Samsung’s new design language: what took so long, is it enough?

by: Andrew GrushAugust 15, 2014

samsung galaxy alpha press shots (11)

Despite the existence of a new post released this week by Samsung attempting to point out that they’ve had metal products in the past, the Galaxy Alpha marks the first time Sammy has released a smartphone with any real metal in it. This is the moment that everyone has been waiting for, the day that Samsung makes a true change to its design language, and yet its arrival is already seemingly receiving mixed results among tech enthusiasts.

Is the Alpha's design really all that different from Samsung’s previous design trends?

Looking at some of the related polls and comments on our site, it seems that there are a number of folks that feel this is a solid step in the right direction for Samsung. Others either preferred the plastic, more rounded design of old, or they feel that the Galaxy Alpha wasn’t enough of a departure in the looks department.

It’s true that the Galaxy Alpha feels fresh and different when put beside devices like the Note 3 and the Galaxy S5, but is it really all that different from Samsung’s previous design trends? After all, a number of Samsung smartphones have used a (really just plastic) chrome band around the device and the square design certainly seems reminiscent of past handsets like the Galaxy S2. On the front of the phone, we have the same design we’ve been seeing from Samsung for a while now with the same rounded home button. Still, any change is better than none, right?

Samsung galaxy s5 vs galaxy s4 aa 4

What’s taken Samsung so long to make a change?

It’s easy to point the finger at Samsung and insult them for playing it safe. I mean how hard is it to dramatically change up their design language? HTC has done it, LG has done it, and so have many other players in the smartphone market. Even Apple has made changes in screen size and build materials over the years. The reality, however, is that making such a change isn’t as easy as drafting a new design and running with it.

Although it has had some fiscal setbacks recently, Samsung remains King of the Android world and is a brand that is well known across the globe. While the tech community at large seems to have a problem with Samsung’s design choices, many non-techies don’t necessarily feel the same way. Samsung continues to outsell the competition and while marketing and its bucketload of software features certainly have something to do with this, consumers are also comfortable and familiar with Samsung’s iconic design language.

It’s important to examine why HTC, LG and other brands changed things up in the first place.

It’s also important to examine why HTC, LG and other brands changed things up in the first place. For HTC, the switch to a unibody metal design was important with the One (M7) because it allowed the company to say “look at this, we’re switching things up. We’re making a comeback!” HTC needed to set the One M7 apart from the past in order to win back fans and attract attention. It’s also worth mentioning that HTC doesn’t have nearly as many smartphone lines as Samsung, so switching its overall design language for all its devices hasn’t been nearly as daunting of a task as it will be for Samsung.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-91

Of course, LG does have a massive number of product lines and it still made a change. Then again, up until the G2, LG’s design language was a mess. There was no universal design, though most of its phones did follow Samsung and other OEMs very closely. That’s why the LG G2’s design was so important, it allowed LG to stand out from the pack with a design language that isn’t just a me-too style.

Now let’s take a look at Samsung. Samsung has had a universal design language, and people know it well. It’s easy to look at a phone and say “that’s a Samsung phone”, even if you’re a non-techie. There has been cries for change in direction from the tech community for a while, but ultimately Samsung has felt the risk and cost involved with switching its styling wasn’t worth any potential gains — until now.

So what’s changed for Samsung?

At least as early as the HTC One M7’s arrival, there have been articles about how Samsung should make a change in its design and there have been forum posts and comments across the web that echo this sentiment. And yet it wasn’t until the Galaxy Alpha that Samsung decided to finally make a real change towards a more “premium” look.

So what’s different, and why now? While there have been premium options before, Samsung honestly probably didn’t feel they were enough of a threat. Sure, HTC One M7 and M8 have a premium design, but HTC continues to struggle to make a meaningful global impact. Even Apple’s premium phones have had a big weakness: smaller screens.

Hugo Barra Xiaomi -3

Xiaomi continues to become a serious threat for Samsung in Asia, particularly when it comes to the Chinese market.

