Jan 6, 2017

Samsung Galaxy A Series 2017, a Mid-Ranger with Premium Looks and IP68

Samsung is upping the ante, showing us that you can have flagship features in a mid-range phone.

Samsung had a very mixed 2016. On one hand, they launched the ridiculously successful Galaxy S7 series, and the Galaxy S7 edge is still held to be the best smartphone Samsung has ever made, and some say it's the best smartphone ever, period. Unfortunately, they had a disastrous failure with the Galaxy Note7, which is probably the single largest and costliest debacle in smartphone history. Entering 2017, Samsung is beginning anew, this time with their midrange, the Galaxy A series. The Galaxy A7 (2017) proves to be one very capable beast.

The New Galaxy A series comprises of Galaxy A3 (2017), Galaxy A5 (2017), and Galaxy A7 (2017). While the smaller Galaxy A3 (2017) is the modest entry of the lineup, the Galaxy A5 (2017) and the Galaxy A7 (2017) are exactly the same aside from the screen size and overall phone dimensions.

Samsung seems to have looked back at the Galaxy S7, for inspiration. Taking note of what made the Galaxy S7 so much more successful than the Galaxy S6, Samsung iterates that knowledge into the Galaxy A series, and what you get is the closest thing to perfection in the midrange.

The Galaxy S7 was basically the same thing as the Galaxy S6, but Samsung brought back two key features the Galaxy S6 dropped: water resistance and microSD cards. However, the good looks of the Galaxy S6 were kept and iterated into the Galaxy S7, and the great thing is that we get to keep all of these with the Galaxy A series this year. The new Galaxy A series comes with IP68 dust and water resistant, the same as the flagship Galaxy S7 models, and it has a microSD expansion slot as well.

The entry variant Galaxy A3 (2017) features a 4.7-inch HD Super AMOLED display, 1.6GHz Octa-core processor accompanied by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of ROM. Camera-wise, it's packed with a 13MP main and 8MP front combination. It also comes with added features such as a fingerprint scanner and USB Type-C support. Powering the device is a 2,350mAh battery while it runs on Android Marshmallow OS.

The Galaxy A7 (2017) and Galaxy A5 (2017) is as said, comes with exactly identical features besides its overall dimension and battery capacity. The Galaxy A7 (2017) has a 6.7-inch display while the Galaxy A5 (2017) sports a smaller 5.2-inch display. Despite the difference in sizes, both feature a Super AMOLED Full HD 1080p display, and like the Galaxy S7, this extends to the rear as well: Gone is the metallic back of the A series, replaced with a luscious Gorilla Glass rear that looks completely high-end. The rest of the phone is framed in aluminum. Inside is an Exynos 7880 octa-core chipset, famous for Samsung's energy-saving capabilities, and backed by 3GB of RAM. Both the front and rear cameras are 16-megapixel, giving the phone very capable imaging qualities. The battery for the Galaxy A7 (2016) is 3,600mAh while the Galaxy A5 (2017) comes with 600mAh less at 3,000mAh. Both phones also include a fingerprint scanner and a new USB Type-C port. What's missing is wireless charging, which is a much more niche application, but one that many who have bought wireless chargers will miss.

The Galaxy A7 (2017) is expected to hit European and Asian markets first and will be available for around USD 450, or about PHP 22,500.

Galaxy A Series 2017 Key Spec Comparison

SpecsSamsung Galaxy A3 (2017)Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
Display4.7" HD Super AMOLED 5.2" FHD Super AMOLED5.7" FHD Super AMOLED
Dimensions (mm) 135.4x66.2x7.9146.1x71.4x7.9156.8x77.6x7.9
OSAndroid 6.0.1 MarshmallowAndroid 6.0.1 MarshmallowAndroid 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Camera (Main)13MP16MP16MP
Camera (Front)8MP16MP16MP
CPU1.6GHz Octa-core1.9GHz Octa-Core1.9GHz Octa-Core
Fingerprint sensorHome buttonHome buttonHome button
PortUSB Type-CUSB Type-CUSB Type-C
Special featuresIP68IP68IP68
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