Before it can take on Apple’s largest iPhones yet, the forthcoming 4.7 and 5.5 inchers, Samsung’s first ever metal-framed high-end smartphone has to prove it’s sleeker, more robust and elegant than the OG iPhone 5s.

Galaxy Alpha

It’s hard to know at this point if Samsung’s 2014 product portfolio was always meant to include a metallic slab that just happens to be the exact footprint of Apple’s smaller iPhone 6. Or if the rumored Galaxy Alpha was prepped for a fall introduction right from the start.

What’s obvious is the Galaxy makers are eyeing both iPhone 6 versions with their remaining high-profile 2014 releases. The 5.5-inch iPhablet, if it doesn’t get delayed to 2015, will have to fend off the Galaxy Note 4 threat, whereas the 4.7-incher will need to stand up to the Galaxy Alpha to be taken seriously.

Only freshly emerged photos of the aluminum-clad Galaxy show it comfortably trumping the iPhone 5s in style and thinness, thanks to a wasp waist that’s supposed to measure roughly 6 mm. And no, the Alpha isn’t all alloy, but even the parts that are plastic, pardon, polycarbonate look outstanding, both in this latest photo shoot and the previous two or three.

Galaxy Alpha iPhone 5s

Sadly, the premium design may come with its share of inconveniences, starting with meager battery life. The Alpha’s juicer reportedly tips the scales at 1,850 mAh, which is far too little to handle even a 720 resolution screen.

Besides, rumor is the octa-core Exynos 5433 processor shall be inaugurated inside the 4.7-inch upper mid-range Android, and benchmarks have showed the beast outpacing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 chip, so frugality might not be its strongest suit.

Galaxy Alpha-2

Finally, a reckless UK retailer shortly listed the Samsung Galaxy Alpha as available for pre-orders, asking an extravagant £549 for the privilege of purchasing one of these wicked SIM-free gadgets. That’s no less than $925, which would be really alarming were we not looking at a now canceled listing likely based on nothing more than some guy’s hunch, greed or ignorance. Or a combination of the three.

Either way, Samsung can’t possibly consider charging that much for a 4.7-inch HD display-toting phone with no microSD support, an average (by high-end standards) 12 MP camera, and a partial aluminum build. Hopefully.

Sources: Phone Arena, Twitter (@culeaks), Cnet, Mobile Fun UK (cached)