Samsung has announced its latest smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy A series. These are the first smartphones the company has introduced since the battery problems with the Note 7 in 2016.
The Galaxy A is a premium smartphone available in 4.7, 5.2, and 5.7 inch screen sizes. It also comes in four colors, including black, gold, blue, and peach. Design-wise, the outside of the phone has a metal frame with a “3D glass” backing.
A front- and rear-mounted camera is a major feature on these new smartphones. Both have autofocus capability, and are designed to work well in low-light conditions. For low-light selfies, the camera uses its screen to act as a flash. The camera even has a new “Food Mode”, to enhance the look of whatever you’re eating.
The Samsung Galaxy A carries an IP68 rating against water and dust resistance, matching the company’s flagship Galaxy S7 smartphone. This rating means the Galaxy A is fully resistant against dust, and can be submerged in water up to 1.5 meters deep.
The Galaxy A has a microSD card slot, with support for cards up to 256GB in size. The expandable storage is a notable advantage over the competing Apple iPhone 7, which offers internal storage only.
The Samsung Galaxy A uses the reversible USB Type-C port for charging. (Take a look at our features: USB Type-C: Do You Need It Now?). This is a feature we’d expect to see in a new smartphone. The Galaxy A also has an always-on display so you can see the time and calendar without waking the device. This should help preserve battery life. In the event you need to charge it, the Galaxy A supports Samsung’s Fast Charge, at least some models. Samsung didn’t specify how long it takes to charge the device.
The Galaxy A will be available in three models, all of which will be powered by the Android 6.0.16 Marshmallow operating system. Other common features include 802.11ac and Bluetooth v4.2 wireless support, plus a fingerprint reader.
The smallest Galaxy A model is the A3, with a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED screen. It’s powered by a 1.6GHz Octa Core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of onboard storage. (As noted, all of the Galaxy A series smartphones have a microSD slot for cards up to 256GB, should you want to expand the storage.) The front-facing camera on the A3 is 8-megapixels, while the rear is 13-megapixels. A dual SIM card capability is also available on all models.
Besides a larger 5.2-inch display, stepping up to the A5 model nets you a faster 1.9GHz Octa Core processor, 3GB of RAM, and double the onboard storage to 32GB. The cameras are also higher-resolution than they are on the A3, with a 16-megalpixel rating for both the front and rear.
The flagship A7 model has a 5.7-inch display, and most of its other features and specs carried over from the A5. The A7 has a larger 3,600mAh battery, relative to the A5’s 3,000mAh.
Samsung Galaxy A Availability and Pricing
The Galaxy A will be available in Russia starting in early January, and become available in global markets after the fact, but Samsung didn’t say exactly when it would hit other shores. Pricing also hasn’t been disclosed.