Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) Review

Introduction


Being obsessed top tech brands’ flagship devices, we sometimes forget that not all people need a phone with a gigantic screen, the fastest processor, or the latest camera technologies. In reality, there are still folks who look for a simpler phone – one that just works, one that fits in any pocket, one that doesn’t cost a small fortune to own. The Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) aims to be one such phone, but how well does it match the description? Well, I used it for a week to find out!

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) Review
In the box:


  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016)
  • Wall charger (5V, 1.55A)
  • Micro USB cable
  • SIM card ejector
  • Wired stereo in-ear headset (Model EHS64AVFWE)
  • Quick start guide and warranty information

Design

The new Galaxy A3 is very attractive, pleasant to use, and its size makes it ideal for single-handed operation.

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) Review
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) Review
When I took the 2016-edition Samsung Galaxy A3 out of its box, I checked again to make sure I had received the right smartphone. I was expecting it to be a humble low-tier device, but it didn’t look like one. Pleasantly surprised, I found myself holding a phone akin to the company’s top-tier models – one built of glass, held together by a sturdy metal frame, with rounded corners and chamfered edges for a comfortable, reassuring feel when held. The easy-to-reach volume, power, and home buttons are great as well, responding with a satisfying click when pressed. And with a screen size of 4.7-inches, the new Galaxy A3 can be easily operated with a single hand – a trait fewer and fewer phones can brag with.

Alas, the appealing design of the 2016-edition Galaxy A3 has its downsides. The handset’s flat, smooth glass body gives it the tendency to slip off of flat surfaces even at the slightest angle. And that’s actually a big deal – I’m not convinced that the phone’s otherwise beautiful glass front and back plates would withstand more than a few drops from a table’s edge.


Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016)

Dimensions

5.3 x 2.57 x 0.29 inches

134.5 x 65.2 x 7.3 mm

Weight

4.66 oz (132 g)

Apple iPhone SE

Apple iPhone SE

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.99 oz (113 g)

Motorola Moto G (2015)

Motorola Moto G (2015)

Dimensions

5.59 x 2.85 x 0.48 inches

142 x 72.4 x 12.2 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

OnePlus X

OnePlus X

Dimensions

5.51 x 2.72 x 0.27 inches

140 x 69 x 6.9 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016)

Dimensions

5.3 x 2.57 x 0.29 inches

134.5 x 65.2 x 7.3 mm

Weight

4.66 oz (132 g)

Apple iPhone SE

Apple iPhone SE

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.99 oz (113 g)

Motorola Moto G (2015)

Motorola Moto G (2015)

Dimensions

5.59 x 2.85 x 0.48 inches

142 x 72.4 x 12.2 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

OnePlus X

OnePlus X

Dimensions

5.51 x 2.72 x 0.27 inches

140 x 69 x 6.9 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

Sufficiently detailed and bright, the Galaxy A3’s Super AMOLED screen gets the job done. Color accuracy in Basic Mode is great overall.

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) Review

It doesn’t take a trained eye to notice that the Galaxy A3’s 4.7-inch display is special. Built on Super AMOLED technology, it draws attention from afar with its intense, saturated to the point of exaggeration colors. I’m guessing that many people would actually find this kind of color reproduction quite appealing, yet folks who value color accuracy (such as myself) have the freedom of switching from Adaptive Mode, which set as default, to Basic Mode. The latter option, found in the Display Settings menu, produces almost ideally faithful colors across the entire spectrum, as our measurements confirm.

Colors aside, the phone’s screen delivers 720 by 1280 pixels of resolution (312 pixels per inch), meaning that graphics and text are sharp enough. I’ve seen much more detailed screens on phones of this tier, but even on the new Galaxy A3, I’ve almost never found image detail to be insufficient or text to be difficult to read.

Before I proceed, I must say that the Galaxy A3 (2016) is perfectly usable outdoors. Its screen not only has a high brightness output of nearly 500 nits, but it also has an outdoor display mode that kicks in automatically and boosts readability even further. At night, the screen brightness goes down to 1 nit so it is easy on the eyes.



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20 Comments

1. jellmoo

Posts: 2529; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

o_0 Seriously, you can't say that there's room for improvement with the battery and that you're "mostly satisfied" when your own benchmark puts it besting the others in its class by 2 hours +. Maybe, just maybe, it's time to re-evaluate the battery tests you guys run?

6. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

in this review they said heavy users should bring powerbank while in iPhone SE review they write "If you're using the phone really heavily, with features such as GPS or 3G/4G video streaming, you shouldn't expect it to last more than a day." while A3 have almost 2.5hours more battery benchmark than iSE, lol

20. tomn1ce

Posts: 247; Member since: Mar 12, 2012

That's why many call this site iphoneArena because of the way they reviews products. Bashing non apple products and at the same time praising the apple products that have worst performance than the non apple counterpart.

7. manojmcn

Posts: 633; Member since: Jul 16, 2015

Haha battery tests and ratings by PA are a joke. If any doubt check their tests for S7 and compare with the other sites.

18. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

^^ Don't bother wasting your time. No point discussing their so-called reviews. It's waste of time discussing reviews done by PA.

19. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

This is another reason why I don't take PhoneArena reviews seriously

21. Djz89

Posts: 429; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

The general rewiews on this site is not very good. This is more like a news site. Go elsewhere for rewiews.

2. Arthurhkt

Posts: 716; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Honest speaking, I really like the design of A3 (2016), however the price really big turn off for me :/

3. sebstin

Posts: 170; Member since: Dec 03, 2015

Same here... Also no US availability... wondering why?

5. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Agreed. Its an awesome phone. But should be cheaper.

16. dimas

Posts: 3252; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

It's only at $300+. Pricing is good to me.

8. Kumar123 unregistered

This phone deserves review score 3.5.

10. 444777

Posts: 399; Member since: May 02, 2016

You mean all of Apple's iphones which should've got....

13. Khmer-Geek unregistered

haha exactly my thought get 1 up from me

15. dimas

Posts: 3252; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

You never change pa patriots, never change.

9. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

This phone a 7.5 in my eyes

11. Lenny86

Posts: 301; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

Nice phone could be on budget.£150ish ohh cost £250 wtffff???

12. WAusJackBauer

Posts: 450; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

You guys are crazy complain about the price. If you live in the US prices on ebay are fine. If there's not a good phone that comes out in the next month or 2 with a screen under 5" then I'm definitely buying this. 1 handed use is life.

14. dimas

Posts: 3252; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

So a $300 midrange a3 is pitted against a $499 iphone se with iphone 6 internals and obliterate se on selfie cam, screen sharpness, storage expandability, battery life and battery charging time? Now I want to have that A3 2016 more.

17. FrankUnderwood2

Posts: 243; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

Hey PA, are those battery benchmarks a typing mistake or what? Seriously...
Galaxy A3 (2016)
  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Quad, Quad-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2300 mAh(14h 3G talk time)

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