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Where to buy Samsung's Galaxy Alpha

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Samsung usually keeps its design team busy with the Galaxy S and Note ranges, but clearly they had some extra time to kill this year. One side project turned out to be the Galaxy Alpha, a sleek 4.7-inch number with the kind of premium build quality Samsung reserves for only its top handsets. It even gives the flagship Galaxy S5 something to worry about, with a slim profile, aluminium frame and some of the more notable specs including a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 12MP camera. If the compact and classy device is something you've been keeping an eye out for, then you'll be pleased to hear it launches in the UK today (on iPhone preorder day, no less), and we've got the skinny on where you can snag one.

O2 EE Vodafone Carphone Warehouse buymobiles.net
Cheapest contract (with upfront) £13 (£530) £31 (£110) £26.50 on 3G (£199) £25 on EE (£200) £24 on Orange 3G (£210)
Cheapest contract (no upfront) £43 -- £38.50 on 4G £33 on O2 £39 on EE
Pay-as-you-go £530 -- -- -- --
Unlocked (SIM-free) -- -- -- £530 --

Of the usual suspects, Three and Vodafone didn't feel they needed to range the Alpha on day one, but both have previously announced it will be coming to their networks eventually. Surprisingly, EE has no tariffs without an upfront payment, though that can be as little as £20 (affordablemobiles.co.uk also has a £36 per month plan on EE for just £10 upfront). Carphone Warehouse seems to have the best-looking deal price-wise with the Alpha free at £33 per month with O2.

A couple of MVNOs are on the ball, with giffgaff offering the Alpha on pay-as-you-go for just £514, or on contract from £31.25 per month with a £60 upfront payment. Tesco Mobile, on the other hand, will give you a handset free in exchange for £32.50 per month, or charge you £529 for a pay-as-you-go device. TalkTalk has the Alpha free from only £30 per month, but you have to be an existing customer to take advantage of that tariff.

If you want to go down the SIM-free, unlocked route, avoid buying a Galaxy Alpha from Samsung directly, as a few well-known e-tailers can give you a much better deal. Expansys isn't doing too bad with a £515 price point, but Unlocked Mobiles and Clove are winning currently, with both selling the Alpha at a hair under £500.

Update: It didn't take long for Vodafone to get stocked up, and we've now added the carrier to the above table. We also removed Phones4u's options for obvious reasons.

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