manual and all pictures, but there’s still a bit of information available.
For starters, the required FCC label is shown the filings alongside the phone battery capacity, which is 1500 mAh. That suggests a mid-sized phone and one with average specifications; not a large, high-end device. And that thought jives with reported specifications: CNBeta and others have said the phone will have a 4.7-inch 720p display, for example, and an eight-core Samsung Exynos processor. I did see mention of a 1.8 GHz clock cycle in the FCC filings but it’s difficult to determine if that’s the actual chip speed in the tested device; still, it would correspond to a mid-range phone.
Based on the tested wireless frequencies, it’s a safe bet this phone will launch — at least initially — on AT&T, T-Mobile or both carriers due to the GSM and LTE bands used. The FCC also checked performance for Wi-Fi in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands with 802.11ac support. Documents suggest Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, NFC and ANT+ compatibility are in the device.
While FCC testing doesn’t guarantee a device will launch in the U.S., it’s a requirement before a device actually does launch. The testing process started on July 23, however, and with a Samsung press event coinciding with the early September IFA show, it’s possible that the metal-banded Galaxy Alpha is shown off in a few short weeks.