Recently though, new threats have started to rise up. The Cupertino beast is rumored to be upping screen sizes with the next iPhone(s), and internationally Samsung is facing increased competition from companies like MicroMax in India and Xiaomi in China, both of which have ripped away Samsung’s title as the bestseller in these regions. Meanwhile, HTC continues to push its premium metal design, LG has adopted a more premium metal-looking plastic with the G3, and Xiaomi is even rumored to be switching towards more premium build materials in the future.

Add all of these factors together and it’s clear that the time for change is now, at least if Samsung doesn’t want to risk losing ground to its competition.

But are baby steps enough?

That brings us to the Galaxy Alpha, which is believed to be the first step towards change for the company. We’ve also seen leaked images indicating the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will follow suit with a metal-framed design, and today a new rumor suggests the design language will continue to trickle down into other Samsung products including next year’s Galaxy S6.

this new design language will continue to trickle down into other Samsung products

But are these baby steps enough? For those most critical of Samsung, probably not. For Apple fans, probably not. For general consumers that have been largely mesmerized by Samsung’s marketing and other special features in the first place? Absolutely. For Samsung fans that are simply looking for a slightly improved aeshetic? Very possibly.

Personally I feel any change in direction is a good one, even if the Galaxy Alpha’s looks might not be as dramatically different as some would hope. The truth, however, is that outer looks are only one part of the equation. If Samsung really wants to win over new folks that have been critical of the brand, software design will play just as important of a role.

Spigen 9H Anti-Peek Samsung Galaxy S5-5

Samsung is still holding on to TouchWiz style

In a recent poll on our site, 200 of 911 voters said that they won’t consider any Samsung device as long as TouchWiz remains. Obviously this poll is limited since it’s less than a thousand folks weighing in their opinion, but it is a common response we hear in the comments and from Samsung critics everywhere. It is one of the reasons I personally don’t and likely won’t ever own a Samsung mobile device.

Okay, Touchwiz isn’t necessarily the bloaty, laggy devil that some of us make it out to be. That said, it is a semi-gimmicky experience that isn’t nearly as fast as a leaner ROM would be and a good trimming down would go a long ways in speeding things up and shedding some of the negative attention Samsung receives. So why haven’t they changed it? For one thing, for every TouchWiz hater out there, there is admittedly a TouchWiz fan.

Touchwiz isn’t necessarily the bloaty, laggy devil that some of us make it out to be

Who is right, who is wrong? No one, as it all boils down to opinion. Samsung loyalists contend that TouchWiz isn’t much slower and that Samsung’s use of bleeding-edge specs and high levels of RAM make the situation a non-issue. They also point out that many of Samsung’s apps and features are actually genuinely useful. If Samsung was to pull the plug on TouchWiz, they could risk angering loyal fans and part of what separates them from the competition.

This means, whether we like it or not, TouchWiz will probably continue on for a long time to come, though Samsung has started to make small changes towards speeding up the experience while adding less new features. Here’s to hoping they eventually compromise by removing some of its most gimmicky features in order to lighten the experience.

Samsung Brand Shots CES 2014-3

Wrap up

Honestly, even if Samsung revamped its entire front and back design language while throwing out TouchWiz completely, not everyone would be happy. Sure, they’d gain new fans, but they’d lose old ones as well. You can’t please everyone, but Samsung’s massive global presence shows they come closer than any other Android OEM, even if a portion of the techie community remains unconvinced.

Ultimately, Samsung’s change in design with the Alpha is a positive step forward and makes it clear that Samsung takes its competition seriously enough to make a few changes. Whether these changes are enough depends on who you ask. What do you think, you happy to see Samsung finally making some positive strides? Conversely, do you feel it’s not enough, or that it’s even a step backwards? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

[poll id=”700″]

  • dandroid13

    And we’re still waiting for HTC’s comeback. LOL

  • shhh

    Front looks a lot like S2, metal frame and really thin profile made it looked better. Band-aid rear, though. Nothing “new” really, but at least they realized that S3 curve really was hideous. *inb4 “curvy” “feminists”

  • Anonymous

    Eff that stupid PayPal pop-up ad on mobile. If you guys are going to do ads, making them big, dumb, and obnoxious will turn away your readers.

