Galaxy F, Galaxy Alpha and the mystery of the premium Galaxy S5

Galaxy Prime
It probably won't look like this

We'll admit it, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha (or should that be the Galaxy F? Or the Galaxy S5 Prime?) has left us confused.

Normally when rumours of a new phone appear they quickly start to line up even if they're not always entirely accurate, but with the Galaxy Alpha it's not only gone through at least three different names but there's also a whole heap of conflicting leaks and rumours.

So which ones are right? Is Samsung really going to launch a premium version of the Galaxy S5? Or will it be more of a Galaxy S5 lite? Will there be more than one handset? Does it even exist at all or is Samsung just pranking us?

We don't have the answers to any of those questions, but we're going to put our analysis hats on and try and puzzle some out.

The S5 killer

Initial rumours largely pointed to a superphone that would prove more powerful and better built than the Galaxy S5. These included talk of a slightly larger 5.2-inch Quad HD screen, an all-metal chassis and a super-slim 6mm thick build.

And that's before we even look inside the phone, which according to some rumours is going to be powered by a either a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor or an octa-core Exynos 5433 processor, coupled with 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 420 GPU, all of which are upgrades on what the Galaxy S5 has.

S5 Prime

This was an exciting idea but it was always a slightly suspect one. Samsung has traditionally released just one flagship a year, or two if you count the Note range, but that's aimed at a different audience.

With a 5.2-inch screen this would clearly be aimed at the same market as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the rumoured upgrades are substantial enough for it to be considered a true successor, rather than just a tweaked version.

It's possible that Samsung could switch to releasing two flagships each year, much like Sony does, but an upgrade that big after just six months or so doesn't seem likely.

We wouldn't totally count it out as the Galaxy S5 slightly underperformed, so Samsung may be trying to make up for that sooner rather than later, plus with a Quad HD screen it would be able to stand up to the LG G3, but it still seems like too much too soon to us.

The iPhone 6 alternative

Next came a new set of rumours painting it more as an alternative to the iPhone 6. Three key things pointed in that direction. Firstly there's the rumoured release date, which has gradually slipped and currently the most likely one is September, which funnily enough is also when we expect to see the iPhone 6.

We also heard new screen size rumours, suggesting that rather than it being 5.2 inches it would in fact be 4.7 inches, which is the same size as one of the iPhone 6 models is expected to be. As for the 5.5-inch model, well Samsung already has the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 to counter that.


Finally there's the enduring rumour that it would have a premium metal build. There are any number of reasons that Samsung would want to ditch plastic for metal, it's certainly seen its handsets criticised for their cheap appearance for a long time now and even other Android rivals have overtaken it in that sense.

But Apple in particular is known for delivering stylish, high end products, so if Samsung wants to go after the iPhone crowd it will need to create a similarly premium device and coating it in metal would be a good start.

This is a set of rumours that we have more faith in. If any manufacturer has the muscle to take on Apple it's Samsung so we'd never rule it out, plus creating an iPhone 6 alternative doesn't require quite such a hefty upgrade as the initial rumours suggested. A 4.7-inch display is never likely to be QHD, so Samsung can stick with a 1080p screen.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.