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AT&T to sell Samsung Galaxy Alpha starting Sept. 26

Come Friday, the new metal-framed smartphone is up for grabs exclusively on AT&T's website and at its retail stores.

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Samsung's Galaxy Alpha is coming to AT&T. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

AT&T has the exclusive rights in the US to start selling the Samsung Galaxy Alpha at the end of the week.

The carrier announced on Monday that the Alpha will be available both online and at its retail stores on Friday, September 26. Available in a choice of three colors -- Charcoal Black, Dazzling White, or Frosted Gold -- the phone will sell at different prices depending on which AT&T mobile plan you choose.

Opt for the usual two-year agreement, and you'll pay $200. Choose AT&T's Next18 installment plan, and you'll fork over $25.55 per month. Pick AT&T's Next12 program instead, and you'll pony up $30.65 per month. Go contract-free, and you'll shell out the full retail price of $613.

The Galaxy Alpha is being touted as a more luxurious phone than Samsung's usual offering, and the major reason is its frame. Galaxy phones are typically equipped with plastic frames. In contrast, the Alpha is the first Galaxy-class phone to sport a metal frame, offering it a classier look and feel.

Outfitted with a 4.7-inch HD Super AMOLED display, AT&T's version of the Alpha is powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core processor and includes 32GB of onboard storage. However, the screen itself packs only a 1,280x720-pixel resolution, which can't compare with the 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution found on the Galaxy S5 . You're also out of luck if you max out on the 32GB of storage as the phone isn't equipped with a microSD card to grab more space.

A 12-megapixel camera graces the rear, while a 2.1-megapixel shooter is in front. The Alpha is equipped with real-time HDR (high-dynamic-range), which quickly snaps multiple pictures at different exposures in an effort to obtain the best one. The phone also comes with a selective focus feature and an option to take panoramic pictures.

The Alpha tries to help you avoid running out of battery power. An Ultra Power Saving Mode can turn your screen black and turn off non-critical apps but keep the phone alive with a 10 percent charge for up to 24 hours so that you can still receive phone calls and text messages.

The phone comes with Private Mode, which lets you secure your files using either a password or your fingerprint. Samsung has also added health-related features to the Alpha with its S Health app. This app can keep track of your footsteps and your heart rate.