Shape memory alloy actuation is one of the emerging technologies that shows up remarkable advantages compared to conventional actuation. In this research work, this technology is exploited in driving an innovative prosthetic hand designed to meet most of the requirements of the upper limb amputees. Compact and totally silent linear actuation units are developed and integrated within a lightweight housing closely replicating the shape and size of the average human hand. In addition, a tendon-driven underactuated mechanism provides the necessary dexterity without compromising the simplicity of the device. The physical implementation of the hand chassis is accomplished using rapid prototyping techniques. Experiments with a single-finger testbed are conducted in order to evaluate speed performance and investigate the feasibility of a resistance feedback control scheme.