  • patrik

    Honestly I must give credit to the author of this article. I feel like you really hit the nail on the head.

    Both your critique and credit is true to the word. Especially when you mentioned haters and lovers of TouchWiz.

    I’m personally a big fan of Samsung, I’ve actually never owned a S-phone though, I’m all about the note line. I feel like the note 3 is by far the best looking phone made by Samsung.

    Honestly, there are just some small demands I have that makes me stick to Samsung. Removable battery, micro SD, samoled, great cameras, s-pen etc.

    Again, great article.

    • ThunderCrackR

      Still, he missed something. ”the Galaxy Alpha marks the first time Sammy has released a smartphone with any real metal in it” Really? Has someone forgotten about the Wave series, for example, a 3-years series?

      • Ste

        Apparently everyone…. But I have to say they better get forgotten

        • ThunderCrackR

          For killing the OS, yes, for their design, absolutely NOT. They were really beautiful, one of the most beautiful series ever made by a phone manufacturer, from my point of view!

  • _X_

    This is what I wanted after my S5…but got the S5…awesome phone but this alpha is the right size and looks great and will feel nice in the hand! I will trade my S5 for this!

    • Ste

      This is what I was hoping as S4. Since I always found the S2 better looking than the 3

  • Mark Mann

    Samsung’s phones have always looked great, but the one thing keeping me from buying one is the manufacturer’s lack of customer service… I haven’t used a gs phone since my husband had a fascinate, and the customer service end of that experience completely soured samsung for me permanently

    • RaptorOO7

      If you had a Fascinate you were on a US carrier and with that who failed to support you? Samsung or the carrier. Those were the early Samsung days with the early Galaxy S line where the US carriers forced Samsung to conform to their ideas of different phones, different specs and names per carrier and now they are unified in design, product quality and specs. I would say give them another look, I have not had to use Samsung for support since I expect the carrier to support my phone if they want me on their network paying their fees for access.

      • Mark Mann

        Since this article is about samsung and not the carrier I didn’t find it necessary to state that the carrier failed me too… That phone Ave the customer service experience was the beginning of the end for both the carrier and the manufacturer for me… The carrier told me since it was samsung’s updates that borked my phone that I had to call then… Samsung asked one question, can I still use it as a phone, and when i replied that I could, they stated that since I could still use it as a phone it wasn’t broken and they weren’t going to help… What happened was when the fascinate, and other first Gen galaxies, came out their gps wouldn’t lock on, or was incredibly slow to do so, they sent out an update to fix that, which borked the emergency call button, so they sent out an update to fix that, which borked kies, or whatever it was called back then… Those updates all happened with in a 2 week span… It was after the borking of kies that I called the carrier and was directed to samsung since according to the carrier it was “samsung’s updates, therefore we have nothing to do with it”

        • xoj_21

          those phones are serviced by the carrier, also the issue were caused by the carrier original galaxy s didnt have many issues

          • Mark Mann

            Every galaxy s had gps issues of varying severity… Whether caused by Sammy or the carrier, is irrelevant… I called the carrier, and was directed to samsung

          • RaptorOO7

            That is the carriers fault, they warranty the product for a year or longer depending on whether or not you take the insurance route. Verizon is responsible and so is any other US carrier since they always muck the phone up. If Samsung could or would demand the same as apple gets then perhaps we would be that much happier with our Samsung products. Imagine if the update arrived via Kies and was flawless instead of carrier forced and problematic.

            Also apple has only a few models to deal with and we all know they simply CUT OUT FEATURES from the older versions and claim its the same ios update so there is no fragmentation which is total BS.

            Oh and since you think apple is so great at taking care of customers search for the MacBook Pro issues that apple refuses to address or fix.

        • RaptorOO7

          And yet the carrier is the one who approves the updates and we all know Verizon loves to meddle with the udpates and breaks them frequently. If you actually compared international vs US versions of the same phones you would find significant differences and they all point to the US carrier.

          The iphone is no joy to live with, I have tried with the 4, 4S, 5 and 5S all intermingled with Android phones during that time. My 5S will be promptly traded in for a GN4, the specs are what I want and I have dealt with OS updates and have not had your experience.

