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Metal Galaxy Alpha phone called a step up for Samsung

Samsung has introduced a new, metal-framed Galaxy Alpha smartphone, which could make the manufacturer an even fiercer competitor to iPhone maker Apple.

"Samsung really wants to position itself as a design-centric company, to build products that can rival the Apple iPhone and really be beautiful products and I think this is a good step in the right direction. I've had a Galaxy for a number of years, and I've felt the plasticky problem and I've sort of craved this premium device," said PCMag.com Editor-in-Chief Dan Costa.

Samsung

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But the Galaxy Alpha could be up against an all-glass iPhone, for which Apple recently filed a patent.

"The sapphire glass material Apple is reportedly using could allow it to make a pretty amazing device," Costa said, but the need to migrate between iOS and Android operating systems could turn consumers off from switching from one platform to the other, according to Costa.

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But the real threat to both Samsung and Apple globally, are smaller companies like ZTE, Xiaomi, Lenovo and LG, which are pursuing the low-end market in Asia, Costa said.

—By CNBC's Althea Chang