New iPhone? No, It’s the Metal Samsung Galaxy Alpha

After weeks of speculation surrounding Samsung's premium metal handset, it's official: The Galaxy Alpha is on its way. This sleek answer to Apple's iPhone is slated to arrive in September, just in time to go head-to-head with the iPhone 6.

The 4.7-inch Galaxy Alpha takes most of its design cues from this year's Galaxy S5, with the sturdy metal frame being the major standout.The Alpha sports what looks like a thicker version of the S5's textured plastic back panel, and will launch in black, white, gold, silver and blue.

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The handset features a 1280 x 720-pixel super AMOLED display, runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat and is powered by an Exynos 5430 CPU with four 1.8-GHz cores and an additional four 1.3-GHz cores.It borrows the S5's fingerprint reader, but nixes it's predecessor's water resistance.

Packing a 12-MP rear camera and a 2.1-MP selfie shooter, the Galaxy Alpha will retain the S5's robust camera feature set, which includes real-time HDR and selective focus. Like its non-metal Galaxy brethren, the Alpha packs the S Health app, which will sync with Samsung's latest Gear smartwatches.

Apple's purported iPhone 6 is also expected to launch this September with a 4.7-inch metal build, which makes this fall's Apple-Samsung showdown more neck-and-neck than ever. There's also the iPhone 6's rumored 5.5-inch variation, which Samsung seems set to answer with its upcoming Galaxy Note 4.

- Michael Andronico, LAPTOP

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