      • Mark Mann

        Also, I know a ton of people with Samsung phones and very few of them are happy with them… One even traded her s5 in for an iPhone 4… I would buy an iPhone before I’d buy another samsung mobile product… I’m fact I call samsung the iPhone of the Android world… They’re too gimmicky, I don’t need a heart rate monitor or a fingerprint scanner, I don’t like TouchWiz(based upon messing with a note 3,s5,and a co-worker’s mega)… And I won’t risk having to deal with Samsung when an update from them borks functionality of my phone again

    • _X_

      Shame that you dont live in South Africa…Samsung phone clients gets great service….same day repairs or a loan phone untill they fixed it plus we get a 1gb free wifi with samsung and my S5 comes with 2 free water damage or screen repairs and it includes accidental damage. We dont have to use the carries for service….every major town in SA have a Samsung store

      Now about other manufacturers. ?…

  • RaptorOO7

    So the “techies” are complaining about what exactly that sucks on a Samsung phone. Is it the 2GB-3GB of RAM 16,32 or 64GB storage options (depending on market), is it the Super Amoled, 720p, 1080p and now 2k displays, or is it the fact they use both the latest Exynos and Qualcomm chips available in their phones and tablets? No that can’t be it, instead the chief complaint is plastic, wow, plastic. Funny nearly every phone on the market is plastic in part or whole. Mind you I said nearly, sure Apple has both metal and plastic phones, they even started with plastic only. LG, HTC offer both metal and plastic, so does every other phone company. So Samsung is finally offering a blended Metal and Plastic design which as someone who is a “techie” I can say works just fine for me.

    I get a swappable battery and battery door, microSD slot, light weight phone that when I put a case on my phone it doesn’t add more weight to it. I have owned iphones, Android phones across many different companies and right now I have a GN 10.1 2014 Edition on Verizon and an iP5s which will be quickly replaced by a GN4 when it launches. I could get the apple phablet but that would be a lesser screen quality, no expandable memory, no removable battery/door and ios really is boring.

    • MasterMuffin

      Also, though I haven’t done much research on this, it seems that Samsung uses high quality parts and often has faster storage than competition and stuff like that. I do believe I said about 2 years ago that Samsung will be hated just like Apple, I think I should start doing the lottery ;)

    • joser116

      It is not the fact that Samsung uses plastic, it’s that other smartphones have beautiful, more premium designs. We want to have a phone with Samsung specs and the premium designs of other smartphones.

      The user experience and design of Touchwiz skin could be better too. They also need to optimize the hell out of their phones. I own a Moto G and when I use her S4, it’s frustrating.

    • Rafael

      Its not the specs that are looked down upon. Its the software, while having great specs, is buggy, bloated, and not as optimized as an HTC, Moto, or Nexus. Also Samsung’s reluctance to accept Android guidelines with their use of the physical button. Techies can note this flaws but unfortunately the masses of normal consumers only care about hype.

      • dandroid13

        No, it’s not buggy and bloated. My GS5 has zero issues.

        • thartist

          Say it may not be buggy, but don’t you think it’s “featureful” to the clouds? Just look at the amount of extra services it has installed and running…

          • dandroid13

            And what about stock Android? A smartphone OS that doesn’t include a effing file manager, really smart.

          • thartist

            Yep. They are the two opposites, Samsung and stock.

          • dandroid13

            I’d say that most OEMs do it right, because stock Android is crap.

          • Ste

            As always a matter of taste

          • jim


          • etienne.jean.theron

            Cyanogenmod and other AOSP is a nice middelground though giving best of both. But is a bit too bare

          • Ste

            U can always install one which have anyway more functionality than that u get with

          • Ashley

            just like ios or win 7 month ago?

        • Michael Samsara

          I have a friend who has an S 5 and loves it – never has complained about it being “bloated” – I’m wondering if all this talk about “bloated” isn’t the noise being generated by a bunch of self-proclaimed “techies” – which apparently is the sobriquet being applied to suggest those in the know – who have way too much free time? lol

          • dandroid13

            Apparently hating Samsung is “trendy” now, because “they” say Samsung is evil and bad to Android, just like those Apple haters.

