January 19, 2015
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Samsung Galaxy Alpha-32

Project Zero“, aka the Samsung Galaxy S6, is rapidly approaching a fever pitch the likes of which Samsung has arguably never seen before. This is in part, however, because the company itself is in a situation which it too has never seen before: diminishing profits and market share among Android smartphones due to keen competition from neighboring China. It is no secret that the second half of 2014 was a financial pain for the Korean company, and amid talk of a totally redesigned product, all eyes are most certainly trained on the S6, and the purported “Dual Edge” variant that may release alongside it.

Korean site DDaily is reporting quite possibly the wildest rumor yet: that the Galaxy S6 will eschew the recent metal marriage and instead get glued on glass. Double sided, of course. Citing an unnamed “Samsung official,” the source claims that although both the new flagship and the Edge model will utilize a metal frame (a la the Alpha, Note 4, and Note Edge), the back panel will be made of glass (presumably of a Corning-sanctioned variety). Both devices are also said to come with a non-removable battery.

moto x vs nexus 4 aa nexus 4 standing

Could this “ancient” device actually hold the missing link between Samsung and the Galaxy S6?

While there have been any number of rumors attesting to the materials to be used on the Galaxy S6, this is the first time glass has been name-dropped. It remains to be seen whether or not this rumor holds water; for now, though, adopting glass would put the S6 in select company: from major devices, only Sony’s Xperias and the recently announced Mi Note feature glass backs.

The recent trend has been metal, and even Samsung itself began to adopt it with the introduction of the Galaxy A and E series, both of which use all-metal frames. However, Samsung is said to be facing production yield issues with the A series. Given the extremely large quantity of devices that would need to be manufactured to meet flagship-scale demand, it’s absolutely essential that the S6 be free of any problems that might hinder supply.

Provided this report is accurate, it will be interesting to see how Samsung’s fan base reacts to the sealed battery. The ability to swap batteries has long been a feature that Samsung’s supporters have touted as a key advantage of Galaxy devices. It’s possible that Samsung decided that the sacrifice is worth it, but the backlash could be vicious.

Regardless of what eventually pans out, 2015 is definitely shaping up to be a big year for smartphones, and in some ways that’s a surprise. Since 2013, Android phones have more-or-less converged when it came to features and specs. Whereas the prospects of this year may have looked somewhat stale before, with HTC, Sony, LG and Samsung seeking to raise the bar, things are anything but boring.

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