More than a year after the grand unveiling of two phones that marked the beginning of Samsung's turn towards premium designs - the original Galaxy A3
- we have just been blessed with their A-series sequels to marvel at. The Galaxy A3
and A7 (2016)
's differences with the design of their predecessors are immediately obvious, such as the new camera/LED flash combo shape and positioning, as well as the more rounded corners.
Furthermore, they feature different materials for the back than the matte metal of their predecessors. In fact, the frame and finish are metal and glass, and are very reminiscent of the Galaxy S6
design language. There is a fingerprint scanner in the home key of both the A5 (2016) and A7 (2016) now, further solidifying the resemblance.
The new Galaxy A5 and A7 evidently share similar specs, but differ in their screen sizes - the A7 (2016) comes with a 5.5" Super AMOLED 1080p display, while the A5 shrinks this down to a 5.2-incher of the same resolution. They are both powered by an Exynos 7 Octa processor, clocked at 1.6 GHz, but the A5 makes do with 2 GB RAM, while the A7 boasts 3 GB. A 13 MP/5 MP camera duo will take photos on both, and the phones' main camera unit has now been equipped with optical image stabilization.
Samsung stepped up the battery capacity of the two, compared to their predecessors - the larger A7 gets a generous 3300 mAh juicer, from a 2600 mAh one before, while the A5 (2016) now packs a 2900 mAh battery, which is a far cry from the 2300 mAh unit in the first A5. The phones are slightly thicker now, perhaps to accommodate the bigger batteries, and a tad heavier than before.
As for the compact Galaxy A3 (2016), it sports a 4.7" HD display (up from a 4.5" one), and runs on a quad-core Exynos under the hood, clocked at 1.5 GHz, and paired with 1.5 GB of RAM. The camera is now 13 MP camera, compared to 8 MP in the first A3, while the 5MP snapper at the front stays the same. The battery pack has been given a boost here as well, though, to 2300 mAh from 1900 mAh.
All in all, the 2016 A-series trio sounds like a thoughtful upgrade over their predecessors, though it all depends on the pricing that will be announced. The phones have 16 GB of storage from the get-go, but the internal memory can be expanded with a microSD slot. They all sport Samsung's fast charging tech, too, which, coupled with the much larger batteries, shouldn't leave you longing for more when it comes to endurance.
The new A3, A5 and A7 will be available mid-December in China, in January globally, and will come in Black Sapphire, Platinum and White Pearl colors for the chassis. Unfortunately, the trio ships with Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box initially, instead of Marshmallow.
The Galaxy A3 (2016) will be priced at €329, while the Galaxy A5 (2016) will cost €399, which in dollar terms should be the same or slightly lower. The A7's pricing is still in limbo, but will likely be below 499 EUR or USD, judging from the price difference between the other two. Any takers?
Galaxy A3, A5, A7 (2016)
Galaxy A3, A5, A7 (2016)
4. Galaxy A3
10. Galaxy A5
16. Galaxy A7