          • Hello there

            Apparently, it’s never crossed your mind that redundant (and inferior) apps are the bloat people refer to.

          • Rushan

            Oneday they will remove all the apps in the upper layer from their smartphones.

      • RaptorOO7

        Bloatware is on EVERY us Android phone regardless of carrier or OEM and you know it. Nexus is not sold by carriers and is pure Android so to compare that with HTC or Moto (now Lenovo) is disingenuous at best. We all would love to have pure Android without bloatware, without delays on updates but look at the one Nexus Verizon did and its updates are still MONTHS after the other Nexus devices if it is even getting updates anymore.

    • epyon

      My biggest complaint with Samsung phones is that not only do they retain hardware keys and a physical home button, but that the keys are reversed (back being on the right, recent apps on the left).

      On the other hand, I do agree with you that somehow metal means “premium” in the techie world. My Moto X is made out of plastic, but damn if it doesn’t feel like the premium device that it is.

      • John-Phillip Saayman

        I have to say, the back button on the right helps with one handed use on a Note 3.

        • Michael Samsara

          Having the back button on the right is the logical – and convenient – place to have it – if you are right handed as most people are. Just goes to show that Emerson’s observation that “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” still holds true. It is – to me – one of the more amusing facts of life that those who often claim to be adventuresome and individualists who “think for themselves” so often adorn themselves – and their thinking – with ideas that so brand them as followers and possessed of no true rugged individualism much less a truly powerful desire to be free – to whit the penchant for tattoos, metal adornment being affixed to tongues, noses, ears etc, guys – of bygone years – rebelliously wearing their hair long to make a statement – and looking like every other guy trying to tell the world it can’t tell him how to think by growing his hair. lol

          True individualists don’t give a good God damn about what others think of them – not that they don’t respect others rights nor take pleasure in trampling said rights – no, true individualists realize that what others think of them in the moment will in the next moment be nothing but a forgotten memory killed by the next moment’s awarenesses – and anything that anyone who is infatuated with image thinks of you is more worthless than worthless and dumber than dumb.

    • KapteinStein

      No point of having the greatest specs when it lags. I’ve had every galaxy S phone except the s5. Enough is enough.

    • Michael Samsara

      I think the new styling is nice looking. But, just as with the previous units I will be putting an attractive, protective case on it, which more or less makes the issue of how stylish it is a mute point. I agree with your very well put delineation of all the good things that “are in there” that Samsung includes. The goal – at least for moi – is to have a device that is nice looking; faster than fast, reliable and that just does the job and doesn’t let me down. All of the items you listed – removable battery, micro SD etc to me are infinitely more important than a metal case that will just add weight I can happily do without.

      I’m thinking that things have gotten to the point with the market that there is so little – performance wise – to distinguish one unit from another, that the reason “the techies” focus so much on this really – let’s face – more or less irrelevant in the grand scheme of things factor of “form factor” is that they have nothing much to really offer in the way of interesting info and like the newspapers – have resorted to the tact of creating smoke that thereby suggests a fire that suggests that this is actually something that needs serious consideration.

    • Weevil Underwood

      People just want a phone that works and samsung provides that

  • Fabian Taveras

    This is a nice article talking about Samsung. I love their new approach in design with have metal for the premium feel on the sides while keeping a great grip with plastic on the back plus Giving users the option to swap batteries? Now that’s pretty damn good. All they need to do is make touchwiz better by making it lighter but retain some of the great features like dual window.

  • Dimitri

    The hardware design is great but it doesn’t have good software to go with it. Touchwiz has sluggish performance and looks outdated.

    • Ste

      Touchwiz isn’t always sluggish as u say. On my S3 was the last s**t on my friend S5 works perfectly. Now not liking it is a thing just insulting it for the sake of doing it is another thing

      • KapteinStein

        Going from my LG g3 to my friends s5 the performance of the latter is laughable. When comparing phones side by side touchwiz performance always loose. Performance has nothing to do with taste.

