Say what you will about Samsung, but they're certainly rarely timid, even when brazenly borrowing styling cues from their competitors. While Samsung has certainly set their own design course as of late, they've been mixing things up a bit more recently. We're out at IFA 2014 where Samsung's unveiled their second metal-framed phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. But a few weeks before that saw the unveiling of the smaller and first metal phone in many years from Samsung: the Galaxy Alpha.
We had the chance to go hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha and put it side-by-side with the world's best-selling metal-bodied phone: the iPhone 5s. The similarities are unmistakable, with the Galaxy Alpha aping polished chamfers on the edges, uniform rounded corners, and plastic-filled breaks in the metal to divide up the antennas (though that's proven to be a technical requirement on every metal phone).
Once you get away from the corners the similarities start to fade. Even the latest flattened iteration of Samsung's customizations to Android is still worlds different than what you'd get on an iPhone running iOS. And where the iPhone has a smooth squared-off metal back punctuated by only the Apple logo, a few bits of required regulatory information and matching glass insets at the top and bottom to help with the radios, the Galaxy Alpha has a thin plastic removable back plate that comes in one of five colors (white, black, blue, gold, or silver) and carries a grid of plus sign-shaped dimples.
Of course, this is a comparison to the year-old iPhone 5s, a design that's been carried from the iPhone 5 two years ago. The redesigned iPhone 6 is due to be unveiled next week and is expected to significantly change-up the iPhone design language, so this comparison will be relatively short-lived.