The Samsung Galaxy Alpha's new metal frame has drawn comparisons to Apple's iPhones

Samsung steals a march on Apple with launch of latest Galaxy

Samsung has released its latest smartphone just weeks before rival Apple is expected to do the same.

The Galaxy Alpha will go on sale at the beginning of September the Korean phone manufacturer said, as it reignites its battle at the top of the smartphone market with Apple, which is expected to release the iPhone 6 in early September, with rumours suggesting it could come in two sizes for the first time.

Leaked images of the phone appeared online earlier this month, with some comments on social media suggesting it looked similar to an iPhone due to a new metal frame that is flatter.

The new device will have a 4.7in screen, which is slightly smaller than the screen on the Galaxy S5, released in April. The Alpha is also more than a millimetre thinner than the S5, making it one of the slimmest devices the company has ever made.

Despite the leaner design, which makes the phone 30g lighter than the S5, Samsung confirmed that all existing technology, including the fingerprint scanner, will still be present in the new phone.

Will Findlater, editor-in-chief of gadget magazine Stuff, believes the design of the Alpha is squarely aimed at tackling Apple.

"There are some physical similarities with the iPhone 5s, but also several Samsung Galaxy hallmarks – this isn't a phone that's going to get confused with an Apple device. But it is gunning for the next iPhone," he said.

"All the leaks to date have suggested the iPhone 6 will have a 4.7in screen – the same size as the Alpha's. Both devices have slim aluminium bodies, and both seem to focus less on bleeding-edge specifications than user experience – a change in tack for Samsung."

Oliver Hill, senior staff writer at Android Magazine said that the power of the Alpha is what will make it stand apart.

"The look is indeed very iPhone like, but we've been saying that for a good few years already. It's testament to Apple's strong design qualities that many companies want to follow suit; including Samsung. But the pure power of the Galaxy Alpha is what really stands it out from the iPhone. On paper it's noticeably faster, more powerful and thinner than Apple's current offerings," he said.

"Thanks to the sheer marketing presence of Samsung, there's no denying that the device will do well around the world. It shows a direct improvement over the Galaxy S5 and has the specifications that will keep the hardcore smartphone users happy.

"Where the Galaxy Alpha could fall down is with its price. Samsung are renowned for demanding ridiculously high prices for their handsets, and the new metal design makes me think that this won't change. With other metal phones already on the market, notably the HTC One M8, the Galaxy Alpha will need to be appropriately priced to become a runaway success."

The announcement of a new phone comes two weeks after Samsung reported a 25 per cent drop in second quarter operating profits this year, and warned that the second half of the year "remains a challenge" thanks to increasing competition in the mobile phone market.

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