        • dandroid13

          And LG’s skin is 90% a copy of TW. LOL

          • KapteinStein

            Nonsense! It neither looks like touchwiz and more importantly it doesn’t perform like touchwiz

        • Ste

          Since on daily use the telephone goes flawless and u dont use it under constant comparison this is not really important.

          • KapteinStein

            I beg to differ. If one phone is faster than another, that is the one I want. One is obviously flawed in comparison with the other. Its a case of relative deprivation, meaning we are happy with what we got untill we see that our neighbor has something better…

  • MasterMuffin

    I think the front of Samsung’s devices isn’t ugly. One could argue that using the home button is something they should’ve dropped a long time ago, but it seems to be something that most normal users are more comfortable with compared to full soft buttons or virtual buttons. Buuut dat back doe. It’s not really important to make phone’s back look nice, because when you’re holding it or when it’s on the table, the back is covered, but it doesn’t mean that you should make it ugly >:| I’m fine with plastic, but they could win more customers with new materials. The plastic needs to be matte not glossy though. TW NEEDS REFRESH. Also stuff like heart rate sensor are totally useless, use that room to make an even better camera!

  • Aaron Jefferson

    The galaxy captivate had a metal back and it was removable

  • Foosa Noble

    I loath to say this…….yech here goes….it looks like a sPhone…the Samsung iPhone….
    Posted from my TabS….

  • wat

    Physical buttons and huge bezels (without front facing speakers) need to go ASAP!! Note 4 needs to be 6-7mm thick too

  • myprecious27

    No, it’s not enough; Samsung has wasted its chance to be the leading industry brand. But it’s good – it proves that companies that do not treat design seriously lose – sooner or later.

  • gmaninvan

    I am no Apple fan but holy crap Samsung, you just got even closer to Apples design by ripping off their ring. What makes no sense about it is that the Galaxy designs had moved away from the Applesque look they started with. The S5 looks nothing like an iPhone but this sure does. Do they want to get sued?

    • Asif

      You are right… With the Alpha, they are back to copying Apple…. I was expecting a new design here… It’s just a blend of Samsung and Apple..

  • Jake Wrigley

    I don’t know what the big fuss is about metallic phones I am a Samsung fan boy but have always had hand me down phones until the note 3 and I had a htc one s at one stage and it felt as premium as my note 3 and my brothers s5. And I don’t know why people are so bad on touch wiz! It’s so much better than timescape, htc sense (albeit and older version). Optimus ui was the worst thing I had ever experienced and yet they don’t get any flack. I love what they have done with touch wiz with the S5 altering the look slightly. Samsung has hands down earned themselves the king of android title! Metal or non metal samsung is the number 1 oem imo.

  • Duude

    What new design language? What change ? Galaxy Alpha looks exactly same as everything Samsung makes nowadays. Anyone who understands anything in design knows that Samsung gave up on design several years ago. This article must be a joke.

  • phantomsofthedesert

    This should have been on their flagship phone Galaxy S5. Now people are going to wait for their phones rather than rush out when the Galaxy are released. This probably one of the reasons why the Galaxy is failing globally.

    • The-Sailor-Man

      Ppl don’t rush for aluminum tin can. Get real.
      And aluminum lovers run only for Apple logo(see the sale of metal HTC M7 and M8. LOL)

  • Lilith_Black

    Samsung can stay full plastic or it can go metal: but it shld go for a better quality plastic/metal design (G3 and Nexus 5 plastic design looks the best and I dislike the slippery grey M8,the silver looks much better )

  • sill4nt

    Perhaps what took so long is the fact that Samsung and Apple cant have anymore lawsuits outside of the US, and therefore I believe this phone will only be outside of the US, as it looks very similar in design to an Apple phone, and therefore Apple would have most likely filed a lawsuit over the phone before the treaty of no trolling lawsuits.

