6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

CNET Update: Samsung's predictable plastic design ends with Alpha

About Video Transcript

CNET Update: Samsung's predictable plastic design ends with Alpha

2:55 /

The Galaxy Alpha boosts Samsung's style with a metal frame, and Amazon launches a card reader to expand into the offline world.

The newest Samsung phone sure does look like an iPhone. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. Samsung Galaxy phones come in many shapes and sizes, and all are encased in cheap plastic. That is until now. Samsung revealed the Galaxy Alpha. It's the first Galaxy phone with a metal frame. It's not all metal, there is a soft back cover with a textured design and it looks very similar to the iPhones metal frame. The Alpha is clearly a step up in design, but when you look at the texture,. Specs. It's not as good as the Galaxy S5. The Alpha doesn't have the very best screen resolution tech available and the camera has fewer mega pixels than the S5. There's also no expandable micro SD card slot. Now it's still a powerful phone with lots of features. But you just have to wonder what Samsung's game plan is here and why they didn't just load it up with the best tech. This wasn't announced with much fanfare, in fact there was only a press release. We don't know yet where this will be sold or how much it will cost, but it is scheduled to launch in early September. Perhaps there's another metal frame Smartphone that will get more love from Samsung. Three weeks from now, on September 3, the company will be having an event, where it will likely debut the extra large Galaxy Note 4. And by the looks of some leaked images from GSM Arena, it will also have metal around the sides. The online retail giant, Amazon, is trying to expand its reach by tapping into the off-line world. Amazon created a secure credit card reader for small business owners. It's called Local Register. And it's this small card swiper device that connects into an audio jack of the smartphone or tablet so stores can process payments right from an app. To compete with Square and PayPal, Amazon is taking a smaller cut of the sales for processing the transactions for those that sign up before the end of October. Amazon will charge 1.75% per card swipe until 2016. And to compare, PayPal charges 2.7% and Square charges 2.75%. Now while that's great for business owners, sometimes the rest of us just need a simple app to send money to our friends. Like when you need to pay someone back for lunch. It's also handy when you have roommates and you have to keep track of who is paying their share of the utility bill. Two apps that may help are Splitwise and Venmo, Splitwise let's you set up and track one-time and reoccuring payments for a group of people, and it let's you send reminders when someone hasn't paid. They can pay with Pay Pal or use Venmo, which is actually it's own app, that connects to a checking account. That's your tech news update. For more details head to cnet.com. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]

New releases

McLaren P1: Harbinger of the hybrid supercar revolution (CNET On Cars, Episode 58)
23:31 January 30, 2015
McLaren P1 on the track and on the street, CNET Style. How engines get their names and what it means. Also: CNET's Top 5 cars of last...
Play video
Boost's ZTE Speed is a 4.5-inch, low-priced Android
1:07 January 30, 2015
Featuring a 5-megapixel camera, a quad-core CPU, and a 4.5-inch display, the ZTE Speed is one of Boost's prepaid bargain Androids.
Play video
The LaCie Mirror is perfect for narcissists
2:14 January 30, 2015
CNET editor Dong Ngo totally likes what he sees when looking at the one-of-a-kind LaCie Mirror portable drive. And that's because (you...
Play video
Rid your Android quick settings menu of oddball toggles
1:17 January 30, 2015
CNET's Dan Graziano shows you how to fix one of the most annoying features in Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Play video
Beats Pill XL: Bigger Bluetooth speaker justifies its premium price
1:25 January 30, 2015
We weren't such big fans of Beats' original Pill, but the company's jumbo-sized model is well designed and performs much better.
Play video
Facebook using beacons to show location 'tips'
2:50 January 30, 2015
Social network's new app feature sends location tips to your feed using GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth beacons. Meanwhile, your home Internet...
Play video
Testing out 'Insane Mode' in the Tesla P85D, Ep. 190
4:28 January 30, 2015
This week we get all nostalgic with the Prynt smartphone case that makes your iPhone work like a Polaroid camera, we learn some scary...
Play video
Nvidia G-Sync is a smooth move for PC games
3:01 January 30, 2015
The right graphics card and G-Sync monitor can make games look better.
Play video