Today Samsung announced that updated versions of their Galaxy A3, A5, and A7 smartphones are about to be released. The original Galaxy A7 launched at the very beginning of this year, and both it and the other Galaxy A smartphones represented Samsung's attempt at bringing quality smartphone construction and design to lower price points than what you would pay for a flagship phone like the Galaxy S6. With it being nearly a year since the original announcement of the Galaxy A7, it makes sense that Samsung would want to refresh the lineup. Below you can find the specs for all three of Samsung's new smartphones.

  Samsung Galaxy A3 Samsung Galaxy A5 Samsung Galaxy A7
SoC 1.5GHz Quad Core 1.6GHz Octa Core
NAND 16GB NAND + microSD
Display 4.7" 1280x720 AMOLED 5.2" 1920x1080 AMOLED 5.5" 1920x1080 AMOLED
Camera 13MP Rear-facing, F/1.9, OIS on A5 and A7
5MP Front-facing, F/1.9
Dimensions / Mass 134.5 x 65.2 x 7.3mm
144.8 x 71.0 x 7.3mm 155g 151.5 x 74.1 x 7.3mm 172g
Battery 2300 mAh 2900 mAh 3300 mAh
OS Android 5.1 Lollipop
Network Category 4 LTE Category 6 LTE
Other Connectivity 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n + BT 4.1, USB2.0, NFC, GPS/GNSS 2.4 / 5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n + BT 4.1, USB2.0, NFC, GPS/GNSS, MST for Samsung Pay
Fingerprint scanner No Yes Yes

As you can see, all three devices have a degree of similarity. The Galaxy A5 and A7 in particular seem to be the most closely related, with many of the differences simply coming down to the difference in size between the two, and the drop to 2GB of RAM on the A5. The Galaxy A3 is clearly the more low end device, with a 4.7" 1280x720 display, no 5GHz WiFi support, and additional reductions to RAM, the SoC, and the cellular connectivity. Because the Galaxy A3 omits the fingerprint scanner present on the A5 and A7 it's also unable to use Samsung Pay.

Of course, some details like the specific SoCs in use are unknown, although one can speculate based on the limited number of offerings on the market that fit the descriptions. Whether or not the Galaxy A3's display uses a PenTile subpixel arrangement will also be an important detail to consider once it's revealed.

As for the design of the phones, they take inspiration from the industrial design of the previous Galaxy A devices but adopt some of the changes made with Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note5, such as the use of glass on both the front and back of the devices. All of the phones are quite thin, and both the design and materials used mean that these definitely won't be targeting the sub-$100 part of the smartphone market. Samsung is also introducing a pink gold color which wasn't available with the last generation models.

While I don't think any of these phones are going to have extremely low prices, it's clear that they'll be competing at price brackets lower than the one occupied by Samsung's flagship phones. The launch prices for the Galaxy A3, A5, and A7 are currently unknown. According to Samsung, the phones will be launching in China later this month, with an expansion to global markets coming in 2016. We'll have to wait and see how much the phones go on sale for in the Chinese market before we're able to guess how much they'll cost elsewhere, and interested buyers will have to wait and see when their availability expands to their country.

Source: Samsung

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  • prime2515103 - Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - link

    MicrosSD card slot? Could this be sign they'll bring microsSD slots back to their S and Note lines? I sure hope they do because my next phone won't be a Samsung without one.
  • babadivad - Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - link

    I skipped the Note 5 because of this omission. If not present on the Galaxy S7, I can assume it won' be on the Note 6 either. So I'll know pretty soon whether to move on from Samsung or not this Spring.
  • twotwotwo - Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - link

    Maybe on a flagship, the company does better making higher-storage SKUs to in effect sell a little Flash at a big markup.

    But on cheaper devices, not many people would buy pricier higher-capacity versions, and having them would just complicate distribution (box of 10 16GB units + 1 32GB + 1 64GB) and marketing (the A3 is cheap...unless you get the 64GB version). So they make one low-capacity device and have the slot. In support of this, the low-end Kindle Fire is one of the other relatively rare current-gen devices to have a MicroSD slot.

    Alternatively, maybe space is just so valuable in the flagships that even the volume of a MicroSD reader is too much to spend if most won't use it, or there's some reason that I haven't dreamed up even in my wild speculation. :)
  • hung2900 - Thursday, December 3, 2015 - link

    It depends on whether Samsung use UFS-2 on their flagships or not. Or make an innovation that we can have both.
  • zeeBomb - Thursday, December 3, 2015 - link

    Gotta love the A series. Got me hyped up for what they have to offer.
  • shabby - Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - link

    Android 5.1 Lollipop
    Are you serious?!?
  • DCide - Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - link

    Perhaps it will get an updated Android before being released outside of China.
  • StrangerGuy - Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - link

    Good luck in China, they are going to need it. More than 2x the price of the Chinese OEM devices for similar specs. Even if they are going to pay that sort of prices the Chinese would rather buy old or used iPhones.
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - link

    It's Samsung, what do you expect?
    If you want the latest and most community support, nexus is the answer.
    or if you're don't want to tinker at all and able to poo money, get iPhone.
  • mooninite - Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - link

    Hahahaha Android 5.1


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