  • The-Sailor-Man

    How AA can check how many iboys are voting HERE???
    And tomorrow AA will use the result of this “poll” to suggest “that this is what the ppl want”? ROTFL
    This whole article is written of apple propaganda, that want to brainwash you THAT APPLE HOLD THE MAGIC of the “premium aluminium” tin can design. (last pathetic barricade of the losers)
    Don’t let the name of the site fool you. This is the tool of the apple’s propaganda too. Those “android” named sites not only ones proved that are nothing different than Cult Of Mac or AppleInsider.
    Putting “all metal” BS rumors is trick, to suggest that their iphones are premium but Galaxy flagship phones are not “premium” because there is not tin can.
    Alpha is not flagship phone. Last year there was metal Galaxy J too, but the flagship this year S5 is not metal , Right? And same rumor-trick was used before S5 too. Same dirty iTricks.

  • SaRPeR

    ”the Galaxy Alpha marks the first time Sammy has released a smartphone with any real metal in it.” What about Wave series ?

    • The-Sailor-Man

      Last year’s Galaxy J , too!
      But the menial tech media don’t care much , when they should serve the apple’s propaganda .

  • Flip Jumpman

    Samsung must keep removable battery & sd card!

    Metal is not more important than having a removable battery. As for the rest, since basically all flagship devices are high-spec’d Samsung needs to focus on the software side of things…

  • Tjaldid

    Put the logo on the back for starters

  • Ashley

    yeah, touchwiz is terrible. Just give a stock android with a choice to download all that bloatware, if someone needs it.

    • The-Sailor-Man

      You have Google Edition for that, ignorant.
      But nobody buy it.
      The millions of ppl buy S and Note for the great functions. If you don’t like some of them(and you shouldn’t like all) , just disable them.

      • Ashley

        u can buy Google Edition only in few countries, asshole.

        • Jerry Rich

          So move to one of those countries! Or buy a Nexus 5.

          • Jerry Rich

            or not…

      • Gary W

        How do you like the iAluminum in the new Samsung?

    • Jerry Rich

      No, touchwiz is not terrible. I prefer it to the “stock android” on my Nexus 7 2013. Contrary to what you hear from the troll’s and fan boys, I have no lag on the S5. If I had a problem with bloatware, I’d simply root the phone and delete it. End of story.

      • Ashley

        and lose phone’s warranty.

        • Jerry Rich

          I have the T-Mobile insurance, wouldn’t lose the warranty. I don’t really have a problem with the bloat though. I just killed the apps that I don’t use and no more bloat.

  • Shoen

    The fact was…folks just wanted the Z2 design but Samsung Inside and Logo…folks just wanted the P7 Looks but Samsung Inside and Logo…folks just wanted the LG functions but with Samsung Inside and Logo….folks just wanted the Feel of HTC but Samsung inside and the Logo ofcourse! And finally folks had an empty box and they just put whats nice on the box and bla bla bla thats what they wanted…. Ahmmmmm If your smart enough you get what I mean.

    • rebirthofcool

      like telling Samsung to just copy everybody…troll

      • Shoen

        Sorry,You don’t get what I mean.

  • rebirthofcool

    certainly Samsung is on the right track, now its time to work out a leaner TW

  • Captain Obvious

    I do not have a problem with Samsung making the “Alpha” and using aluminum to appease the aluminum fans….however if this does “trickle” down into the S6, I will not be buying it. Here is why:

    The problem starts with sites like this one which continue to call it “plastic”. Samsung uses polycarbonate – a very premium material that is stronger, lighter, and wears better than the aluminum used in competitors. Other places one could find polycarbonate include: Commercial airline windshields, cockpits of fighter jets, safety glasses, and bullet proof glass.

    A word on “premium”:
    Aluminum is not a “premium” material, I am sorry, but it simply isn’t. I can’t understand where this notion that aluminum is “premium” came from. If I want the “premium” aluminum feel, and a curved back to fit my hand (ala M8), I will hold a beer can while I use my GS5. Aluminum shows wear more, scratches and dents easier, and is heavier…. no one with any knowledge of materials science would choose aluminum as the optimum material to house a cell phone, they don’t even use it for trash cans anymore :) I can’t wait to see what the aluminum fanboys will say when/if Graphene hits production level manufacturing processes.

    I would consider myself a “techie”, especially where cell phones are concerned – I tend to upgrade every 8-10 months, I have been modding smart phones since the Eten M500 running Windows 2003 SE PocketPC, and I would never consider the inclusion of aluiminum
    a “step in the right direction”, if anything it is a step backwards – I had the Motorola V60, V600, and Razor back in the day…all were aluminum.

    I completely understand if someone else prefers the “feel” or “look” of aluminum, that is subjective – however calling it “premium” or “improved” from their current material choice, is just uninformed.

    This is my opinion….There are many like it, but this one is mine.

    • toboev

      Agree 100%. The baying press pack just want blood, and have been mercilessly taunting Samsung with their ignorant jibes about ‘cheap plastic’ versus ‘premium materials’. But like you say, if you put together a shopping list of the qualities and properties wanted in a smartphone chassis, I doubt that heavy, prone to scratches, easily dented, RF opaque, expensive to manufacture, inimical to swappable batteries, etc, would be top of the list.
      But it is like the press have the bit between their teeth and won’t rest until Samsung uses metal, at which point they will rapidly forget the topic and chase some other quarry, leaving us saddled with heavy, easily scratched and dented …. Galaxies.

    • Jerry Rich

      Exactly, I work at a large corporate office and have contact with hundreds of people per week. I don’t hear anyone arguing the aluminum vs poly-carbonate thing at all. This ridiculous argument is perpetuated by sites like this to drum up readers. Certainly it’s aided by the few “fanboys” who make up the audience. Why does Samsung trample the competition? It’s because people like the design, functionality and the price. And to you idiots that think aluminum is a “Premium” material, try to find a diamond ring or bracelet made out of that crap.

  • TopTeir66

    All this is based on opinion, not everyone dislikes TouchWiz, infact i personally prefer it to stock android which looks plain and boring To Me. There is minor lag on most sammy devices and by minor i mean half a second which doesn’t change the experience much. Plus the physical home button is 1 of the major reasons i prefer samsung devices.if i wanted the stock android experience i would buy a nexus. I love android , seeing what different OEMs do with it is intriguing. Stop trying to isolate android like ios, diversity is a plus.

  • BZ

    Samsung as a culture is not as big as Google’s or Apple’s for that matter, I think it’s never too late but they are way behind when it comes to creating a culture. Most samsung phone owner that will switch to any other Android phone that makes more sense, there are far less Android and Apple (not just iOS) users that will not switch to “the other” team easily. Samsung is not at this point yet, regardless of how much money they’ve spent in marketing all they have created are (mostly) uninformed fanboys.

  • Brian Samuel

    The metal-banded Galaxy Alpha is clearly designed to address the complaints that customers have expressed about the cheaper plastic feel of Samsung’s smartphones. But it’s a confusing product that doesn’t cleanly fit into the Korean manufacturer portfolio. Its metal construction suggests a flagship smartphone position, but its weaker specifications relative to the Galaxy S5 place it closer to the mid-tier category. From an aesthetic point of view, the Galaxy Alpha is a step up from the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy Alpha’s front and back features a dimpled texture. It’s unclear for now exactly what the material is. But it is clearly ringed by a metal band. Its chamfered edges , beveled and polished and its bottom speaker holes look virtually identical to the design of the iPhone. Samsung’s quiet debut of the Galaxy Alpha may serve as the company’s attempt to test the use of metal without the commitment of a full-blown flagship smartphone launch. The company has previously been reluctant to use metal because of interference issues, the high cost of material, and the inability to quickly mass produce such a device. The company says that the smartphone will hit the market in September.

  • Abbas Mustafa Bhaiji

    Hugo Barra is Google’s secret weapon sent to Xiaomi(China) to get assembled to attack Samsung

  • GuyM

    Peoples want metal for durable and “quality” impression. But its just impression. And they want new phone every years ;) I’m totally pleased with the plastics finish of my old gnote i717. That still look good after 2.5 years. With minor’s Dent’s on it. Pretty sure I would have crack the screen by now if it was in metal. Plastic absorb shock but metal transfer it.

    But I love the esthetics look of the Alpha.

    Time for me for a little change ;) the gnote 4.